Page 1

Vol. 12 No. 4

The Ultimate Community Lifestyle Magazine

Women of



2016 | Vol. 12 No. 4

Travel Back in Time to


What's Inside



Paul Privette

WOMEN OF CHARITY Marcia Conwell, Theresa Lowe, Cathyann Solomon, Barzella Papa,

20 46


Spotlight on Neighbors:

Meet the Farris Family

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

60 68

Pumpkin & Spice Make Everything Nice

Remember Florida’s Cracker Culture at Fort Christmas | 55


Paul Privette


IN EVERY ISSUE 10 #VJConnect 14 Haile Village Center Directory 18 Haile Market Square Directory 32 Real Estate Market Watch 33 Community Map 72 Calendar of Events 75 Snapshots 79 Register of Advertisers 80 From the Kitchen of Dean Cacciatore


life 37 Women of Charity: Setting a Place at the Table for Everyone

46 The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide 54 7 Questions For Millennial Financial Success



60 Pumpkin & Spice

20 Spotlight on Neighbors:


Meet the Farris Family

Make Everything Nice

24 The Celebration Begins

64 Bike Fit: How to Select

28 Patty Cakes Celebrates 5 Years


the Right Bike

68 Remember Florida’s Cracker Culture at Fort Christmas


Paul Privette


E DITOR’ S NO TE When we began to consider the impact that our four Women of Charity have had on the community, the results were astounding. The countless lives they have each effected over their careers is one thing but cumulatively, working in conjunction with one another and so many other charitable organizations throughout our region, they create a net that catches people when they fall…and that is the miracle of community. We celebrate and honor Theresa Lowe, Cathyann Solomon, Barzella Papa and Marcia Conwell’s lives’ work (p.37) and hope that after taking a glimpse into their hearts, you will be as inspired as we were.

Channing Williams

In this edition’s spotlight, Greg, Susan and Madelyn Farris welcome home teens from around the globe as part of the Education First High School Exchange Year program, hosting teens from China, Switzerland, Norway, Germany and Holland (p.20). Finally, we offer a look inside the much anticipated development of Celebration Pointe and all it will mean to the residents of Gainesville in the next several years (p.24). Patticakes, our favorite cupcake and coffee shop, celebrates its fifth anniversary with the opening a new storefront downtown (p.28). And once again, we offer up our annual holiday gift guide, full of ideas that will make your loved ones very thankful (p.46). Warmly,

Behind the scenes at our cover shoot with the "Women of Charity." Top: Rachel Cole & Barzella Papa. Bottom: Paul Privette.





INSIDE SCOOP Hear from the people featured in this issue.



Our favorite ways to give back during the holidays According to VJ Staffers

Make Monetary Donations celebrationpt The signs are up, the flag is flying and the building is being filled with inventory. What an incredible store for Celebration Pointe.

Buy gifts for families in need Invite friends and family to join your holiday dinner

patticakesgnv Still 'ing over these #pumpkincupcakes #

The Village Journal says "hi" from Paris, France! Thank you Nita for letting us tag along with you to the Notre Dame.

Haile Village Bistro Abbas has been busy baking! Come in for Muffin's, White Chocolate Cheesecake, Coconut Creme Pie, etc. So many sweets to choose from!

Our latest issue has made it's way to Greece! A big thank you to Shaina Piot for sharing this amazing shot at the Temple of Apollo.

Behind-the-scenes of our new issue! Who's excited for this year's gift guide? Head to the web for more stories, resources and updates, or drop us a line to share your thoughts.


CON TR I BU TO RS Trevor Leavitt Trevor Leavitt is the Sports Performance Program Manager at UF Health Sports Performance Center. Trevor earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a keen knowledge of cycling biomechanics and bike fit. He is a Certified BikeFit Fitter, and a USA Cycling Coach. Trevor has also worked under Dr. Max Testa, who is the Chief Medical Officer for the BMC Professional Cycling Team. He has worked with all populations, from beginning cyclists to elite pros. When not riding his bike he can be found spending time with his family.

Omar Oselimo With a strong foundation in spices and flavors of the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa, and the unique ability to manipulate these flavors for an American audience, Omar’s cooking style has built a large fan base at both of his Gainesville restaurants, Reggae Shack Café and Southern Charm Kitchen. Omar was born in Jamaica and graduated from Johnson and Wales University. In 2003, he moved to Gainesville where he currently enjoys living with his wife, Arpita, and three children, Omar II, Anushka and Anokhi.


Ryan Frankel EDITOR:

Channing Williams DESIGN:

Jean Piot, Senior Graphic Designer Alexandra Villella, Graphic Designer Rene van Rensburg, Graphic Designer Nita Chester, Production Manager ADVERTISING:

Shannon Claunch, Account Executive SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS:

Cristina Cook Lillian Giunta Erin Park Cat Rudd Interns


Irene De Costa Nancy Dohn Erin Leigh Patterson Laura Jane Pittman Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch PHOTOGRAPHY:

Kory Billingsly Paul Privette Kara Winslow DIGITAL MEDIA:

Mehgan McLendon, Webmaster Jillian Kirby, Social Media Strategist ACCOUNTING:

Diana Schwartz-Levine, Bookkeeper For advertising or licensing information call (352) 331-5560 or visit

Tim Roark Tim Roark, Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), is a third generation advisor at Koss Olinger, where he began his financial services career in 2011 after earning a Master’s degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Tim specializes in retirement planning, investment management, and estate planning – utilizing Koss Olinger’s team approach and fee based planning process, The Wealth Navigator SystemTM.

105 SW 128th Street, Suite 200 Newberry, FL 32669 The Village Journal is published quarterly in Gainesville, Florida. Copyright 2016, all rights reserved by Frankel Media Group. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. Frankel Media Group is an independent entity, and neither it, its agents, employees, nor its publication The Village Journal, have any associations with The Haile Village Center, Haile Plantation, its developers, employees or tenants. Printed in the USA. ©2016 Frankel Media Group.


SW 52nd Road

SW 49th Place

SW 91st Way

SW 91st Terrace

SW 5


1st R oad



nd Ave


SW 52


SW 48th Place

SW 91st Way

SW 52nd Lane

SW 53rd Ave

SW 53rd Place

SW 91st Terrace


SW 91st







ARCHITECTURE Jennifer Langford, AIA, CNU, PA . . . . . 371-7187 The Sustainable Design Group . . . . . . 327-3899

COMMUNITY Haile Equestrian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 665-7433 Haile Farmers Market . . . . . . . . . . . 904-524-9705 The Creek-River Cross Church . . . . . . . 378-9793








EDUCATION Abacus Learning Center . . . . . . . . . . . . 376-1492 La Escuela Spanish Learning Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 514-4409

EVENT SERVICES Cacciatore Catering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 692-0701 Plantation Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371-1600

DANCE Cameron Dancenter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335-7785

FINANCIAL American Optimal Advisors . . . . . . . . . . 505-5632


Holloway Wealth Management . . . . . . 337-8177

Haile Village Bistro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378-0721

Markey Wealth Management . . . . . . . . 338-1560

Limerock Road

New York Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379-8171

Neighborhood Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240-6228 Patticakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376-1332 Queens Arms Pub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378-0721 Volcanic Sushi & Sake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363-6226 14 | DIRECTORY

SunTrust Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375-6868 Tillman Hartley, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335-9015

FURNISHINGS & GIFTS The Perfect Gift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375-8000

HEALTH & BEAUTY Cj's Plantation Salon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-0400 Haile Barber Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 374-2005 Haile Village Spa & Salon . . . . . . . . . . . 335-5025 Hang Ten Nail Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-5545 Salon PhD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338-1011 Sarah’s Hair Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226-6909

JEWELRY Sander’s Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-6100

LEGAL Law Offices of Allan H. Kaye, P.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375-0816 Law Offices of Steven Kalishman . . . . 376-8600 Mark J. Fraser, Attorney at Law . . . . . . 367-0444 Mowitz Law & Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 533-5035 Niesen, Price, Worthy, Campo, Frasier & Blakey, P.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373-9031 Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. . . . . . . . 373-5922 White & Crouch, P.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372-1011

MEDICAL Alix L. Baxter, M.D., P.A. Psychiatry and Psychotherapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373-2525 Benet Clinical Assessment . . . . . . . . . . 375-2545 CFK Cardiac Tech, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332-3760 Fetal Flix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358-1168 Galvan Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327-3561 Haile Endodontics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 374-2999 Haile Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367-9602 Haile Plantation Family Dental . . . . . . . 375-6116 Haile Plantation Family Medicine (UF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265-0944 Infectious Disease Consultants . . . . . . 375-0008 Kids Only Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335-7777 Lori Libert Physical Therapy . . . . . . . . . 222-1583 | 15 15

H AIL E V I LLAGE C E NT E R D I R E C T OR Y Linda Goodwin, PhD, LMHC, Counselor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373-0030 Options Medical, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317-6379 Speech & Language Center at Haile Plantation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284-3323 The Haile Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337-0551 William E. Beaty PhD, Psychologist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-5520

PET CARE Haile’s Angels Pet Rescue . . . . . . . . . . 262-4232 Haile Plantation Animal Clinic . . . . . . . . 377-6003 Shampoodles by Jan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336-7236 Sweet Paws Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264-8995

REAL ESTATE Bosshardt Realty Services . . . . . . . . . . . 371-6100 Coldwell Banker, M.M. Parrish Realtors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335-4999 Haile Plantation Sales & Information Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335-4999 Management Specialists Services . . . . 335-7848 Premier Management Associates, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379-4641 Henderson Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339-3478 Rabell Realty Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559-8820 Thomas Group Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226-8228

TITLE & INSURANCE AmeriLife Insurance Marketing . . . . . . . . . 371-8213 Brightway Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519-1900 New York Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379-8171 Homestead Insurance, Agent Ann Toms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505-6565

TECHNOLOGY Advanced Turbine Support, LLC . . . . . . 302-2364 E-Tech Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-785-5993 Neptuno Data Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 514-4215


