Press Releases

FishHawk Press Releases

Host an International Student

Devon Woodward is looking for host families for 50 international students through the Education Homestay Program, a division of Education First. Ranging in ages from 12-18, these students will need a home from Wednesday, July 21-Tuesday, August 10. Monday-Friday the students will attend English classes and field trips, spending evenings and weekends with the host family.

For more information, visit www.efhomestay.org, e-mail Dev@woodwardsearchgroup.com or call 833-9923.

Teach Your Dog Manners

Dog obedience classes (an eight-week course) will be held at Brandon Recreation Center, 510 E. Sadie St., starting the week of April 19. Basic is taught on Monday or Tuesday. Sub-Novice is taught on Wednesday or Thursday. All classes are 7-8 p.m. The registration fee is $80.

For information and pre-registration, call 689-0731 or e-mail sibesite@tampabay.rr.com.

Brandon Expo Announced

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce will hold the 2010 Brandon Business Expo and Taste of Brandon on Thursday, May 20, from 3:30-8 p.m. in the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fair Grounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301, Tampa. Exhibitor space is available now. Chamber member booth fees are $200 and prospective member space is available for $300.

For registration information, contact Jamie Reid with The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce at 689-1221, ext. 8843, or jreid@brandonchamber.com. Registration is also available online at www.brandonchamber.com.

Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club Spring Fling

Residents are invited to join the Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club for its 2010 Annual Membership Recruitment Spring Fling event on Thursday, April 29, from 7-9 p.m. at its clubhouse, located at 129 N. Moon Ave. in Brandon.

For more information, contact Maureen at night5181@aol.com.

Gathering Held for Ugandans

Valrico resident Beth Green of the Kelly Green Evangelistic Association (KGEA) will be hosting The Gathering on Saturday, May 1, at FishHawk’s Aquatic Center, 5702 Hawkpark Blvd., Lithia, from 2-4 p.m. Come hear about the women in Uganda where the items will be taken. The group is collecting scissors, measuring tapes, fabric (at least three yards), adult and children’s vitamins (date must not have expired), oven mitts, dish towels, scarves, eye glasses – prescription and reading, grocery bags (fabric only), children’s, toddler’s and baby clothing, baby blankets and women’s clothing (no pants or underwear). Refreshments will be served. A money tree will be available for donations so that KGEA can purchase mosquito nets, sugar, salt, soap and coal, pigs and goats for raising, sewing machines and school fees and school supplies. One hundred percent of financial gifts will go directly to the women of Uganda and are tax deductible when given through KGEA, a 501(3)(c).

Networking That Benefits Children

Networking for a Cause, co-hosted by Word O Mouth Referrals and www.MicheyCards.com, will meet on Friday, April 9, from 8-10 a.m. at the Brandon YMCA, 3097 S. Kingsway Rd., to benefit the YMCA Give a Kid a Chance campaign with special sponsors Magruder Insurance, JC Penny Brandon Town Center, Music Showcase and The Catering Company. Breakfast is $8 per person.

For more information, call Michelle Burgess at 310-9518.

Farm Hosts Singing Talent

Pick’n & Sing’n at The Farm, 7818 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia, will host Ray Witherington, and Richard Kiser is still in Florida and may be dropping in. There are approximately 350 seats; however, residents are encouraged to bring their own chairs if possible. Bring your guitar, banjo, fiddle or other instruments and join the fun singing about God and country. Jayc Harold will be here on Friday, May 28. Shows are held the last Friday of each month at 7 p.m. (Singers and pickers, please be here at 6 p.m.).

Call 967-3046 for more information or visit www.TheFarmUSA.com.

Network Your Real Estate Needs

Realtors, builders and business owners who would like to network are invited to come and pitch their listings, buyers’ wants and needs and brokers opens at Big Belly’s, 109 W. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, every Wednesday from 8:45-10 a.m. Vendors are welcome to come and share their services that complement the real estate industry. Coffee and a continental breakfast will be served. Raffles and giveaways occur every meeting.

Call Tim Ryan at 928-2862 for more information.

Democrat Club to Meet

The East Hillsborough County Democratic Club’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 13, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Giordano’s Restaurant, 11310 Causeway Blvd., Brandon.

For more information, visit www.easthillsboroughdems.org.

Speed Dating with a Touch of Comedy

Coconuts Comedy Club, 9331 Adamo Dr, Tampa, will have speed dating on Friday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. All singles over the age of 21 are welcome. The cost is just $10 and includes the comedy show to follow at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.BrandonCoconuts.com.

