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CONTENTS SUMMER 2012 • VOL. 03 ISSUE 02

24

>> KEEP SWIMMING

By Janice C. Kaplan

Gainesville Gaviatas Meet the Synchro Gainesville Gaviatas, a group of young women who perform a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics. Synchronized swimming provides a chance to show their strength, flexibility and endurance as they perform synchronized routines accompanied by music — in water way above their heads.

Sync or Swim PHOTOGRAPHY BY TJ MORRISSEY

Gainesville Gaviatas Compete for Gold BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

W

hat combines the grace of a ballerina, the strength of a gymnast and the endurance of a triathlete? A synchronized swimmer, of course. Just ask any member of the Gaviatas. Also known as Synchro Gainesville, the Gaviatas is a local

synchronized swimming club that includes athletes ranging in age from 7 to 19. Members of the Gaviatas (all are currently girls, but boys are welcome to join) perform in solos, duets, trios and teams of four to eight swimmers. Athletes practice anywhere from two to five days a week depending upon their skill levels and teams. While the Gaviatas compete

primarily in the State of Florida, the group is also gaining wider acclaim. Last year, the Junior Travel Team won second place in the 16-17 age group at the national championships in Seattle, Wash. In June the team will travel to Ohio in their quest to capture the title. With such accomplishments, the group has raised the profile of Florida’s synchronized swimming

clubs in the decade of its existence. “The State of Florida has a lot of smaller clubs, and most are in South Florida,” said Becky Dyroen-Lancer, the head coach of the Gaviatas. “If I can bring up the level in one area, hopefully it will bring up the level of the whole state. It’s hard to train in a vacuum and only see really top swimmers once a year [at competition]. But it helps when there are other clubs around to compete with. Just the fact that we are now a really

24 | Summer 2012

strong club, everyone’s vying for that top Florida spot.” Dyroen-Lancer knows tough competition when she sees it. After growing up in California, home to the top synchronized swimming clubs in the nation, she went on to compete at the Pan American, Olympic and other international levels throughout the 1990s. She was the captain of the 1996 U.S. synchronized swimming team that won the gold medal in Atlanta Olympics, and in 2004 she was inducted into the International

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Swimming Hall of Fame. While swimmers glam it up with hair gel, makeup and flashy costumes, the effort required of synchronized swimmers belies its attractive exterior. Participants perform complex maneuvers in synchronicity, or in a synchronized pattern, timed to music. In many routines “flyers” are used — swimmers who are lifted out of the water and into the air by team members. To achieve this, the other team members perform an “egg

Summer 2012 | 25

>> 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

50

London Calling

2012 Summer Games If the International Olympic Committee had recognized the “Gator Nation” as a participating country in the 2008 Summer Games, UF’s athletes and alumni would have tied for 18th for total medals earned. Read about the history of the Olympics and learn about two Gator Gold medalists from the past.

From Ancient Greece to Modern-Day England, the Olympics Set the World Alight

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

C

an it really be four years since the world’s focus was on Usain Bolt, the Chinese gymnasts, and a stadium nicknamed The Bird’s Nest? Apparently it can. The 2012 Summer Olympics begin in London, England with the opening ceremonies on July 27. The city will become

the first location to host three Olympic games, with the previous events held there in 1908 and 1948. While the modern Olympics were first held in 1896, the roots of the games go back to ancient times. According to Olympia-Greece.org, the first Olympic games can be traced to the year 776 B.C. Held in honor of Zeus, this first Olympiad included only one event — the

stadion, which was a straight sprint the length of the stadium. The winner was a cook named Koroibos and he was crowned with a wreath of wild olive leaves. As years passed, events were added that would become the basis for some of the modern games. While chariot racing has since gone by the wayside, other sports such as wrestling, javelin, discus, boxing

IMAGES COURTESY LONDON 2012

A night-time view of the central park bridges, the winning design esign propoal from Ireland-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects. Two permanent bridges are linked by a narrow diagonal span over Carpenters Lock at the center of the Olympic Park. During the Olympics a he crowds. In central temporary infill between the bridges accommodates the ck linking the the legacy park, two bowls are created on either side of the lock terways. upper park concourse with the lower level of towpaths and waterways. cycled In the spirit of the event, the temporary infill deck will use recycled urface. running shoes to create a multi-coloured ‘confetti’ walking surface.

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

50 | Summer 2012

>> INTERVIEW

Mama Trish

160 MUSICIAN EXTRAORDINAIRE

Rock Chick. Singer-songwriter. Activist. Musician for hire. Introvert?

BY ALBERT ISAAC

AGE: 43 BIRTHDAY: FEBRUARY 8, 1969 HOMETOWN: ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY MOVED TO GAINESVILLE: 1982

By Janice C. Kaplan

O

ne of these things is not

Being involved in the church was great for my music, because I learned how to play everything.

don’t care, when I’ve given in to the wrinkles, I’ll pick

not on stage performing or organizing festivals or creating body lotions, she prefers to be relaxing at home with her husband, James Ingle. I recently caught up with Mama Trish at The Bull in Gainesville to learn more about this local force of nature.

I played piano and bass and guitar and drums

When did you start performing?

and tambourine and sang four-part harmony. And

What brought you to Gainesville?

I gave up playing clarinet because I caught sight of myself in the mirror playing and I realized that the face I make to play clarinet is the face that I do NOT want to make at this age. So I’ll keep it for another 10 years and, when I really

I got paid to play my first gig when I was 13. I got paid $50 to play the processional and recessional at a wedding. The payment hasn’t gone up that much, unfortunately, especially in Gainesville. It’s hard to make a living around here. I played guitar from 6 to 12, and when I was 12 we got a piano. I played piano from 12 to 18, until I finally got kicked out of the house. I didn’t have a piano anymore and that’s what got me playing guitar all the time. It’s me

like the other. But when Mama Trish is

[Laughing] I was raised in a Christian cult in Suwannee County. My folks moved for a church, basically. I was 13, and I was a rebel and an individualist.

that was great, but I did get into a lot of trouble for of my mouth. I was always questioning things, and they didn’t like that.

I understand that you also play the clarinet?

160 | Summer 2012

12 | Summer 2012

it up again.

By Albert Isaac

Musician Interview Musician Trish Ingle began playing guitar when she was six years old. She now plays a variety of instruments (except clarinet — she’s saving that for later) and can be found at various Gainesville venues performing just about any style of music, from punk rock to bluegrass.


124

ON THE COVER

>> FEATURES

Local Olympic hopeful, Claire Thompson.

38

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

Hide & Seek Geocaching: High-Tech Scavenger Hunt BY DESIREE FARNUM

64

Travelin’ Band The Pride of the Sunshine will perform at the 2012 Olympics BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

74

Chain Reaction High School Students Raise Money for the March of Dimes BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN

80

Gainesville’s Biggest Losers Two Women Get a Chance to Change Their Lives BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

92

COLUMNISTS 34 Crystal Henry NAKED SALSA 72 Albert Isaac DIFFERENT NOTE 150 Brian “Krash” Kruger GATE CRASHING 170 Ellis Amburn ADVENTURES IN APPETITE

INFORMATION

Second Chances Hannah Curlee, Biggest Loser Runner-up, Discusses Her Experiences BY MARY KYPREOS

100 Community Calendar 112 Taste of the Town 176 Advertiser Index

The articles printed in Our Town Magazine™ do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Tower Publications, Inc. or their editorial staff. Our Town Magazine endeavors to accept reliable advertising; however, we can not be held responsible by the public for advertising claims. Our Town Magazine reserves the right to refuse or discontinue any advertisement. All rights reserved. © 2012 Tower Publications, Inc.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2012 | 13

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Published quarterly by Tower Publications, Inc. www.towerpublications.com

PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre charlie@towerpublications.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac editor@towerpublications.com fax: 1-800-967-7382 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre bonita@towerpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee hank@towerpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Neil McKinney neil@towerpublications.com

On March 3, 2011, a giant set of Olympic rings was inaugurated at St. Pancras International station in central London. This 60-foot wide aluminum structure was made at Brilliant Stages in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, unveiled the rings. During the Summer Olympic Games, “Javelin” trains will take visitors from the station to the Olympic Park. The five interlinking Olympic rings were designed by the founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, and have been a symbol

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ellis Amburn Elizabeth Behrman Desiree Farnum Crystal Henry Janice Kaplan Brian “Krash” Kruger Mary Kypreos Denise Krigbaum Jewel Midelis Amanda Williamson INTERN Jennifer Riek

of the Games since 1914. The colors represent five continents and are linked to show unity between the world’s athletes in the spirit of the Olympic movement.

>> FEATURES 124 Touch First Claire Thompson: Local Olympic Hopeful BY DENISE KRIGBAUM

140 Medal Ready Gemma Spofforth BY DENISE KRIGBAUM

144 Kicking It for the USA Cesar and Eric Mateo Work Toward a Spot on the U.S. National Team BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

154 Camp Kesem Where the Magic Happens BY JEWEL MIDELIS

14 | Summer 2012

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SPECIAL >> NATIONAL RECOGNITION

It’s Not Easy Being Green BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON ree-lined streets, bicycle paths and farmers markets dot the City of Gainesville. With approximately 65 parks, it is not surprising that Gainesville ranks as one of the top 25 Greenest Cities in the United States for 2012, according to The Daily Beast, the online home of Newsweek Magazine. In honor of Earth Day, April 22, the Daily Beast ranked cities based on resident’s attitudes and behaviors. Gainesville placed 23 out of 25 competing with the biggest cities in the United States. The top three cities, in order, were Honolulu, New York and San Francisco. Other Florida cities to win this honor were

T

16 | Summer 2012

Orlando at 18 and Miami at 21. “As a city, we think this recognition helps to affirm that we are a leader in the nation in making sustainable choices as a community,” said Russ Blackburn, City Manager. Gainesville initiated a Clean and Green program to educate residents with a step-by-step approach to litter reduction, waste reduction, community beautification and environmental protection. “The Gainesville Clean & Green effort encourages city residents to take action and work with city services to help clean up sidewalks, curbsides, parks, wooded areas, vacant lots and waterways,” states the City of Gainesville website.

On April 26, The City of Gainesville and Gainesville Regional Utilities celebrated National Arbor Day and GRU’s 12th year as a Tree Line USA recipient. Last year, Gainesville placed seventh out of 25, with 34 percent of residents thinking eco-consciously and 63 percent that recycle. In 2011, the number one greenest city in the United States went to New York. Other awards include being ranked 16th in “America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities” by Bicycling Magazine; one of the Top Ten Best Places for Outdoor Activities in the USA by Sperling in 2005; and named by Liveability.com as having one of the 10 Amazing Local Farmers Markets in the Country. s


EDITORIAL >> A GOLDEN SUMMER

Summer is again upon us along with family vacations, stifling temperatures and the chance to cool off in the swimming pool. This year is also time for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, held in London beginning in July. With the Summer Olympics in mind we bring you stories of some local athletes who aspire for the gold, others who have earned the gold in years past, and some information about the Games. Meet Olympic hopeful Claire Thompson, a UF graduate who can be found giving swimming lessons when not training with the Gator Swim Club for her shot at glory. Writer Denise Krigbaum also tells us what she has learned about Olympic hopeful Gemma Spofforth, another Gator with her eyes on the prize. Spofforth has qualified for the British Swim Team and will compete in her home country in the London Summer Games. Lastly, we learn about the Mateo brothers, identical twins who have practiced taekwondo for just six years, and have been invited to try out for the U.S. national team. Writer Janice Kaplan gives us a brief history of the Games and also offers a peak at a pair of past Olympic winners: swimmer Catie Ball-Condon of Pensacola — who happens to have the distinction of being the first Gator to win Gold — and Becky Dyroen-Lancer, who as captain of the U.S. Synchronized Swimming Team led her team to victory in the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. Dyroen-Lancer is now coach for the Gainesville Gaviatas synchronized swimming team, which is also featured in this edition of Our Town magazine. The Pride of the Sunshine, the University of Florida Fightin’ Gator Marching Band, will also be playing its part in the Summer Olympics. This is an expensive endeavor, and the Gator Band is asking for donations to help ensure every band member will be able to make the trip. Summer is also time to get in shape and shed those unwanted pounds. Earlier in the year, Chris “Boris” Marhefka — owner of Body by Boris (a local training facility) — offered personal training for two lucky women to learn how to change lifestyle habits so that losing weight would come more easily. So grab a cool drink and a seat by the pool and read all about their experiences as well as an assortment of other stories. s

Summer 2012 | 17

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STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Denise Trunk Krigbaum

Jewel Midelis

is a freelance writer, adjunct professor at UF, wife and a mom. She has lived in Gainesville for eons and has managed to turn over a few stones while here. She has found many hidden gems. More remain to be discovered.

is freelance writer and student of journalism at the University of Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, camping at state-parks and playing with her puppies. jmidelis91@yahoo.com

dtrunk@ufl.edu

Amanda Williamson

Desiree Farnum

is a recent graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has been writing for as long as she can remember. She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and animals.

is a recent graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications as well as a freelance writer. Born in Trinidad and raised in Queens, NY, she enjoys spontaneous road trips and visits from outof-town friends.

awilliamson@ufl.edu

desireefarnum@ufl.edu

Mary Kypreos

Janice Kaplan

is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys discovering tidbits of knowledge about Florida from those who know it best. She is a proud Gator alumna and is currently working toward a Master’s in English language and literature.

has been a freelance writer since 2005. In her spare time Janice loves cooking, Gator sports, Jimmy Buffett anything and spending time with her husband and kids. kaplan_ janice@yahoo.com

kypreos.mary@gmail.com

Elizabeth Behrman

Crystal Henry

is a freelance writer and a recent graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity. She loves to read, write, watch movies and spend time with friends.

is a freelance writer and columnist born and raised in West Texas. She received her B.S. in Journalism in 2006 from the University of Florida. She is in love with the Florida landscape. ces03k@gmail.com

liz.behrman@gmail.com

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>> KEEP SWIMMING

Sync or Swim PHOTOGRAPHY BY TJ MORRISSEY

Gainesville Gaviatas Compete for Gold BY JANICE C. KAPLAN hat combines the grace of a ballerina, the strength of a gymnast and the endurance of a triathlete? A synchronized swimmer, of course. Just ask any member of the Gaviatas. Also known as Synchro Gainesville, the Gaviatas is a local

W

24 | Summer 2012

synchronized swimming club that includes athletes ranging in age from 7 to 19. Members of the Gaviatas (all are currently girls, but boys are welcome to join) perform in solos, duets, trios and teams of four to eight swimmers. Athletes practice anywhere from two to five days a week depending upon their skill levels and teams. While the Gaviatas compete

primarily in the State of Florida, the group is also gaining wider acclaim. Last year, the Junior Travel Team won second place in the 16-17 age group at the national championships in Seattle, Wash. In June the team will travel to Ohio in their quest to capture the title. With such accomplishments, the group has raised the profile of Florida’s synchronized swimming


clubs in the decade of its existence. “The State of Florida has a lot of smaller clubs, and most are in South Florida,” said Becky Dyroen-Lancer, the head coach of the Gaviatas. “If I can bring up the level in one area, hopefully it will bring up the level of the whole state. It’s hard to train in a vacuum and only see really top swimmers once a year [at competition]. But it helps when there are other clubs around to compete with. Just the fact that we are now a really

strong club, everyone’s vying for that top Florida spot.” Dyroen-Lancer knows tough competition when she sees it. After growing up in California, home to the top synchronized swimming clubs in the nation, she went on to compete at the Pan American, Olympic and other international levels throughout the 1990s. She was the captain of the 1996 U.S. synchronized swimming team that won the gold medal in Atlanta Olympics, and in 2004 she was inducted into the International

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Swimming Hall of Fame. While swimmers glam it up with hair gel, makeup and flashy costumes, the effort required of synchronized swimmers belies its attractive exterior. Participants perform complex maneuvers in synchronicity, or in a synchronized pattern, timed to music. In many routines “flyers” are used — swimmers who are lifted out of the water and into the air by team members. To achieve this, the other team members perform an “egg

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Synchro Gainesville Gaviatas members smile for the camera and demonstrate their skills at a recent weekend practice at Northeast Pool. Members range in age from 7 to 19 and perform in solos, duets, trios, and teams of four to eight swimmers. Opposite - from left: Samantha, Kenna and An Anne A Ann nn ne a are rre efi firrrst st in st n the division and are headed to Nationals at tthe June. he h e end end of en of J Ju un un ne ne. e. e

Although synchronized swimming was first recognized as an Olympic sport in 1984, its origins can be traced back more than 100 years. beater” move, a power stroke also used in water polo, while supporting a “table” — a swimmer who positions herself horizontally on top of the other swimmers. The

26 | Summer 2012

flyer then stands on the table while the rest of her team propels her to the surface of the water. All of this activity is done in 9 to 13 feet of water (in other words,

without touching the bottom m of the pool), with swimmers holding their breath for a minute orr more while setting up such formations ations and lifts. Teams are judged on the tightness and cleanliness ess of routines, execution of the moves and creativity of the routine. e. And of course, it is all accomcomplished while never losing that winning smile. “I think it’s the combination tion of creativity and the athleticism m that


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1907 — Australian Annette Kellerman, performing in a glass tank, attracts national attention at the New York Hippodrome as the first underwater ballerina.

I think synchronized swimming is an amazing sport that encompasses athleticism, creativity and female camaraderie.” Members of Gaviatas, also known as Synchro Gainesville take a break from their practice to pose for a photo op. From left, back row: Ashley,

1915 — Katherine Curtis, student at the University of Wisconsin, starts a water ballet club at the University of Chicago. The group executes strokes, “tricks” and floating formations. 1939 — The first U.S. competition, held May 27, is a dual meet at Wright Junior College between Wright and the Chicago Teachers’ College, Curtis’ team. Showman Billy Rose develops an Aquacade for the World’s Fair in New York featuring Olympians Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weissmuller.

Grace, Eliza, Marissa, Anne, Emily, Allison, Caroline, Samantha, Kenna, Katie, Anna, Bonnie, Lauren, Lyla and Roslynn. Synchro Gainesville is looking for girls between 8 and 14 for its summer program. For information, visit synchrogainesville.com.

1940 — Esther Williams, U.S. freestyle champion and Olympic contender, popularizes water ballet with her performances in the San Francisco World’s Fair Aquacade and subsequent MGM movies. 1954 — FINA, the international aquatics federation, is formed and makes synchronized swimming a competitive division of aquatics. 1967 — Pam Morris is the first synchronized swimmer inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. 1981 — United States Synchronized Swimming Inc. establishes its national headquarters at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. 1984 — The International Olympic Committee officially accepts the solo event into the 1984 Olympic Games two months before the games begin. 1996 — In the team event’s premier at the 1996 Olympic Games, the USA performs flawlessly. After winning the technical routine portion, the USA’s free routine “Fantasia on an Orchestra” captivates the audience and judges. The USA receives a perfect score of 100 in the free routine to earn the first Olympic gold medal in team competition. UNITED STATES SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING (USSS), THE NATIONAL GOVERNING BODY FOR THE SPORT OF SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING.

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draws people [to participate]. A lot of sports don’t have that creative element,” Dyroen-Lancer said. “I think the water is a big draw too. All of the girls just really love to swim. I’ve gotten a lot of people who were speed swimmers, but it was just too monotonous for their personality.” Dyroen-Lancer also credits the relative safety of synchronized swimming as a benefit. She explained that gymnasts and cheerleaders often join the Gaviatas looking for the same combination of artistic expression and physical fitness without the repetitive pounding on mats or gym floors. Since synchronized swimming is performed in the water, it is a lower-impact sport that is easier on a body’s long-term health. Such a benefit attracted Anna Hennis to the Gaviatas. A student in the gifted magnet program at Williams Elementary School, Anna had tried gymnastics and dancing but broke bones in her body several times. She was ultimately diagnosed with brittle bone disease along with hypermobility syndrome (in which the body’s joints easily move beyond expected range), and was under doctor’s orders to not participate in most sports. This left Anna frustrated and discouraged because she enjoyed physical activities but was left with very few options. That is when her mother, Leslie, took her to a Gaviatas practice two years ago. “She jumped into the pool with her gymnastics leotard on, and that was that,” Leslie said. “She just knew.” Since then Anna has flourished with the Gaviatas, winning several ribbons and medals, including two gold medals in last year’s Sunshine State Games for the trio and team competitions in the 9-10 age bracket. She has also been promoted to the flyer position and is very excited about her new role. “It makes you feel like you’re a bird, coming out into the air from the water! It just feels really magical,” she said.