SW 25th RD

W 25th LN













W ay







BEAUTY Great Clips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-1005 Venus Nail Spa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-3878 Salon 119. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505-3819






INSURANCE Bo Greene Insurance Agency. . . . . . . . 333-1123

MEDICAL Archer Dental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3 1 - 4 7 3 1 Haile Market Therapy &

Bamboos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-1522

Behavioral Medicine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-0020

I Love NY Pizza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333-6185

Kinetix Physical Therapy. . . . . . . . . . . . . 505-6665

Loosey’s Bar & Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-6620

UF Health PRC at Haile . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265-0944

Subway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332-1707 Sweet Cup Frozen Yogurt. . . . . . . . . . . 240-6828

DRY CLEANING On the Spot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332-9494

FINANCIAL Florida Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 7 7 - 4 1 4 1 Wells Fargo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-8239

FITNESS Sweat Life Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 692-4926 Sweat Box. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 692-4926

PHARMACY Publix Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-1086

SHOPPING Haile Jewelry & Loans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333-1905 Haile Kitchen & Bath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745-3456

SPIRITS The Spirit Shoppe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-7274

REAL ESTATE Tommy Williams Homes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 331-8180 Viking Construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333-9333

GROCERY Publix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3 1 - 1 0 3 7 18 | DIRECTORY


SHARING their Gainesville Life Meet the Farris Family

By Irene Da Costa | Footstone Photography 20 | LOCAL



n a spring morning about three years ago, Greg and Susan Farris were walking through the local Haile Farmers Market when they noticed a booth representing the Education First (EF) High School Exchange Year. The coordinator there was giving information about the purpose of the program - setting up families to host foreign exchange students from all around the world. Both Greg and Susan passed by, but didn’t make it past the fountain before they stopped and looked at one another. “You ever thought about doing that?” Greg asked. “You know,” replied Susan, “I think that would be pretty interesting.” And so they walked right back to booth, and after discussing the idea with their daughter Madelyn, who was in 6th grade at the time, they decided to host a girl from Japan, at Madelyn’s request. She was, and still is, quite a fan of Japanese Anime. Susan, who was not working in her professional field at the time as a respiratory therapist, thought it would fun to learn more about the program and expand it in Gainesville, and so she became an International Exchange Coordinator that year as well. Since then, the Farris family has hosted young women from Japan, Switzerland, Norway, and Germany, and is currently hosting a young man, Olivier van Noort, or Oli for short, from Holland. Susan also oversees four other exchange students from Germany, Italy, and Japan, being hosted with families from Gainesville to Jacksonville. In addition to coordinating exchange students with their families, Susan is also a representative for Cultural Care Au Pair, where she oversees and supervises foreign

au pairs who come to live with American families to serve as caregivers. Each year, EF High School Exchange Year program connects thousands of international exchange students, ranging in ages 15 to 18, with families across the United States. Currently they have 2,700 students in the United States on J-1 visas. They come for a calendar school year, and enroll in the local high school. Students who stay with the Farris family attend Buchholz. They simply provide them a regular American lifestyle. “We are not compensated in any way. It’s purely a cultural experience,” explains Susan. “We just absorb them into our family, feed them three meals a day, let them experience life in America, holidays, sports at school. They just become a part of your family.” Greg Farris is a Gainesville “life-er.” He moved here when he was three years old and finds he can’t quite stay away. He attended the University of Florida, left Gainesville for a time afterwards, spent some time in California, but made his way back, and currently owns his own business, Employer’s Remedy. He jokes, “Gainesville’s like the mafia. You try to leave and it pulls you back in!” Susan came up from South Florida to go to college. She received her Respiratory Therapy degree at Santa Fe, got a job and stayed. The two met on a blind date. Susan was working at North Florida and said to a friend, “You must know some nice men!” Turns out, her friend knew the sister of a nice man, and Greg and Susan had their first date at Gator Growl that year. They married two years later. That was 18 years ago. | 21

And they are still here and loving it. According to Greg, “Gainesville just kind of does that to you!” The small town with a big town feel, the university, the Gators, the theater, the culture, all the small town fairs and festivals, the quick drive to Disney, the beaches, St. Augustine. In fact, one of the things they love most about hosting is sharing their love of Gainesville with their exchange students. Greg jokes, “Susan likes to share ‘theme park Florida’ while I like to share ‘natural Florida.’ There is just so much to do and see here.”


As a family, they especially love to float down the Ichetucknee River, tour St. Augustine, go to the beach and take daytrips scalloping with their good friend “Captain Nita” Chester. Some of the most fun they’ve seen their students have is at the beach. And, of course, going to a Gator game is an experience. In truth, it’s an experience for anyone, but to a young man or woman who’s home town size caps at 30,000, being in a stadium full of 90,000 screaming fans is one they will never forget. And viewing "A Christmas Carol" at the Hippodrome every year is a tradition. Greg says, “We simply love to share what we love to do.” And though the Farris family does the hosting, they receive even more in return. The sons and daughters they host culturally enrich their family. These students are going on an 22 | LOCAL

adventure. And meanwhile, the Farris family gets a glimpse of the culture and family life of their exchange sons and daughters. They have conversations about why they’ve come to America and what they’re looking forward to doing with their lives. “It opens your mind and your world up…that it’s not the United States, its globally, we all have to get along,” explains Greg. “It’s interesting to share and see what these young people want to do with their lives when they go back home, too. And you get so much of a better feel for their culture, their country, by just talking with them, spending time with them, than you would in a geography book.” He adds, “And just a question like, ‘What would you be doing at home right now?’ can open up a whole conversation of their lives there. How it’s different and many times how it’s so much the same. It’s been really enriching.” The entire family absolutely loves it. It allows Susan and Greg to expand their family for a time. Madelyn, who is now 13, attends Kanapaha Middle School. She plays the flute, still loves her anime and enjoys spending time with her friends. She continues to be largely involved in the exchange program; often selecting the country she’d like her family to host from. Right now, she especially loves having Olivier around as an older brother. The tag line for EF High School Exchange Year is “bring the world into your family.” The program does exactly that and allows Greg, Susan, and Madelyn to be a part of the world’s family in return. The Farris family stays connected constantly with the exchange daughters they’ve hosted, usually through WhatsApp. They are now planning a trip to Europe next summer to not only visit some of their exchange daughters, but also to visit with the families of some of the au pairs that Susan oversees.

They’ve become very close with their exchange daughter Jessica, who is from Switzerland. “Her father and sister came and visited and we’re very much looking forward to visiting her as well. And we’ll go through Holland and meet Olivier’s family,” says Susan. In three years time, they plan to take Madelyn to Japan to visit their first exchange daughter, Ikuko. “We adopt them and they adopt us,” Greg remarks. The relationships created by exchange last a lifetime. Welcoming exchange students into his home came naturally to Greg. For over ten years, Greg’s father served as the Foreign Student Advisor at the University of Florida. “We kind of grew up in our house with students from all over the world,” Greg explains. “This reminds me of those days. Of having kids from around the world in our home. And celebrating that with them.” And a celebration it should be. Creating family around the world and appreciating cultural differences and similarities is an outlook that the Farris family has rooted within their home, and their view of the world will never be the same. To learn more about hosting an exchange student, contact Susan at | 23

ins g e B n o i t a r b e l The Ce

en, ro Shop op P s s a B e k esses li s. e and busin s ri s Pointe build By Laura Jane Pittman re n tu o c ti u tr ra s b e le e th As ding C ent surroun the excitem


raveling on I-75 just north of Archer Road, you’ve probably noticed the massive open area inhabited by construction crews and bulldozers pushing mounds of dirt. Now with a brand new Bass Pro Shop, a new bridge connecting the east and west sides of I-75 and the development of the 60,000 square foot headquarters of Info Tech, everyone in Gainesville can see what Celebration Pointe is beginning to look like. It’s a vision that started with just one person.

“We didn’t want to just bring another shopping district to Gainesville. We wanted a true destination where people can enjoy a night out, shopping, go to work, or even call home,” said Svein Dyrkolbotn of Celebration Pointe Development Partners. The expansive project will feature retail, entertainment, housing and office space, as well as a unique transportation-oriented feature: a new bridge over I-75 connecting

24 | LOCAL

Celebration Pointe to the eastern side of I-75. In order to aid regional congestion in this fast-growing area, several years ago Alachua County developed and approved new policies encouraging compact and walkable mixed-use developments to link with public transportation. In keeping with this policy, the new bridge and main road to Celebration Pointe will feature a dedicated bus lane. Celebration Pointe, the first such transit-

oriented project, was approved in November 2010 and has been dubbed a turning point for regional community development by county and city officials. Celebration Pointe will bring hundreds of new jobs to the region over the next five years and create a community epicenter to be enjoyed for decades to come. The vision for the Celebration Pointe is a unique blend of residential offerings, entertainment venues, retail outlets, specialty shops, dining, and hospitality and office space in a picturesque setting that maximizes smart spaces and accessibility. Anchor tenants include Bass Pro Shops, which celebrated its grand opening November 9th, luxury–seating Regal Cinemas set to open in the fall of 2017, a 137-room Hotel Indigo and the new 60,000 sq. ft. headquarters of Info Tech.

of Celebration Pointe Development Partners said, “Celebration Pointe has not only been designed to be a retail, entertainment and office destination, but it is also planned to support a true and vibrant live-work-play environment for the local community.� The transit-oriented development strategies featured at Celebration Pointe offer an exciting, upward trend designed to create livable and sustainable communities. According to the Transit Oriented Development Institute, this new concept in development is all about combining regional planning, city revitalization, suburban renewal and walkable neighborhoods to increase overall quality of life. Some of the benefits of transit-oriented developments include an enhanced urban style of living, a focus on pedestrians, healthier lifestyles and more stable property values.