Bloomingdale Scholarship Deadline Approaching

High school seniors, who are residents of the Bloomingdale community, working on the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association Community Scholarship in honor of BJ Stelter must turn in their application by Thursday, April 1, to the BHA.

If you have any questions, please contact the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association at 681-2051.

RELIGION

Learn the Catholic Faith

Nativity Catholic Church, 705 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, invites residents to an informal question and answer inquiry session on most Sunday mornings from 9-10 a.m. in the Adult Ed. Bldg.

For more information, call 689-9101.

Ladies Sport Hats at Luncheon

The Brandon Christian Woman’s Connection’s Hat Parade will be held in the Special Events Room of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, on Thursday, April 15, at 11 a.m. Women from all areas of Brandon are welcome, as this is a place to make new friends and see old ones as well as enjoy special music, an elegant luncheon and have fun being inspired by an inspirational speaker, all for $12 (reservations required). A special thanks goes to Bell Shoals for providing its facilities for the meeting. The group is holding a collection of items for LifeCare of Brandon. Don’t forget to wear a hat.

For reservations, call Bobbie Gardener at 657-8632.

1Caption: Pictured are ladies from last year’s Brandon Christian Woman’s Connection’s Hat Parade. This year’s parade is on Thursday, April 15, at Bell Shoals Baptist Church.

Women’s Bible Study Announced

The Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, 710 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, will be starting a new 10-week Beth Moore Bible study on Thursday, May 6, from 9–11:30 a.m. and 6:30–8:30 p.m. Workbook fees are $15 each and the deadline is Thursday, April 29. For more information or to register, call 654-3699.

SCHOOLS

Celebrate Earth Day

Nature’s Classroom, 13100 Verges Rd., Thonotosassa, is celebrating Earth Day by hosting an open house event on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring live music, children’s activities, live animal handling, food, nature art displays and sales and a variety of environmentally focused exhibits. Visitors may tour the new animal compound and native plant garden. There is a $5 entry donation per vehicle.

For more information, call 987-6969.

Cub Scouts Clean-Up Wetlands

On a recent Saturday morning, the Webelos II den of Cub Scout Pack 637 did some clean-up work for their community. Despite the frigid temperatures, the boys met early in the morning to clean up trash out of the wetland area behind FishHawk Creek Elementary School. Their efforts netted more than five garbage bags of trash and recyclable materials. The boys who participated were Jon Miller, Michael Kuenzli, Andrew Tumlin, John Kuenzli and Jairang Yarlagadda. They were led in the effort by their Assistant Den Leader, Eric Miller, and a parent volunteer, David Kuenzli. Cub Scout Pack 637 meets the last Monday of the month at FishHawk Creek Elementary School, 16815 Dorman Rd., Lithia.

For more information, call the Gulf Ridge Council at 872-2691.

Track Camp Unveils

The 813 Track Club will host its First Annual Speed and Fitness Youth Camp from Monday, April 5, to Thursday, June 24, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. at Evans Park, 1104 N. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner. The registration fee is $25 per athlete (online payments accepted).

Contact Coach Ken Gray at 403-4264 for more information.

Local Pack Camps Out at MacDill AFB Campout

A Pack 632 campout on MacDill Air Force Base was held in March, with more than 35 scouts and their families attending.  The scouts were treated to a tour of the NOAA facility where they met with a NOAA meteorologist to learn all about severe weather.   The boys were then treated to a tour of a P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft in the NOAA hangar, a visit of the Air Traffic Control Tower and a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft, followed by a visit to the Base Fire Department. Closing ceremonies were held Sunday morning with a flag detail. The pack’s next camping trip will be to Fort DeSoto in April.

For more information, e-mail scott.weber@socom.mil.

COUNTY UPDATES

County Launches Bully Busters Website

Are you concerned that someone may be bullying your child? Could your child be a bully? Are you worried that your child could be a victim of online harassment or cyberbullying? These are just a few of the questions you can get answered on Hillsborough County’s new Bully Busters Website: www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bullybusters.

For more information, call Carol Michel at 276-2033.