Olympic gold-medalist Becky Dyroen-Lancer is the head coach for the Gaviatas, also known as Synchro Gainesville. In 2004, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Leslie has seen a remarkable transformation in her daughter, not only in the pool but in everyday life as well, due to both her achievements in the sport and the camaraderie she has with her teammates. “She has changed from a person who is very scared and afraid to be around people — for fear that they’d bump into her and she’d break something — into a very

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confident young lady,” Leslie said. “She has learned that smiling will get her pretty far in life. She is very poised, she’s very graceful, and her outlook on life is much happier.” “I believe there’s a sport for everybody,” Dyroen-Lancer said. “But I think synchronized swimming is an amazing sport that encompasses athleticism, creativity and female camaraderie.” s

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COLUMN >> CRYSTAL HENRY

Naked Salsa Room to grow t 9:30 a.m. I called my husband and said, “I’m not sure, but I think I might be in labor.” I couldn’t time my contractions because my toddler was distracting me with her shenanigans. And when the contractions got stronger and I tried to roll on the birthing ball for relief, my toddler, deciding I should suck it up, stole the ball right out from under me. Realizing that I might actually be in labor, and being in no mood for distractions, I called my friend to come and get Sunny for a play date while I figured out if I was about to have a baby. As I gathered her things in between contractions I was still in pretty deep denial that I was in labor. It only made sense because I think I was in denial about having another child throughout my pregnancy. I was overtaken with emotions that ranged from pure joy to guilt. I was elated to be pregnant. I’m one of the weirdos who actually likes being preggers. I was happy that our family would be complete, and I was overjoyed when we found out it was another girl. I’d always wanted a sister, so I was very excited that my daughter would have one. But most of my pregnancy emotions were directly tied to Sunny, my firstborn. I’d planned and plotted and wished and dreamed and did everything short of voodoo to get pregnant with my oldest child. This second pregnancy snuck up on me a few days after we celebrated Sunny’s second birthday. We’d always planned on two, but we certainly weren’t trying when that little stick turned pink. I’d planned to wait until Sunny was 5, so that I would have enough one-on-one time with her. Then when she was in school I’d welcome another baby. But my ovaries had other plans. And I felt guilty for that. How could I possibly find time for Sunny if I was glued to an infant?

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And would I have enough love for the both of them? As I kissed Sunny goodbye I savored the moment. Deep down I knew that was our last morning as a duo, and the moment was bittersweet. But just two hours later I held Violet Elyse in my arms. In the time Before Violet, or BV as I now refer to it, Sunny and I spent our days at the park, reading books or having picnics in the backyard. The world revolved around her. If she wanted to sit at the library for three hours, then so be it. If we wanted to make pancakes at 3 p.m. we made them. And each day at naptime I snuggled up next to her and read stories until we fell asleep. I felt so guilty for taking that away because I knew when Violet came those days were over. Maybe that guilt came from knowing what it was like to be the older child when a new baby comes home. I was queen bee of the universe for five glorious years before my baby brother showed up. And since he was three months premature he got loads of attention that was formerly reserved only for me. I remember feeling resentful and jealous, and I didn’t want that for my daughter. Plus I felt guilty about the new baby because I wasn’t sure I could ever love anyone as much as I love my Sunny. Then, on her daddy’s birthday, our little Violet came into the world. Sunny’s labor and delivery were horrible. It was a slow and painful induction. I had an epidural and pushed for three hours. When she finally came I was so wiped out and numb that I could hardly process what was happening. But Violet’s labor happened so fast, and Sunny distracted me so well through the toughest part, that there was no time for the epidural. I brought Vi into the world without so much as a Tylenol, and it was the most invigorating

As they placed that warm little body on my chest I wept, and I understood how I could love her every bit as much as Sunny.

34 | Summer 2012


and emotional experience of my life. As they placed that warm little body on my chest I wept, and I understood how I could love her every bit as much as Sunny. My heart wasn’t big enough for the two of them, but when Violet was born my heart grew. I’m sure I didn’t feel it, what with all the contractions, but my heart must have sprouted a new corridor. The reason you can love the second as much as the first is the same reason you can love your husband and your mother and your friends: because each person who comes into your life and deserves your love gets their own spot. It’s the reason that when a loved one passes away or a friend moves across the country you say “They’ll always have a special place in my heart.” Because they do. And Violet was busy constructing her own little spot in my heart while in utero. I’m sure that’s what all that kicking and bustling around was about. I was under construction. Your children get the biggest and best spots because they’re so close to the source for nine months. I’m sure Violet set up her spot right next to Sunny’s because already I can see the love between them. And as I watch Sunny dote on her new baby sister, I realize what a gift we’ve given her. Violet isn’t some thief here to steal the limelight and my love. She’s a sister and a lifelong friend who I’m sure already has a special place in Sunny’s heart. s

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oetic design is located in the Tower 24 Plaza. The inspiration for this speciďŹ c hair salon is to connect beauty with nature through a dry-cutting technique. The spacious 1800 square foot salon was designed to resemble the Sahog Workshop on Madison Avenue in New York City. Zoetic has taken the road less traveled, focusing on customer individuality by working with the natural growth pattern of hair. The result, is hair that is unique to each client and impossible to duplicate. This transformation takes place by

understanding the individuality of the hair combined with the shape of ones face, to create a style that is uncompromised and as individual as as the person. The dry-cutting technique was originated by the famed John Sahog of NYC. As the only trulyy certiďŹ ed salon in Gainesville, Zoetic Designs uses use es this technique based on the concept of cutting hair dry, to create visual balance. Cut vertically, the hair is seamless and shows no horizontal


lines, therefore never working against gravity. John Sahag, who passed away seven years ago, was an icon in the hair and fashion industry. His technique lives on through the passion and dedication of his Mastercraftsmen and his Sahag Team. Salon owner, A.J. Everett serves as one of the leading educators for the Sahag Product Company and travels throughout the country teaching the Sahag dry-cutting technique in addition to performing at hair shows as a platform artist. She frequents NYC for events such as fall and spring fashion week as well as doing editorial photo shoots for Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Allure magazines. Sahag’s inspiration was about creating hairstyles that have natural influence. This concept of natural influence is reflected in the salon’s interior, its location and most importantly in the dedication to its clients. As you set foot into Zoetic Designs, nature presents itself as you look out 10-foot glass windows. The chic salon has clean lines and exposed ceilings. The walls are a cool, calming grey color and the open layout pays tribute to its New York City roots.

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>> NEXT LEVEL

Hide & Seek Geocaching: High-Tech Scavenger Hunt

BY DESIREE FARNUM oing over the same spot again and again, the hunter checks in trees and shrubs for a container hidden by someone who is most likely a stranger. The terrain may be natural or it may be urban, but the hunt requires problem-solving skills and a GPS receiver. Several million people are in on a game that takes hide-and-seek to the next level. More than one million containers, called caches, are hidden around the world and the coordinates that lead to them are provided online. “It’s a sickness, you know,” said Eric Litt, a geocacher and map enthusiast. “It’s a treasure hunt on steroids.” This game, which revolves around navigation, brings people together online as well as in real-life events and pushes many to get out and explore. They call it geocaching.

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Playing with Maps The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is the standard tool in modern navigation. There are currently 24 satellites placed into orbit by the

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U.S. Department of Defense that make up that system. GPS receivers pick up the signals to determine approximate locations. The more satellite signals a device can pick up, the more accurately it can calculate a location, but it takes at least three satellites for any device to work. The government opened access for civilian use in the 1980s but had intentionally weakened the signals for security purposes, calling it Selective Availability. In 2000, the selective availability was removed, increasing the accuracy available to the general public. This led to the beginning of the geocaching game. GPS enthusiasts started using their receivers for casual fun and a technological hide-and-seek game began with locations shared online. An item was hidden and locations were given in coordinates: latitude for north-south positions and longitude for east-west positions. The name developed in the forums and the trend of playing geocaching has grown. Several websites host lists of cache locations but www.geocaching.com claims to have more than five million members. It offers both free and paid membership levels. Sites such as www.opencaching. com offer a free downloadable app

and no membership fees. From Boy Scouts troops to senior center members, the game has taken root in communities nearly everywhere and is available to anyone with Internet access. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, have a disability, Jewish, Catholic, poor rich,” said geocacher Eric Litt. “Everyone can do it.” Litt majored in Geography, works with maps for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and plays with maps in his spare time, but he said maps reach a broad audience. “You don’t have to speak English. It’s all over the world. It’s leveling the playing field.”

The Adventure It is important to note that there is typically no physical treasure. Players are usually looking for something else. Some play for the problemsolving aspect. When hiders get clever the search becomes difficult. In Lake City there is a cache on the minute hand of a 6-foot clock tower. The only times to reach it are between 25 and 35 minutes after the hour. Another cache is an ammo box with a


CACHE

siren that needs to be reset before closing. YouTube has many videos on tricky caches hidden in plain sight but are disguised. Some play for the thrill. Hunts for caches can imitate wild, adventurous scenes and caches have been hidden in wells, under bridges and at the tops of high objects. In urban settings, players have to be aware of “muggles,” or non-players, that may meddle with caches, and also of police officers that view seeking for caches as suspicious activities. Some use it to discover new cities and learn the history of a locale. Geocaching takes players to places that often go unnoticed otherwise. Within the webpage, hiders may include a narrative about the place that has the coordinates.

Some play for the physical outdoor element. Geocaching is a sport, not a game, Litt said. “A game is a bunch of people sitting around a table moving some pieces around, playing cards,” he said. “A sport, you’re out, you’re about, kicking a ball. You’re doing something physical. Some caches you have to hike 15 miles into the wilderness and sleep overnight. That’s not a game. That’s a sport. Sometime you’re down on your knees... you don’t get that in chess.” And there are many more reasons. “Some do it for the numbers,” Litt said. “For me it’s more about the hunt.”

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Summer Su S umm mer 2012 201 012 | 39

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PHOTOS BY DESIREE FARNUM AND VALERIE ANDERSON

TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM: Caches contain a piece of paper for geocachers to sign and date, using either their real name or username. After finding a cache in Gainesville, Eric Litt records his find both on a piece of paper in the cache itself and also on a profile page at www.geocaching.com.

How to Play To play this location-based game, one needs to have a device that receives GPS signals. A dedicated GPS receiver is more accurate than other devices because of the number of location satellites it picks up. But a smart phone, or anything that can have apps downloaded onto it, is convenient for providing hints and viewing logged comments from the website on-the-go. Anyone craving to play without a portable GPS device can print out the directions for the general location and clues. On www.geocaching.com, those wanting to play must create an account for access to the locations of caches and the opportunity to log their success and comments online. Membership is free for general access but premium membership is also available for $30 per year. At this level, members are paying for access to “premium” caches and a few other perks. To begin a search, members can

40 | Summer 2012

put in their zip codes, addresses or latitude and longitude to find nearby caches. A list of cache names will appear, but users can also click “Map This Location” to see where caches are located on a map. Caches may be hidden in natural or urban settings; it is useful to be prepared for varied terrain. One of the rules of the game is that caches can only be hidden in public places. A geocacher can then load the locations of caches he or she wants to find onto a GPS, write them down or look them up along the way using a phone. There are several types of caches including ones that involve complex puzzles and others that include multiple locations. The “traditional cache” is the most common type and the location is provided by coordinates on the website. A hider may offer hints to further help the seeker in finding the cache. While some people enjoy searching for the containers on their own, others appreciate the dialogues between friends and colleagues

that may happen while decoding the hints to find caches. Each player develops a style of searching, just as each hider develops tactics for concealing. After a while it is easy to notice possible hiding places even while not playing the game. Anyone can hide a cache by placing a container somewhere and then sharing the coordinates of that container online. It helps to rank the difficulty and terrain too. The container should have at least a sheet of paper for finders to sign. Geocachers who find the container sign the sheet of paper in the cache with either their real name or their username. If a hider decides to leave a trinket in the container it can only be taken if replaced with something of equal or greater value.

Geocaching Community With millions of players worldwide, geocachers form associations that organize events and meet-ups


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TOOLS OF

THE

TRADE

CLOTHES: Dress comfortably as if preparing for a workout. Outfits should be appropriate for the weather but long pants and sleeves are best to prevent cuts and scrapes in more natural settings. Sneakers or other comfortable close-toed shoes are highly recommended.

PARKING: One danger faced by geocachers in an urban setting is getting towed while out hunting. Beware of parking in tow-away zones, even if it seems like the cache will be a quick find.

MOSQUITOES: Be prepared with insect repellent and proper attire, especially in the woods.

EQUIPMENT: Any device with coordinate-based navigation capabilities can be used to find a cache’s location, although a handheld GPS receiver picks up more satellites than most phones and is therefore more accurate at pinpointing smaller areas. If using a smart phone or other web-enabled device, a geocaching app can be downloaded to give access to caches and hints on the go. Otherwise, a player might write down the caches he/she plans to find.

for the community. The North East Florida Geocaching Association covers 12 counties, including Alachua, and posts area-pertinent information on their website, www.nefga.com. For example, the site has information on The Seventh Annual Florida Finder’s Fest in 2011, which was attended by more than 500 people in the Ocala National Forest. The Florida Geocaching Association is a more general association

42 | Summer 2012

COMMENTS AS HINTS: There are times when the hints given by the hider are less useful than the comments left by previous finders of the cache. Make sure to read through the latest comments if facing difficulty finding the cache. Sometimes it’s the comments that reveal that a cache may be lost or stolen.

posting events like Cacheapolooza, an event that saw its sixth year running in a row in January and takes place in South Florida. The difference between the two is only the areas they focus on, but it is not a requirement to be a part of any association. On the national level there are events such as GeoWoodstock where people travel from all over to gather together. GeoWoodstock X

will take place this May in Indiana. Cache In Trash Out is also a national initiative to clean up areas and group meet-ups are posted on the geocaching website. There are even physical stores, in addition to online ones, that cater to players. The Cache Station in Jacksonville sells only geocaching-related items, such as containers, compasses and swag (geocaching trinkets). s

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It’s always a good time to visit NORTHWEST GRILLE HAS BEEN PROVIDING THE FINEST quality fish and seafood entrées, in a friendly atmosphere, since 1996. Family-owned and operated, Executive Chef and Owner Chris Fennell invites you to experience the he best that Gainesville has to offer. Whether it’s their fresh, local seafood and fish, h, or handcrafted sauces and specialty desserts, Northwest Grille has something to please your palate.

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uests are treated like family in this newly renovated restaurant. “The renovations have made a big difference,” said Fennell. “Our décor is much brighter now and we’ve returned to some of our classic menu items, the most popular dishes throughout our history.” Family-owned and operated since it opened its doors in 1996, Executive Chef Chris Fennell became the sole owner in 2011. The menu now features classic seafood dishes, the finest in homemade sauces and an array of decadent deserts. Meat lovers will enjoy the hand-cut steaks, and vegetarians will love the wide range of vegetarian options. Serving lunch and dinner daily,

Northwest Grille also offers an extensive brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. From specialty omelets to pancake creations, the most unique may be their popular Sunshine Benedict. A twist on the classic Eggs Benedict, this dish uses southern biscuits, crab cakes, applewood smoked bacon and a delicious Béarnaise Sauce to create a scrumptious experience. Featuring locally bought eggs and produce, Northwest Grille is proud to contribute to the “Buy Local” movement. Tired of having fast food for lunch? Northwest Grille will get you back to work in no time, with food that is freshly prepared for as little as $7. From Shrimp Po Boys to specialty pastas, lunch is served daily starting at 11am.

Featuring a full liquor bar, happy hour is served daily from 3pm-7pm and offers a wide assortment of beers, wine and your favorite cocktails. The dinner menu includes a $12.99 value menu with 15 fantastic options. All entrées include two side items. From seafood to steaks, there is something for everyone. Their chefs prepare every dish with care to ensure the best dining experience possible. Casual, everyday food makes Northwest Grille perfect for everyday dining. No need to wait for a special occasion, as daily specials offer excellent meals at reasonable prices. Visit Northwest Grille and rediscover what makes this restaurant a special part of the Gainesville community.

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>> 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

London Calling From Ancient Greece to Modern-Day England, the Olympics Set the World Alight

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN an it really be four years since the world’s focus was on Usain Bolt, the Chinese gymnasts, and a stadium nicknamed The Bird’s Nest? Apparently it can. The 2012 Summer Olympics begin in London, England with the opening ceremonies on July 27. The city will become

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the first location to host three Olympic games, with the previous events held there in 1908 and 1948. While the modern Olympics were first held in 1896, the roots of the games go back to ancient times. According to Olympia-Greece.org, the first Olympic games can be traced to the year 776 B.C. Held in honor of Zeus, this first Olympiad included only one event — the

stadion, which was a straight sprint the length of the stadium. The winner was a cook named Koroibos and he was crowned with a wreath of wild olive leaves. As years passed, events were added that would become the basis for some of the modern games. While chariot racing has since gone by the wayside, other sports such as wrestling, javelin, discus, boxing


IMAGES COURTESY LONDON 2012

A night-time view of the central park bridges, the winning design esign propoal from Ireland-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects. Two permanent bridges are linked by a narrow diagonal span over Carpenters Lock at the center of the Olympic Park. During the Olympics a he crowds. In central temporary infill between the bridges accommodates the ck linking the the legacy park, two bowls are created on either side of the lock terways. upper park concourse with the lower level of towpaths and waterways. cycled In the spirit of the event, the temporary infill deck will use recycled urface. running shoes to create a multi-coloured ‘confetti’ walking surface.


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and equestrian events are still played by Olympic athletes today. By 500 B.C. there were more than 50 events and thousands of spectators, and victorious athletes often achieved legendary status. Most athletes competed naked in these games. This was done not only to pay homage to Zeus by showing him how well they had trained their bodies, but also

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because the display of physical perfection served to intimidate fellow competitors. Additionally, it was believed that external beauty reflected the internal beauty of an athlete, which in turn represented the Greeks’ desire for the balance between body and mind. There were a few exceptions to the no-clothing rule. Chariot racers wore long robes, while boxers bound

their hands and wore leather thongs. (In a disturbing twist, pieces of metal were strapped to their knuckles to make their punches more effective.) But those who competed in the nude protected themselves from the sun by rubbing olive oil on their skin and then dusting it with fine sand. At the end of a competition, the resulting paste was scraped off with a special tool called a strigil before the


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IMAGES COURTESY LONDON 2012

athletes bathed with soap and water. In addition to their religious roots, the games encouraged cooperation between the cities and states of Greece, with truces enacted during each Olympiad so that athletes could travel safely. It also served to celebrate the accomplishments of the young men of Greece, and artists and sculptors were often inspired by the competitors and events.

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The official Olympic Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square counting down to the evening of the July 27, 2012 in days, hours, minutes and seconds.

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A day-time view of the central park bridges as they would appear after the Olympic Games in London have concluded.

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The London Aquatic Centre design by Zaha Hadid Architects. The concept was inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion.

4 Located on the Prime Minister’s doorstep in central London, Horse Guards Parade provides an iconic location for the Beach Volleyball competition. The parade ground lies at the heart of London’s ceremonial life.


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IMAGES COURTESY LONDON 2012

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Box Hill is a summit of the North Downs in Surrey, around 30km south west of London. This will be the site for the road cycling competitions.

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The temporary shooting range at the Royal Artillery Barracks provides a ďŹ tting location for Shooting at the London 2012 Games.