According to the developer, the project is on track and running on schedule. Ralph Conti, | 25

Making the Connection According to the Alachua County’s Growth Management Department, Celebration Pointe’s focus on walkability and transportation accessibility will enable the county to provide more efficient services at lower costs, with higher revenue per acre, Accessibility has been accomplished in large part by the construction of the new SW 30th Road bridge (Celebration Pointe Avenue) crossing I-75 and connecting Celebration Pointe to the eastern side of I-75. After much anticipation, the Celebration Pointe Bridge opened for drivers and pedestrians on November 5th. In celebration of the bridge opening, the Celebration Pointe Bridge Walk and Fall Festival Fundraiser was held benefiting the Child Advocacy Center of Gainesville. This culminating event marked the first of what will likely be many more community celebrations held at the local venue over the next several years as Celebration Pointe nears completion. For Work and Play In addition to almost one million square feet of retail, restaurant, entertainment and office components, Celebration Pointe, will eventually offer nearly 1,000 luxury residences including garden-style homes, flats, townhomes, independent living dwellings, and for travelers, nearly 400 hotel rooms will be available. Well defined pedestrian areas, pocket parks and the centrally-located Tech Park Plaza will provide community common spaces featuring art, outdoor seating and play areas. Everything about Celebration Pointe has been designed to maximize the guest and resident experience, including walkability and sustainability. Wide sidewalks will be lushly landscaped and plentiful parking will promote a safe and harmonious interaction between pedestrians and vehicles. Buildings and facilities have fully incorporated sustainable construction and features. 26 | LOCAL

“We want all guests and residents to find Celebration Pointe convenient, fun, safe and perhaps most importantly, to make their experience here memorable,” Conti explained. “In order to do this, we have taken the utmost care to plan a balanced community that encourages a blend of efficiency and sound fundamentals.” This development will meet the needs of shoppers, students, young professionals, families, empty-nesters and retirees alike. Whether people desire a live-work residence, flex office space, child play areas, easy access to bike trails, a quality shopping experience, premier dining, live music or day spa services, they will find it at Celebration Pointe. For nature enthusiasts, the Hogtown Creek Greenway and Lake Kanapaha are close by, and Celebration Pointe directly connects via pathways to the Archer Braid Trail. Long-Term Benefits Everything about Celebration Pointe, from its careful community planning and execution to choosing a highly experienced on-site management and leasing team, has been designed for long-term growth and economic benefits for the area. The Innovation Hub at University of Florida has a goal to add 6,000 new jobs to the region over the next five years. To reach that goal of 6,000 new jobs, development such as Celebration Pointe will create momentum and ultimately house businesses providing these jobs. Executives and area officials also hope that Celebration Pointe can serve as a broader example of development and communities working hand in hand. “This is about more than simply providing new shopping, dining and living options,” Conti said. “This is about smart planning and growth, and helping streamline and simplify development for the future.” | 27

28 | LOCAL

Patticakes Celebrates

5 Years

with the Opening of its New Downtown Location By Erin Leigh Patterson | Footstone Photography


lot happened in 2009. Barack Obama started his first term in the Oval Office. The economy was on rocky soil, to say the least. Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana. And a nation was falling headlong for it’s long sought after ideal dessert: cupcakes. I was living in Atlanta at the time when I visited New York City where I first ate the perfect caketo-icing ratio treat. There was no turning back. Finding the best one and even making the best one became an obsession, and shortly therafter a family endeavor. David: You always tell this story! Jan Patterson (my mom) recalls Thanksgiving that year: “You and your dad [David Patterson] traveled around looking for cupcakes and sampling mixes. It brought us together and just made everyone happy. And made us all love cupcakes for good reason.” My parents have recently launched the second location of the cupcake dream five years into their original endeavor. Patticakes Bakery was born September 2011 in Haile Plantation’s Village Center with a simple mission: bring excellent cupcakes and coffee to our community while creating a place for neighbors to gather. We sat around the dinner table reminiscing the early days, the recent expansion, and the future of cupcakes here in Gainesville.

J: O  h yeah! We’ve lived in the Village since 2006, and love it here. We love the restaurants and the Farmer’s Market, and love that our church [River Cross] meets here. We believed The Village needed a place where people could gather and linger, and meet their neighbors. We’d plan church meetings sometimes and not have anywhere to go to be able to just hang out for awhile. We fell in love with coffee after you started learning about the good work it can do, like provide fair wages when it’s purchased and cared for well. E: I feel like I am part of this story more than I ever realized… Not sure if I should apologize for that? D: That’s true. This is your fault.

Erin Leigh: Remind me how we got here. J: Anyway, why cupcakes? Again, you. Jan: That’s always a great question… | 29


E: Whose idea was the name “Patticakes”?

D: W  e weren’t looking to expand! But here we are.

D: I wanted to call it Mocha Gusto. J: Coffee & Cupcakes Emporium E: Glad you both lost on that… D: We wanted our name to be part of it, so Patti is from Patterson. And cakes is true to the birth of our business and what we’re about. J: Before Patticakes I worked at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s mission is to support the business community and development of Gainesville. Seeing entrepreneurs and business owners thrive was an inspiration to me. I wanted to be part of this side of business, which was another impetus for us to start Patticakes. D: The connection to the Chamber also made a good connection to downtown GNV. J: It was kind of like coming home! I love downtown Gainesville. Nick Banks tipped me off to the new location CRA was developing because they were looking for a business to be part of Bo Diddley Plaza, so we applied.

30 | LOCAL

J: I was excited to be downtown, and part of something like Bo Diddley Plaza. Also I love the CRA – I worked with them in the past, so I knew anything they do would be a good thing. D: There are a lot of people moving into this city, so being part of that community is really valuable. Joining the revitalizing has been really exciting. E: W  hat’s the future of the Haile Village location? J: To continue offering the same high quality delicious-ness everyone is accustomed to. The Haile team is so excited to be here. D: In Haile, we have such great customers. That’s the best part of this business: being a part of people’s lives, becoming friends with our neighbors. I’m excited to see something like that grow downtown. It’s taken five years to get here, so we’re looking forward to that happening downtown. This will remain as HQ, and all our baking will still be done here.

J: Haile will always be our first love [heart eyes emoji]. We live here. We love it here. It’s a great place to live and a great place to be. We love having a business here for that reason. D: I pastor the church right beside it, this is our home and we’re here for the long haul. E: Mom, you’re the owner. What keeps you going? What does success look like to you? J: Having a business that’s also a community is a platform I’ve been entrusted with and I don’t take that lightly. From the beginning, I’ve wanted to give back in any way I could, and issues related to women and girls have always been the priority for me. Years ago, when you started learning and sharing about the disparity between girls’ opportunities to boys, that girls don’t get the same chance at an education, that is just not okay. You had been volunteering at the organization, She’s the First and I wanted to do something too. We host an annual bake sale with tie-dye cupcakes for girls’ education worldwide, and locally support Pace Center for Girls of Alachua County by donating cupcakes to their luncheon each year. I’ve also worked at the local women’s resource center ( and learned the ways women right here are often isolated and underappreciated. Patticakes can’t solve all the problems, but I believe we can make a small difference for women and girls. I want to help women walk in freedom as I’m learning to do – giving time and money is truly a gift to me. I hope to do more as we grow. The new Patticakes downtown location is at 185 E University Ave. on Bo Diddley Plaza. The Haile Village Center location remains at 9124 SW 51st Road. Connect with them online at @patticakesGNV on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. | 31

MARKET WATCH A selection of single-family and attached homes sold in Haile Plantation, July 11, 2016 through October 9, 2016. Provided by Coleen DeGroff of RE/MAX Professionals.

The Links | SW 52nd Avenue

Haile Village Center | SW 48th Place

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

1998 870

Sold Price

1/1 $100,000

Quail Court | SW 88th Court

Sold Price

2003 1,401 2/2.5 $185,000 Southbrooke | SW 91st Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

1983 960

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

2/1 $107,500

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

2006 1,469

Sold Price

3/2 $202,000

The Village at Haile | SW 52nd Road

Lexington Farms | SW 54th Lane

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

2006 840


Sold Price


Quail Court | SW 88th Court Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1990 1,562 3/2 $205,000 Chickasaw Way | SW 52nd Avenue

Sold Price

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1983 1,058 2/2 $112,000

1996 1,376

The Links | SW 52nd Avenue

Grahams Mill | SW 91st Terrace

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

1998 895

Sold Price

1/1 $118,000

3/2 $210,000

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1989 2,102 3/2 $228,000

Plantation Villas | SW 97th Way

Hampstead Par | S W 39th Ave

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

1995 1,088 2/2 $122,000

1999 1,992 3/2 $245,000

The Links | SW 52nd Avenue

Ashleigh Circle | SW 34th Road

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1998 1,369 3/2 $134,000

1999 2,055 3/2 $254,000

The Links | SW 52nd Avenue

Hampstead Park | SW 35th Lane

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1998 1,369 3/2 $138,000

1999 2,224 4/2 $261,900

Chestnut Hill | SW 47th Lane

Haile Village Center | SW 91st Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1986 1,264 3/2 $162,000

1999 2,040 3/3.5 $275,000

Evans Hollow | SW 88th Court

Lexington Farms | SW 55th Lane

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

1987 2,241 3/2 $170,000

1991 2,076 4/2 $276,900

Laurel Park | SW 54th Lane

Amelia Gardens | SW 103rd Court

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1983 1,498 3/2 $179,000

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1994 2,029 3/2 $285,000 CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

32 | LOCAL

Publix Market Square

SW 24th Ave

Chiles Elementary Storeys School Round Retreat Bedford Victoria Square Place Circle

Sable Pointe

Mills Glen

Matheson Woods

Benjamins Grove

Millington Hampstead Park

Albury Round

Matthews Grant Madison Square Colsons Corner Stratford Ridge Annadale Round William Kent Court Charleston Park