Free Events at the Library

The Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, will offer the following free events: Manners Do Matter workshop on Saturdays, April 3 and April 10, at 2 p.m.; Peter Rabbit puppet show on Monday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Altered Books on Saturday, April 10, at 10:30 a.m.; National Library Week from Sunday-Saturday, April 11 – 17; Knock Their Socks Off with the Interviewing Edge with Dr. Earl Paul of Hillsborough Community College/Brandon on Tuesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.; and Teen Poetry Slam Workshop on Thursday, April 22, and Friday, April 23, at 4 p.m.

For more information, call 273-3652 or visit www.hcplc.org.

Free Workshops at Bloomingdale Library

Workshops will be held at the Bloomingdale Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, on the second Saturday of each month, with artful journaling being taught on Saturday, March 13, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

To register, e-mail lifewritersbloom@msn.com.

Tell County Your Housing Problems

Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Department is currently surveying local residents and organizations about barriers that they have encountered in trying to obtain decent affordable housing and choices of housing in Hillsborough County. An online survey is available on the county Website in English and Spanish for residents to give their input. The survey, called an Analysis of Impediments, is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development periodically by local agencies that receive HUD funding, to ensure that the Fair Housing Act is being fulfilled in the community. The results of this survey and analysis will be used develop strategies and actions to reduce and/or eliminate the identified barriers.

To access the online survey, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org/affordablehousingoffice/ and click on the “Fair Housing Choice Survey” links.

Teens Needed to Join Anti-Bullying Subcommittee

Hillsborough County’s new Anti-bullying Youth Advisory Subcommittee is recruiting members to work with the county’s Anti-Bullying Advisory Committee (ABAC), which was formed last August as part of the Board of County Commissioners’ Bully Busters initiative.

Anyone interested in applying for the Youth Subcommittee should call Callie Lackey, Children’s Services, at 264-3807, ext. 120, or Carol Michel, Criminal Justice, at 276-2033.

County Wants Your Input Regarding Services

Hillsborough County has added a new blog question to get online feedback on the county services residents think should be reduced. There is also a Matrix of Services that easily outlines the county services currently offered. All public comments, no matter through which form, will be sent to county management and budget staff and County Commissioners for consideration in developing the recommended budget.

The blog link is http://hillsboroughfl.blogspot.com. To find out details on the FY 11 budget, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org and click the megaphone graphic to go straight to all things budget. Residents will even be able to watch the budget hearings and workshops live or prior meetings on demand.

Valrico Press Releases

County Updates

Celebrate Earth Day

Hillsborough County Extension will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a free family-friendly program on growing green, complete with exhibits and hands-on learning activities at Hillsborough Community College’s Plant City campus, 1200 N. Park Rd. A short course will be offered on Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM for a $10 registration fee from 8:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Attendees will learn about alternative vegetable gardening, safe solutions to pest problems, snakes and bats, and recent landscape regulations.

For more information and to register, visit http://growinggreen2010.evenetbrite.com.

Reminder that April is Water Conservation Month

April is designated as Water Conservation Month because it’s typically the driest month of the year in Florida. Hillsborough County Water Resource Services (WRS) promotes smart water use through a wide variety of initiatives. One is through tips such as the following:

Fix leaks.

Replace worn or poorly-fitting toilet flappers, which can waste up to 200 gallons a day.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Keep showers under five minutes. Replace older toilets with low-flow models.

For more ideas, as well as complete information on current water restrictions, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org/water, and click on the “Conservation” link.

County Partners with Feeding America to Stop Hunger

Hunger is a yearlong challenge in Hillsborough County. To help fill this need, Hillsborough County Government, United Way of Tampa Bay and Feeding America Tampa Bay (formerly known as Second Harvest – Tampa Bay) are partnering to Stop Hometown Hunger by collecting and distributing nutritious food. The goal is to help more than 10,000 families. Residents can help by bringing the following canned or boxed goods during the following weeks, Friday-Friday, so the food pantry receives needed staple food:

April 16-23- breakfast cereal

May 14- 21- canned fruit

July 16-23- canned tuna

September 17-24- canned vegetables

November 12-19- peanut butter

Drop Box Locations:

District 1

·         Seffner-Mango Branch, 410 North Kingsway Rd. in Seffner

·         SouthShore Regional Service Center, 410 30th St. S.E. in Ruskin

District 3

·         Brandon Support Operations Complex, 332 N. Falkenburg Rd.. in Tampa

District 4

·         Brandon Regional Service Center, 311 Pauls Dr. in Brandon

·         Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico

·         Plant City Courthouse, 302 N. Michigan Ave. in Plant City

Residents can also help by texting 50555 (Hunger) and make a monetary donation.

