Concert, Classes, Events & More

Sweetbay Offers Cooking Classes

Sweetbay is now offering the “Taste the Passion Cooking Class” every second Saturday of every month from 1-2 p.m. Call 643-5564 or see the store, located at 16751 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, for more details.


Concert Series Continued

Summer is far from over, so gather up your beach blankets, chairs, friends and neighbors every Friday night through August to catch FishHawk’s Annual Summer Concert Series with performances on: July 25 – ClaraSalsa will energize the senses with a combination of traditional and contemporary Salsa rhythms. August performers are to be announced in the coming weeks. The Summer Concert Series is free and open to the public being held at Park Square at FishHawk Ranch, located at 16144 Churchview Dr. in Lithia, every Friday night through August beginning at 7 p.m.

For additional information on scheduled performances, please visit or call 654-6360.


Companies Unite

TRW and Associates, Inc. of Tampa is pleased to announce that it recently signed a five year, multi-million dollar agreement with Gramercy Capital Corporation (NYSE: GKK) to provide the company with project management, consulting and facilities management on all building and construction projects all while helping it conserve energy and waste. The scope of work includes overseeing approximately 11 million sq. ft. for 900 banking facilities, including branch locations for Bank of America, Wachovia and Fifth Third banks. The joint venture is slated to begin in July and marks one of TRW’s largest contracts in company history. TRW has been mindful of the environment and dedicated to “green” service since its conception in 2003.


Leadership Brandon Alumni Night

On August 15, from 6:30-11:30 p.m. the Leadership Brandon Alumni Ninth Annual Casino Night will be held at the Palmetto Club located in FishHawk Ranch at 17004 Dorman Rd. in Lithia. Tickets are on sale for $30.

For more information, call Aubrey Primrose at 244-5525 or by email at or call Miranda Avecillas at 765-1021 or by email at


Medical Staff Awards Scholarships

Dr. William Davison, chief of staff, Mike Fencel, CEO, and Dr. Nancy Landfish of Brandon Regional Hospital, located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, awarded Medical Executive Staff scholarship recipients in July. The high school scholarship recipients each received $1,000 and include: Brenda Brandon Buford of East Bay High School, Christopher Plant of Durant High School, Meaghan Pickett of Newsome High School, Kyle Kepics of Spoto High School, Jandy Reina of Lennard High School, Lisa Shumac of Armwood High School, George Conner of Bloomingdale High School and employee dependent recipients Caitlin Cundy and Stephany Joseph.

For more information, call 571-5105.


Stroller Strides Moves Locations

The nation’s No. 1 mom and baby fitness class has made a few local changes this summer. Stroller Strides classes throughout Tampa have all moved to 8:30 a.m. to beat some of the heat. Summer hours will last until September 1. In addition, Brandon Stroller Strides classes have left the Westfield Brandon mall and now meet outdoors at the Brandon Parkway every Tuesday and Thursday. Moms meet at the parkway’s parking lot located near the intersection of Lumsden and Brandon Parkway. Lithia classes at FishHawk Ranch Community are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, meeting at Park Square. The hour-long classes emphasize cardiovascular activities and muscle-strengthening exercises using resistance bands and strollers, allowing moms to interact with their babies throughout their workout.

For more information, visit or call Ginger Couden at 394-7754.