Whitaker Oaks


Av e

India Station

Butterfly Garden Kestrel Point

The Links Condominiums

Middleton Green Chickasaw way


Sutherland Crossing


Indigo Square

Magnolia Walk

Grahams Mill


Evans Hollow

Chestnut Hill

Planters Grove

Kanapaha * Middle School

Quail Heritage Court Green

Laurel Park



SW 91st ST

PRESENTED BY Coleen DeGroff, MBA REALTOR, Broker Associate

Founders Hill

The Haile VIllage Center Camden Court

Evans Hollow

Lexington Farms

Haile Equestrian Center

Tower Rd

Hickory Walk

The Hamptons

Plantation Villas

Bennets Garden

Spalding Place


The Thomas Evans Haile Preserve

Oakmont Amelia Gardens

Kimball * Elementary


Westfield Commons

Cameron Park

Hail e Bl

Buellers Way


Tower Rd

Ashleigh Circle Lenox Gardens


Carlton Court

Branton Court

SW 91st ST

Katelyn Lane

SW 24th Ave


Historic Haile Homestead



Eloise *Gardens








Outside of Haile Plantation | 33


MARKET WATCH Chickasaw Way | SW 52nd Avenue

Sable Pointe | SW 32nd Lane

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

2005 2,208 3/2 $300,000

2001 2,776 4/3 $440,000

Victoria Circle | SW 29th Lane

The Preserve | SW 45th Boulevard

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

2002 2,099 3/2 $308,000

Sold Price

1990 2,904 4/3.5 $450,000

Hampstead Park | S W 94th Way

Preston Wood | SW 91st Terrace

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1999 2,647 3/2 $327,000 The Preserve | SW 85th Way Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

2005 3,800 4/3.5 $482,500 Sable Pointe | SW 34th Lane

Sold Price

1992 2,275 3/2.5 $340,000

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

The Hamptons | SW 105th Way

Oakmont | SW 94th Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

2001 2,971 5/3.5 $485,000 1 Sold Price

1997 2,326 3/2.5 $348,000

992 3,394 4/3.5 $489,000

Storeys Round | SW 92nd Drive

Westfield Commons | SW 105th Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

2006 3,059 4/3 $387,500

Sold Price 1996 3,283 5/4 $497,500

Hampstead Park | SW 35th Lane

Stratford Ridge | SW 88th Street

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

1999 2,894 4/3 $398,000

2002 3,299 3/2.5 $529,000

Benjamins Grove | SW 41st Place

India Station | SW 46th Place

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

1995 4,801 3/2.5 $400,000

1994 3,525 5/4 $549,250

Annadale Round | SW 92nd Terrace

Albury Round | SW 95th Terrace

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1999 3,112 5/3.5 $415,000

Sold Price

1997 3,654 4/3.5 $615,000

Preston Wood | SW 91 Terrace

Westfield Commons | SW 105th Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

Sold Price

2003 2,445 3/2 $415,000

2008 3,548 4/3.5 $650,000

Madison Square | SW 92nd Terrace

Stratford Ridge | SW 40th Avenue

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1999 2,564 4/2.5 $422,000

Sold Price

2003 3,794 4/3.5 $712,000

India Station | SW 95th Terrace

Matthews Grant | SW 92nd Drive

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Year Built Sq Foot Bedroom/Bath

Sold Price

1995 2,906 4/3 $425,000

Sold Price

1999 6,032 6/6 $930,000

For the complete list of homes sold in Haile Plantation during this time period, visit

34 | LOCAL

36 | LOCAL

Women of Charity

Setting a Place

Everyone at the Table for

By Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch | Footstone Photography

Those who work in the non-profit sector do so because they are eager to make a difference in the world. A recent report from the Women’s College of the University of Denver found that women make up 75% of the nonprofit workforce, in contrast to the forprofit business world where there are only 20 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The women who dedicate their careers to the nonprofit sector speak the language of charity. Their generosity, humility and grace give them purpose in their day-to-day challenges, while as leaders, they are resourceful strategists

and logistical experts. When non-profit organizations succeed in closing the gap in social services, even the most disadvantaged among us the chance for a better life. This holiday season and all year long, Theresa Lowe, Barzella Papa, Cathyann Solomon and Marcia Conwell are setting a place at the table for those in need within our community. As we give thanks for our many blessings, we want to honor those who have made it their life’s work to end hunger, homelessness and despair in Gainesville.

»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» | 37



Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry and GRACE Marketplace

»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» Ending homelessness in Alachua County is all about being flexible and accommodating to the needs of individuals. Since 2002, the Alachua County Coalition of the Homeless and Hungry has been doing just that. The 2014 opening of GRACE Marketplace (Gainesville Region Alachua County Empowerment) was a giant step in the right direction, offering temporary housing and centralized social services. Executive Director, Theresa Lowe leads the charge at GRACE Marketplace, with the ultimate goal of moving homeless individuals into permanent living situations. A self-proclaimed fixer, Lowe says it is important to her that she makes a difference every day and leaves everything a little more organized and prettier than she found it. Under Lowe’s leadership, GRACE Marketplace has been transformed from a medium security prison to a village of hope. The multipurpose 25-acre campus just west of the Gainesville International Airport was purchased for $1.3 million by the City of Gainesville. Another $1 million has been spent on renovations, transforming the property into sanctuary and campground offering free meals, medical care, job training, skill building, mental health services and the opportunity to sign up for food stamps and social security benefits. Dignity Village, the tent encampment on GRACE, houses 155 homeless adults. Children are not allowed to spend the night in Dignity Village for their safety, as no adult is turned away for having a criminal record. Despite the risk of housing so many homeless individuals at the encampment, Lowe says there is a low incidence of crime. “People are so thankful for the chance to be here and be

safe that the incidence of altercations amongst residents is rare.” Since GRACE Marketplace opened, Alachua County has seen a 30% decrease in homelessness and 45% reduction in those who are chronically homeless. Alachua County Coalition of the Homeless and Hungry have moved at least 200 people off the streets and into permanent housing. “When you have nothing or no one, and you become homeless, despair can take over,” Lowe explains. “We offer hope and a way for people to start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.” The facility, made up of several cinder block buildings is almost completely renovated, although there are several thousand dollars’ worth of improvements to the medical clinic and basketball court still to be made. Lowe is proud of what the campus has become. “Visitors often comment that it doesn’t look like a typical homeless shelter,” Lowe says. Each building is trimmed in a different bright color and trees continue to be planted to improve the environment, giving it a park-like feel rather than that of an institution. “Our residents have all been through traumatic situations just to get to this point in their life, so we do everything we can do to make things a little softer,” she says. Around the holidays, those who want to help can do so by filling a pair of socks with toiletries and small food items. Socks, underwear, blankets and towels are always needed as well. Lowe says, “Even if you’re afraid to come to a homeless shelter the stockings are something that really matter to the residents this time of year.”


38 | LIFE | 39

W 40 | LOCAL


Catholic Charities Weekend Hunger Backpack Program


When children bully other kids at school or they are angry for no reason, sometimes those kids are really just hungry. To many of Gainesville’s youth without sufficient food available at home, Monday mornings used to mean access to steady meals for the school week. But, since Catholic Charities Weekend Hunger Backpack Program began filling backpacks for hungry children to take home on the weekends, fewer children have been going without meals. Since 2012, under the direction of Associate Director Cathyann Solomon, the program has grown to serve the needs of 700 children in 16 area schools. The Trinidad and Tobago native started her career as an accountant working for Carnival Cruise Lines, but soon became unfulfilled and asked God to use her to help others. Now, in her sixteenth year with Catholic Charities, she jokes, “sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.” Solomon is passionate about helping those who are less fortunate and says the more she gives, the more God allows her to keep giving. Deemed the hands and feet of God, Catholic Charities helps whomever is in need, without judgment or regard to their denomination.

In Alachua County, one in four children do not have enough food to eat each day. Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behavior and social skills. Food insecurity has been linked with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, higher levels of anxiety and aggression. It has also been linked with slower development of social skills.

Each week, new applications are received from teachers with hungry children in their classrooms. The signs that children are hungry and that learning is being blocked by hunger include hoarding food, complaining about being hungry, eating food too quickly and consistently asking for more. Once the teacher establishes the need, a consent form needs to be signed by the parent. Solomon says the application process is done confidentially so as not to embarrass families or the students. “If you work a minimum wage job and have to pay rent, power, gas to get to work…sometimes food is way down on the list of priorities. Most parents are trying really hard to provide and are happy to get a little help with groceries,” she says. Because of the Weekend Hunger Backpack Program each, Friday, children head home with kid friendly foods like applesauce, vegetables and canned soup; enough food for all the children in the family to eat over the entire weekend. Empty backpacks are returned to the schools by Tuesday, and then redelivered to schools before Friday. Solomon says the program is labor intensive and they utilize volunteers every week to pack and deliver the backpacks to area schools. Donations are always welcomed and volunteers, especially before Thanksgiving and Christmas are needed. “We live every day going above and beyond for everyone we can.,” Solomon says. “We are the vessel and He is using us to do His good work. The more you are open to help, the more you get that chance and I pray every day, ‘Lord use me today.’ And believe me, I do get some weird phone calls.

»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» | 41



Community Foundation of North Central Florida

»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» The Community Foundation of North Central Florida is a non-profit organization serving the communities of our region by promoting and facilitating philanthropy. Dedicated to strengthening relationships among charitable organizations, donors and concerned citizens who want to invest in the welfare of the community, this organization has been lead for over 10 years by Barzella Papa, the president and CEO. “We support charitable giving and encourage people to give back. We then work with them to make sure the money goes where it should go, navigating the filing, accounting and becoming stewards of that money.”