For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

County Launches Bully Busters Website

Are you concerned that someone may be bullying your child? Could your child be a bully? Are you worried that your child could be a victim of online harassment or cyberbullying? These are just a few of the questions you can get answered on Hillsborough County’s new Bully Busters Website: www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bullybusters.

For more information, call Carol Michel at 276-2033.

Tell County Your Housing Problems

Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Department is currently surveying local residents and organizations about barriers that they have encountered in trying to obtain decent affordable housing and choices of housing in Hillsborough County. An online survey is available on the county Website in English and Spanish for residents to give their input. The survey, called an Analysis of Impediments, is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development periodically by local agencies that receive HUD funding, to ensure that the Fair Housing Act is being fulfilled in the community. The results of this survey and analysis will be used develop strategies and actions to reduce and/or eliminate the identified barriers.

To access the online survey, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org/affordablehousingoffice/  and click on the “Fair Housing Choice Survey” links.

Teens Needed to Join Anti-Bullying Subcommittee

Hillsborough County’s new Anti-bullying Youth Advisory Subcommittee is recruiting members to work with the county’s Anti-Bullying Advisory Committee (ABAC), which was formed last August as part of the Board of County Commissioners’ Bully Busters initiative.

Anyone interested in applying for the Youth Subcommittee should call Callie Lackey, Children’s Services, at 264-3807, ext. 120, or Carol Michel, Criminal Justice, at 276-2033.

County Wants Your Input Regarding Services

Hillsborough County has added a new blog question to get online feedback on the county services residents think should be reduced. There is also a Matrix of Services that easily outlines the county services currently offered. All public comments, no matter through which form, will be sent to county management and budget staff and County Commissioners for consideration in developing the recommended budget.

The blog link is http://hillsboroughfl.blogspot.com. To find out details on the FY 11 budget, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org and click the megaphone graphic to go straight to all things budget. Residents will even be able to watch the budget hearings and workshops live or prior meetings on demand.

Meetings

Host an International Student

Devon Woodward is looking for host families for 50 international students through the Education Homestay Program, a division of Education First. Ranging in ages from 12-18, these students will need a home from Wednesday, July 21-Tuesday, August 10. Monday-Friday the students will attend English classes and field trips, spending evenings and weekends with the host family.

For more information, visit www.efhomestay.org, e-mail Dev@woodwardsearchgroup.com or call 833-9923.

Teach Your Dog Manners

Dog obedience classes (an eight-week course) will be held at Brandon Recreation Center, 510 E. Sadie St., starting the week of April 19. Basic is taught on Monday or Tuesday. Sub-Novice is taught on Wednesday or Thursday. All classes are 7-8 p.m. The registration fee is $80.

For information and pre-registration, call 689-0731 or e-mail sibesite@tampabay.rr.com.

Spend an Evening with the Chef

An Evening with Chef Phill at Lenna Hall is being offered on Thursday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. at Lenna Hall, 602 Lenna Ave., Seffner, for $40. Learn culinary techniques and master new recipes while enjoying an interactive cooking demonstration by Chef Phill, an upcoming featured chef on Iron Chef America.

For more information or reservations, call 493-4992.

Brandon Expo Announced

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce will hold the 2010 Brandon Business Expo and Taste of Brandon on Thursday, May 20, from 3:30-8 p.m. in the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fair Grounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301, Tampa. Exhibitor space is available now. Chamber member booth fees are $200 and prospective member space is available for $300.

For registration information, contact Jamie Reid with The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce at 689-1221, ext. 8843, or jreid@brandonchamber.com. Registration is also available online at www.brandonchamber.com.

Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club Spring Fling

Residents are invited to join the Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club for its 2010 Annual Membership Recruitment Spring Fling event on Thursday, April 29, from 7-9 p.m. at its clubhouse, located at 129 N. Moon Ave. in Brandon.

For more information, contact Maureen at night5181@aol.com.

Chef Returns to Rolling Pin

Chef Helen Chen returned to Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium, 2080 Badlands Dr., Brandon, promoting her new cookbooks Easy Chinese Stir-Frys and Easy Asian Noodles.  She demonstrated how easy it is to create classic Asian dishes. Additionally, she entertained the sold-out crowd with stories of her culinary culture in Asia. The new Brandon location boasts a 1,000-sq.-ft. Culinary Center where eight–10 cooking classes are held each week. Whether presented by a celebrity chef, local instructor or in-house chef, these classes are fun, informative and always a great value.