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ExCeL is the largest competition venue at the London 2012 Games. It is made up of ďŹ ve different arenas, each of which will host a different sport.

4 The Olympic Stadium is at the heart of the Olympic Park, surrounded by waterways on three sides. The site will host the four spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as some of the most iconic events.

In the subsequent centuries, however, a campaign to institute Christianity as the state religion took hold in Greece. In 393 A.D. the emperor Theodosius decreed that the Olympics be banned due to its pagan origins and purpose. For 1,500 years the Olympic flame was left unlit, with some smaller festivals attempting to take the place of the games. In the 1800s,


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however, interest in reviving the games surged in Greece. Several events tested the waters throughout the century, and in 1890 the International Olympic Committee was founded to establish a modern Olympic Games that would be held in a different location around the world every four years. In 1896 the IOC’s vision turned to reality, as the first modern Olympics were held in

Athens, Greece. From the laurel-laden athletes of ancient times to the logo-bearing athletes of today, the Olympics have retained one commonality — what the IOC calls “olympism,” the core idea of the Olympics to promote excellence, respect and friendship through sport. That ideal still shines through today in scenes such as the opening ceremony of

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the 2000 Sydney games, when the teams from North and South Korea marched in together under one flag. Or in the 1988 games in Seoul, when Canadian rower Lawrence Lemieux sacrificed his second-place status to rescue two rowers from Singapore who had fallen into the water. This July all eyes will turn to London, and the world will wait for the latest moment of Olympism. s

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Becky Dyroen-Lancer PASSING THE TORCH TO ASPIRING OLYMPIANS IN GAINESVILLE n a rainy Saturday morning, Becky Dyroen-Lancer is at the Dwight Hunter Northeast Pool in Gainesville. While most people would be content to curl up with a blanket and a book or movie on

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such a day, she is coaching the Gainesville Gaviatas synchronized swimming team. She might be molding future Olympians, but she explained that the bigger reward for her athletes is simply using that ambition to get better. “Having that Olympic outlook has to drive them,” said the Gaviatas’ head coach. “Setting your sights, shooting far for your goals

— whether you actually get there or not — helps you reach very high achievements.” One of the most highly regarded people in synchronized swimming, Dyroen-Lancer got started in the sport at age 10 in California with the Santa Clara Aquamaids. She worked her way on to the U.S. National Team in 1988, and in 1991 she captured the solo championship

Haven’t you

waited long enough?

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PHOTO BY KEVIN LANCER

Becky Dyroen-Lancer (third from right) poses with her team after winning the gold at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta.

at the Pan American Games in Havana. She racked up more international victories before being named captain of the U.S. synchronized swimming team for the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. Heavily favored to win, the Americans landed a perfect score of 100 in the free routine to earn the gold. But what stunned Dyroen-Lancer as much as that achievement was the reaction from one fan in particular. “The team manager paged me and said, ‘The president [Clinton] called. I’m not kidding. Call this number,’” Dyroen-Lancer said. “So I called the number and gave my

name and they said, ‘Just a minute please.’ Then the line clicked, and there I am talking to the president of the United States! He said that he and [his daughter] Chelsea were watching the Olympics. He was so gracious and very kind.” Dyroen-Lancer and her teammates enjoyed their time at the Olympic Village and the encouragement from volunteers who, while supportive of every country’s athletes, would give furtive thumbs-up signs to the American competitors. But even the adoration of fans can be tempered by a single moment, as Dyroen-Lancer would find out. “One time we were in this security line waiting to get into the athletes’ village, and this guard rushed us aside. We thought, ‘Who is more important than us? We’re athletes!’ And then here comes the First Lady...” Dyroen-Lancer chuckled at the memory. “Hillary Clinton comes walking by and we said, ‘OK,

Now is the time.

we’ve been put in our place.’” After the Olympics, DyroenLancer went back to her native California before joining Cirque du Soliel to perform in “O,” the group’s water-based Las Vegas show. In 2005 she and her husband, Kevin Lancer, moved to Nebraska and then Texas as he pursued his doctorate in psychology. A job for Kevin at the VA brought the Lancers to Gainesville, where Becky soon found that the Gaviatas needed a permanent head coach. While she treasures her Olympic experience and her other travels around the world, the couple and their three children have found in Gainesville a perfect blend of the big and small cities that they had previously called home. “Gainesville had the elements I liked from the big city — the culture, the energy — but then it also had more of the safety and good family atmosphere I saw in smaller towns,” she said. “It’s a really good match.” s

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PHOTOS BY BILL SIKES, COURTESY OF FLORIDA TIMES-UNION

Olympic swimmer Catie Ball-Condon (seen here in 1972) is considered by the UF Athletic Association to be the first Gator to win Olympic gold. She competed in the 1968 summer games held in Mexico City.

Catie Ball-Condon THE GATORS’ FIRST OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST eet Catie Ball-Condon — University of Florida graduate and gold medalist in the 1968 summer games held in Mexico City. While she was not a UF student until a year after her victory, she is still considered by the UF Athletic Association to be the first Gator to win Olympic gold. Just 17 years old at the time, Ball-Condon was already the world record holder in all four breaststroke distances. Despite a bout

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with mononucleosis earlier in the year, she headed to Mexico City as an overwhelming favorite to win several gold medals. But another bout of illness proved problematic. “When I got to Mexico, I couldn’t eat the food,” she said. Although the cafeteria workers did their best to duplicate American cuisine, Ball-Condon was feeling under the weather and could not muster a bite. “I’d walk in and just smell it and feel bad. So I didn’t eat very well.” Ball-Condon’s coaches weighed her and found that she had lost 12 pounds since arriving in Mexico City. She had fluids pumped into

her body before swimming the anchor leg of the 4x100 meter medley relay, and the foursome won gold. But that would be BallCondon’s only Olympic victory; she finished a disappointing fifth place in the 100-meter breaststroke and withdrew from the 200-meter event. Still, Ball-Condon brought home more than a gold medal. Meeting athletes from the Soviet Bloc and other communist countries gave her a different view of the world and its people, especially after coming of age during the arms race and the Cuban Missile Crisis. “Mingling with those athletes was really interesting. Their way of life was so different from how we lived,” she said. “Growing up, we thought they were these mean people who did terrible things, but they were just like us.” After the 1968 games, BallCondon retired from competitive swimming. Having spent so much time training in her youth, she wanted to lead a more normal life. “I never went to a school football game or a prom because I was


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always swimming,” she recalled. “So when it was time to apply to college I said, ‘I want to go to a college that has sororities, fraternities and a football team!’” On the advice of family friends who were also UF alumni, she enrolled at Florida. Just before her senior year, Florida started its first women’s swim team. Though she no longer had an interest in swimming competitively again, she was asked by the athletic association to coach the new squad. She accepted, and in their first year the Lady Gators went undefeated in dual meets and placed second at the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national championships. Ball-Condon graduated from UF with an education degree in 1973. “I took full advantage [of enjoying college],” she said with a laugh, “because I was in a sorority and I married a football player. So I guess my dream came true!” After graduation, Ball-Condon became a kindergarten teacher. She married former Gator football player Tom Condon and together they raised three children. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Today, her kids are grown and Ball-Condon enjoys spending time with their families, including her grandchildren Harper and Nash. About 10 years ago she and a friend started an interior decorating business called Beside the Point. While Ball-Condon wonders what life would have been like had she earned more Olympic gold, she has no regrets thanks to the greater lesson she gained. “I learned at an early age that things don’t always work out the way they should, and you have to deal with that and move on,” she said. “My Olympic experience was bittersweet, but when I look back on it I’m very thankful for what I do have. And that has helped me through life.” s

Golden Gators These UF students earned gold medals at their respective Olympic Games.

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SWIMMING Theresa Andrews, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Duncan Armstrong, Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seoul, 1988 Catie Ball, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mexico City, 1968 Tracy Caulkins, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Matt Cetlinski, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seoul, 1988 Troy Dalbey, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seoul, 1988 Geoff Gaberino, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Nicole Haislett, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 Mike Heath, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Whitney Hedgepeth, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlanta, 1996 David Larson, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Ryan Lochte, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Athens, 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beijing, 2008 Lea Loveless, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 Anthony Nesty, Suriname . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seoul, 1988 Ashley Tappin, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sydney, 2000 Dara Torres, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles 1984 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sydney, 2000 Darian Townsend, South Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Athens, 2004 Janie Wagstaff, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 Mary Wayte, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles, 1984 Martin Zubero, Spain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992

TRACK and FIELD Kerron Clement, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beijing, 2008 Dennis Mitchell, USA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barcelona, 1992 Frank Shorter, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Munich, 1972 Bernard Williams, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sydney, 2000

BASEBALL Brad Wilkerson, USA

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BASKETBALL DeLisha Milton, USA . . . . . . . . Sydney 2000 and Beijing, 2008

SOCCER Heather Mitts, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Athens, 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beijing, 2008 Abby Wambach, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Athens, 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beijing, 2008 LIST COURTESY OF GATORZONE.COM FROM THE UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC ASSOC.

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>> GO GATORS

Travelin’ Band The Pride of the Sunshine will perform at the 2012 Olympics

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN very four years, millions of Americans look forward to cheering on their home country’s athletes as they swim, flip and run their way to summer Olympic glory. But this year there’s another group of young people representing Florida, the United States, and especially, the Gator Nation. It is the Pride of the Sunshine — the University of Florida Fightin’ Gator Marching Band — that has been invited to perform at multiple venues during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the school and the state of Florida and the United States at an event like this,”

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said John M. “Jay” Watkins, director of the Gator Band and associate director of bands at the University of Florida. “Obviously, we’ll be marketing the University of Florida, and we’re working to promote Florida tourism during the trip, as well.” The band is scheduled for several performances, including the opening of the games on July 28. (Watkins clarified that this is not the televised opening ceremony, but rather an event afterward.) The musicians will also do at least three “Olympic Live” performances on one of several elevated stages that will be placed throughout downtown London. Each stage will have a 30-by-40-foot video screen behind it; the band controls the video content and intends to use

the opportunity to promote Florida tourism, UF and any corporate sponsors that wish to make a donation for the band’s trip. The band has also been invited by the World Olympian Association to perform additional sets at the Olympic Village, the London Eye (the city’s famous Ferris wheel) and during an event at St. James Palace. For all of the Pride of the Sunshine’s performances, Watkins plans a mix of popular songs, UF songs, classic college band tunes and some new music arranged just for this trip. Sending a 300-member marching band across the Atlantic requires more than just some airline tickets and hotel rooms. Instruments have to be packed and shipped (no easy feat when talking about the


PHOTO COURTESY OF GATOR BAND

The University of Florida Fightin’ Gator Marching Band is London-bound, having been invited to perform at multiple venues during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.


PHOTO COURTESY OF GATOR BAND

bulk and weight of tubas, drums, flags and other equipment), tours have to be booked, and security and medical paperwork for every student needs to be processed. Combine that with the sheer distance of the trip, and the band is looking at a grand total of $500,000

66 | Summer 2012

to make the journey. This is where the Gator Nation can help. The band has started a “$10 for ‘12” campaign asking anyone who has ever watched the band perform — at a game, a parade, pep rally or any other event — to donate $10 toward the trip.

“The Gator Band never charges admission for the things we do, so we are asking everyone to make a donation,” Watkins said. “If you’ve ever heard the Gator Band play, just a simple $10 donation will help get us to the 2012 Olympics.” Contributions have already


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For nearly 100 years, the Pride of the Sunshine has provided sports fans around the world with a soundtrack of Gator spirit. Now is the time for fans to give back, so the band can represent the country, the state and the University of Florida on an international stage. With a price tag of half a million dollars, the band members need help to ensure that all members can enjoy this once-in-alifetime opportunity. With the “$10 for ‘12” campaign, the band is asking that anyone who has ever seen the Gator Band perform contribute $10 toward the travel fund. Imagine if every fan at just one single Gator football game made such a contribution — the entire trip would be covered with plenty of funds to spare. Every donation counts!

To make a contribution, visit: www.uff.ufl.edu/Appeals/ GatorBandtoLondonOlympics and fill in the online form. While the name of the drive is “$10 for ‘12,” donations of any amount are gladly accepted. Businesses interested in providing corporate sponsorships: Jay Watkins, Director of Gator Band at 352-273-3152 or watkins@ufl.edu

started to come in, and band members are doing their best to save money for the trip. But the high per-person cost (about $4,100 before fundraising, Watkins said) makes it difficult for some students. Gatorette Captain Myrrhanda Jones will be making

the trip, but she laments the fact that some of her band mates will miss the chance. “As a team player, I want all of my team to be there,” she said. “I don’t want finances to be something that holds us back. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Even if we perform just once in the nine days we’re there, we are still there as the Gator Band.” The band will have a busy performance schedule while overseas, but staff members are doing their best to ensure that the students also have their share of

Summer 2012 | 67


fun. Potential plans include a visit to Stonehenge, a tour of London landmarks and a show in the city’s West End theatre district. Watkins has also been in touch with the London Gator Club, a large group of UF alumni and fans so dedicated to their favorite team that they get up in the middle of the night to watch Gator games. The group is working on a dinner or other similar events for the band during their stay. “We’re trying to make it a great event for the students and still meet our objectives,” Watkins said. “We’ve been invited to perform, but we also want to make it a really memorable event for them.” While the planning stages of the trip are in full swing, Watkins still has moments when the impact and significance of such an honor sinks in just a little more. “It’s still a bit surreal, actually,” he said. “Things are starting to get real now because we’re in the process of doing all the security clearance information for each student. We

have to take care of all the medical forms. It’s becoming a work in progress. But surreal is the best word. “Wow. This is actually going to happen.” s

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COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC

Different Note Back in the ‘70s, my college roommates invited me to go spelunking. Of course, I agreed. o we loaded up the car and drove out to the small town of Newberry to explore Bat Cave. That drive was particularly long in those days, when Gainesville was much smaller and places like Dubs and The Brown Derby seemed to be way out of town. We drove into the country until we spotted the mailbox with a wagon wheel — our clue to turn onto a lime rock road. We passed fields of watermelon and turned again down a sandy road that brought us to the cave site. With flashlights and baseball caps (helmets would have been better) we approached the foreboding holes. One was a fissure in the earth with a twisted and rusted bus crammed into it. It looked as if I could squeeze past the ancient vehicle and climb into the earth, but I can’t remember ever doing so. Instead I crawled in through a less vertical portal, descending into the darkness through an ever-narrowing channel. Soon I was crawling on my belly like a reptile. Within short order the narrow passageway opened into a large room. A circle of daylight projected upon the floor of the cave, shining down through another vertical shaft from the surface. To our surprise, innumerable candles flickered within the grotto walls, placed in tiny natural alcoves. No one else was present but for our gang — whoever lit the candles had left before our arrival. It was surreal. Erie. Dank and dark. Some sections were filled with water. Words were etched into the cave walls, and there was some litter, but it was not as trashy as it would become in later years, once the hardcore partiers had discovered this remarkable place. We banged our heads a time or two, baseball caps

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72 | Summer 2012

providing little protection, brims blocking our view of low-hanging rock ceilings. So we wore them backwards. I explored the areas that weren’t flooded while two of my buddies ventured into the water. They waded off, flashlights in hand, into the darkness. The rest of us turned our flashlights off and stared into the abyss. Blackness. Silence. Something flew by my face. A bat. Night was approaching. It was feeding time for the flying mammals in Bat Cave. We sat calmly as they flittered by us, navigating out without the need for light. Our friends returned from their watery exploration, muddy and wet. Years later another young man did not return, but instead drowned in the water-filled channel. Before we ventured back to the surface, my friends danced “The Time Warp” (it was the ‘70s after all) and I took pictures as they jumped to the left and took a step to the right. That’s as wild as we ever got down there. We blew out the candles and returned to the surface. It’s thirty years later, and I’ve returned to the cave, now under the stewardship of Santa Fe College. The trash has been hauled off, the old bus removed from its age-old resting place and the entryways are now blocked by wire gates. I don’t remember there being so many open holes; they were probably hidden by overgrowth back in the day. A boardwalk now leads to the two remaining entrances — the same two that I had navigated so many years before. No longer an isolated piece of farmland available to anyone who knew how to find it, the area is now fenced off, and there is a covered picnic area, bathrooms and water fountain. I had the honor of revisiting the caves again compliments of the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group, which had helped put together the field trip. I signed the release form, donned a helmet and crossed the boardwalk with my fellow intrepid spelunkers. Instead of squeezing by an old bus, I descended into the earth on a spiral staircase. Straight down. The first thing that struck me was how deep it now seemed to be.


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I wondered what I would find within. The last time I was here, in the early ‘80s, I was disgusted to find broken bottles, beer cans, and graffiti spray-painted all over the ancient walls. I left the staircase, ducked under a low chunk of solid rock, and stepped into a large familiar room. My light fell upon a human skull in the wall, eyeless sockets staring blindly, a cigar-like stick poking out if its mouth. Clearly not authentic. People have been busy down here; there’s no trash, no cans or broken bottles, no spray paint on the walls. And no water. We didn’t see any bats, either. Today I explored areas I’d never seen before, because back then they were filled with water. I no doubt crawled through the very area where the young man had lost his life years before. One of our party wandered off and got caught in the loop, and although he called out, none of us could hear him. He found his way out, fortunately. Years ago, one of my friends had a similar experience, crawling into an area that loops around in an apparent endless circle. He was beginning to panic when he spotted the actual exit, an area hard to see unless you are crawling the other way. This is not a sport for the claustrophobic. Soon it was time to leave, and although I’m discouraged to find the cave dry, I’m glad to learn it is cleaned up and now protected from further vandalism. s

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>> AWARENESS

Chain Reaction High School Students Raise Money for the March of Dimes

BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN he members of Chain Reaction are experts on balloons. At every event the teenagers host to help raise funds for the March of Dimes, it is a given that decorations will be on their list of duties. “That’s one thing you get really good at with Chain Reaction,” said 17-year-old Gentry Allen. “We always get put in charge of the balloons.” Gentry, a senior at PK Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, participated in Chain Reaction for her sophomore and junior years of high school. She was one of about 30 local students to participate, and as a group they raised more than $62,000 for the

T

74 | Summer 2012

March of Dimes last year. According to the March of Dimes website, Chain Reaction was created in 1988 and is managed by the March of Dimes National Youth Council. Teachers and administrators nominate teenagers for their local chapters, who serve to

said the organization has a history of involving young people in its efforts to educate and prevent premature births. Programs such as Chain Reaction help reinforce the message early. “If you get young people involved with the March of Dimes they will

“We believe that in working with our youth, the next generation of parents will have babies that are healthier.” educate the community about the March of Dimes and help fundraise for the national organization. Betsy Trent, executive director of the North Central Florida division of the March of Dimes,

remember when they become community leaders and leaders of corporations ... and hopefully they will continue to volunteer,” Trent said. Gentry said the application process is particularly rigorous.


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Summer 2012 | 75


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MARCH OF DIMES

Chain Reaction applicants have to write an essay and go through a tough interview process. Once selected, members begin their year of activities in September, with member orientation and team-building exercises at Camp Montgomery in Starke.