The Community Foundation of North Central Florida currently manages $16 million in funding and distributes about $2.5 million dollars each year to worthy organizations. Charitable gifts that have been passed through the Foundation include a million-dollar donation to build Fisher House, a million-dollar donation to Peaceful Path and $1.5 million to deliver mental health services in Alachua County schools. Papa says that oftentimes the donations are given anonymously through endowment. “Usually the donors we work with have had something very personal happen to them or a member of their family and they want to help a specific charity. We help them find the right charity to make the greatest impact in the community,” Papa explains. When Papa was in college, she wanted to work in New York for a fashion magazine. She finished her degree at the University of Alabama and moved to Washington DC., working for Southern Living and Time Life

Books. There, she met her husband and later they relocated to Gainesville where she became heavily involved in the community. When her first child was an infant, Papa made the choice to forgo her dream job when she received an offer from Health magazine to be their fashion and beauty editor. Papa turned the page on an old dream and instead saw that raising her family and giving back to the community was her calling.

Papa used her dogged determination and creativity honed in her publishing career to organize fundraisers, and volunteered through the Junior League of Gainesville, ultimately serving as president of the organization. When the Community Foundation launched a search for an Executive Director, Papa won the job. Her first task was to form a women’s giving circle and more duties followed. Her position was the first full time paid role at the foundation, and since 2006 Papa has had her finger on the pulse of the non-profit sector. The foundation works with organizations throughout the year, hosting networking and training events and leverages deep seeded relationships to find worthy charities in need of donations. Over the past decade, under Papa, the Community Foundation of North Central Florida has donated more than $10 million, and that women’s giving circle she established, now 181 women strong, has donated $850,000, impacting 26 local organizations. “Every year, there is always something new that our donors want to do. Seeing our donors give back to their causes is the best part about this job,” she says.


42 | LIFE | 43

B 44 | LIFE


Marcia Conwell CEO

Bread of the Mighty Food Bank


Bread of the Mighty Food Bank is the centralized organization that gathers and distributes food to 172 agencies in five counties, including and surrounding Alachua County. Anyone who is in need, without proof of income, can receive food. Through a network of volunteer based programs, community pantries and mobile deliveries, Bread of the Mighty is meeting hunger where it lives and working tirelessly to end it. Marcia Conwell has been the CEO for ten years and has overseen the development of Kids Café, a food pantry in area schools, and Gainesville Harvest, whose 80 volunteers pick-up food from local supermarkets and restaurants. In 2015, eight-million pounds of food was distributed, and so far, they have served 6.9 million meals this year alone. For the forgotten, the seniors, the children and the disadvantaged, Bread of the Mighty sometimes serves as the primary food source; a fact Conwell says she learned about in 2004. At that time, she was a single mom raising four girls on a server’s wage. She was volunteering at Bread of the Mighty and delivering food to a distribution point in Otter Creek. “On that day, I was hot and sweaty and impatient and decided I was going to start my route instead of waiting on a shipment of bread to arrive, “ she said. Conwell got done delivering food in Bronson and then headed to Otter Creek where 50 people usually met her to pick up food each month. “They come from nowhere and meet us in this big field. Most of them are on foot. We would bag groceries on picnic tables.” Conwell had gotten to know one client, Mrs. Rainwater over the prior months and always looked

forward to seeing the elderly woman, dressed in 1940s style bonnet and long dress. On this day, as usual, Mrs. Rainwater’s oxygen tank was wrapped in a blanket that she pulled behind her in a three-wheeled wagon. After her bags were filled, Conwell hugged her and wished her well. Conwell recounts, “She just stood there and said, ‘you forgot my bread.’ I told her I was really sorry but there was no bread today. This old, frail woman just started sobbing and trembling and was bent over with despair. I asked her what was wrong and she looked up at me with tear filled eyes that I will never forget and said, ‘Marcia, you don’t understand. You give me a loaf of bread and I freeze it and save it for a month. I eat a half slice for breakfast and half for lunch with peanut butter. If I don’t have that bread I won’t eat breakfast and lunch for the next month.” Conwell was crushed at the woman’s response to a missing loaf of bread. This was the face of hunger and she had it all wrong. Preventing a minor inconvenience for her to wait on that bread meant an 87 years old piano teacher would be hungry for a month. Conwell immediately sent a volunteer to the nearest store to buy as much bread as the ten-dollar bill in her pocket would buy. The volunteer came back with three loaves of bread. Of course Mrs. Rainwater knew what being hungry meant and refused to take an entire loaf home. Instead, she separated the loaves to share with her friends. Conwell says that until that day, she didn’t know hunger like that and from that day forward, she was 100% committed to shorten lines, and feed hungry people.

»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» | 45

Holiday givables poised to impress even the most discerning people on your list.

46 | LIFE

Make Music Come Alive This holiday season add the Sonos PLAYBAR to your entertainment system and stream music from your favorite apps... all controlled by your smart phone. Sonos Playbar, Electronics World > $699

Angels on Earth From the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author Laura Schroff comes "Angels on Earth", a heartwarming and inspiring book about the profound impact acts of kindness can have on the world around us. > $20

Get it Write Handsome looks, smooth ballpoint action and knurled grip along with a level, rulers, a touchscreen stylus, and nestled inside...a Phillips and flathead screwdriver. Pen-Ultimate, > $25

When You're Running On Fumes Tiny enough to carry on a keychain, this smart phone charger holds enough backup power to enable 30 minutes of talk time when you need it most. Fuel Cell Charger, > $39

A New Worldview Problem solved. This lense clips onto your iPhone 7 allowing you to take high quality photos and video with edge-toedge clarity. iPhone 7 Olloclip Lense, > $79

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words Simplify your home office with easy and quick Wi-Fi printing from smartphones and tablets. Fujifilm, > $162

Picture This Inspired, elegant, and classic; the Aura Frame will complement and enhance any environment, setting a new design standard for smart products in your life and home. Aura Frame, Ivory with Rose Gold Trim,> $399 | 47

Fit for a princess This fairytale ring design boasts a tiara-inspired design with heart details. Worn alone or with other stackable bands, its feminine shape and pink hue will make her feel like a princess. PANDORA Rose™ Ring, PANDORA Store at The Oaks Mall > $80

Blue Christmas Without You These classic earrings shown in blue, come in a variety of colors and will add classic style to any outfit. Kendra Scott Danielle Earrings, Pink Narcissus > $55 For the Green Goddess Non-toxic, longwearing, gorgeous colors you can feel good about. The only US brand with Myrrh to strengthen and nurture your nails. Habit Nail Polish, habitcosmetics. com $18

Hello Gorgeous This gold tassel necklace is the perfect staple accessory with endless possibilities. Believe us... she wants this one. Kendra Scott Phara Necklace, Pink Narcissus > $120

Native is All the Rave Handwoven from of locally-grown palm leaf, this is the perfect bag to bring to the beach and beyond. Pom Pom Tote Indego Africa, > $74.99 Baby it’s Cold Outside The street-style approved jacket is an updated bomber with sporty details like a cadet collar and sleek diamond downfilled quilting. Idol Bomber Jacket, Pure Barre > $172

Trendy Traction This lace up all-weather boot has got her covered with a rubber bottom half that provides tons of traction and boasts a waterproof finish. Chloe by Jack Rogers, Artsy Abode > $118

48 | LIFE | 49

Carry On Rain-resistant Rugged Twill and durable Bridle Leather combine in this durable made in the USA duffle bag. Filson Medium Duffle, > $395

A Plush Welcome As a welcoming symbol, this pineapple print is inviting and will add a vibrant touch to any room. Lilly Pulitzer, Pink Nacrissus > $40

Cheers to the Host This wine glass set is the perfect hostess gift for that friend who loves to entertain! Lilly Pulitzer Stemless Wine Glasses, Pink Narcissus > $35 Comfort for a King This stylish recliner features the Infinity System for people who take their relaxation seriously. American Leather’s Comfort Recliner™, Koontz Furniture & Design > $2,999

Major Moisturizing Use it anywhere you need to heal dry, cracked skin and restore moisture. It's wonderful to relieve painful, dry and red skin areas. Every Little Thing Balm, Cloud 9 Spa > $16

Anytime Spa Therapy A decadent blend of Chamomile, Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Valerian Root and premium Flax Seeds. Luxe Satin Herbal Neck, Eye and Body Packs, Cloud 9 Spa > starting at $10

50 | LIFE

Repurposed and Fabulous Evoke your favorite vintage with Rewined soy candles’ subtle wineinspired appearance and aroma. Rewined Candles, Barre Forte > $26

Under the Sea For your little mermaid, this handcrafted sofa blanket warms little toes with reminders of beachtime fun. Ages 4-7, Crocheted Mermaid Tail Children’s Blanket,> $19.99

Hammock Happiness The most relaxing way for your little one to enjoy the outdoors. The sturdy one-seater hangs from a tree branch with a triangular wood bar and rope construction. Youth Hammock with Carry Bag,> $12.98

Retro Dare Devil Birch plywood sourced bike from from managed forests. This upright riding bike has a three-position adjustable seat height, Ages 2-6 Kiddimoto Evel Knievel Kurve Wooden Balance Bike, > $130

Life's a Balancing Act Slacklining is a fun way for kids to build strength and confidence and increase their balance. Attaches easily to trees without damaging them, Classic Training Slackline, Nylon - Blue and Red, > $69.98

Your Word is Your Bond Serious scholars or journalers will subscribe to this notebook with 160 pages of plain paper in unique covers that look like real stone. Stone Notebook, > $22.95

You Are My Sunshine Create gorgeous graphic images, using nothing but creativity and the power of the sun – no camera required. It's the perfect gift for budding artists and scientists alike. Sun Art Paper, > $10

Go-Go Gator This little alligator is all about movement. As the child holds the string and pulls, the alligator moves up and down and rewards the child with a fun click clack sound. Ages 19 months +. Follow-Along Gator Plan Toys Dancing Alligator, > $24

52 | LIFE | 53

7 Questions For Millennial Financial Success By Tim Roark, CFP®

54 | TASTE


$ I

nvesting, planning for retirement, and generally ‘getting your financial house in order’ can be confusing and even intimidating for young families and individuals— in truth, it can be confusing and intimidating for all families and individuals regardless of age. There are seven key questions you can ask yourself today to assess your current financial house. Hopefully, by spending a few minutes reading this article you will feel armed with the tools and confidence to lay the foundation for your financial house and get started on any areas that are lacking. Every great house starts with a strong foundation – worry about the details of each room later.