For more information, call 653-2418.

Bank Teams Up with the MDA

With the passing of St. Patrick’s Day, you may have noticed Valrico State Bank selling colorful shamrock mobiles to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s quest to cure neuromuscular diseases. All five Valrico State Bank branches participated by helping to raise $2,181. Valrico State Bank is helping support the fight against neuromuscular diseases and helping to find a cure.

For more information, please contact Krisha Maurer at 689-1231.

Free Workshops at Bloomingdale Library

Workshops will be held at the Bloomingdale Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, on the second Saturday of each month, with the class, “Illustrate Your Life Story,” being taught on Saturday, May 8, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Also offered is a five-week story writing class which will be an abridged version of the 10-week program. Classes start Monday, April 19, and run through Monday, May 17, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

To register for either, e-mail lifewritersbloom@msn.com.

Support Group Welcomes the Depressed

DBSA Tampa Bay, Inc. hosts a depression and bipolar support group that meets on Mondays in Brandon. Open for family and friends as well as those diagnosed with mood disorders, this peer-led group meets free of charge from 7-8:30 p.m. at Brandon Christian Church, 910 Bryan Rd., Brandon.

For more information, visit www.dbsatampabay.org.

Delaney Creek Unveils Fundraisers for ACS

The staff at Delaney Creek, 320 S. Lakewood Dr., Brandon, has organized a team of 15 to participate in the American Cancer’s Relay For Life. The following fundraising activities will take place over the next few weeks, with all proceeds going to support the team:

Bunco Marathon – Friday, April 23, at 10 a.m. The cost is $10 and that includes lunch.  Space is limited, so call 655-8858 for reservations.

Rock-A-Thon – Wednesday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. For a total of three hours someone will be rocking in a rocking chair to raise money.

Garage Sale – Friday, April 30, at 8 p.m. A variety of treasures from furniture to clothing, decorative items and crafts will be in Delaney Creek’s parking lot for all treasure hunters.  Hot dogs, beverages and cookies will be served.

Network Your Real Estate Needs

Realtors, builders and business owners who would like to network are invited to come and pitch their listings, buyers’ wants and needs and brokers opens at Big Belly’s, 109 W. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, every Wednesday from 8:45-10 a.m. Vendors are welcome to come and share their services that complement the real estate industry. Coffee and a continental breakfast will be served. Raffles and giveaways occur every meeting.

Call Tim Ryan at 928-2862 for more information.

Speed Dating with a Touch of Comedy

Coconuts Comedy Club, 9331 Adamo Dr, Tampa, will have speed dating on Friday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. All singles over the age of 21 are welcome. The cost is just $10 and includes the comedy show to follow at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.BrandonCoconuts.com.

Religion

Learn the Catholic Faith

Nativity Catholic Church, 705 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, invites residents to an informal question and answer inquiry session on most Sunday mornings from 9-10 a.m. in the Adult Ed. Bldg.

For more information, call 689-9101.

Ladies Sport Hats at Luncheon

The Brandon Christian Woman’s Connection’s Hat Parade will be held in the Special Events Room of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, on Thursday, April 15, at 11 a.m. Women from all areas of Brandon are welcome, as this is a place to make new friends and see old ones as well as enjoy special music, an elegant luncheon and have fun being inspired by an inspirational speaker, all for $12 (reservations required). A special thanks goes to Bell Shoals for providing its facilities for the meeting. The group is holding a collection of items for LifeCare of Brandon. Don’t forget to wear a hat.

For reservations, call Bobbie Gardener at 657-8632.

Students Present Passion of Christ

The Nativity Catholic School eighth grade class will present the 21st annual Living Stations of the Cross on Thursday, April 1, at 9 a.m. at Nativity Catholic Church, 705 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon. More than 70 eighth grade students will present the final hours or Passion of Christ in a total of 14 stations to the entire school community, including faculty, staff and parishioners.

For information, contact the school at 689-3395.

Women’s Bible Study Announced

The Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, 710 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, will be starting a new 10-week Beth Moore Bible study on Thursday, May 6, from 9–11:30 a.m. and 6:30–8:30 p.m. Workbook fees are $15 each and the deadline is Thursday, April 29. For more information or to register, call 654-3699.