The members of Chain Reaction have to demonstrate a proven record of leadership and community involvement, and only two students can be nominated per school. They can spend a maximum of two years in the program, because the organization likes to give other students an opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the table. Trent said applicants also have to fill out an application, write an essay and go through a tough interview process as well. After they are selected, they have a new-member orientation and team-building exercises at Camp Montgomery in Starke. “I made a lot of amazing friends because everyone is so dedicated to the cause and it’s a lot of work and everyone gets really close,” Gentry said. Each individual in the group is responsible for pledging to fundraise a certain amount, but also for

76 | Summer 2012

participating in various fundraising events throughout the year, such as March of Dimes walk-a-thon, Wing Bowl at Gators Dockside and a fall carnival at Fun Country. “I definitely recommend it, but I would definitely say that you have to make this your top priority because it is a lot of work,” Gentry said. Gentry, the recipient of the group’s “Unsung Hero” award last year for her dependability, said she is in the process of applying to colleges. She wants to study something media-related, because she did a lot of advertising and outreach work through Chain Reaction. “I looked at it as a really unique opportunity to do something really impactful in high school,” Gentry said about joining Chain Reaction. That is the point of the program, too, Trent said. Students’ involvement in Chain Reaction looks great on a resume, but it also helps build confidence and leadership skills necessary

for success. She said the greatest thing members learn before they graduate the program is just how much of an impact they can make, with passion, hard work and a little bit of creativity. “The March of Dimes very much believes and has confidence all the power and enthusiasm of youth,” Trent said. “We believe that in working with our youth, the next generation of parents will have babies that are healthier.” As a parent, having a child asked to join the cause is especially rewarding, said Gentry’s father, Charles Allen. “This is a youth leadership class on steroids,” he said. Charles said it was just amazing to see how the students interacted and worked to accomplish so much. “It’s refreshing to see this kind of leadership in our young folks of today,” he said. “Seeing this gives me a lot of confidence in where our country is going.” s


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ith over 400 communities throughout the United States and Canada, the Holiday Retirement Corporation houses over 35,000 seniors across North America. Yet The Atrium, a Holiday property nestled in northwest Gainesville, feels anything but big and corporate. “Even though we have a lot of big company benefits, we’re very integrated into the Gainesville community,” said Prem Paul Murrhee, Director of Sales and Marketing for The Atrium. “We have a lot of community partners and we form relationships with them to provide helpful services for our residents.” The all-inclusive aspect of living at The Atrium is a well-known benefit enjoyed by residents. Monthly rent includes all utilities except personal phone service, three meals a day, weekly housecleaning, activities and entertainment, transportation, 24/7 live-in management and more. But what many people don’t realize is that transitional services are also part of the package. Moving can be a difficult process, and The Atrium strives to minimize that stress for each and every resident. “We can help people sell their house, rent their house, downsize and move. The moving company that we’ve partnered with will literally pack and unpack boxes, put medicine in the medicine cabinet, hook up the television and make up the bed,” said Murrhee, adding that The Atrium also handles transfers of prescriptions and newspaper subscriptions for incoming residents. “We’ve also partnered with a company that can do an unsecured loan for people who need the proceeds of the sale of their house to move to The Atrium.” The convenience does not stop once residents are settled into their new home. Many local businesses are

brought in to provide goods and services to seniors at The Atrium, including a veterinarian who visits regularly to make house calls on cats and dogs owned by residents. A local pharmacy sends personnel for “brown bag” sessions – a resident brings all of his medication in a brown bag and speaks one-on-one with a pharmacist about side effects, drug interactions and other precautions that should be taken. The Atrium also brings in a jewelry and watch repair person, a chiropractor and a podiatrist; a medical supply company also comes in and fixes wheelchairs and walkers. All of these services are paid for by The Atrium at no cost to the residents and are designed not only for convenience, but to keep seniors in touch with members of the community. “We form relationships to provide services for our residents, because we’re not some exclusive place that’s trying to keep people out. We want others to come in,” Murrhee said. Additionally, nearly 30 local groups use the building facilities for regular meetings – often as a courtesy to residents who belong to them. “When a resident moves into the Atrium, it becomes their home,” said Murrhee. “So if they have a group or organization that sometimes meets at their home, now the Atrium is their home and we’re inviting them. As a matter of fact, we’ll even supply a little refreshment and some lemonade. It allows the resident to feel at home, but it also allows us to share our home with the outside. We love for people to come in and see our home; we’re very proud of it and we want people to see it.” These efforts are just some of the ways in which The Atrium provides a home that is as relaxed and hasslefree as seniors want it to be. Its namesake five-story


atrium has a glass ceiling, baby grand pianos and plenty of trees and foliage. Apartment residences range in size from 400-1600 square feet and all include a full kitchen. All food served at meals is made completely from scratch, right down to the salad dressings, bread and even the tortilla chips used for loaded nachos. Live-in managers, on call at all hours, are more like neighbors than hired personnel, adding unparalleled reassurance and comfort. “They pour coffee at meals, they participate in some of the activities, and they get to know the residents and their families by name,” said Murrhee. “If any of our residents need help in the middle of the night, they know the people who will come and help them. It’s not somebody they’ve never met before.” Even when traveling across the continent, residents can feel at home. The Atrium shares visiting privileges with all Holiday properties, each of which includes a fully furnished guest suite that is just like a hotel suite. Normally rented at a nominal fee for guests visiting property residents, these suites are also perfect for traveling Atrium residents to stay in at no charge. Such wide-ranging programs and personal touches highlight The Atrium’s ability to provide big-company services while keeping that all-important sense of home intact.

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>> HEALTHY LIVING

Meet Two of Gainesville’s

BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON ntil recently, Brittani Collins lived her life like a hermit. If her friends asked her to hang out, she would turn them down. Naturally shy, this 25-year-old insurance customer service representative avoided eye contact when people talked to her, and aside from work, she rarely went out. “If I did, I went super early or super late so no one would see me,” Collins said. But when Chris “Boris” Marhefka visited the Darr Schackow

U

Insurance Agency to give a seminar on healthy lifestyle choices, Collins knew she wanted to change the way she lived her life. Not long after, she found herself at Body by Boris, a dynamic training facility designed to challenge people of every fitness level, beginners to pros, with personalized training from experts. “I wanted to change my life and be happy with who I am,” Collins said. Marhefka was ready to step in and help with a program titled “New Year, New Life,” which was intended to teach overweight individuals how to adjust their lives so that losing weight came easily. It is

a total lifestyle change, Marhefka said. The program involves teaching the selected individual how to plan meals, grocery shop and exercise properly. Intending to originally select just one winner, Marhefka and his team picked two people for the program, Collins and 29-year-old Karen Johnson. They started their three-month challenge on January 15 and ended on April 15. Marhefka said he is glad he made the decision to bring them both on because the two women support one another. It is important, Marhefka said, to

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

Between the two of them, Karen Johnson (L) and Brittani Collins lost 78 pounds in only 3 months.

80 | Summer 2012

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WHOLE GRAINS are a source of nutrients such as iron, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. Whole grains are consumed either as a single food (e.g., wild rice or popcorn) or as an ingredient in foods (e.g., in cereals, breads and crackers). Some examples of wholegrain ingredients include buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, brown or wild rice, wholegrain barley, whole rye and whole wheat.

PHOTOS BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

RIGHT: During the course of the three-month “New Year, New Life” program, the two women selected to participate constantly increased the amount of weight they used. Chris “Boris” Marhefka said the two started with as little as five pounds. At the end of the three months, they were using 25 to 30 pounds. ABOVE: Brittani Collins before she began her physical fitness training. (photo supplied by Brittani Collins)

EVIDENCE INDICATES that eating peanuts and certain tree nuts (i.e., walnuts, almonds, and pistachios) reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs. Because nuts and seeds are high in calories, they should be eaten in small portions and used to replace other protein foods, like some meat or poultry, rather than being added to the diet.

have a support system when taking on a challenge like this. There were more than two-dozen applicants for the package, which provided 40 hours of one-on-one training over a three-month period. During that time, Marhefka also took the two participants to the grocery store for instruction on how to shop. The two women weighed in weekly and worked out every day of the week. On weekends, the two were expected to do an activity that they enjoy for at least one hour. Both women have tried various activities — rock climbing, jogging and kickboxing — but have decided they enjoy zumba the most. Collins said she has always loved to dance, and zumba is a great workout that

does not feel like a workout. Even though they weigh in weekly, Marhefka said they are expected to meet daily personal goals as well, such as how many steps they take during the day. Marhefka instructed them to take short walks during the workday. Both women work desk jobs, so he felt if they got up and moved for at least two minutes every hour it would keep their bodies in motion. He mentioned taking the stairs instead of the elevator. “Simple things like that tend to add up,” Marhefka said. In the beginning, trainers went to both participants’ houses to see how they lived their lives and what they do on a daily basis. Marhefka cooked


CHOOSE A VARIETY OF protein foods – which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.

CHOOSE FOODS THAT provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which are nutrients of concern in American diets. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk and milk products.

PHOTOS BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

RIGHT: The workout used for the “New Year, New Life” program includes strength and cardio training. Karen Johnson, selected as one of the two winners, holds a momentary pose as she comes up out of a squat.

BEANS AND PEAS are excellent sources of protein. They also provide other nutrients, such as iron and zinc, similar to seafood, meat, and poultry. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as potassium and folate, which also are found in other vegetables. vege ve geta tabl b es e .

EAT A VARIETY OF vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.

ABOVE: Karen Johnson before she began her physical fitness training. (photo provided by Karen Johnson)

a meal with the two women and helped them clean out their pantries to make room for healthier food choices. During the grocery store trip, Marhefka estimated the trainers spent two to three hours with each woman at the store, analyzing what they normally purchased and how to select better options. Marhefka instructed each woman to eat according to a simple-plate principle. Divide the plate into thirds — one-third lean protein, one-third vegetables and one-third complex carbohydrates, such as beans, grains and fruit. They are also expected to eat several times a day, not just during the three main meals. Between meals, the two participants are expected to eat healthy snacks, such

as fruit or nuts. It is not about cutting back on food, Marhefka said, especially when exercising intensively. It is about creating healthy meals. “I’ve considered myself a carboholic,” Johnson said, adding that she would eat pasta, potatoes or rice at every meal. “But this diet is similar to a Paleo-diet, mostly meat and veggies.” But changing their food habits seemed to be easier than both women thought it would be. Collins thought the adjustment to her food was exciting because she was able to experiment with different combinations. For example, she now adds spinach to her fruit smoothies. Johnson cooks once at the beginning


VIRTUALLY ALL AMERICANS consume more sodium than they need. The estimated average intake of sodium for all Americans ages 2 years and older is approximately 3,400 mg per day.

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of the week, and it lasts all week. “I’m kind of a creature of habit, so I tend to eat the same thing every day,” she said. One of her favorite meals during the diet has been chicken and black bean burgers, with chipotle seasoning and without the bun. But Johnson felt the diet was bittersweet because she did have to give up dairy and bread, which was hard. “I smell cheese and I want to murder somebody!” Johnson said. She still has not decided whether she will bring these items back into

said. In the first week, he already heard both women talk about how they have more energy. Collins said she feels energized and her sleeping has improved. She no longer tosses and turns during the night, waking herself up. When Collins and Johnson began the program, the trainers started off with the foundations of exercise. Marhefka designed the “New Year, New Life” program to teach people with no background in exercising. He felt that Collins and Johnson needed to learn the proper form, which becomes important in all workouts

Collins said she cannot push herself the way the trainers do and would love to keep coming back. Her goal is to lose another 20 pounds by her birthday on May 16. her diet when the program ends. “I don’t know. I’m scared to,” she said. As a picky eater, Johnson found the first week to be challenging. “You just have to be creative,” she said. “Think outside of a piece of meat and vegetables.” In addition, they both have to keep food diaries documenting what they eat and how they feel afterward. People who eat a lot of fast food, Marhefka said, tend to feel sluggish. “It’s not all going to be about how your body looks,” Marhefka

— from running to lifting weights. Over time, Collins and Johnson built up their strength. In the beginning, they started with five-pound weights; now they are up to 25 to 30 pounds. While a lot of people are motivated by goals, Marhefka instructed both participants to just focus on being better than the previous time they did the workout. Beat the last jog time, do one more rep, add a little bit more weight, he said. Every day they have to improve, Marhefka said. He even tells them to carry this mantra into their

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listed Gainesville in its “Best Places to Work Out” guide as one of the greatest cross training spots in America. Whether a permanent resident, college student or visitor, take advantage of Gainesville’s untraditional, gym-less fitness options to get into shape today:

To begin the three-month body makeover, Boris and his team help Karen Johnson rid her pantry of unhealthy and processed food choices. Karen’s challenge consisted of learning how shop and plan meals in a way that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Ben Hill Griffin Don’t dread stadiums; embrace them as a cross-training exercise that improves health and performance.

Devil’s Millhopper Can’t perform in the shadow of the mighty Gators? Try climbing up and down the stairs at this natural, 120-foot deep sinkhole.

Hawthorne Trail Pound these 16 miles of pavement by walking, running, biking or roller skating for a safe, car-free workout.

Municipal Pools Several local aquatics facilities offer one- and three-meter diving boards, short course lap lanes and professionally trained staff.

San Felasco State Park Bicyclers who prefer a challenging “mountainless” bike ride should check out the state park’s 30 miles of mountain bike trails.

everyday lives. “For some people, they get upset hearing that their body is under their control. People like to make excuses about what’s impacting their life,” he said. “Once they realize they can control something they thought uncontrollable, they can do something they thought previously unbelievable. Daily decisions will shape who you are as a person.” For Johnson, the “New Year, New Life program” was more than just losing weight. What she did within the walls of Body By Boris did impact her everyday life, and it also had an impact on the life of her one-year-old son, who turns two in August. As a mother, Johnson wanted to be able to play with him in the yard. Boys are active. “I also wanted to lead by example,” Johnson said. “I don’t want him to grow up to be overweight.” Now that the three-month challenge is over, Johnson intends to carry the lessons she learned home with her. She may even purchase

a set of weights to continue doing the strength training. Prior to her makeover, Collins avoided activities, and the last program she remembered being involved in was zumba six months before. She said she had not being doing much living, just going through the motions. “I’ve been able to come out of my shell more, and it’s overflowed into my life a little bit more,” Collins said. “I can look at people when I talk to them, I can be the first one to say ‘hi’ or start a conversation, and I’m a little more confident with myself, which I think has helped a lot with getting away from being shy.” Collins said she cannot push herself the way the trainers do and would love to keep coming back. Her goal is to lose another 20 pounds by her birthday on May 16. “I haven’t really celebrated my birthday the past few years, and this year I’d like to go out and have a great time,” she said. s Health information compiled from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

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>> OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

Second Chances Hannah Curlee, Biggest Loser Runner-up, Discusses Her Experiences

BY MARY KYPREOS lthough NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” began as a simple television show in 2004, the phrase hardly contains the national and international franchise it has since become. Dozens of contestants have competed for 13 seasons in a battle of wills and weight loss — and that does not even include contestants from more than 20 other countries and the nameless, unquantifiable fans who have taken steps on their own. For Hannah Curlee, “The Biggest Loser” season 11 runner-up, obesity was not a life-long struggle, but the unexpected result of an injury that only took a matter of months to grow out of control. During her

A

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younger years, Curlee was a welloiled athletic machine until a back injury during college put her out of commission. Within a month, she

from being extremely active to not active, and I didn’t know how to deal with that. “I became a different Hannah,

“I didn’t want to be this person in their 30s who would be so unhealthy that they would miss out on their life.” had gained 40 pounds; after two months, her sister Olivia thought she was nearly unrecognizable; one year out, she had put on one hundred pounds. “[Being an athlete] was all I did for such a long time that I didn’t know anything else,” Curlee said in a telephone interview. “I went

and “The Biggest Loser” helped me get out of that.” By the time Curlee’s sister and “The Biggest Loser” season 11 winner, Olivia Ward, encouraged her to attend a tryout for the show with her, Curlee had simply given up. She no longer felt that she would some day lose the weight;


Before she joined the show, Hannah Curlee weighed 248 pounds and had given up.


she simply decided that she was not meant to be fit. “The thing about losing weight is that it is very hard to do it on your own,” Curlee said, adding that she never asked for help from anyone. “’The Biggest Loser’ showed me that I could have all the things I wanted in life, but it takes hard work. It showed me who I wanted to be.” As Curlee approaches her one-year mark, after marking 120 pounds of weight loss during the show, she will be the first to say that just as losing weight requires determination and inspiration, so does maintaining weight. With out-of-control restaurant portion sizes and calorie-filled snacks at registers, there are no guarantees. Even previous “Biggest Loser” winners and contestants have demonstrated this by regaining most or all of their weight after the show. Hannah, however, does not foresee that option her future. “I will never forget the way I felt being heavy. That memory will never go away,” Curlee said. “I will fight so hard for this, it is something that I want, something that I am proud of.” Since leaving the show, Curlee rejoined her former employers, the Hospital Corporation of America, as the director of heath engagement for H2U. As part of her job, she travels the country spreading her story and helping others succeed. In May, Curlee came to Gainesville to speak at “Women and Wellness,” a women’s health symposium offered by North Florida Regional Healthcare. “Every time a person comes up to me, it is always such a positive thing,” Curlee said. “They think I am inspiring them, but they have told me so many great stories about what they have done that they inspire me. “For anyone reading this, is there something you want to change about your life? Don’t wait until Monday! Do something today, regardless of what it is. Make it happen this year. Don’t wait like I did.” s

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10 Seconds with Hannah Favorite go-to healthy food? Greek yogurt Favorite guilty indulgence? Pizza Favorite on-the-go workout move? Bootcamps and Crossfit; jump ropes and resistance bands for traveling Favorite movie? “Music From Another Room” Favorite book? “Something Borrowed” by Emily Giffin


Hannah Curlee lost 120 pounds during the show.


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CALENDAR If you would like to have an event considered for publication in this calendar, please submit information directly. post 4400 NW 36th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606 | e-mail editor@towerpublications.com | fax 352-373-9178

FREE FRIDAY CONCERT Every Friday 8:00pm BO DIDDLEY COMMUNITY PLAZA - 111 E. University Ave. From May to October, every Friday night comes alive as local and regional bands, and performing arts are showcased under the stars. Hundreds come out to enjoy the free live concerts and shows in a family-friendly environment. www.

gvlculturalaffairs.org.

HAMLET AND THE PRINCE FORMERLY KNOWN AS HAMLET Through May 20 Times Vary ACROSSTOWN REPERTORY THEATRE - A night of one acts that tell the same story from different angles. The first is an edited and revised version of one of Shakespeare’s masterworks: Hamlet. The second involves the tough talking, hardboiled detective Justin Thyme as he travels to 11th century Denmark to find out who whacked Hamlet’s old man. 352-371-1234.

ART IN SANCTUARY Through May 31 Times Vary UNITY OF GAINESVILLE - 8801 NW 39 Ave. Featuring acrylic

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paintings by Philip Danse. Danse has a lifelong interest in ancient civilizations and symbols and incorporates them in many of his paintings. His favorite media types are acrylics and charcoal. 352-373-1030.

ORAL HEALTH FOR SENIORS Tuesday, May 15 2:30pm - 4:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Speaker: Susan Nimmo, DDS, MPH. A previously stable dentition in Seniors may become prone to cavities due to a number of other conditions, including periodontal bone loss, loss of manual dexterity (arthritis) and especially xerostomia (dry mouth). 352-367-8169.

SPRING HEALTH FAIR Tuesday, May 15 7:00am - Noon HILTON UF - Spring into health for a day devoted to staying healthy. Free blood pressure, bone density, body composition, vision and cholesterol/ glucose screenings. Learn about women’s health, heart disease, stroke and cancer prevention. Tips on staying in shape, eating healthy, improving appearance and getting better sleep. www.

shands.org/public/programs/ women_advantage/default.asp.

EVENSONG FOR ASCENSION DAY

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Thursday, May 17 6:00pm

Thursday, May 17 2:30pm - 4:00pm

HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH - 100 NE First St. The Holy Trinity Choir (John T. Lowe, Jr., conductor and organist) sings a service of Choral Evensong for Ascension Day. Music of Dudley Buck, John Sanders and Charles Villiers Stanford. 352-372-4721.

SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Speaker: Julia Close, MD. Hear about the most recent advances in cancer medications and related treatment, as well as what actions one can take to avoid this very serious medical condition. 352-367-8169.

LIFE INSURANCE AND WHAT IT MEANS Thursday, May 17 2:00pm - 3:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Limited to 24 participants. Come to an informative presentation to discuss life insurance and the many ways it can help provide for families. Call 352-265-9040 to reserve a seat. For further information contact Kevin Heiser at 352-373-2365.