Rotarians Hold Installation Banquet

Leading a parade of real-live penguins, Brandon accountant Vince Ferraro kicked off the 47th anniversary installation banquet of the Brandon Rotary Club in style in May at the Florida Aquarium. Although the underwater world was the theme, there was nothing fishy about the accolades outgoing Rotary District 6890 Gov. Doug Andrews had in store for outgoing President Alan Feldman as he handed over his gavel to 2008-09 Brandon Rotary Club President Jeff Reynolds. Andrews lauded Feldman for a number of accomplishments during the year including initiating Project Cure as an area Rotary project in which the local clubs collect medical equipment and supplies and send them to developing countries. He also credited Feldman with forming the Rotary Presidents’ Council, composed of seven area clubs, the Rotary Friendship Committee to provide counseling for fellow Rotarians, developing the club’s Website, which won honors at the district conference in May, establishing a relationship with the club’s sister Rotary Club in St. Kitt’s and for raising $70,000 this year to donate to local charities. Feldman, in turn, gave thanks to Rotarians who helped make his year as leader a success. He presented a special award to George Simmons who has been instrumental in helping bring about improvements to Rotary’s Camp Florida including donating kitchen equipment. A special president’s award went to Dan Dail, the president’s award to Ken Foster and the leadership award to Jack Pickens, credited with turning around Wild Game Night. Reynolds, CEO of The Reynolds Group at Morgan Stanley, has been a member of the club since 1995, noting that he was influenced by his childhood mentor and fellow Rotarian banker Dick Eatman. Joining him on the board are Chuck Colwill as vice president/president-elect; Ken Foster II as secretary; Ron Marsh as treasurer and Fred Schwabe as sergeant at arms. Directors are Joe Campoamor, Leslie Granich, Schwabe, Tom Odiorne, Kim Pontillo and Doug Hermansen.

For information about the Brandon Rotary Club, visit


Volunteers Get Recognized

In June, WUSF Public Broadcasting hosted its 2008 Volunteer Appreciation Event to honor its volunteers’ commitment and service to the stations. More than 90 volunteers attended, including representatives from the Key Chorale, Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus, AARP’s Brandon Chapter #4442, The Tampa Bay Symphony and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lakeland. The event was held at Traditions Hall in the University of South Florida’s Alumni Center. The year’s recipient of the Sandy Hahn Volunteer of the Year Award went to Ken Van Alstyne. He began volunteering with the station in October 2006 and has given WUSF more than 100 hours of service, answering phones during radio membership campaigns and working on special projects. This year’s recipient of the Sandy Hahn Volunteer Group of the Year Award went to the Key Chorale, Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus. “Special Recognition” awards were presented to the AARP of Brandon #4442 for giving more than 100 hours on monthly bulk mailings and annual tax receipt mailings, as well as to Bill Maillet, Sandra Martin, MJ Burke, Blanche Shelton and Mike O’Donnell. In addition, the station recognized volunteers with 100, 200, 600 and 1,200 hours of service to the station with Lifetime Hours Award pins and certificates. This year, WUSF had 187 volunteers who donated a total of 2,656 hours working in the Music Library, Development and Member Services departments. In addition, Radio Reading Service volunteers produced 3,432 hours of locally read programming for the visually impaired.

For more information about WUSF’s volunteer opportunities, please call 974-8700 or visit


Plaza Bella Hosts Event

Channel your inner Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello with VINO 100 Valrico and the merchants of Plaza Bella Shopping Center as they dive into a Saturday of fun and frolic during the “Beach Blanket Bingo” event at Plaza Bella. Big hair, hula hoops, doing the Twist and the cool kids on the beach are reminders of a time when life was simple. The Plaza Bella merchants hope to recreate that feeling with free activities such as Suzahoops, classic cars and a music showcase. Join The Green Boutique, Robeks, Joffrey’s Coffee & Ice Cream, Planet Beach Salon, Orange Home Accessories, Salon Essence, Sweeties Delights, Joel’s Pizza Palace, AA Mortgage and VINO 100 Valrico for a very special day of fun at Plaza Bella shopping center on the corner of Bloomingdale Ave. and Bell Shoals Rd. This free event will be held on Saturday, July 26 from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. In addition to a prize drawing for a gift basket from the retail shops, attendees will be treated to: a free wine tasting at VINO 100 Valrico, special gift drawings at The Green Boutique, healthy smoothies and salad samples from Robeks, spa specials from Salon Essence, free samples from Sweeties Delights, free hydro-massage and light therapy facial from Planet Beach and many exciting offers from other Plaza Bella merchants. Plaza Bella merchants are also supporting the Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s efforts for the “Stuff the Bus” program. Customers are requested to bring a school supply to help “Stuff the Bus.”

