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.

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.

Concert Series Continues into August
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: August 1 featuring The GoDaddies, a current rock and dance band with just the right amount of classics thrown in. The GoDaddies possess a wide range sound with three part harmonies and a song list to be enjoyed by all; on August 8, Crystal Blue, a four-piece band that features four lead vocalists, all with distinctive styles, returns to center stage to rock out the park; on August 15, Yesterdayz, a 60s tribute band, will take residents back to the decade of peace, love and rock and roll with the popular sounds of the 1960s; on August 22, Disco Inferno, a 70s tribute band, will surely have you grooving and moving to some of the best disco songs of all time; on August 29, Revenge of the Spazmatics makes its first appearance, center stage, with popular hits from the 1980s. 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 www.fishhawkconnect.com or call 654-6360.

Village Players Perform
The Village Players present Noises Off, the brilliant, award-winning comedy by Michael Frayne. It will take place at the James McCabe Theater, located at 506 5th St. in Valrico, on August 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 with all proceeds benefiting the restoration of the theater as well as future community events and programs. For more information, call 657-1834 or visit www.villageplayers.scriptmania.com.

Resident Donates Locks to Charity
Lauren Crisp, recent graduate of Newsome High School, has been letting her hair grow this last year to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. This charity uses donated hair to make wigs for women affected by cancer. Stylist Leah Almeida of Studio Tripp, located at 4340 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia Plaza, cut Crisp’s hair for the donation.

Walk Against Pediatric Cancer
The Cure Kids Cancer Challenge will be taking place on Saturday, September 13, at Park Square in FishHawk Ranch. Residents are encouraged to register at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. start, choosing from the 5K Walk/Fun-Run or the One Mile Family Walk. There will be food, festivities and family fun. The event is open to the public with a $25 per entrant fee or a cost of $100 per team, up to six participants. To register, visit fastercure.org or call 269-0955 with any questions.

Palmetto Club to Host Luau
The Palmetto Club at FishHawk Ranch, located at 17004 Dorman Rd. in Lithia, will be hosting the Tropical Island Luau on Friday, September 5, from 7-11 p.m. Tickets, costing $15 each, are to go on sale August 11. There will be hors d’oeuvres, door prizes and entertainment. For more information, contact the Osprey Club at 657-6629.

Residents Clean-up Buckhorn County Park
For five hot hours in July, 47 adults and children of the Buckhorn and Buckhorn Preserve subdivisions in Valrico volunteered their time to help clean-up the Buckhorn County Park. The joint effort was organized by the Buckhorn Homeowners Association and Buckhorn Preserve Homeowners Association. Buckhorn Park is a small eight-acre park that features a jogging trail, playground equipment, basketball court and green area. The volunteers pulled weeds, picked up trash and broken glass, sifted small debris from the playground sand, weed-wacked the fence and other areas, edged, spread two large pallets of mulch, cut tree limbs and mowed some of the areas. Jeff Mauch of the Hillsborough County Parks Department arranged to supply the mulch for the work. The volunteers celebrated their work by socializing during a hot dog barbecue picnic at 12 Noon on the work day. For more information, contact Ken Nailling, chairman of Buckhorn HOA’s Park & Security Committee, at 684-9688.

Auxiliary Donates $8,000 to Clinic
The Brandon Regional Hospital Auxiliary has contributed over $8,000 to the Dover Health Clinic, located at 14254 S.R. 574 in Dover, since 2000, prior to it being renamed after former Senator Tom Lee. The auxiliary has supported the Greater Brandon Community with over $750,000 in total scholarships and donations since its inception for over 31 years. The auxiliary’s main fundraising vehicle is through the two hospital gift shops, which the volunteers staff and purchase merchandise for throughout the year.