GENTLE MEMOIRS Thursday, May 17 6:30pm - 7:30pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Discuss and critique memoirs from women writers, including these four titles: “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life,” “A Girl Named Zippy,” “She Got Up Off the Couch,” “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.” Bring favorite memoirs. 352-334-3939.

MASTERS OF DISASTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT Friday, May 18 7:00am HAILE PLANTATION COUNTRY CLUB - Join the North Central Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with the tournament starting promptly at 8 a.m. For more information on sponsorships or playing, contact Melanie Saxon at 352-376-4669.

www.redcrossncfc.org.

RUNWAYS AND RESCUES FASHION SHOW Friday, May 18 5:30pm HAILE PLANTATION COUNTRY CLUB - An evening of fashion benefiting Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue, a non-profit organization that helps unwanted animals find forever homes. Haile’s Angels goal is to stop adoptable animals from being euthanized. Tickets at www.

runwaysandrescues.eventbrite.com.


AGNES OF GOD May 18 - June 3 Times Vary GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE - Summoned to a convent, a courtappointed psychiatrist is charged with assessing the sanity of a young novitiate accused of murdering her newborn. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victim? This award-winning drama examines the meaning of faith and the power of love. 352-376-4949.

SONGWRITING WORKSHOP FOR TEENS May 18 and May 19 Times Vary HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Learn how to write songs with singer, songwriter and performer Trevis Prince! Join the library for one or both workshops that will include understanding basic melody, songwriting structure, pattern, creative thinking and much more! For teens 12 to 18. May 18, 4pm - 530pm; May 19, 10:30pm - Noon. 352-334-3941.

NEWBERRY WATERMELON FESTIVAL Saturday, May 19 To Be Announced OAK VIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL - 1203 SW 250th St. Each year the Newberry Watermelon Festival committee works hard to improve the festival and its activities. The watermelons are always provided from a local grower and free for festival goers. Activities include contests for watermelon eating, seed spitting, hog calling, pie/cake baking, and the “Big Melon.”

www.newberrywatermelonfestival.com

Hairspray July 13 - Aug. 5 Times Vary GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE - Explore the 1960s where lovable, plus-sized heroine, Tracy Turnblad, has a passion for dancing and wins a spot on the local TV dance program. Overnight she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity. Can Tracy manage to vanquish the program’s reigning princess, integrate the television show and find true love without mussing her hair? 352-376-4949.

FEAST ON THE FARM PREAKNESS PARTY Saturday, May 19 4:00pm REMBERT FARM - NW 172nd Ave. Horses Helping People’s annual fundraising event benefits HOPE while celebrating the second stop of the Triple Crown Series, The Preakness Horse Race. Take part in the excitement

of horse racing, live music, dinner, unlimited cocktails, casino games and unique silent auction items. 352-3766866, ext. 118.

MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE Saturday, May 19 8:00am - Noon ALACHUA COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE - All year, Master Gardener

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volunteers start from seed or propagate plants for this sale. A variety of herbs, annuals, perennials, natives, trees and more will be available. Receive advice on selection and care of plants at this fundraiser for the Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteer Program. Free parking and admission. 352955-2402. alachua.ifas. ufl.edu.

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burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects. It is a viable alternative to traditional burial practices in the U.S. 352-367-8169.

NONPROFIT SUMMIT 2012 Thursday, May 24 8:00am - 5:00pm

Sweet Dreams Touch-A-Truck Saturday, May 19 9:00am - 2:00pm CITIZEN’S FIELD - Attendees will be able to get up close to the large vehicles they frequently see on the roadways. They will have the chance to talk with the drivers and learn about pedestrian safety around large vehicles. Benefits Children’s Miracle Network and Food4Kids Backpack Program. Free. 352-283-0615.

WOMEN’S LIBERATION: WHERE DO I FIT IN? Saturday, May 19 9:00am - 5:00pm DAUER HALL, ROOM 215 Open to women only, the class will teach the radical ideas and methods that sparked the rebirth of the feminist movement in the 1960s. The class is a combination of study and hands-on activity, including lecture, class discussion of assigned reading, film, consciousnessraising, and planning and participating in a feminist action. www.

womensliberation.org.

AUDITIONS FOR HAIRSPRAY Sunday, May 20 7:00pm VAM YORK THEATER Explore the 1960s where lovable, plussized heroine, Tracy

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Turnblad, has a passion for dancing and wins a spot on the local TV dance program. Overnight she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity. 352-376-4949.

GAINESVILLE COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC WOMEN LUNCHEON Sunday, May 20 12:30pm - 2:00pm ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC CHURCH - 500 NE 16th Ave. Ladies, join for an afternoon luncheon catered by Cafe C, followed by a time of friendship and reflection as special guest speaker Lori Rush brings her inspirational story, “My Brother’s Keeper: An Organ Donor Testimonial.” 352-372-4641.

HOMELESS: MYTH, MYTHOLOGY & MISSING OUT Tuesday, May 22 2:30pm - 4:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Speaker: Jack Donovan, Executive Director of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry. Donovan will explore three questions: What is the reality of homelessness in America (and Gainesville)? How do the homeless fit into the American dream? Is something wrong with the dream? 352-367-8169.

NATURAL BURIAL Thursday, May 24 2:30pm - 4:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Green burials help ensure that the

HILTON UF - North Central Florida’s largest educational conference for nonprofit professionals, board members, community leaders and student population of emerging leaders. Attendees will receive training, build and strengthen relationships, identify resources, and learn from one another. $70 registration; $25 student registration. 352-381-7067. nonprofitsummit2012. eventbrite.com.

ART, CRAFT, LIFESTYLE SHOWCASE May 24 - May 27 10:00am - 9:00pm OAKS MALL - Exhibitors offer a selection of handmade art and craft creations and for the latest trends and ideas. Find products offered by popular home-based business representatives. Exhibitors located throughout the mall and available during regular mall hours. 330-493-4130.

AN EVENING OF JAZZ Friday, May 25 8:00pm GAINESVILLE WOMAN’S CLUB - 2809 W. University Ave. Performance by Yolanda Rabun and the Stanley Baird Jazz Band. Benefits The Eastside Advocacy Group of Youth and the Girls to Young Ladies Inc. $40. 352-372-4872.


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May 30 - June 24 Tim Times Vary HIPPO HIPPODROME THEATRE This off-Broadway mus musical takes the audi audience to the 1958 Spri Springfield High School prom to meet the Won Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as b big as their crinoline skirt skirts! Learn about their lives and loves, the girls perform such class classic ‘50s and ‘60s song songs as “Lollipop,” “Dre “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cup Cupid,” “Lipstick On Y Your Collar,” etc. 352352-375-4477.

Tuesday, May 22 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - His TV specials and series have been the highest-rated programming g in Comedy Central History. Today, Jeff Dunham is a phenomenally successful global al entertainment brand. 352-392-2787.

AN EARLY MAYA CITY BY THE SEA Saturday, May 26 10:00am - 5:00pm MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - The ancient Maya lived amid a changing environment and social world for nearly 2,000 years. This exhibit features artifacts from homes and monumental constructions at the Cerros site in Belize, Central America. View 3D maps showing where artifacts were found, and learn about rituals and daily activities. 352-8462000. www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

GAINESVILLE CIVIC CHORUS Saturday, May 26 7:00pm FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - 300 SW Second Ave. Spirit of America VI: Saluting American Veterans with a selection of patriotic music, spirituals, hymns and other familiar music. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. 352-3776577. www.gcchorus.org.

CHEESE MAKING Wednesday, May 30 4:00pm - 6:00pm LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP 1130 NE 16th Ave. Like cheese? Come learn how to make cheese,

ROOM TO DANCE

and get recipes, information, etc. 352-334-0165.

June 1 and June 2 7:30pm

POTLUCK PICNIC Thursday, May 31 11:00am - 1:30pm SAN FELASCO COUNTY PARK - The men will grill hot dogs and hamburgers provided by PTI. PTI will also provide the rolls. Please bring an appropriate potluck dish that serves around four to six people, or sign up to bring an item, such as paper plates, napkins, drinks for 15, etc. Please sign up by May 25. Lee Wiegand at eleew@cox.net or 352-336-8172.

SFC FINE ARTS HALL “Room to Dance” is choreographed and produced by SFC students. Inevitably, the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe’s talent has promised to shine through. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Santa Fe Box Office, 352-395-4181.

GAINESVILLE KIDS TRIATHLON Saturday, June 2 7:00am NORTHEAST POOL - 1100 NE 14th St. The main event is a swimbike-run race! Other

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activities, giveaways, food, music and more will take place in the fields adjacent to NE Pool. Safe course, all-day pool pass, shirts and medals to all finishers. www.

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on everything about chocolate, from growing it to making a delicious treat. Each child will get a chocolate souvenir at the end of the program. Ages 5 to 18. www.aclib.us/headquarters. 352-334-3900.

TREVIS PRINCE Saturday, June 2 8:00pm CIVIC MEDIA CENTER - 433 S. Main St. Trevis Prince and the Civic Media Center team up to raise funds for charity. This is a child-friendly, family event that applies to all ages. Doors open at 7 p.m. Please make sure to bring a ticket. 352-373-0010. www.

civicmediacenter.org.

BLUE REVOLUTION Tuesday, June 5 2:30pm - 4:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. In her talk “Blue Revolution: A Water Ethic for America & Florida,” award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett describes an illusion of water abundance that has encouraged everyone, from homeowners to farmers to utilities, to tap more and more. She proposes the most important part of the solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a shared water ethic among citizens, government and major water users. 352-367-8169.

THE MYSTERY AND HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE Thursday, June 7 2:00pm - 3:00pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Kay Owens, owner of “Drenched in Chocolate,” will present a program

DRAW YOUR NIGHT Thursday, June 7 3:00pm - 4:00pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Come and draw the night with Mr. Gerald. Ages 5 to 11.

www.aclib.us/headquarters. 352-334-3900.

RETIREMENT INCOME PLANNING Thursday, June 7 2:30pm - 4:00pm SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34 St. Hear what measures are available to assist in having sufficient income to afford to retire, as well as enjoy retirement. 352-367-8169.

WORLD OCEANS DAY Saturday, June 9 9:00am - 2:00pm SFC TEACHING ZOO - Fun ocean-themed crafts and activities. Come visit the animals at the zoo and help name its baby American alligators! 352-3955601. www.sfcollege.edu/zoo.

AFRICAN DANCE AND DRUMMING Saturday, June 9 1:30pm - 2:30pm TOWER ROAD BRANCH LIBRARY - Come out and join Noni Jones and listen to African music, learn basic African moves, and pick up a bit of

Colleen’s Kloset Re-Sale Boutique WOMEN’S • JUNIORS BABY • CHILDREN’S HOME GOODS SCHOOL UNIFORMS We carry a complete line of baby items and furniture, as well as designer clothing, shoes, purses and more!

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chance to play with lady luck at poker tables, roulette wheels, let-it-ride, craps and more. $75 for the night. gfisherhouse@ gmail.com. events.r20. constantcontact.com.

ESSENTIAL OILS OF YOUR ANCESTORS Monday, June 11 10:30am - 1:00pm

Remembering With Honor: Memorial Quilts Saturday, May 19

FATHER’S DAY CARDS

9:30am Presentation at Hilton UF 3:00pm - 5:00pm Workshop at the Senior Recreation Center

Tuesday, June 12 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Don Beld, founder of the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, will bring his mission to Gainesville Armed Forces Day 2012. With quilters from all 50 states, Beld’s project hand-pieces, hand-quilts and gives a quilt to each family that has lost someone in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Following the Remembering With Honor program at the Hilton UF Conference Center, Don Beld will conduct a workshop for the National Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Quilt Project. Enrollment is first-come, firstserve. Enrollment is necessary. For more information, contact Sandra Kay Haile, 423s@bellsouth.net. 352-562-1765. www.homeofthebravequiltsflorida.com.

history about African dance and drumming. African and modern dance instructor Noni Jones has taught countless classes in the community. 352-333-2842.

TAMPA TAIKO: BIG LOUD DRUMS Saturday, June 9 11:00am - 12:30pm

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TOWER ROAD BRANCH LIBRARY - Drummers will talk about the history of Taiko, the music of Japan, Taiko drum building and design, and present a modern drumming performance. As is tradition, all drums used in the performance use discarded barrels that are recycled into beautiful Taiko drums. 352-333-2840.

LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP 1130 NE 16th Ave. Learn about pure essential oils and their uses throughout history. How many roses does it take to make an ounce of essential oil? What combination of oils can provide headache relief? Materials will be provided. Registration required. 352-334-0165.

GOLF TOURNAMENT AND NIGHT IN MARGARITA ’VILLE Sunday, June 10 5:00pm - 9:00pm HAILE PLANTATION COUNTRY CLUB - Join the paradise bar for margaritas, jump into to the gaming where people will have the

HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Just in time for Father’s Day, stop in to make the perfect card for dad! 352-334-3900.

TAMPA TAIKO: BIG LOUD DRUMS Wednesday, June 13 11:00am - Noon HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Drummers will talk about the history of Taiko, the music of Japan, Taiko drum building and design, and present a modern drumming performance. As is tradition, all drums used in the performance use discarded barrels that are recycled into beautiful Taiko drums. Ages 5 to 18. 352-334-3941.


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SYLVIA Beginning June 15 Times Vary

Living the Gospel in Downtown Gainesville! The Rev. Louanne Loch Rector Dr. John T. Lowe Dir. of Music

Sunday Services 8:00am • 10:30am • 6:00pm

Wednesday Service 12:15pm

100 NE 1st Street Downtown Gainesville (352) 372-4721 www.HolyTrinityGNV.org The Episcopal Church welcomes you ...and we do mean YOU!

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HIGH SPRINGS COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE - 130 NE First Ave. A romantic comedy about Greg, a middle-aged man who is having a terrible time at work and takes the afternoon off. Wandering mindlessly in the park he finds Sylvia, an adorable stray dog who latches on to him like a new chew toy. He thinks they’ve bonded, and he takes her home. But there’s a problem, and it’s his wife Kate. She doesn’t want that mongrel messing up her beautiful life. 386-454-3525.

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION Saturday, June 16 10:00am - 2:00pm LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP 1130 NE 16th Ave. Enjoy entertainment, free food and free raffle. Come support three young local residents competing for prizes in the library idol contest. 352-334-0165.

EXPLORE THE NIGHT BINOCULARS CRAFT Tuesday, June 19 2:00pm - 2:45pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Use household items to create a pair of binoculars and get a better look at the Lubee Bats visiting the library on June 20. 352-334-3900.

GAINESVILLE BOOKKEEPERS ASSOCIATION Wednesday, June 20 3:30pm - 5:00pm SANTA FE CENTER - 530 W. University Ave. The Gainesville Bookkeepers Association is a

networking and education group open to all bookkeepers. Its mission is to build community and support members’ professional advancement.

www.gainesvillebookkeepersassociation.com

THIRD ANNUAL QUILT SHOW Saturday, June 23 10:00am - 3:00pm WALDO COMMUNITY CENTER - For those who would like to enter a quilt for judging, and/ or sale, please call Vera Mauldin: 352-468-1554 or email VeraMauldin@ Windstream.net.

THE LONG ROAD HOME Sunday, June 24 1:30pm - 3:00pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - “The Long Road Home” is a personal story of the lives of James Johnston and Miranda Madderra, the characters in “The Great Southern Circus.” Follow their emotional journey through the dark years of the American Civil War. It is a story of hope, despair, joy, heartache, bitter division and reconciliation on a personal level for friends divided by war. 352-495-9858.

GREEN ACRES: PARADISE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD Monday, June 25 6:30pm - 7:30pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Join Lisa Finch for an exciting discussion of books about people who have embraced their inner farmers and have turned their lawns and patios into useful green havens. Discuss


how they have done it, and some of the costs and downsides as well. 352-334-0170.

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Wednesday, June 27 3:00pm - 4:00pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Come learn how to make comics with author and artist, Andre Frattino. Teens 12 to 18. 352-334-3900.

NEWBERRY UNITY COMMUNITY DAY Saturday, June 30 10:00am DOWNTOWN NEWBERRY - Nations Park Grand Opening and Community Day. There will be a parade downtown, with fun, food, games, entertainment and baseball games all weekend.

11:00am - Noon on HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Lubee Bat Conservancy will bring live bats and share fun facts about bats and natural history. 352-334-3941.

MELON RUN Wednesday, July 4 8:00am WESTSIDE PARK - 1001 NW 34 St. A Fourth of July tradition in Gainesville, the Florida Track Club hosts the almost “World Famous” 34th Annual Melon Run! 3-Mile Run at 8am; Kid’s Fun Run at 9am. Pre-race: $25

($20 FTC) $15 no t-shirt; Day of Race: $30 ($25 FTC) $20 no t-shirt t-shirt, $5 for Kids under 9. www.

floridatrackclub.org.

CREATIVE B MOVIE SERIES Friday, July 6 7:00pm MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - Free movie

series. Parental discretion is advised. Explore the balance between science and art with an expert panel. July 6, “The Lost World” (1925); July 13, “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964); July 20, “Jurassic Park” (1993); July 27, “Anaconda” (1997). 352273-2061. www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

1-888-420-3807 www.VisitOurTowns.com

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CREATURES OF THE NIGHT

Red, White and More Red

Wednesday, July 25 11:00am - Noon HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Get up close and personal with UF Entomology’s arthropod petting zoo. Ages 5 to 18. 352-334-3941.

Thursday, July 12 6:00pm - 8:00pm GAINESVILLE WOMAN’S CLUB B The Gainesville Woman’s Club and Gainesville Junior Woman’ss Club are hosting the second annual “Wine Tasting: Red, White & More Red!” benefit with proceeds going to the Girls Place and Peaceful Paths. 352-376-3901. www.gfwcflgainesvillewomansclub.org.

COUPONING: TIPS, TRICKS AND TACTICS Saturday, July 21 3:00pm - 4:30pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Learn the latest tactics for getting the most savings out of

UFPA FILM COMPETITION Sunday, July 22 2:00pm SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - This film competition is designed to provide those who are interested in filmmaking with a creative deadline and then the

opportunity to show off their work. Contestants will have 24 hours to make a five-minute film, followed by a public viewing. July 21, 1 p.m., team check-in; July 22, 2 p.m., deadline and public viewing. dwohlust@ performingarts.ufl.edu. creativeb.aa.ufl.edu/.

OLYMPIC CRAFTS Tuesday, July 24 2:00pm - 2:45pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Celebrate the Summer Games with olive wreath crowns and medals. Ages 5 to 11. 352-334-3900.

ART, CRAFT, LIFESTYLE SHOWCASE Aug. 9 - Aug. 12 10:00am - 9:00pm OAKS MALL - Visit exhibitors offering a selection of handmade art and craft creations and for the latest trends and ideas. Find products offered by popular home-based business representatives. Exhibitors located throughout the mall and available during regular mall hours. 330-493-4130.

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HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - Book Talk covering “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest and other Steampunk-related materials. For teens 12 to 18, and adults 19 and up. 352-334-3900.

coupons. Learn where and how to score big value coupons, and hear tips for shopping local stores to the best advantage. Angelia, the coupon queen, will share her best tricks of the trade. 352-334-3900.

HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Experience the night sky with StarLab, a portable planetarium to view a projection of the night sky with constellations, among other cool things. 352-334-3941.