For more information, visit or call 654-8466 (VINO).


Join County in Recognition of Saladinos

Hillsborough County Commissioners will present one of their most beloved recognitions, the 2008 Favorite Sons & Daughters Award, to Tony and Bertha Saladino on Wednesday, July 16, at 10 a.m. at the County Center located at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 2nd floor, in Tampa. The Tampa couple is a household name for outstanding service to Hillsborough County youth, and Commissioners will recognize their accomplishments by presenting them with the 2008 Favorite Sons & Daughters Award, which recognizes special residents who have distinguished themselves and made the community proud. One of the Saladinos’ most recognized charitable efforts is the Saladino Baseball Tournament, which was established in 1981 as a memorial for Tony Saladino, Sr. The tournament promotes high school baseball in Hillsborough County. It started with 11 public schools and has grown into a 28-team event. More than three dozen players that have participated in this tournament have gone on to play in the major leagues, and countless others have played baseball in the minor leagues or college.

For more information, go to


All About Beauty

On Saturday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., All About Beauty’s first annual Cutting for the Cure will be held as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Haircuts for women will cost $30 while men pay $15. Hair from cuts longer than 10 in. or more will be donated to Locks of Love. There will also be raffle tickets, baked goods and hot dogs for sale. The event is to be held at 102 Mason St., Ste. 3, in Brandon.

For more information, call Laura Collins at 215-5655 or Octavia Stoppa at 661-7144.



Charm School at Center Place

By Lauren Ashley

With the media constantly hyping up sloppily dressed celebrities and rude rock stars, Linda Herndon Goldstein’s charm classes at Center Place are a breath of fresh air to families in the area.

“It really is helping with my day to day life,” said Katie Krueger, age 13, a former student of Linda’s. “When I’m meeting people I know what to say. I know how to carry myself.”

“I think it’s great for self-esteem,” said Keith Kruger, Katie’s father. “There’s a level of confidence when Katie interacts with other people we didn’t see before.”

Linda began participating in pageants in her early teens. She explained that she experienced low self-esteem until a friend entered her into the Pepsi Cola pageant when she was 15. She decided to compete and won the title.

“I want my girls to know I went through the same things they did and I survived it all,” she said.

Linda is a fifth generation resident of the Brandon area and has been teaching charm and modeling for 20 years. She has been at Center Place for eight years and enjoys every moment of it. She has many sayings including, “if it’s going to be it’s up to me” and “the way you present yourself to the world is the way the world responds to you.”

Many girls like Katie have enrolled in Linda’s classes to be involved in lessons that teach self-confidence, facing fears, goals, attitude, grooming and manners, but these classes are not just for future models. Girls with dreams ranging from actress to veterinarian come to learn how to “believe, achieve and succeed.”

Katie has hopes of becoming a middle school science teacher and believes the charm classes are helping her reach her dreams.

“Especially if you don’t have much confidence, it helps you to realize that if you want to do something, you can go for it.”

“We’re all born with this little star deep inside of us,” said Linda. “Then we read something or we meet someone and it starts coming out.” Linda likes to use the image of a star because as she says, “a star is always radiating, even after a storm.”

Classes are available for all girls ages 8-16, $80 for members and $90 for non-members. The level one class will be held July 22, 24, 29, 31, August 5 and 7 from 6-8 pm. The level two class will be held September 16, 18, 23, 24, 30 and October 2 from 6-8 pm. The level one class must be completed before attending the level two class. For more information or to register, call Center Place at 685-8888.


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Carisa is a Senior News Reporter and Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer. When she's not at work, she continues to write, working on future projects; hangs out with friends and family, her best friend (aka her husband) and her four dogs.