Schools

School Hosts Multicultural Festival

Valrico Elementary School, 609 S. Miller Rd., Valrico, will host its 11th Annual Multicultural Festival on Friday, April 23, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., themed, “The World is a Rainbow,” with the entire school population of 950 students and teachers forming a human rainbow.

For more information, call 744-6777 or e-mail kimberly.parke@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

JCC Registering Now for Summer Camp

The Jewish Community Center Preschool Brandon, 706 Bryan Rd., Brandon, is currently enrolling students for the 2010 summer camp session and the 2010-11 school year. With more than 30 years of experience in the Tampa Bay area, the JCC Preschool offers a variety of part-time and full-time programs for children ages 1 to 4. The school also offers morning, afternoon and full-day VPK. Discounts on registration/deposit fees are also available.

Call 643-0522 or e-mail Cheryl Matthews at cmatthews64@msn.com for more information.

PTSA Seeks Help with Luncheon

As part of the inaugural year of Strawberry Crest High School, 4691 Gallagher Rd.,

Dover, the Parent-Teacher-Student Association would like to host a teacher appreciation breakfast for the faculty and staff of Strawberry Crest High School. With this being an inaugural year, its funds are limited so it does not have an unlimited amount to provide a nice recognition luncheon. The group is hoping that it can count on your assistance to help it provide a nice recognition luncheon for the faculty and staff this school year. It would love to show its appreciation for all the hard work they have put in into making this school year a huge success.

If you find you can help in any way, please call Carol Mayo, PTSA president, at 707-7522.

School Recognizes Science Fair Winners

The Grace Christian School Science Fair was held this year in March for sixth-ninth grade. Top exhibitors were chosen from each grade by their science teacher, and then the finalists displayed their projects and explained their experiments to the judges. Here are the winners: sixth grade: first, Bailey Jarrett; second, David Pickles; third, Meghan Alur; fourth, Brian Jackson; seventh grade: first, Wesley McGovern; second, Jasey Queipo; third, Jake Arent; fourth, Kirsten Wainoris; eighth grade: first, Jennifer Cranston; second, Brian Do; third, Brandy Rau; fourth, Tara Malone; ninth grade: first, Abby Auten, second, Denise Cruz; third, Austin Price; fourth, Sarah Short; grand prize trophy winners: first, Wesley McGovern; second, Jennifer Cranston; third, Brian Do.

For more information, call the school, 1425 N. Valrico Rd., Valrico, at 689-8815.

Celebrate Earth Day

Nature’s Classroom, 13100 Verges Rd., Thonotosassa, is celebrating Earth Day by hosting an open house event on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring live music, children’s activities, live animal handling, food, nature art displays and sales and a variety of environmentally focused exhibits. Visitors may tour the new animal compound and native plant garden. There is a $5 entry donation per vehicle.

For more information, call 987-6969.

Preschool Now Registering

St. Andrew’s United Methodist Preschool, 3315 Bryan Rd., Brandon, is enrolling 3- and 4-year-olds for the 2010-2011 school year. St. Andrew’s preschool provides  a half-day program which includes a full curriculum, with emphasis on  readiness skills, to prepare children both academically and socially for kindergarten. It has Gold Seal Accreditation.

Call Gwen Taylor at 689-1207 or visit www.standrewsbrandon.org to register or for additional information.

Registration for Swimming Lessons Open

Register now for Campo YMCA Group Swimming Lessons, with four-week sessions available through October. Ages 6 months old through adults are welcome. Campo YMCA is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd., Valrico.

For more information, call 684-1371 or e-mail stephanie.hoffa@tampaymca.org.

Register for VPK at BSAC

The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, 405 Beverly Blvd., Brandon, is currently taking registrations for fall 2010 for its Early Childhood/Voluntary Kindergarten program. VPK is held each weekday from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. Early drop-off, lunch and longer and full-day options are available.

For more information, please call Kim Dearth at 689-0908.

Music Showcase Unveils New Programs

Children from 4 years old-adult can sign up now for a wide variety of programs through the Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase. Actors can participate in the upcoming musical performances of Cinderella, Into the Woods Junior and Civil War. Classes focus on coaching in acting and singing and set, prop, and costume design with performances at the end of the sessions. Also offered is the Academy’s Rock Band, Rock Orchestra, beginning group guitar, group violin classes, one-on-one instruction in any instrument or voice and the Mini-Musicians class.

For more information, call Music Showcase, 402 Oakfield Dr., Brandon, at 490-ARTS (2787) or visit musicshowcaseonline.com.