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112

Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Ballyhoo Grill 3700 Newberry Road, Gainesville Mon-Thu: 10am to 10pm • Fri & Sat: 10am to 11pm Sun 10am to 10pm

352-373-0059 Looking for the freshest seafood? — The Ballyhoo Grill is the place for you! With fresh seafood arriving daily, Try the amazing North Atlantic Cedar Plank Salmon, grilled on a cedar plank for a rich, smoky flavor. Other great eats include fresh sushi and hand-cut choice steaks. We’re serving up everything from salads and pastas to delicious burgers and sandwiches. make sure you try the incredible Bananas Fosters. Dine in or outdoors on their patio. Happy hour is 2-7pm daily with extended happy hour until 10pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Bubba Que’s 4928 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL • 352-372-6404 14209 W. Newberry Rd, Jonesville, FL • 352-331-1BBQ Mon-Thu, Sun: 11am to 10pm • Fri-Sat: 11am to 11pm

www.BubbaQuesBBQ.com BARBECUE — Howdy, welcome to Bubbaques! Bubbaques offers real pit barbeque in Gainesville and Jonesville in a fun, family atmosphere. Our Titletown award winning barbeque is smoked on site and served with a great selection of sides and a sense of humor. Bubbaques was born in North Central Florida and are locally owned and operated. C’mon in for some real, down home barbeque at prices your wallet will love! Don’t forget to check out our huge varity of delicious sauces and our fun decor! Like Bubba always says; “The only thing we take seriously is our food and our customers!”

Club 51 15 NE 2nd Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643 Monday – Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm Friday and Saturday 11:00am-Midnight

386-454-0797 CUISINE — Club 51 is your “home away from home”. With a great wine selection, ice cold beer, and fresh squeezed margaritas Club 51 can offer you a warm and friendly atmosphere. Club 51 also offers a wide variety of American, Italian, and Seafood dishes. We offer appetizers, such as, Shrimp Cocktail, Clam Chowder and Poppers. Our lunch specials include sandwiches such as Cuban’s, Ruben’s and Philly’s. Club 51’s dinner specials offer Chicken Marsala, Oysters Rockefeller, Stuffed Shells and to top it off, Key Lime Cheesecake for dessert. There will also be live music on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 8:00 p.m. So, come relax and enjoy!


Embers Wood Grill 3545 SW 34th St Gainesville, FL 32608 Mon - Thurs: 5pm - 10pm Sat - Sun: 5pm - 11pm

(352) 380-0901

www.embersofflorida.com

CUISINE — At Embers Wood Grill, enjoy an elegant atmosphere while dining at Gainesvilles only USDA prime steakhouse and seafood grill. Our real wood grill uses a unique combination of pecan, hickory and cherry woods to create the right amount of heat, aroma and flavor in our culinary creations. The Chef’s Table exemplifies our approach to fine dining, offering a personalized menu and detail oriented service. Our experienced staff is uniquely qualified and trained to create a memorable evening out. Embers features a plethora of fine appetizers and desserts as well as a full wine and liquor bar.

Dave’s New York Deli 12921 SW 1st Road, Tioga Town Center Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 8:00pm • Saturday: 8am - 8pm Sunday 10:00am - 3:00pm

352-333-0291

www.DavesNYDeli.com

AUTHENTIC DELI — Dave’s Deli has moved to its new location in Tioga Town Center. The reviews are in and here is what customers are saying about Dave’s! “Best Reuben, Best Pastrami, Best Philly, Best Salads!” Dave’s NY Deli is quickly establishing itself as “The Real Deal” when it comes to NY deli food. Owner Dave Anders says he knew from the start that he wanted to serve only the best, so he has all of his pastrami, corned beef, and cheesecake shipped in from New York’s Carnegie Deli. Dave’s offers Nathan’s hotdogs, real NY kettle-boiled bagels, nova, knishes, cannolis, authentic Philly cheesesteaks, Cubans, subs, kids menu, and more. NOW OPEN IN THE TIOGA TOWN CENTER – VISIT US TODAY.

Firefly 25461 W. Newberry Road, Newberry • Across from City Hall Monday - Friday: 11:00am to 10:00pm Sunday Brunch: 9:00am to 3:00pm

352-472-7353

website coming soon!

FUSION — Firefly is a brand new restaurant specializing in southern style food and Florida Keys style seafood. Amazing deep fried lobster, conch chowder, stuffed fish, panhandle steak and spoonbread are just a few of the specialties. Try the signature Firefly Cosmopolitan for a starter and the authentic key lime pie or fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert. At least three different varieties of fresh fish are available every day. Whether you’re looking for a great new place to take a date or a comfortable spot for a fabulous outdoor lunch, Firefly will exceed your expectations. Conveniently located just a short drive west of Gainesville on Newberry Road in Newberry.

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood 201 SE 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL (Historic Downtown) Monday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm • Tues-Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm Happy Hour: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

352-336-0077

marksprimesteakhouse.com

STEAK & SEAFOOD — Mark’s Prime Steakhouse and Seafood has a goal to create a unique dining experience that will please the palate and soothe the soul. We serve the finest beef, the freshest seafood, and naturally fresh vegetables. Recipient of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence 2004-2011. Join us for Primetime Happy Hour featuring drink and appetizer specials Monday thru Saturday 5-7 pm. We are pleased to feature our full service, private dining facilities. It would be our pleasure to help plan your next reception, banquet, business meeting, or social gathering. Complimentary valet service.

Saboré 13005 SW 1st Road, Tioga, FL 32669 (Tioga Town Center) Tues-Thurs, Sun 11am to 10pm Fri & Sat 11am to 11pm Open Mondays for Special Events Only

352-332-2727

www.saborerestaurant.com

FUSION — Featuring a new menu! Saboré [sa-bohr-ay] is a worldfusion restaurant featuring a variety of European, South American, Mediterranean and Asian-inspired tastes. Saboré’s namesake is from the word “sabor,” meaning “flavor.” Executive Chef and Co-Owner William “Willy” Hernandez’s menu features mouth-watering dishes that takes guests on a trip around the world, highlighting exotic flavors and ingredients from countries such as Argentina, Japan, Greece and Italy. Be sure to try their custom plates, desserts and signature cocktails you won’t find anywhere else in Gainesville. Chef Willy has been heralded for his innovative culinary skills at famed establishments such as Caramelo Restaurant, Giacosa, Casa Rolandi and Café Vialetto.

O!O Tapas & Tinis 2725 SW 91st St., #100, Gainesville, FL (Haile Village) Monday to Wednesday 5:00 - 10:00pm Thurs. to Sat. 5:00 - 12:00pm

352-331-6620

www.ootinis.com

TAPAS — O!O Tapas & Tinis is serving up a New Menu from Executive Chef Ryan Long, which includes a Porterhouse Pork Chop, Certified Angus Beef, Orange and Cranberry Duck Breast, Fresh Seafood and many, many other selections. Looking for great drink specials? Come see us Tuesdays and Thursdays for $5 Martinis and Live Music. Join us for Happy Hour from 5-7pm every night. Let us take care of the catering for your office parties or special events. Located in the Haile Village Publix Shopping Plaza.


The Red Onion 39th Ave & 24th Blvd, Gainesville (Uptown Village Apartments) Monday – Thursday: 11am-10pm Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm Sunday: 10am to 9pm Brunch: Sat and Sun: 11am-2pm

352-505-0088

www.TheRedOnionGainesville.com

NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL — Locally owned and managed restaurant offering casual dining in an intimate, warm atmosphere. Featuring Harris Ranch All Natural Prime Steaks & All Natural Chicken (no antibiotics, no steroids) and local produce. Join us for the love of Fine Spirits, Food and Music! Live Music Wed., Fri., Sat.! Come listen to the area’s best Jazz and Blues bands every Saturday for “Music & Martinis”! We muddle, pour, mix & stir! So join us for Happy Hour at our bar – big enough to bring all your friends! Our casual cuisine is perfect for lunch in a rush. Private Dining Room available for rental, perfect for your next rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, corporate luncheon, etc. Check out our menus on our website!

The Dive Pub and Grub 25 NE 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643 Monday through Wednesday 11am-9pm Thursday through Saturday 11am-10pm

386-454-5700 BAR & GRILL — If you’re looking for a new place to go in High Springs, why not try out The Dive Pub and Grub? The Dive will provide you with a friendly atmosphere that will get you in the mood for your day at the springs, or will serve as a nice place to relax and enjoy a really cold beer after your day of fun in the sun. Wet bottoms are welcome on the patio. Live acoustic music provided Thursday through Saturday. Come enjoy a light pub fare with quality draft, craft and bottled beer along with a variety of rice bowls or sandwiches. Happy Hour Monday through Thursday 4-7pm and remember, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem.

Miami International 15634 NW Hwy 441, Suite F, Alachua, FL 32615 Monday – Saturday 9:00am - 9:00pm

386-462-3305 CUBAN — Miami Int’l Bakery and Restaurant is your one-stop-shop for authentic Cuban cuisine. We offer largely portioned entrees such as Roast Pork, Ropa Vieja, Cuban Sandwich and a variety of chicken and seafood dishes, as well. Not only are we a restaurant, we are also a bakery and ice cream shop. Come in and try our unique cultural flavors such as guava, mango, papaya and more! Also, don’t forget about us for your next big event. We offer catering for weddings and social gatherings. With our competitive prices and lunch specials starting at $4.95 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as a full dinner menu, we can offer you an authentic Cuban experience. Don’t forget to try one of our delicious desserts such as guava pastries, flan and so much more.

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Tupelo BBQ Bar and Grill 4401 NW 25th Place Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32606 Monday – Thursday 11:30am – 10:00pm Friday 11:30am – 11:00pm Saturday 5:00pm – 11:00pm

352-372-7070

www.tupelognv.com

BBQ BAR & GRILL — Tupelo is a unique restaurant in which great food is made from scratch including the rubs, sauces and dressings used to create our individualized dishes. Popular menu items include pulled pork wontons, shrimp and grits and Tupelo tacos. Also, don’t forget to save room for one of our hand crafted on premise deserts, such as our fried key lime pie. Tupelo provides a family-friendly atmosphere along with quality food at reasonable prices. Don’t forget to ask about our daily specials. We also offer a full bar with good wines and craft, draft and bottled beer. Join us for Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 5-7.

Tropical Smoothie Café 3345 SW 34th Street • Gainesville Open 24 hours Order online: www.2dollardelivery.com

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>> DETERMINATION

Touch First Claire Thompson: Local Olympic Hopeful

BY DENISE KRIGBAUM PHOTOGRAPHY BY TJ MORRISSEY nlike Abby Wambach, Ryan Lochte or Dara Torres — Olympic athletes who have launched careers from the University of Florida — Claire Thompson is not yet the banner carrier for her sport. But because she would like to have an Olympic story to tell, Thompson, 23, a postgraduate, has upped her chances by joining forces with the University of Florida. According to a UF tally, UF is so successful in sending athletes to the Olympics, that if the International Olympic Committee had recognized the “Gator Nation” as a participating country in the 2008 Summer Games, its athletes and alumni would have tied for 18th for total medals earned. A UF graduate, Thompson

U

swims with the Gator Swim Club’s international group under UF’s Coach Gregg Troy. She trains four to five hours, six days per week. She swims laps, lifts weights, runs the stadium seats, and boxes. She is just about as fit as a person can be. All of Thompson’s years of training have prepared her for one thing: a run at the 2012 Olympic Games in open water swimming. As a member of the national swimming team in 5k, 10k and 25k open-water events, Thompson represents hundreds of elite athletes who are just within reach of realizing a life-long dream of making the Olympics. Like them, Thompson has worked hard, possessed a single-minded focus and factored health problems into her training in order to make it this far.


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Heart Strong As strong as Thompson appears to be, she is not invincible. She is human, and her body has presented its own challenges. “I didn’t know about it until I was a freshman in college,” Thompson said in a recent interview. “I passed out while I was swimming and went under water, and a friend of mine pulled me

out. That particular practice we had done a lot of breath control and short sprints, and so I was not getting as much oxygen. “I was clearly in the heart hospital the next day.” Doctors discovered that Thompson has an irregular heartbeat that could prevent her heart from pumping enough blood to the brain and organs.

“It is some kind of an arrhythmia that they haven’t quite categorized yet,” Thompson said. “Ninety percent of the time it is exercise induced, which for me, isn’t that great. Because I workout. Every. Single. Day.” She started keeping a log a few years ago, so when it happens she can track what she has eaten, what her sleep was like the night before, what her daily activities


were leading up to it. And she has noticed that often it tends to come from longer endurance training when she is training for a 10k. “It isn’t the most ideal. I’m monitoring it. I’m very careful what I do and what I don’t do,” Thompson said. “But it is something that I feel like I can regulate. It definitely makes training harder because I want to push myself harder. I want

to swim faster, swim longer — that sort of thing — but sometimes I can’t because of just how I’m feeling.”

Early Days She has presented her body an extraordinary challenge in her choice of sport: open water swimming, which has been called one of the most mentally and physically demanding in the Games.

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While not originally an openwater swimmer, Thompson is a freestyle specialist, the stroke used in most distance races. She has also made the Olympic trials for the 200- and 400-meter freestyle pool events, to be held June 25 to July 2 in Omaha. Her best shot is in the 10k open water event, said Cashel Mack, her hometown coach from Largo. Mack coaches for West

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“Tackling the 10k itself usually comes down to the finish — whoever gets to the touchpad first. So after nearly two hours of swimming, the biggest battles occur in the final minutes of the race.”

Florida Lightning Aquatic and had encouraged Thompson to consider open water swimming as a route to the 2012 Olympics. “She had done a few open water swims over the years,” Mack said in a recent telephone interview. “She has endurance, and she doesn’t shy away from tough.” Thompson began swimming with her twin sister, Christine,

when they were 9 years old, both coached by Mack. The Thompson sisters went on to swim for the University of South Carolina, before injuries sidelined Christine and Claire transferred to UF in her senior year. As a post-graduate student, she swims with Gator Swim Club, led by UF coaches. The focus of a club team is to get the young swimmers

into a regimented structured sport where they can develop their skills, with the goal of getting them to swim for colleges. “For people like me, who go back to swim with a swim club after eligibility as an undergrad is complete, we strictly train as professional swimmers — people who are training for the Olympics,” Thompson said. “We train to qualify.”


,

Through it all, Thompson and Mack have worked together. When Mack suggested Thompson take on distance swimming, it took some convincing. “Before I started doing open water I was terrified of open water swimming. I lived on the beach [in Largo] and I never swam out there for fun, just because of what is out there,” Thompson said. “When

Cashel proposed the idea of racing a 10k, I just laughed at her because who wants to swim 10,000 meters for a race? That just doesn’t sound like fun at all. Then I raced my first one in 2009 in Fort Myers and I just loved it.” She hasn’t looked back. In 2011 she qualified for the national swim team in open water swimming and has traveled to China and Brazil for competitions.

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“I’m very proud of her. She has done an amazing job,” Mack said. “She is competitive in the open water. She is in the right spot to train right now, with Coach Troy and staff.” Gator’s swimming and diving coach, Troy was appointed the head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s swim team for the 2012 Summer Olympics. In his career to date, Troy has coached 68 Olympians,

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and multiple world champions and world record holders, including Ryan Lochte. “I always want to get better,” Thompson said. “Especially since August 2010, when I moved to Gainesville, I’ve continued to get better. The coaches are the best in the country. And that is why everybody wants to come here. We are working together to help each other out. With the training that we do, it is one-of-a-kind, for sure, and you either have to completely buy in or they don’t have time for you. It has definitely paid off. Within nine months of my coming to UF, I was on the national team.”

Competitive Distance Combining the strategy of speed skating with the roughness of roller derby and the two-yellow-card, one-red-card regulations of soccer, open water swimming is a very different sport from the contained pool events. Held in an ocean, lake, bay, river or reservoir, open water swimming races cover a 5-kilometer, 10k, or 25k distance. Open water swimming premiered as an Olympic sport in the 2008 Summer Games, with one two-hour long event — the 10k. This summer, swimmers race the 10k on Aug. 9 and 10 in The Serpentine, a lake in London’s Hyde

Park known for its waterfowl. The birds will be removed before the race, but their waste might remain. Just another thing open water swimmers must contend with on race day, along with weather, wind and water temperature. Thompson said in a nearly 15-mile (25k) race in Shanghai last July, a fish jumped into her mouth as she took a breath and became sushi. “It was terrible,” she said. Tackling the 10k itself usually comes down to the finish — whoever gets to the touchpad first, Thompson said. So after nearly two hours of swimming, the biggest battles occur in the final minutes of the race.


r n

“We usually draft off of each other. No one wants to take the lead until it gets down to the last 10 minutes of the race then you start to take off,” she said. (The speedskating portion of the race.) “The last 10 minutes is also the most physical. Lot of girls throw more elbows into your face, or girls try to shove you under the water. “If you come out of the race and

you are not bleeding, you were not in the race. You have no chance of coming in first,” Thompson said, who has had her nose broken and been given black eyes in past competitions. (The roller derby portion of the race.) Technically none of this is legal. Open water swimming is officiated like soccer; only the officials are on boats. They monitor swimmers, who have numbers on their arms.

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“Two yellow cards or one red card and you are out,” Thompson said. “If they see you trying to impede someone else’s progress in the race, then you get a red card and you are out.” In practice, however, not everything is called. In her last race, the FINA 10k Marathon Swimming World Cup 2012 in Santos, Brazil, in January, Thompson said a girl next

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to her should have gotten a red card. “Coming into a turn she wanted my position in the pack heading into a turn, and I wasn’t giving it up. She thought she could walk all over me, so to speak, and I wasn’t being a pushover. So she kicked me in the face and gave me a black eye. So, I reached over and got her in the stomach,” admitted Thompson, who came in sixth in the race. “I don’t really care for that sort of thing. But you have to defend yourself.” Swimmers follow other players’ techniques and tactics. No one wants to develop a reputation as a pushover. “If people see, ‘that American won’t defend herself. If you want her position, you can have it. She’ll give it up.’ And you don’t want that reputation going into races like that,” Thompson said. “International races in particular are so much more physical than the American races.” As it turned out, Thompson was also being beaten by a

mosquito-born illness in that race. She picked up dengue fever in Brazil and was hospitalized for a week after her return. Her next challenge is to qualify for the Olympics by coming out on top in two trials. As Our Town goes to press, at the end of April Thompson was headed to Fort Myers to compete in the 2012 USA Swimming Open Water National Championship. The top two female finishers will be selected to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Qualifier Event in Setubal, Portugal on June 8. Thompson will then have to finish first among Americans in Portugal to gain the one and only women’s open water swimming spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. “I’ll be competing against American teammates to qualify. This race on April 27th will really be anybody’s race,” Thompson said. “At one point or another we have all beaten the other. So it will be about who feels best on that day.”

Fran Crippen Now that the longstanding sport has become an Olympic event, it draws more top-level athletes to its international competitions. The organizing body, FINA, has drawn

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To learn more about the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, visit www.francrippen.org

intense scrutiny for its standards and enforcements of regulations after the death of an American swimmer nearly two years ago. In July 2010, a tragedy brought the young Olympic sport more public notice, when American and six-time national champion Fran Crippen died while swimming in the FINA Open Water 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup in Fujairah, south of Dubai. No one noticed Crippen go under. Fellow swimmers were the first to realize he had not come out of the water. His body was found 400 kilometers from the finish line two hours after the race concluded. The autopsy, as reported in “USA Today,” concluded Crippen died from drowning and heat exhaustion.

Subsequent investigations revealed that multiple factors led to his death: Critics contended there should have been more monitors to assist ailing swimmers. They also argued that water temperatures, which were said to be 84 degrees Fahrenheit at the start of the race, combined with a 100 degree air temperature, caused a number of swimmers to suffer heat exhaustion and dehydration after the race. Many in the sport called for changes. Crippen’s death prompted FINA to set new guidelines that would call off a race if water temperatures reached more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and to put more boats in the water to support swimmers.

Shanghai Thompson swam the 25k in FINA’s first major event following Crippen’s death, held in Shanghai in July 2011. Water temperatures were hot, 84 degrees Fahrenheit at

6 a.m., and the American team’s coaches pulled the team out. Because it was her first world event, Thompson asked to be allowed to swim. “My mom flew over to watch me swim,” she said. “I felt like I owed it to myself, my teammates and my Mom to at least try to swim. The coaches made me promise if I have any sense of dehydration or exhaustion, to stop.” She agreed. The promise is difficult for endurance athletes to make and keep, since they train to push past the pain. Her coaches required her to hold up fingers from one to five to describe how she felt as she reached each of two feeding stations placed on the course about 20 to 25 minutes apart. She held up mostly four and fives. Maybe, she said, she held up a three once. At a pre-race meeting, the coaches told their swimmers that if the race went to 75 percent of

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PHOTOS BY DENISE KRIGBAUM

Claire Thompson inspires her Swim America student Sofia Lamoso Perez, 3, not to fear a heart condition they both share.