However, for you, the employee, it’s probably the closest thing to free money that you’ll find, and it’s also a raise. So, max the match, take your raise, and tell your employer you appreciate their generosity.


What does my company match in my retirement plan?

Ideally, all of us are taking full advantage of any company match offered. Most companies, but not all, provide some sort of match. Unfortunately, there are probably some people reading this right now that aren’t maxing out the match. If that’s you, take a moment to ask yourself why?

The company match varies with each company, but for the purpose of this article let’s assume your company matches dollar for dollar on the first 3% that you contribute and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2% that you contribute – this equates to contributing 5% to get a 4% match. Many plans use this formula. It’s basically going to an ATM, asking for $100 and the ATM gives you an additional $80 without it coming out of your bank account. Unless there are other very pressing financial needs, everyone should absolutely take full advantage of the company match, in this case contributing the 5% to get the 4% match. Don’t leave money on the table – free money! In reality, the match comes out of your employer’s pocket, so it’s not entirely free.


Will maxing the match successfully fund my retirement dreams? Realize that contributing the minimum amount to max the match might not fully fund your retirement dreams, in fact it probably will not. A study done by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College calculated that an average saving rate of 15% of income throughout one’s career would be sufficient to achieve retirement income targets. It’s likely that by merely contributing enough to max the match that you are not hitting that 15% target. (Disclaimer: 15% may not apply to everyone, but for the purposes of a big audience it’s an acceptable assumption). Your retirement years should be the longest and best vacation of your life. Spend a little time each year to think about it and plan. The National Retirement Risk Index predicts that roughly half of today’s working families are “at risk” of not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement – don’t let this be you. If you’re not ready to make a big jump, here’s a way to ease into it: increase your contribution by 1% each year – I doubt you’ll miss that 1%, and it will make a big difference in the long run. Retirement may seem like it’s light years away, but the future has a tendency to sneak up on us. Although we haven’t touched on taxes at all | 55

here, keep in mind that there are tax benefits for contributing to a company retirement plan.


How are my investments allocated? Generally speaking, when conversation turns to investments people get excited talking about things like high-upside mutual funds, a new Exchanged Traded Fund (ETF), an individual stock that’s about to break through, getting in or out of the market at the right time, etc. But what is most important and what really drives your investment returns is something far less sexy: it’s your asset allocation. Let’s slow down a second and think about the basics, the foundation. Say that your investment foundation is your asset allocation, meaning the mix of different asset classes in your portfolio (domestic stocks,

56 | LIFE

international stocks, energy, real estate, fixed income, etc.). A recent study by the CFA Institute found that 91.5% of a portfolio’s return is attributable to its mix of asset classes. This same study revealed that individual stock selection and market timing accounted for less than 7% of a diversified portfolio’s return. This is why I encourage you to start with and focus on asset allocation, the foundation, and pick an allocation that you feel comfortable with, knowing that the greater equity exposure you have, the greater amount of risk you’re taking on, and stick with it. Too many people focus on the individual investments within an allocation – i.e. picking Coke or Pepsi stock – rather than putting together a well-diversified portfolio. Additionally, picking individual stocks and attempting to time the markets naturally pushes us towards

making an emotional decision because we want to be right – it’s human nature. Emotional decisions (selling at a market low, or buying at a market high) can negatively impact a portfolio’s return far greater than picking Coke when you should’ve picked Pepsi. Through a systematic asset allocation approach you will remove a portion of the human element and decrease the likelihood of a costly emotional decision.


How much life insurance do I need? First, a few statistics that may jump out at you from Life Health Pro: • 40% of Americans who have life insurance coverage don’t think they have enough. • 40% of U.S. households with children under age 18 say they would immediately have trouble meeting everyday living expenses if a primary wage-earner were to die today. • 83% of consumers say they don’t purchase more life insurance because it’s too expensive, but consumers believe life insurance costs nearly three times the actual price. Life insurance typically isn’t high on the priority list, and I understand why – it deals with death and it doesn’t benefit you. I’m not here to convince everyone to run out and get life insurance, but if you have people that depend on you it’s important, for them, that you get life insurance. There are plenty of ‘rules of thumb’ out there, for example have 10-times your salary, have enough to cover your debt, etc. Those are starting points, but an easy solution is to take twenty minutes and actually think through what you would want your loved ones to receive if something happened to you (would you want to pay off your house, your children’s college education, student loans, | 57

provide an income to your spouse). The key here is to know that term life insurance is relatively inexpensive for younger people and is becoming easier to acquire.

• Florida Prepaid Pros: guaranteed to cover all costs for purchased plan at eligible schools, several different plans offered, transferrable to siblings or cousins Cons: may not cover all costs at out of state schools, opportunity cost if child doesn’t attend college (only get your money back)


Do I have legal documents in place? If so, what do they say? Whether you have a family or not, getting legal documents (Will, Trust, Health Care Surrogate, etc.) in place as your personal wealth grows is a good idea. However, if you have a family, it’s a must. There will be an investment of time and money on your part, but it will be time and money well spent for the peace of mind that you’re appropriately looking after your loved ones. Think through who you would want to raise your children, watch over their assets, and consult with an estate planning attorney to put the required documents into place.

• UTMA/UGMA Account Pros: investment upside, minor tax benefits, can be used for items other than college Cons: it legally becomes the child’s possession when they reach the age of majority (18 in FL), may not cover all expenses, investment downside

• Investment Account Earmarked for Child Pros: no strings attached, flexibility, investment upside Cons: you might spend it on something else, no tax benefits, investment downside

If you already have legal documents in place, then it may be time to review them. Life changes, and it is important that your legal documents and beneficiary designations stay current.


How will my children pay for college? You may want to cover some, none, or all of your children’s college education. The earlier you start, the easier it will be. Here is a quick breakdown of a few options:


What do I do with all this debt? Unfortunately, debt is a very real part of life. Hopefully, those of us that have debt are using it as a tool to invest in ourselves (education) or to help establish our lives (home, car, etc.), and not as a toy (consumer debt). Regardless of how large a factor debt is in your life, it’s good to have a strategy for eliminating debt. Here’s a basic checklist:

• 529 Plan Pros: tax benefits, transferrable to siblings or cousins, investment upside, accepted by all colleges Cons: tax penalties if not used for college, may not cover all expenses, investment downside

58 | LIFE

• Rank the debt from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate and eliminate the highest interest rate debt first, then continue down the list. • It’s not always advantageous to pay off debt ahead of time. Example: tax-deductible

mortgage interest at 4% vs. putting money into your 401(k) and effectively earning an 80% rate of return (5% contribution = 4% matching contribution) + investment returns that hopefully earn more than 4% on average. • Create a budget. This should help you eliminate debt, stay out of debt, achieve future financial goals and monitor where your dollars are going to ensure nothing is way out of whack. Life is busy, and it is easy to let important financial matters slip. However, it is so important to prioritize the areas of your financial life that need extra work. Use these seven questions to assess where you find yourself currently. Then, set aside some time to sit down with an advisor or speak to the professionals who can help you with your needs. The feeling of checking items off of your list and knowing that the future of both you and your family are protected will help you feel confident that your financial house will be able to weather any storm that life sends your way. Tim offers securities through Valmark Securities, Inc. (Member of FINRA/SIPC). He also offers advisory Services through Koss Olinger Consulting, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Valmark Securities, Inc. is separate from Koss Olinger Consulting. Koss Olinger is located at 2700-A NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606. The material contained in the herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual nor does it take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. The information provided has been derived from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the material discussed, nor does it constitute an offer or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, products or services mentioned. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of author and are subject to change without notice. | 59

Everything Nice 5 Pumpkin & Spice Make

Indulge in the savory flavors of the fall.

60 | TASTE


Pumpkin Stew Chef Jim Victoria, Haile Village Bistro On those blustery fall nights, why not try a heaping ladle of pumpkin stew seasoned with holiday go-to flavors? Rosemary joins the festivities along with turmeric, and a variety of legumes set center stage for velvety chunks of fresh stewed pumpkin. Ingredients


1½ ounces butter

Soak the lentils and dry beans separately in water for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight, then boil them separately till tender.

2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon each turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper 2 onions, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 stick celery, chopped 3 sprigs rosemary 2 bay leaves 1 clove garlic, chopped 7 ounces lentils 7 dry ounces red kidney beans or one can of 16oz red kidney beans 7 ounces dry garbanzo beans or one can of 16oz garbanzo beans 32 ounces vegetable stock 1 and ½ pounds fresh, peeled pumpkin (total chopped weight) small bunch parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 4 tablespoons sour cream

In a large pan melt the butter and then add chopped onions, carrot and celery. Tear in the rosemary and a couple of bay leaves. After a few minutes add the chopped garlic. When all have nicely softened, mix in flour, turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper, stir for another 2 minutes. Add precooked lentils, and beans (or the canned beans and lentils), vegetable stock and vinegar. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer whilst you tend to the pumpkin. Cut 1 and ½ pounds of peeled pumpkin into large chunks. Add to the stew, season with salt and more black pepper if needed, and then pour over enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes. When the stew is almost ready, add the chopped parsley. To make the stew creamier, remove a small bowlful to a food processor and blitz it with 2 ounces of stock. Pour it back in and the stew becomes instantly more velvety. Serve the stew in bowls, finishing each helping off with a cooling spoonful of sour cream. | 61

Pumpkin Spiced Lassi

Chef-Owner Omar Oselimo, Reggae Shack Café and Southern Charm Kitchen The pumpkin spice lassi is a fall twist on an Indian classic. Paired with a shot of Grand Marnier this unique libation will add some kick to your Thanksgiving Day preparations. Ingredients


9 oz. plain yogurt

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 cup whole milk

¼ tsp ginger

2 cup cooked pumpkin pulp

½ tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup sugar

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Pour into individual glasses and serve. The Lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

¼ tsp salt One shot of Grand Marnie (optional)

Pumpkin Spiced Samosa

Chef-Owner Omar Oselimo, Reggae Shack Café and Southern Charm Kitchen Sip the flavors of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon while enjoying crunchy pouches of pumpkin and spiced raisins. Somosas are customarily stuffed with savory filling but this Jamaican inspired flavor pocket is just sweet enough for your dessert platter.