Help Stuff the Bus
The Kiwanis Clubs of Brandon and Sun City kicked off their first “Stuff the Bus” campaign today by delivering boxes to area businesses for the collection of school supplies. On August 7 from 7-8:30 a.m. residents are welcome to visit Kmart, located at 1602 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, to help fill an entire bus with school supplies which will be allocated to schools within the Brandon and South Shore areas. Drop boxes will also be located at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Sun City Chamber of Commerce, Kmart, Music Showcase and Beef O’Brady’s in the local area (Call for drop point verification). For more information, visit www.brandonkiwanis.org.

GFWC Announces Scrapbooking Event
The GFWC Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club will be holding Santa in September Scrapbooking Croportunity to benefit its annual Children’s Holiday Party for underprivileged children in the Brandon area. The event will take place on September 20 at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The cost will be $25 which will include lunch, scrap space, snacks, a goodie bag and more. Vendors will be on hand along with classes and raffles. Any business who would like to donate a raffle prize will be advertised the day of the event. To register or donate an item, please contact Becky Goble at agoble@aol.com or 651-9333.

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 e-mail at aprimrose@sptimes.com or call Miranda Avecillas at 765-1021 or by e-mail at Miranda.avecillas@wachovia.com.

Local Troop Visits New Mexico
In June, Troop 610 of Lithia visited Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. According to Troop Leader Peter Williams, Philmont has enormous mountains, the likes of which never seen in Florida. There are towering pines and thick copses of aspens, trickling streams, and a brilliant blue sky. Out at Philmont, one can see the stars undiluted by any city lights, shining in all their glory. On Mount Baldy’s peak, which is 12,441 feet above sea level, one can see the entire camp in its glory, stretching out in thick forests and diamond sheets of water. Along with the view from Baldy, the troop hiked about 80 miles in 11 days, usually gaining about 200 feet of elevation every day. Most days, while hiking, the troop would have Philmont programming, which entailed tomahawk throwing, branding, lassoing, tree climbing, a challenge course including a line of tire swings and a climbing wall, rock climbing, repelling and horseback riding. The troop saw the top of Tooth of Time, deep valleys, babbling streams, and many incredible animals. There were bears, rattlesnakes, chipmunks, mule deer and mountain lions. Then there was Felipe Alajandro Cortez. Felipe was the troop’s burro for three days, but it seemed much longer. He never really wanted his saddle, so he was prone to take off down the road. He also dragged two of his handlers in his sprints and kicked three people. One day at a staff camp, a kitten spooked him, causing him to chase the entire staff onto their porch. Overall, the troop found Felipe to be a lovely addition to the group. The group delighted in the exquisite adventure it took part in. For more information, visit www.troop610.net.

Girl Scouts Promotes New Program
Girl Scouts of West Central Florida assumed the lead role for the Florida Girls Collaborative Project (FGCP), a project that informs and motivates girls and young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields. The FGCP offers a number of resources for collaborating partners to implement STEM programs for girls and young women across the state and brings together leading organizations to share resources and collaborate on future STEM projects. This year, the FGCP will host its annual conference at the University of Central Florida’s Student Union in Orlando. The conference, held on Friday, October 10, will bring together lead organizations from across the state to learn more about mini-grant funding, successful STEM projects, evaluation methods and networking. To find out more, contact GSWCF Director of Program Services Amy Foster at afoster@gswcf.org or (800) 881-4475, ext. 210 or at 262-1764. Those interested in learning more about the programs can visit www.ngcproject.org/directory.

League Unveils Fall Season
The FishHawk Youth Baseball League will host a fall baseball season at the new FishHawk Sports Complex from September 2-November 22. Registration will be held at the complex’s concession building on Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday, August 21, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, August 23, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for the FishHawk Youth Baseball League as well as the Miss Tampa Bay Softball League. On Wednesday, August 27, from 6-9 p.m. only registration for baseball will be held. The fees are $65 for T-Ball, $85 for Rookie/Minor Divisions and $105 for Major/Junior Divisions (with paid umpire). The team will have a football friendly schedule. For more information, please log onto www.fishhawksports.org or e-mail vintille@aol.com.