“I love the sport, I love teaching the sport and I love kids.” its distance, they could award medals in the race, Thompson said. Because of the high temperatures, they said, the race would be called after lap seven of the 10-lap race. As the swimmers battled toward the early finish and headed toward the finish line, an official boat guided them back onto the course, directing them to continue the race despite the hot conditions. After expending the extra energy to make a run for the finish only to learn the race would continue, most swimmers were shouting at the officials from the water before they put their heads down to go on, Thompson said. Heading into the ninth lap, her coach approached Thompson on a speedboat waving her down. Although she told him she was fine, he said the water was 92 degrees — way beyond regulations. “He said, ‘We are not having this happen again,’” Thompson said. On the way back to the starting block the heat started hitting her. She was pale and needed to be cooled down. She got onto the dock and the medical team poured ice on

her, started an intravenous line and pumped fluids into her. Others were not as lucky. Some were so dehydrated they passed out while swimming and began heading out to sea. Others were hospitalized, according to reports from the Associated Press. FINA decided to stand by their decision to keep the race going. In Shanghai, reported “SwimmingWorld,” the official response from FINA was that the proposed temperature limits [30 degrees C or 86 degrees F] were “a guideline, not a rule.” It is the million-dollar question why FINA shrugged off the temperatures and, after starting the race in unsafe conditions, did not stop the race at 75 percent of its distance, Thompson said. “A lot of swimmers pulled themselves out the morning of the race because they wanted to take a stand in Fran’s name and kind of defend what the U.S. is trying to do to set regulations,” Thompson said. “They wanted to respect his memory and also protect themselves because FINA wasn’t being honest with the water temperature.”

Special Hearts Club As passionate as Thompson is about training and her sport, there is one thing that brightens her face even faster than her work: children. When Thompson met little Sofia at the pool, it was a particularly important moment to both because of a quality they both share. Daniel and Michele Lamoso Perez’s daughter almost died before she reached the tender age of three months. Sofia had suffered a rare heart condition that was caught just in time and corrected with surgery. Today she is a healthy 3-year-old girl, but Sofia’s doctors recommended a cautious approach to physical exertion. So when Michele enrolled her daughter in class with Gator Swim Club’s Swim America she told the organizers on the first day that Sofia had a heart condition and, although she was fine, she wanted the swim teachers to be aware. Sofia’s new teacher — Thompson — overheard and piped up immediately. “She said, ‘I have a heart condition, too. Don’t worry,” Michele said. “From that day on, Claire showed Sofia that she can be physically strong and not be inhibited at all. It has meant the world to me that

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PHOTOS BY DENISE KRIGBAUM

“I love kids and being a role model,” Thompson said. “I work hard. When I do something I put everything into it.”

Claire didn’t treat Sofia any differently. Now I say they are members of the special hearts club.” Thompson was patient and encouraging with Sofia, and still tracks her progress even now that Sofia is no longer in her class. “I love the sport, I love teaching the sport and I love kids, so it is the perfect combination for me,” Thompson said. “Parents will warn me their kids are terrified or have never had classes. Some teachers dread that, but I look at it as a challenge to get them to love the water as much as I do. If I can maybe help produce future Olympians down the road, I’d love to be a part of that.” Thompson also values the

chance to encourage another individual with a heart condition to persevere as she has in an effort to reach her goals. The achievements have come with the cost of a lot of time, spontaneity and the ability to sleep past 5:30 most mornings. “I have a running joke with my coach Cashel that if I died tomorrow and had a flashback of my life, all I would see is a black line [at the bottom of the pool]. Now she says, ‘Since you are an open water swimmer now, you will get to see the prettiest beaches from some of the places around the world,’ which is true, but she is kind of missing the point,” Thompson said with a laugh.

Thompson said swimming has opened multiple doors for her, from international traveling and sightseeing to competing with the best distance swimmers in the world. “Every time I go to a race I come back even more committed than I was before, because I have so much fun doing it,” Thompson said. “I want to get that much better so I can go to more races. I want to meet new people from around the world. I want to just swim.” s In her April 27 race, Thompson missed finishing in the top two spots, squelching her bid as the open water team member. She has another shot to make the Olympics in the more traditional 200k and 400k pool freestyle events when she competes in the qualifying races in June.


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>> RECORD BREAKER

Medal Ready Gemma Spofforth

BY DENISE KRIGBAUM ackstroke specialist Gemma Spofforth’s career proves that in four years, just about anything can happen. The British and University of Florida swimmer went from missing an Olympic medal by .04 seconds in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, to setting the current world record in the 100-meter backstroke in Rome’s 2009 World Swimming Championships. Next, as a UF senior, she helped lead the women’s Gator Swim Team to a 2010 NCAA Championship win. Now, in 2012 she has qualified for the British Swim Team and will compete in her home country for perhaps her final attempt at

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an Olympic medal in the London Summer Games. “They say it is the worst to come in fourth, ninth and seventeenth because it leaves you out of medaling, qualifying final and qualifying for the semi-final,” Spofforth said. “For me, that fourth place spurred me on the record because I was so angry I didn’t medal in the Olympics.” Even as the unassuming woman coaches young children enrolled in the Gator Swim Club’s program, Spofforth’s strengths are on display. She is both demanding and patient, and she uses humor to capture the kids’ attention. At 6 feet 1 inch, when she demonstrates a freestyle motion to a three-year-old girl, her long, powerful arms seem to reach from


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one end of the training pool to the other. A tattoo of the Olympic Rings decorates the inside of her left wrist. Spofforth enjoys working with the next generation of swimmers and helping them improve weekly. She also holds swim workshops where she is amazed by how giving and willing to learn her young students are. But as she trains at UF with the Gator Swim Club under coach Gregg Troy and four assistant coaches, she is fully focused on what might be her final shot at an Olympic medal, in the 2012 London Summer Games. Spofforth’s swim career began when she was three years old, in Portsmouth, England. Because of her height, her mom was able to enter her in a class for five year olds. Spofforth, 24, has been ahead of the pack ever since. Her lane ahead seemed clear when she won the national championship at 16 years old. However, when she was 18, she was struck by a mysterious and serious case of pancreatitis, which took

her out of the pool for a full year. “People my age don’t normally get it. The doctors were mystified,” Spofforth said. “Could have been stress. Could have been lifestyle. There is possibility that it could come back at any time.” Ultimately, she said the illness helped her, “Having that year out of the water made me realized how much I enjoyed swimming.” Sidelined, Spofforth began to explore her options. She credits UF assistant coach Martin Wilby, who is also from England, for luring her to Florida, right at a time when she thought her swim days might be over. “Wilby explained the U.S. system to me. That was why I chose Florida,” Spofforth said. “The thing is, in England you can only do swimming or school. Coaches there don’t allow you time to study. The U.S. is strong on both studying and sports.” As a post-graduate, studies are still important to Spofforth, who

is applying to graduate school. Her undergraduate degree was in Family, Youth, and Community Services. She volunteers at the Alachua County Crisis Center. Her interest in counseling began around the time she lost her mom to cancer in 2007, when she was only 19. “I have learned from the adversity I have faced,” Spofforth said. “I learned that facing what you face in the water is not as difficult as what you face out of the water. I’ve been called a motivation and called quite honest, and it really helps me to think I can show others that they can keep going after they have lost someone.” Spofforth appreciates all that swimming has done for her, and yet she can imagine a future beyond it. “Swimming is not the be-allend-all for me because I have more in my life,” she said. “It has created so many opportunities. The time I’ve committed to it is not a sacrifice. It has made me grow,

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and given me skills, such as time management and people skills. I’ve been able to see the world. People do call it a sacrifice, but I don’t think it is. It has helped to make me who I am.” The international swimmers in the Gator Swim Club train six days a week. On three of those days they swim four hours. The other three days they spend two hours in the water followed by boxing, stadiums, runs or weight lifting. Coach Wilby said Spofforth is training well as she approaches the big meet, which Spofforth said will likely be her last shot at the 100-meter event. “This is it — and it is a home Olympics,” Wilby said. “There is a lot of emotion. Gemma handles that herself. She is in better shape now [than in 2008]. She is stronger emotionally and physically, and she has greater maturity. She has learned how to create emotional balance. She is in good shape.” s

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>> TAEKWONDO

Kickin’ It for the USA Cesar and Eric Mateo Work Toward a Spot on the U.S. National Team

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN he road to Olympic glory is paved with years of practice, hard work and sacrifice. But as Cesar and Eric Mateo have discovered, sometimes a little good fortune also comes into play. The identical twin brothers and first-degree black belts have practiced taekwondo for just six years, yet they have been invited to try out for the U.S. national team — a step toward the summer Olympics of 2016. And while they put in long hours training and teaching at Star Martial Arts in Gainesville, it was

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a stroke of luck that first got them noticed. “I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Eddie Mieles with Macho Martial Arts,” said Ed Gnad, owner and chief instructor of Star Martial Arts. “He had been watching the Mateos for about a year at competitions. He approached me at our recent Gainesville tournament and said he was ready to take them to the next step, and Macho has offered to take them on as their sponsor.” The Mateos grew up in Miami, where they always showed an interest in the martial arts but happened upon the sport of

taekwondo by chance when they were 17. “Our mom had been looking for somewhere for us to go after school,” Cesar said. “She found a taekwondo place near our high school. She stuck us in there and it clicked, and we’ve been doing it ever since.” In 2010 the brothers moved to Gainesville, a process that in itself was also punctuated with luck. Just before they moved they escaped serious injury in a car accident on the freeway while driving to Gainesville to visit friends. Their SUV rolled over five times and their possessions

PHOTOS BY JANICE KAPLAN

Eric, left, and Cesar Mateo have been invited to try out for the U.S. national team this September.


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The Mateos, both first-degree black belts, have been practicing taekwondo for six years.

— including weight sets — flew around the cab of the vehicle, yet both brothers were relatively unscathed. Once they settled in town, they began researching studios for work. They contacted Star Martial Arts first and in another stroke of luck found that the studio was indeed hiring. Gnad brought them on immediately. Though good fortune played a role in their arrival, the Mateos credit their hard work and dedication to their quick rise in the taekwondo world. They worked out early in the mornings at their Miami studio and taught classes in the afternoon, and have duplicated the grueling routine in Gainesville. “I think they’re trying to kill us in the mornings!” Cesar said. “On top of that, next week we’re starting all of our training. It’s going to

be hard work but it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s not just an activity for us; it never has been.” “For me, what is most important is showing what I have to better fighters than myself,” added Eric Mateo, whose dream is to go one-on-one with Olympic champion Stephen Lopez. “I know that there’s always somebody willing to train harder than me and put in more hours, but I’m going to train my hardest to show them that I’m m better.” In whatt little spare time they have, the brothers enjoy njoy video games es (“Martial arts does not reflect the big nerds that we are!” Eric said with a laugh). They are also accomplished hed chess players, and Eric enjoys writing poetry. Now with

support from Gnad, they will train for national tryouts in September and hope to someday add “Olympic champion” to their resumes. They offer this advice to their young students. “If you’re working towards a dream, make a plan,” Eric said. “Not everybody gets really lucky out of nowhere.” Gnad is not so sure he agrees. “I don’t think it’s luck,” he said. “I think it’s an opportunity that was just waiting for the right time.” s


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COLUMN >> BRIAN “KRASH” KRUGER

Gate Crashing On Deck: AM/FM Music Showcase DATE: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2012 VENUE: EIGHT SECONDS (:08) reetings, live music aficionados! This issue finds us back at Eight Seconds, also known as :08. Although this venue is most often a “cowboy bar” (complete with bull-riding machine) featuring country and western music, it also hosts special events like the AM/FM Music Showcase featuring other genres of music. Of course, faithful readers of this here column such as yourselves already know that, since we have visited the AM/FM Music Showcase before. This February’s event was the fourth of these, the name standing not for amplitude modulation nor frequency modulation, but “About Music/For Music.” The idea being to show the breadth of Gainesville music, besides the punk and hardcore bands featured at “The Fest” (which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary). In this, AM/FM is a worthy successor to the Gainesville Music and Film Showcase (a/k/a “Moefest) of years ago, albeit packed into one daylong event at a single venue. In addition to AM/FM being a single-day singlevenue event, it also differs from The Fest and Moefest in being a free event. Yes, FREE! People, you have no excuse not to be at every last one of these. If you can’t stay from 3:00 until 11:30, at least go for a few hours. That’s what I did. The first band I saw was playing on the “floor” stage (acts alternate between this and a raised stage, so that while one is playing, the other is being set up). Annie and the Canyon is a four-piece consisting of a girl singer and boys on drums, bass and keys. The singer also played that instrument making

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the unlikeliest of comebacks of late, the ukulele (I say this intending no disparagement of the uke, as I own one myself). Think pixie girls with whimsical names like Zooey and you’ll be in the ballpark of this band’s brand of indie music. They included a slightly pitchy cover of the flapper classic “I Want To Be Loved By You.” Next up, on the “big stage,” were Movers, Shakers, Believers, a five-piece (drums/bass/guitar/keys/singer) featuring the lead singer from local band Moodhosa. He also played rhythm guitar throughout, switching to an acoustic early in the set. They did modern rock in a semi-Mayerish vein, with the occasional nod to reggae and blues, and included some machine beats on some of the songs, in addition to the live drummer. Personally, I’m generally not a big fan of drum machines, but they can be tricky to integrate with a live band, and MSB did a good job of that. Next up back on the “floor” stage were Davis, an acoustic trio (guitar, drums, standup bass) doing rootsy music with an occasional Tom Waits vibe, the singer’s acoustic capo’d well up the neck, and the bassist often playing with a bow, seldom seen in pop music. The latter gave an almost orchestral feel to their closer. Big sounds from a trio. Next were a personal fave of the local scene, Blacksnake. I suppose journalistic integrity requires I mention that their drummer used to be in my current band, as did a former rhythm guitarist. However, I would love this band without any personal connection to them. Like a cross between Skynyrd and Guns & Roses, albeit without the lead guitar histrionics of either. Just big epic chugging swampy hard rock with some of the best-belted rock vocals in Hogtown, from

In addition to AM/FM being a single-day singlevenue event, it also differs from The Fest and Moefest in being a free event.

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BLACKSNAKE

the gravelly-voiced lead singer of local ‘90s mainstays Whoreculture. On the floor following were Deputy, a trio (guitar/ bass/drums) doing rootsy rock. The lead singer played a P-90 (yum!) Telecaster, and played the occasional Chuck Berry double stop in his leads, a lick which I am a sucker for (and exponent of). Backing vox from the drummer added pop appeal, and extra style points to the singer’s mirror aviators in a dark room. Would love to hear them with a second guitarist, but that’s just me. Back on the raised stage were Ancient River, who seem to be on the bill of every other show I’ve seen in the last year or so. These three (guitar/bass/drums) are unrepentant gig-aholics, and get a huge sound by use of stereo amp rigs and multiple effects pedals. This evening, Ancient River were more about a direct loud rock attack than the moody or psychedelic bits I’ve also seen from them on other occasions.

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ANNIE AND THE CANYON

Closing out my visit (I should note that there were bands both before and after those reported here) were Company Man. This talented acoustic trio (guitar/ standup bass/dobro) features two guys and a gal who switch around on lead and backing vocals. As you might guess from the instrumentation, the music is in an old-timey traditional style. Unfortunately, PA problems hampered the sound throughout their set, which hopefully were rectified for the bands that followed. Now, go see some bands. s


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>> FELLOWSHIP

Camp Kesem Where the Magic Happens

BY JEWEL MIDELIS or parents, summertime in Florida can be brutal. Between the scorching heat, long hours of work and keeping their children occupied, parents sometimes find it nearly impossible to get through the seemingly endless days. Although this scenario sounds exhausting, imagine the parents who are fighting the summer heat while simultaneously battling cancer. The thought of it alone can make hearts ache. These are the mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles who need a week’s worth of rest. In times like these, they can turn to Camp Kesem.

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Camp Kesem is a free, studentrun summer camp for children whose parents or other family members have cancer or have had it in the past. The camp, which is completely organized and funded by college students, was designed to uplift the spirits of these children. Kesem in Hebrew means “magic,” which is exactly what counselors wanted to bring to their campers and their families. Camp Kesem began at Stanford University in 2000, when a group of college students wanted to change the lives of children in their community. In 2001, after a year of hard work and preparation, Camp Kesem at Stanford had its first one-week summer camp. The University of Florida joined

this movement in 2007, making this year the fifth annual Camp Kesem summer camp. The camp will be returning to the Mah-Kah-Wee Program Center in Chuluota, Fla., from Aug. 5 to 10. In previous years, the camp only involved children from the ages of six to 13. This will be the first year that teenagers from 14 to 16 will be able to participate as well. “We are going to have separate


activities to make them feel like teenagers, but also group stuff too,” said Amy Patel, a second-year Camp Kesem counselor and UF student. “They can help out like an older counselor.” “Each year the camp is becoming more popular,” Patel said. “The first year we started out with 10 campers, and last year we had 30. Counselor-wise, we had 20 last year, and this year we will have 50.”

Camp Kesem offers a number of activities to entertain the children and maintain an electronic-free environment. From canoeing, swimming, zip-lining and archery to the more relaxed nightly cabin chats, there are many activities throughout the six days at camp. One day is Olympic day. The counselors and campers are broken into teams by colors to play Olympic-like games such

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMP KESEM

Campers smile for the camera as they wait their turn at the ropes course. Camp Kesem offers a number of activities to entertain the children and to maintain an electronic-free environment. From canoeing, swimming, zip-lining and archery, to the more relaxed nightly cabin chats, there are many activities throughout the six days at camp. Organized and funded by college students, Camp Kesem was designed to uplift the spirits of these children.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMP KESEM

“Princess” raises her hands in celebration after pie-ing counselor Lauren Light, also known as “Lucky,” four times in the face.

as capture the flag and other competitive sports, “where we can all just be kids again,” said Rakhi Chowdhury, another second-year camp counselor and UF student. Carnival day has different stations set up for all of the children. “We have popcorn. The kids can get their pictures taken, and get their face painted,” Chowdhury said. “They love pie-ing counselors in the face.” If the children feel more comfortable being indoors, there are arts and crafts and a talent show at the end of the week. Each

day an hour is set aside to practice for talent show, Patel said. “Last year, Rainbow, who was 11, wanted to put on a fashion show for all the guys to dress up,” Patel said with a laugh. “They put on wigs and boas; they looked really hideous.” Everything is free for all campers at Camp Kesem, from the activities and food to the room and board. “We apply for grants, we do local fundraisers, and we have a lot of the counselors ask for donations,” Patel said. Not only that, but “each counselor has to raise $250 for

themselves to attend the camp,” Chowdhury added. “I had no experience with cancer, but I went to camp last year, and the thing that really affected me the most was the cabin chats every night,” Patel said. In each cabin, divided by age and gender, campers and counselors gather together every night for cabin chats, Patel said. The chat includes questions such as, “did you have fun today” to deeper questions like “what is one thing you would change about your life.” “It touches you the most because

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you see how strong these kids are. I feel like they are stronger than me,” Patel said. “I think they touch me more than I touch them.” Eleven-year old Mia was always rather shy. During the cabin chats at Camp Kesem, she felt more comfortable listening to others than speaking herself. However, on the last night of camp, Mia, who has Asperger’s, decided that she would speak, Chowdhury said. “The greatest thing was the last night at camp where she spoke up at cabin chat all on her own. She was laughing and talking,” Chowdhury recalled. “She said before this [experience], ‘I was really quiet, but camp has changed me forever. I can’t wait to go back to school.’” Mia, like all the campers, came up with her own nickname for her week at Camp Kesem. “We all have name tags. This is a huge part of it, we don’t use our real names,” Patel said, whose camper name is Pepper. “If you do use your real name, you have to go hug a tree.” When Mia’s family came to camp to pick up Mia and her younger brother “Rock Scorpio”, her mother began crying because she could not believe that her daughter was actually socializing, Chowdhury said. It may appear a little daunting for parents to send their child away to camp for six days, but there can be several advantages in doing so, said Dr. Jacqueline Orlando,

who received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and has been a psychologist for 35 years. Orlando said the camp is very important because the children are around others who have the same issues. “Kids have a need to see themmselves as a group of normal kids,” s,” Orlando said in a recent telephone one interview. “No one realizes the impact cancer has on kids. Then when they go to camp, it’s very good because use they have others to talk with.” Group therapy, like the cabin n chats, can be far more effective e than individual therapy, Orlando do said. The children are resilient and strong, but the fact that they can an share their anxieties and fearss at camp can prevent such traumatic atic experiences from going into long ong term storage. “I think it’s a rare opportunity,” nity,” Orlando said. Although the campers only y attend camp for six days, Camper mper Care was designed to keep in touch with the families throughout the year with bi-monthly newsletters, ters, Chowdhury said. If a camper’ss family member passes away after the camp has ended, the counselnselors send sympathy cards to the he family. “The experience just doesn’t end after the week at camp,” Chowdhury said. “It’s ongoing and continues throughout the year.” s

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMP KESEM

Feet in hands, campers and counselors race for the finish line on Olympic day.