2 cups flour

2 1/2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Mix the flour cinnamon and oil. Add water and knead until dough is stiff. This dough does not require a lot of kneading. Dough should not be sticky, some cracks will still form. Let dough sit for 15 minutes.

1 tsp cinnamon powder (flat)

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp oil

¼ tsp salt


¾ cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons raisins, soaked in warm water (optional) 1 tsp ground ginger

In a bowl, mix the dry spices together. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan in mediumhigh heat. Add the spices and heat until fragrant. Add all of the dry spices and stir to coat with oil and spices. Reduce the heat. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook until pumpkin is tender. Add raisins and stir. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly. Fill

Divide the dough into four balls. Roll a dough ball into an oval then cut the oval in half. Wet the edges of the half-oval to help seal the samosa. Fold the flat cut edge of the oval together, forming a cone. Fill the cone with the vegetable mixture. Fold the rounded top over the cone and seal. Set the completed cone on a floured surface. Fry

Heat oil to 350 F. Fry samosas until they are golden brown. Carefully remove and place samosas on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.

62 | TASTE | 63







We all remember those days of gazing at new shiny bikes in bike store windows, or when Johnny down the street got the newest Schwinn bike with a banana seat. For myse lf, I grew up riding bikes during the spring, summer, and fall. I even tried during the winter but the snow was too deep for my pizza slicing wheels. Riding my bike gave me freedom; I could try new things, ride it off jumps, and explore the world. My mom would even let us ride down to the local gas station to buy candy. I loved looking at new bikes with the latest features and upgrades, and scheming how to justify the need of a new bike to my mom. It never worked. I had to stay with my current bike until I grew out of it. I now understand that selecting the right size bike for kids can be very tricky, not to mention that there are several different types of bikes to choose from, including road, mountain, triathlon, and beach cruisers, just to name a few. I hope by the end of this article to give you a few tips and tricks I have learned from experience to help you choose the best bike for yourself or as a gift this holiday season.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS The first question to ask yourself is what type of riding are you going to be doing, or where are you going to ride? Think about the activity level and whether the bike will be used for utility or relaxation. Road bikes are made to transfer every ounce of power you put on the pedals to the pavement to make you go faster. This would be best for cyclists who use bikes as their preferred mode of transportation. Mountain bikes are built to explore the dirt, gravel rocks, and roots of the mountains. Triathlon bikes are fast, aerodynamic, and built to help you go blazing fast. Beach cruisers, well, the name speaks for itself. These are all you need for a casual ride on the beach.




BEACH | 65

Each bike type has been fitted with the correct bike parts or components to handle what it is designed to do. There are high-end bikes that are really lightweight and respond faster than heavier frames. Others at your local department stores might be like driving grandpa’s station wagon from the 1960’s. For little kids, consider bypassing the training wheels. Bikes with training wheels teach children to pedal first, then how to balance. But balance bikes, which have become popular in the last several years, teach children to balance first and eliminate the reliance on training wheels. A balance bike has no pedals, so children push their feet on the ground to make the bike go. Once a child has the balancing down, he can graduate to a bike with pedals.

PERFORMANCE VS. BUDGET The second question I always ask people concerns budget. How much do you have to spend and how long do you need your bike to last? Children learning to ride are sure to fall and older kids often overestimate their skills making cavalier attempts at cool tricks. Thankfully, kids are resilient and quality craftsmanship can keep a bike from falling apart after minor crashes. Many of the bike shops in Gainesville can offer you a wide variety of different bikes for different budgets. If you want what you see cyclists riding in the Tour de France, you can find it. If you need a bike to get you from point A to point B and have limited funds, you could try buying a used bike from a neighbor or local shop. If the latter is your choice, I recommend at least getting a tune-up at the local bike shop to make sure it is in good shape and safe to ride. If you are looking for something that will last a long time, some of the middle ground bikes


will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Always check with your local bike shop for discounted past models; this is where you can really get a good deal. Stick with your budget and check out several stores to make sure you find what works best for you.

MEASURE TWICE, PURCHASE ONCE The third question to research is what size or measurements you need to pick the right bike. Check the internet and you’ll find many different formulas to calculate the correct bike size for a comfortable and safe ride. Sizing the correct bike is based upon inseam (same as your pant inseam), reach (how far you bend to hold on to the handle bars), and seat height (how long your legs are and the bend in the knee). Inseam is important, especially for kids, because they need to be able to touch

the ground when they stop and stand over their bike. You always want to make sure you can get both feet flat on the ground when straddling the bike. Be sure to try a few different sizes to figure out which is the best fit. After you have the correct bike based upon height, the next measurement is how far you need to reach for the handle bars. This is related to how flexible you are in the pelvis and lower back. If you suffer from any issues with lower back pain, be sure to choose a bike with a shorter reach. This will put you in a more upright position, and will help take stress off your back. The key with this measurement is to pick something that is comfortable to you as a rider. Picking the bike with the correct reach relates to your goals of your bike, and where you plan to ride it. Once you find the correct size, the key is to try it out. Take it out for a spin.

GOOD VIBES ONLY The last question to ask yourself is how you feel when you ride it. Does it make you smile? A smile is the key. There is no substitute for getting the bike underneath your feet and pedaling away with the feeling of freedom as the wind rushes through your hair. How do the handle bars feel when you hold them? Do you like the seat? Is it soft enough? How does it turn? Is it easy to shift? Does it have a stable, smooth ride that makes you feel secure? These are all important questions to not only ask, but also feel as you are riding the bike. Choosing the best bike is more than picking one that is your favorite color from the store closest to your work, or the one with your child’s favorite cartoon character on the side. It should be a thoughtful process that builds up the anticipation and helps you avoid buyer’s remorse. Be a considerate consumer and an astute gift-giver this holiday season by remembering the keys to bike-buying success. | 67

est. 1837

Remember Florida’s Cracker

Culture at Fort Christmas By Nancy Dohn


entral Florida is a tourist hotspot that offers theme parks, outlet malls, restaurants and other attractions to delight all ages and senses. Our area is an exciting, high-energy place, but if you want to take a break and get away from it all, visit Fort Christmas Historic Park, a mere twenty miles east of Orlando. The historical park attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year and is ranked one of the top ten by Fort Christmas Historic Park is a family friendly locale that offers indoor and outdoor exploration with


museums, exhibits, hiking trails and something no other park has; a full-scale replica of a Seminole Indian War fort that was constructed in 1837 on Christmas Day. “It’s an exact replica of the original fort,” says Clarence Canada, president of the Fort Christmas Historical Society. “It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like being here in the middle of the wilderness fighting Indians.” The park is also home to several annual activities such as a Blue Grass and Craft Festival in March and a Militia Encampment in April. But the event that garners most recognition is the Annual Cracker Christmas.

Christmas of Old “Cracker Christmas started as a small gathering in the community,” says Site Supervisor Trudi Trask, who has worked at


And grow it did. “The two-day event attracted 60,000 visitors last year,” Trask says, and she expects this year’s Cracker Christmas, held on December 3rd and 4th to meet or exceed that number. Orange County Parks and Recreation reconstructed the fort as part of a Bicentennial Project in 1976. After its completion, Cracker Christmas was relocated there. As the event grew, so did the venue, which now includes vendors, pioneer demonstrations, a confederate encampment and a tractor exhibit. The goal is to provide a fun opportunity to see and experience Florida’s rich history. For example, Dutch ovens can be seen nestled in the glowing embers of open fires, slowly baking cornbread. Above, cast iron pots hang from metal tripods with homemade soup steaming while pioneer cooks tend to them. There are blacksmith demonstrations working iron into items necessary for pioneer life. Musicians are scattered throughout the area under the shade of the tall trees stomping feet and playing various period instruments. There’s lace tatting, wool spinning, quilting, soap and candle making, and perhaps the most popular attraction of all sugar cane being made into syrup; an early sweetener. Altogether there are more than 60 demonstrations showcasing how different life was during that period of time from what it is like now. “It’s hard to describe,” Canada said. “I talked to my dad about coming here and settling. He said our ancestors literally had to carve

Kory Billingsley Photography

the park for 32 years and is a sixth-generation descendent from early Florida pioneers. “They made cane syrup and played music and as the years went by it grew.”

their way down here because there were few paths and no roads. They came on an oxcart, bringing what little belongings they had with them.” Like Trask, Canada’s heritage is deeply rooted in the area. His father’s ancestors were early settlers who came in the 1800s and his great, great grandmother was the sister of Osceola, the Seminole leader during the Second Seminole War. In addition to the demonstrations, 150 to 175 vendors offer hand-made crafts and novelty items like locally made honey with walnuts. Oh, and if you have your holiday cards ready for mailing, bring them and get them postmarked from Christmas, FL.

Cracker Construction See how life was lived by visiting the seven restored Florida Cracker homes. “Cracker” is a term reflecting a particular architecture of Florida. The characteristic metal roofs are resistant to the humid environment are rain proof and deflect heat. The raised floors, large porches that often wrap around the entire house and straight narrow hallways that run from front to back are examples of how the design enhances air flow in the absence of air | 69

est. 1837

Kory Billingsley Photography

conditioning. Cracker architecture continues to have an influence today, with many of its elements being incorporated into modern home designs.