Rookies Holds Tryouts
Rookies Academy will be holding tryouts for boys ages 8-14 for the Seminoles AAU Baseball Teams. Tryouts will begin on Saturday, August 2. The team is located in the Brandon area. Also, Rookies Academy will start taking registration for after-school programs starting at the beginning of the new school year. It will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. If interested, please call 857-2847 for times and place. For more information, visit www.rookies-bsa.com.

BSAC Offers Free VPK
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Academy of Early Learning, located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon, is offering free VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten). All children who turn age 4 by September 1, 2008 are eligible. The VPK program at the BSAC Academy of Early Learning addresses all aspects of your child’s cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development. It has four available options to suit your family’ busy schedule: 8-9 a.m.-Early Drop off; 9 a.m.–12 Noon-VPK; 12 Noon–2:30 pm-Lunch & Longer; and 2:30–6:30 p.m.-All Stars Program. Or choose all four. Space is limited, so register today. Contact Kim Dearth at 689-0908 or at kdearth@mybsac.org for more information.

Dinner & a Show at Little Harbor
Death Bemoans Her will be performed on Thursday, August 7, from 6-10 p.m. at The Resort and Club at Little Harbor located at 611 Destiny Dr. in Ruskin. The cost is $50 per person which includes dinner and drinks. Get your team together and solve the mystery of the murder at the special meeting of the Gazillionaire Girls Group. Proceeds from this event go to the Ruskin Honorary Mayor Campaign of Mary Ann Wilhelm, president of Wilhelm Heating and Air Conditioning. Charities benefiting from this campaign are the Scholarship Fund of the SouthShore Charter Chapter ABWA and Deputy’s Darlin’s. For more information, call 645-3291.

Young Writer’s Workshop Announced
A fun, fabulous and free workshop for aspiring writers ages 11-18 is offered by creative writing instructor and author of nine books, Debora M. Coty. Come and laugh while you learn. The Young Writer’s Workshop will be from 10 a.m.- 12 Noon on Saturday, August 9 at the Brandon Barnes & Noble bookstore in Brandon. For more information, call 681-7516 or e-mail dcoty@earthlink.net.

Paint at Center Place
Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon, is offering the Art of Acrylic Painting with instructor Harvey Berman. Beginners, intermediate and advanced students will be introduced to the application of color by the use of palette knifes, brushes and the methods of glazing. Subject matter will be either by instructors’ choice or students’ preference. Subject matter can be either landscapes, still life or seascapes. Students will also be introduced to the basics of painting portraits as the sessions progress. The supply list will be provided. The class runs through August 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The fee for members is $40 while non-members pay $50. Another class will run through September 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 1-3 p.m. The fee for members is $40 while non-members pay $50. For more information, call 685-8888.

Boating Safety and Seamanship Course
The Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 74 of Brandon, located at 3006 S. Kings Ave. in front of J.C. Handley Park, will be offering a Boating Safety and Seaman (BS&S) course in the Brandon area designed to help the new and average boater improve on their skills and knowledge to be a safer recreational boater. The BS&S course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Lab Administrators. Successfully completing the course with a passing grade qualifies the participant to become eligible for a state issued boating education ID card. Many insurance companies offer boat insurance discounts. The fee is $50 (and only $45 for each additional family member) which includes materials. The presentation will be held Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m. beginning August 11 for nine weeks, not including Labor Day. To pre-register, call 1-800-704-4216 or go to www.cgaux74.org. The Flotilla also offers free Vessel Safety Checks the first and third Saturdays of every month at Williams Park in Riverview at the boat ramp on the Alafia River. For information, contact Robert Lowry at 685-3130.

BSAC Offers New Program
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center will kick off its new Kaleidoscope Home School Program with an open house on Tuesday, August 5 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon and from 5-7 p.m. Home school parents and children will have an opportunity to tour the facility and meet program coaches. The program begins Tuesday, September 2 and runs from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. Registered students will experience swimming, diving, gymnastics, martial arts, self defense, tennis, track and field and arts and crafts. The first session ends December 9, and all students will receive a certificate of completion for their home school portfolios. For more information, please call 689-0908.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!