For more information, visit the UF Camp m.org. Kesem website at www.campkesem.org.

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>> INTERVIEW

Mama Trish

MUSICIAN EXTRAORDINAIRE

Rock Chick. Singer-songwriter. Activist. Musician for hire. Introvert?

BY ALBERT ISAAC

AGE: 43 BIRTHDAY: FEBRUARY 8, 1969 HOMETOWN: ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY MOVED TO GAINESVILLE: 1982

ne of these things is not like the other. But when Mama Trish is not on stage performing or organizing festivals or creating body lotions, she prefers to be relaxing at home with her husband, James Ingle. I recently caught up with Mama Trish at The Bull in Gainesville to learn more about this local force of nature.

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What brought you to Gainesville? [Laughing] I was raised in a Christian cult in Suwannee County. My folks moved for a church, basically. I was 13, and I was a rebel and an individualist.

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Being involved in the church was great for my music, because I learned how to play everything. I played piano and bass and guitar and drums and tambourine and sang four-part harmony. And that was great, but I did get into a lot of trouble for of my mouth. I was always questioning things, and they didn’t like that.

I understand that you also play the clarinet? I gave up playing clarinet because I caught sight of myself in the mirror playing and I realized that the face I make to play clarinet is the face that I do NOT want to make at this age. So I’ll keep it for another 10 years and, when I really

don’t care, when I’ve given in to the wrinkles, I’ll pick it up again.

When did you start performing? I got paid to play my first gig when I was 13. I got paid $50 to play the processional and recessional at a wedding. The payment hasn’t gone up that much, unfortunately, especially in Gainesville. It’s hard to make a living around here. I played guitar from 6 to 12, and when I was 12 we got a piano. I played piano from 12 to 18, until I finally got kicked out of the house. I didn’t have a piano anymore and that’s what got me playing guitar all the time. It’s me


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on my own, unplugged. You would think it would be something bad, but it turned out to be something good.

What was it like playing for an audience as a 13-year-old?

The Beatles and Carol King were my two earliest influences. And after that it was Janice and Led Zeppelin and The Who.”

I had sung quite a bit and had played in an ensemble, so I was used to that. But it was kind of nervewracking for it to be all me. I didn’t even want to play music; I wanted to sing. I played because I didn’t have anybody to sing with. My plan was, I’m going to grow up and I’m going to sing for a band; I wouldn’t have to be playing. It seems like I’m an extrovert. I’m not. I’m an introvert. You get on the stage and you have to have everybody looking at you. I don’t like people looking at me. When I was younger, I was all paranoid because people would look at me and — what? Is my slip showing? What? And then I realized, 20 years later, maybe they thought I was pretty. But that never occurred to me. So then I’d play, I’d be on stage and I’d be looked at and I’d be paid attention to, and then I’d get to go home and hide in the house for a little bit.

When did you start playing in Gainesville music venues? I first played open mic at Rickenbacker’s. When Gary Gordon was mayor, he played a solo acoustic gig at Napolitano’s, and before he left for San Francisco he came up

to me at the open mic and said, ‘I’ll give you $20 to come play a set at my gig.’ So he gave me my very first break. And when he left, he willed that gig to me. I had that gig for a while.

When did you start writing songs? I started writing when I was 12 and I still regularly perform songs that I wrote when I was 19. One of them is a swing song. I tell people I’m schizo-phonic. I play metal and punk rock and folk and funk and bluegrass and jazz.

Tell me about your song writing process — lyrics or music first? It’s different every single time. Sometimes, they’ll both come at the same time. It’s almost like I’m handed a song. In fact, I’ve gotten quite a few of those and every time I do, I’m always paranoid that I’m stealing someone’s song. I have to play it for everybody and ask, “Does this remind you of anything?” I’m not writing it, I’m channeling it.

Who influences you? First and foremost, the Beatles. My first four albums were “Help,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Rubber Soul” and “Meet the Beatles.” I love all things Beatles. I was in a Beatles mood at a gig and I had some Beatles fans there, and I decided to see how many Beatles songs I can play in a row. And I played a two-hour set and finally had to get off

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the stage because it was time to go home. And that wasn’t even all the Beatles that I knew. So, the Beatles and Carol King were my two earliest influences. And after that it was Janice and Led Zeppelin and The Who.

How many songs do you know? I’ve misplaced my song list. I have a book. If anybody finds it, it says Mama Trish on it and it’s a three-ring binder and its got every song that I think I’ve ever known in it, and I’ve lost it. But I counted once and I knew 400 songs.

Where are you playing these days? I’m going to be playing at Satchel’s again. Here’s some alliteration for you; I’ll be playing the second Saturday at Satchels at six starting in June. I also play in a rock power trio called Mama Trish vs. Godzilla. I play electric guitar. I would feel naked without my guitar. The band will be playing at Labor Daze Fest on Labor Day weekend, September 2 in the evening, from 5 to 10 at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza.

I understand that you played — and organized — this event last year, as well, and you campaigned for your husband’s run for Gainesville City Commission. What else have you done? I’m a little bit of an activist. I’m involved in community stuff. I organized the Early

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Voting Festival and Labor Daze Fest last year. For three months, I worked 18-hour days by myself. I was gigging, but I wasn’t campaigning then, thank God, because I would have lost my mind. One thing I really liked about the campaigning — even though I was way out of my comfort zone — I met amazing people that I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

What made you decide to start a business? I’m allergic to everything, so I started making my own stuff. And it started with this lotion that smells wonderful, and it turns out mosquitoes really dislike it. And I also have a butter — the lotion is more creamy, the butter is more oily. I like that because it stays on longer and is more of a physical barrier. I’ve also made tooth powder

and mouth wash, and I made my husband some aftershave. I’ve made deodorant that can also be used as body spray and it’s the same scent that the bugs don’t like. A lot of my stuff can be used for multiple purposes. I have a cleanser, a toner, a shampoo and cool peppermint spray. Right now I’m just doing it for myself, but I’m hoping next month some time I’ll be able to sell it at the tailgate market on Sundays at the Citizens Co-op Market. That place is the bomb.

How did you come up with the name Mama Trish? I take care of people. I’m a bit of a mother hen and a worrier. So when I was 19, when I first got out of my parent’s house, I would have all of my friends over and feed them and when they left I would tell them to be

careful and wear their seatbelt. I figured out that I had five different friends, didn’t know each other, but they all called me Mama Trish. Five of them. Then, when I was in my 20s playing in a band and playing solo, I just adopted that name temporarily to differentiate between the band and my solo stuff. And it kind of stuck. It was tongue-in-cheek in my 20s. And then in my 30s it didn’t make any sense. And in my 40s it still doesn’t make any sense. But in another 20 years it’s going to come back around and it’ll be perfect. Once, I had met somebody that when they heard my stage name was Mama Trish, they’re like, “Oh, YOU’RE Mama Trish! You’re like the Godmother of Gainesville!” That is the coolest thing anybody’s ever called me. s


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REVIEW: DRAGONFLY >> ELLIS AMBURN

Adventures in Appetite Union Street Station’s Japanese restaurant offers inventive sushi and izakaya ragonfly, Gainesville’s vibrant downtown “sushi & sake company,” has kept up the standards that won it Florida Trend’s “Best Restaurant to Dine” designation, offering superb Japanese cuisine in an atmosphere that is both friendly and hip. A valet greeted me when I pulled up to the restaurant, which is near the historic Hippodrome and occupies a prime corner of Union Street Station, a sprawling New Orleans-style structure with restaurants, shopping, offices, and residential facilities. The large dining room was noisy but in a sexy way that promised fun and adventure. Shane, my genial, knowledgeable waiter, produced the menus at once, one for special dinners, another for a la carte sushi. Then he went off to fetch my beverage. Finding the complexities of Japanese menus somewhat daunting, I asked the couple to my right — intimate side-by-side banquettes invite conversation — what they were having. They recommended the $12.50 Big Boss (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, and scallions), but it was spicy and therefore off-limits for me. Returning to take my order, Shane was scrupulously honest when I told him I was torn between the $15 Surf ‘n’ Turf-grilled shrimp, bacon, cucumber, “krab delight,” asparagus, cream cheese, and scallions, topped with beef tataki and avocado and finished with teriyaki apple cream sauce-and the $27 Chirashi Special (chef’s choice of sashimi over seasoned rice). “Definitely Surf ‘n’ Turf — everyone raves about it,” Shane replied, recommending the considerably less expensive entrée without hesitation and earning my everlasting respect. It would suit my palate, he added,

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because the sauce was not hot. I also ordered the $2 miso soup, a bland Japanese broth that the chef had attempted to punch up with an abundance of almost raw chopped mushrooms. Without being noteworthy, the soup succeeded in sparking my appetite for the feast to come. While waiting for the main course, I dug into my briefcase. “Grading papers, prof?” The banquette partner to my left was a strapping Nordic blond who could have been a rodeo rider or basketball star. “No, this is a novel by one of my clients,” I replied. “Apart from writing books, I read and edit other authors’ manuscripts for a fee. Are you a student at the University of Florida?” “In the fall,” he said, introducing himself as Pete Jones. “My parents were hippies. I’ve lived everywhere from Massachusetts to England. I’ll be majoring in sports management.” “Jerry McGuire!” I said, and told him I’d recently lunched with Jeremy Foley, UF’s legendary athletic director, which rocketed us into a conversation so intense I feared Pete’s two companions might feel left out. “No problem,” he said. “We’re roommates. We live upstairs and sometimes come down here to eat.” He introduced me to pretty, vivacious Liz Stein, a nursing major, and Neal Shepherd, UF’s Southeast Collegiate Cycling Conference champion, who’s majoring in applied physiology and anesthesia. We all made plans to visit my friends Christine and Barry Janks, who own a wildlife sanctuary bristling with lions, tigers, bobcats, peacocks, and a giraffe named Gracie. My Surf ‘n’ Turf had long since arrived, and at last tucking into it, I almost swooned in ecstasy. The unique combination of crisp and creamy textures and a variety of tastes ranging from smoky to garden-fresh produced an effect that was meltingly sensual. The long surf ‘n’ turf roll had been sliced and arranged in the plate like

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For dessert, Liz Stein suggested I try the fried cheesecake


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a writhing dragon, and the first succulent slice left me so satisfied I couldn’t imagine finishing the other six or seven. But of course I did, and in record time. For dessert, Liz Stein suggested I try the fried cheesecake ($6), and though I loved it less than she, I enjoyed nibbling at the half I retained after sharing the rest with my new friends. Izakaya, Dragonfly’s theme, means a sharing of dishes, and sometimes, as I discovered with Pete, Liz, and Neal, a sharing of the heart as well. Total tab, including 2 bottles of still water and tip: $34.99. Worth every penny of it, and I’m already plotting my next visit to Dragonfly. s

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ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax AUTOMOTIVE Maaco Collision Repair ........................ 143 Park Place Car Wash & Detail ........... 123 Terry’s Automotive & Qwik Lube .........35

REAL ESTATE Atrium ..........................................................78 Forrester Realty .............................................118 Innovative Home Builders ...................... 6 The Village .................................................32

FINANCIAL / LAW Campus USA Credit Union ...................21 LegalShield.......................................................46 State Farm - Tish Olesky .......................18 Stephen K. Miller Law Offices .................. 41 Sunshine State Insurance ......................91 SunState Federal Credit Union ............................. 49, 56, 180

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PETS and VETS Affordable Vet Clinic ..................................174 Animal Health Center..................................119 Bed & Biscuit Inn ..................................... 73 Bob’s Compassionate Pet Sitting ........174 Dancin’ Dogs Boarding .............................174 Dream Dogz ............................................ 153 Eager Pup .................................................174 EARS Inc...........................................................174 Earth Pets..........................................35, 149 Invisible Fence ......................................... 110 Vacation Station Pet Resort ...................174 Wild Birds Unlimited ............................ 138

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RETAIL / RECREATION Alachua Pawn & Jewelry .....................172 Alternatives Global Marketplace ..... 138 Beacher’s Lodge......................................86 Bead All About It ........................................ 166 Bennett’s True Value ......................118, 119 Bicycle / Pedestrian Board ...................... 77 Blue Springs .............................................173 Coin & Jewelry Gallery ........................ 107 Colleen’s Kloset......................................105 Cootie Coo Creations ........................... 118 Crevasses Florist.......................................... 166 Dance Alive............................................... 90 Dirty Bar ................................................... 167 Especially for Women ...........................86 Jewelry Designs by Donna.......................119 Klaus Fine Jewelry ........................... 8, 168 Lentz House of Time ............................ 107 Lifestyle Cruise & Travel .......................88 Music Junction...............................................153 Paddywhack..............................................48 Pawn Pro ...................................................175 Sapps Pawn, Gun and Archery ........ 138 Sleep Center Superstores ............................7 Silver Springs Nature Park...................... 103 Swim America ................................................98 Thornebrook Gallery ..................................167 Thornebrook Village .................................. 166 Urban Posh Resale Clothing ...................173 Valerie’s Loft Consignment ............... 178 Wood You Furniture............................. 132

CHILDREN and SCHOOLS ACG Therapy Center ...................................99 Aikido of Gainesville ....................................98 Brentwood School........................................98 Camp Kulaqua ................................................98 Gainesville Country Day School .......137 Kids on Wheels ..............................................98

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MISCELLANEOUS Global Financial Credit........................ 169 Cash for Cars ..........................................109 Holy Trinity Episcopal Church ..........108 Tyler’s Hope Golf Weekend ...................... 15 U.S. Casting .................................................... 169

SERVICE Action ChemDry .................................... 147 Alachua County Big Blue ................... 142 Alachua County EPD ............................. 77 Alachua Co. Waste Management ......87 AllState Mechanical, Inc........................69 BBI Construction Management........ 149 Bounds Heating & Air .......................... 149 Chimney Sweeps of America................ 107 COX Business................................... 20, 157 COX Communications ...........................97 Creekside Outdoor .........................45, 148 Gainesville Regional Airport ............. 107 Grease Busters ............................................. 149 Jack’s Small Engine Repair.................175 Lotus Studios Photography ................62 Mini Maid .................................................. 165 Rosenboom Construction .................... 77 Sears Carpet Cleaning......................... 178

HOME IMPROVEMENT AHA Water ..........................................................3 American Fence ...........................................139 Blinds Direct ...................................................173 Carson’s Cabinetry & Design ..............43 Fences & Gates by IMI ..........................157 Gulf Coast Supply ........................................... 11 H2Oasis Custom Pool & Spa ...................59 Juice Plus ..........................................................68 Overhead Door ....................................... 30 Red Barn Home Center.............................159 Santa Fe Stoneworks .................................123 Southwest Greens Synthetic ...................96 Tri-County Fence & Supply .....................159 United Rent-All....................................... 153 Whitfield Window & Door...................... 9

RESTAURANT Ballyhoo Grill............................................ 112 Bubba Que’s .....................................112, 158 Club 51 ................................................................112 Dave’s NY Deli ................................................113 The Dive Pub & Grub...................................115 Domino’s Pizza .................................... 17, 19 El Toro........................................................ 156 Embers Wood Grill ..............................113, 133 Firefly ..................................................................113 Flying Biscuit Café ................................. 116 Great Outdoors Restaurant ....................179 Heavenly Ham.................................................89 Hungry Howies Pizza ............................... 5 Joe’s Place ................................................ 117 Mark’s Prime Steak & Seafood .......... 114 Miami International.......................................115 Northwest Grille .............................................44 O!O Tapas & Tinis ................................... 114 The Red Onion ...............................................115 Saboré ........................................................ 114 TCBY.................................................................. 168 Tupelo BBQ Bar & Grill ...............................116 Tropical Smoothie Café ....................... 116


SPECIAL >> LOOKING AHEAD

BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON ack straight, shoulders relaxed, hand even with his mouth — twelve-year-old Ryan Oliver releases his grip on the arrow, and the arrow flies true, hitting its target. For two and a half years, Oliver has been practicing archery at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex with the Newberry Junior Olympic Archery Development Club. Despite his age and relatively short time spent in the sport, Oliver took first place in his age group for the 2012 National Indoor Tournament and the 2011 National Outdoor Tournament. Throughout his archery career, he has been to more tournaments than he can count, estimating at more than 50. And now, his eyes are set on the

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2016 Summer Olympics. Skilled in the National Training System, a 13-step shot cycle to improve form, Oliver practices four times a week. During each session, he estimates that he fires about 100 arrows. “You have to be consistent,” Oliver said. “You have to do the same thing every time or the arrow won’t go where you want it to.” Normally, after he has released the arrow, Oliver can feel whether the shot was good or not. “Usually, if you do everything right, it’s going to be in the middle,” he said. When he first started archery practice, Oliver’s former Coach Bob Romero handed him the recurve bow, instead of the compound bow.

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He has stayed with the bow ever since, especially since compound bows are not allowed at the Olympics. From April 19 to the 21, Oliver competed in the local Easton Foundations Gator Cup at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex. With no division for his age group, Oliver shot up to compete in the 15 to 17 age group. Twenty other competitors participated, and Oliver placed sixth. His goal for the event was to place in the top 10. “Ryan has shown that he’s committed to the sport and very self-motivated,” said Kim Oliver, Ryan’s mother. “He wakes up in the morning thinking about archery and goes to sleep thinking about archery.” s

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Consignment Boutique

Our Huge store is full of Chico’s, Talbots, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek and more top name brands at a fraction of their original cost. We carry everything from Girls size 6x through Womens 5x and all the shoes, handbags and accessoreis to go with them. We also have formal wear and over 80 Wedding gowns. Mon. & Sat. 10am to 5pm • Tues. - Fri. 10am to 6pm

14822 Main Street, Alachua

386.462.2230 www.valeriesloft.com

HOT

SUMMER DEALS!

CARPET CLEANING Three Areas

$

75

352-377-1715 With Coupon, Expires 8-15-21

AIR DUCT CLEANING Whole House Air Duct Cleaning

$

175

Up to 6 vents

352-377-1715 With Coupon, Expires 8-15-21

VENT CLEANING Dryer Vent Cleaning

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

$

115

352-377-1715 www.searsclean.com

352-377-1715 With Coupon, Expires 8-15-21 Cards Welcome

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It’s time to get moving Trust SunState to he you do it. help Real estate esta prices are down and mortgage interest are at historic lows – rates ar never been a better there’s n time to get your family into a new home! Log on, call or visit u today to talk to a us home loan expert.

Serving residents in the Greater Gainesville area for more than 55 years

352-381-5200

www.sunstatefcu.org


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