Battlement at the Fort

In an effort to avoid additional ambushes, the US Army launched a plan to build a series of more than 200 forts, each a day’s hike from one another. This would mean soldiers could march from one fort to another during daylight and have a safe place to stay at night, as well as a place to resupply. Fort Christmas was one of those forts. On December 25, 1837 about 2,000 US Army soldiers and Alabama volunteers arrived and set to work building a typical Seminole Indian war fort constructed of tall pine pickets, with two blockhouses, a storehouse and a powder.

Kory Billingsley Photography

A video presentation replays for visitors every thirty minutes dialoguing the history of the Seminole Indian Wars. The three Seminole Wars raged on and off from 1816 to 1858 and combined are thought to be the costliest of all the Indian wars in both human and monetary costs in United States history. The Second Seminole War is considered to have been the most important. It began in 1835 when Chief Micanopy ambushed and killed General Dade and all but three of his soldiers, now known as Dade’s Massacre.

out a living and they were basically hunter gatherers, living off of the earth.” About a year after it was built, the fort was abandoned. The Seminoles had moved further into south Florida, seeking sanctuary in the swamps of the Everglades. Under the leadership of Osceola, Clarence Canada’s distant relative, the Seminoles refused to abide by the Treaty of Payne’s Landing, which required that they relocate from Florida to the Arkansas Territory.

It was completed two days later, as noted in the journal of Captain N.S. Jarvis, a surgeon in the US Army. “Today we finished our fort,” he writes, “which we called Fort Christmas, having commenced it on that day.” It’s hard to imagine what that first Cracker Christmas at the fort must have been like, far from home, in the middle of a wilderness, fighting a war.

This was understandable. Florida had been their home since the early 1700s when Native Americans from various tribes sought refuge from the pressures of expanding colonialism in sparsely populated Florida. Collectively, they were called Seminoles – a Spanish word meaning “wild.”

“The forts were always located near a water supply,” Canada says. “But they had to grub

Soon runaway slaves seeking safe-haven from the Southern plantation system joined the


Seminoles. Eventually the lush environment appealed to settlers from America and immigrants from other countries seeking land, which caused conflicts and eventually war. The Second Seminole War ended in 1842 with more than 3,500 Seminoles transported to what would become the state of Oklahoma. But about 200 to 300 Seminoles remained out of the Army’s reach in the Everglades. Eventually, there was a third Seminole Indian War in 1858, which led to the relocation of 160 additional Seminoles Indians. The Seminoles never signed a treaty, however, and today more than 1,400 reside in south Florida.

Yesterday’s Forts; Today’ Cities Many Florida towns grew-up around those early forts. For example, Orlando was built around Fort Gatlin, Sanford near Fort Mellon, Ocala by Fort King and Tampa close to Fort Brooke. Several noteworthy Florida cities were named for the forts for which they were collocated, such as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce and Fort Myers. Fort Christmas is a link to an important period of American and Florida history. Hopefully, visitors young and old will find a trip to the fort a thoughtful reminder of another time, a glimpse into the rich heritage of our country as well as a good time. Trask agrees. “Often, when I am out in one of the building someone comes to visit and you can see it takes them back to another time,” she says. “There’s an instant realization and they begin reminiscing back to how things used to be.”

For more information about Fort Christmas, visit: | 71

E VEN TS C OM M UNI T Y E V E N T S For a full listing of community events or to post one of your own, visit

ON-GOING » Bridge Every Monday, 1 p.m. Haile Plantation Hall Call Marj Crago at 352-336-1055 or Suzie Taylor at 352-337-9956 » Haile Village Farmer’s Market Every Saturday, rain or shine, 8:30 a.m. - noon Haile Plantation Village Center 352-363-2233 » Museum Nights 2nd Thursday of every month, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Harn Museum of Art » Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk First Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. - noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

NOVEMBER » Woofstock Thursday, November 10 The Barn at Rembert Farms » Veterans Special Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13 Florida Museum of Natural History

» Bark for Life of Gainesville Saturday, November 19, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Westside Park » The Cupcake Race Saturday, November 19, 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tioga Town Center » A Christmas Carol Saturday, November 26 – Thursday, December 22 Hippodrome Theatre » Tioga Tailgates Saturday, November 26 Fluid Lounge, Tioga Town Center » Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Sunday, November 27, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tioga Town Center » Wish Upon A Star Annual Holiday Toy Drive Friday, November 28 – Tuesday, November 29 Partnership For Strong Families


» Tropix, Tioga Town Center Concert Series Friday, November 11, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Tioga Town Center » Iron Chef Competition Featuring Dragonfly, Mildred's New Deal Cafe and Eat the 80 Saturday, November 12 Haile Village Center


Festival of Trees VIP Preview Party Thursday, December 1 Partnership For Strong Families

» Festival of Trees Thursday, December 1 – Saturday, December 3 Tioga Town Center

» Farm and Cane Festival Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dudley Farm Historic State Park » Homestead Holidays at the Historic Haile Homestead Sunday, December 4, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Historic Haile Homestead » Candlelight Visits at the Historic Haile Homestead Friday, December 9, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. Historic Haile Homestead

Light the Village Friday, December 2, 5 p.m. Haile Village Center » Artwalk Gainesville Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Downtown Gainesville

» Holiday Craft Festival Saturday, December 10 Haile Village Center » The 20th Annual Stop Children’s Cancer Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration Sunday, December11, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts | 73

E VE N T S » Mommy & Me Onstage Wednesday, December 14, 5 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts » The Nutcracker Friday, December16, 7:30p.m., Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m., Sunday, December 18, 2 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts » Sugar Plum Tea Saturday, Dec.ember 17, 1 p.m. Fackler Foyer East

JANUARY » Florida Museum of Natural History Volunteering Opportunities Wednesday, January 18, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History » Collectors' Day Saturday, January 21, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History

FEBRUARY » Dance Alive National Ballet Presents Friar Tuck’s Pub February 4, 2 p.m. Fackler Foyer West » Dance Alive National Ballet Presents Robin Hood Friday, February 3, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday February 4, 2p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts » American Heart Association Heart Ball Friday, February10, 6:30 p.m. Hilton UF Conference Center

Follow us on for more event information and photos. 74 | EVENTS


Lemon Ball benefitting Alex’s Lemonade Stand September 8, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow

Battle of the Bands benefitting the Education Foundation Take Stock in Children October 1, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow | 75

SN AP SH OT S 32nd Annual Art Festival at Thornebrook October 3, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow

Women’s Giving Circle Decade of Impact Luncheon October 8, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow


SNAPSHOTS PACE Throw a Girl a Lifeline Luncheon October 17, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow | 77


Gainesville Gone Austin benefitting Child Advocacy Center October 27, 2016 Photos by Kara Winslow



A Personal Elf (p.56) .......................................271-1111

Junior League of Gainesville (p.19) ......376-3805

All About Women (p.31) ............................ 331-3332

Kara Winslow Makeup Artist (p.27).............................321-356-3116

Altschuler Periodontic and Implant Center (p.13) ............................371-4141 Artsy Abode at the Oaks Mall (p.49, 53) ....................... 332-2127 Avera & Smith, Attorneys at Law (p.4) ..............................372-9999

Kinetix Physical Therapy (p.63) ............505-6665 Koontz Furniture & Design (p.23) ..........622-3241 Koss Olinger Financial Group (BC) .......373-3337 Lugano (p.15)................................................. 374-4910

Backstreet Blues Chop House (p.1 `) ...363-6792

Pink Narcissus (p.51) ..................................373-4874

Bosshardt Realty Services (p.35) ..........318-9703

Poser Plastic Surgery Center (ISFC) .... 372-3672

Cloud 9 Spa Salon (p.ISBC).................... 335-9920

Pure Aesthetics (p.9) ................................ 332-7873

Coleen DeGroff, Realtor (p.33) ..............359-2797

Pure Barre (p.16,17) ..................................... 627-6414

Dr. William Storoe, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (p.57) .........................371-4111

Saboré (p.11) ................................................. 332-2727

Electronics World (p.67) .......................... 332-5608

Tioga Town Center (p.2,3) ...................... 331-4000

Sun Country Sports Center (p.63) ..........331-8773

Footstone Photography (p.36).............. 562-3066

TradePMR (p. 59 ) .....................................332-8723

Haile Farmers Market (p.74) ......... 904-524-9705

UF Health (p.7) ........................................... 265-2222

Hippodrome Theatre (p.79) .....................375-4477

Whistler Tree Farm (p.71) ......................... 372-3383 | 79


GARBANZO BEAN & CHICKEN STEW My grandmother would make this in the fall and winter months and always had around the holidays. It’s great comfort food and packed with nutrients and protein to keep you energized for all the holidays. She used to kick it up a notch by adding shredded fresh buffalo mozzarella in the bottom of the bowl before pouring in the stew. Totally optional, but highly recommended.

Buon Appetito! INGREDIENTS • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided • 2 skinless, boneless skin on chicken breasts • 4 cups of chicken broth • 1 cup dry white wine • Kosher salt • 3 large garlic cloves, minced • 1/2 cup of diced sweet onion • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme • 2 tablespoons tomato paste • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes • 2 bay leaves • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes • 2 cups 1” cubes ciabatta cubed bread • 1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

80 |

PREPARATION Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to low and let oil cool for 1 minute. Add garlic, onion and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add thyme, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute, then add wine. Add reserved chicken with any accumulated juices, along with bay leaves and 4 cups chicken broth. Scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add chickpeas to pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the skin and shred chicken; add to stew. Add crushed tomatoes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil; simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Divide bread cubes among bowls. Ladle soup over. Garnish with parsley, basil and sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese.

The Village Journal  

Vol. 12, Issue 4

The Village Journal  

Vol. 12, Issue 4