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 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. Visit or call 654-6360.

Winery Unveils After Hours
Uncorked! Keel and Curley Winery’s after hours wine bar, located at 5202 Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City, is opening on the nights of August 29 and 30 from 7 p.m.-12 Midnight. There is no cover charge, along with ladies drink specials and a light tasting menu. Valet parking is available. Join the winery for live music, great times and fine wines. There will also be a “Learn to Wine” interactive wine seminar with Chase Marden, the winery’s wine maker. For more information, call 752-9100.

Eco-Friendly Footwear
The Walking Company at Westfield Brandon exclusively launched Simple Shoes’ new eco-friendly line of comfort footwear – PlanetWalkers. It also partnered with smart USA to give four grand prize sweepstakes’ winners a smart “fortwo” vehicle, and there will also be extensive efforts made in stores to promote the Sierra Club and all it does as an advocate of the environment. Customers may enter the sweepstakes and donate to the Sierra Club through August 27. More information is available at

Movie Reviews Current Economy
The premiere I.O.U.S.A., a new documentary that takes an unflinching look at the nation’s current economic crisis, will be shown at the AMC Regency 20 in Brandon on Thursday, August 21, at 8 p.m. Following the film, a 45-minute live panel discussion from some of America’s top financial leaders and policy experts–including Warren Buffett–will be simulcast to movie theaters across the country. In short, your local cinema will become a “town hall.” To engage as many people as possible in what will hopefully become a blazing grassroots reform movement, the creators of I.O.U.S.A. are giving away free tickets and urging media outlets to help promote the film to their audiences. View the trailer at For more information, please visit

Precinct Changes in Valrico
Buddy Johnson, Supervisor of Elections for Hillsborough County announced a temporary polling site location change impacting voters in Precinct 820. The Elections Office was recently informed of construction delays at Hope Presbyterian Church in Valrico, resulting in the need to relocate the polling site for Precinct 820 voters to Bethel Baptist Church, located at 1801 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico, for the upcoming August 26 Primary Election. For more information, visit

GFWC Holds Scrapbooking Event
The GFWC Brandon Jr. Woman’s Club will be holding Santa in September Scrapbooking Crop to benefit its Annual Children’s Holiday Party for underprivileged children in the Brandon area 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 your lunch, scrap space, snacks, goodie bag and more.To register or donate an item, please contact Becky Goble at or 651-9333.

Extension Provides Financial Education
Hillsborough County Extension is partnering with the non-profit organization Genesis Financial Management to provide financial education and coaching that will help low-moderate income individuals improve their financial situation. The next set of classes will be held at the Hillsborough County Extension Office, located at 5339 C.R. 579 in Seffner. Pre-registration and a $5 seat deposit are required to reserve a spot. Seat deposits will be refunded on the last class date. Seating is limited. Dates and topics for this round of classes are: August 28, Developing a Financial Plan; September 4 – Evaluating Credit Offers & Credit Scores; and September 11- Using Financial Institutions & Achieving Financial Goals. The classes will be held from 6-8:15 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Residents can get a registration form at or by calling or emailing 744-5519, ext. 143 or

Upcoming Events for YP Brandon
Networking social to be held at Giordano’s at 1130 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon on August 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Please bring $5 worth of school supplies to be given to the Brandon YMCA for children in need. The cost to attend is $3 for members and $5 for potential members. Professional development seminar, “Turning Knowledge Into Action,” to be held at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce located at 330 Pauls Dr. in Brandon on September 16 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Bernadette Casey at 689-1221, ext. 20 or

H2U Unveils Monthly Meeting
H2U (HEALTH HAPPINESS 2 YOU) is holding its monthly meeting on September 10 and will be featuring an annual Fashion Show. Fashions from Bon Worth of Sun City will be modeled by chapter members. Meetings start at 10 a.m. and are held at 260 Oakfield Medical Plaza, Classroom B, in Brandon. Visitors are welcome to come learn more about the organization. For more information, call 684-3316.

New Choir in Begins
On Monday, August 18, One Voice, a community youth choir for sixth-12 grade students will launch in Brandon. This group will provide the opportunity for students who enjoy singing to join their talents together with other musically gifted students in the Brandon and surrounding areas. The students of One Voice will rehearse together weekly at 733 B West Lumsden Rd., inside the Oak Park Plaza, and will prepare for community performances. For more information, contact Carol Abbott at or call 610-7064.

Art of Drawing
Light and Shadow “The Art of Pencil Drawing” will be taught by Tim Mandese, instructor, for ages 12 years-adult on Mondays, September 8, 15, 22 and 29, from 1-3 p.m. at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon. Focusing on light and shadow, the course will help you bring more depth and realism to your finished drawings. In the course, you will learn how to study and “break down” a subject into easy to draw pieces. Artists are encouraged to bring examples of their drawing for critique. This will help determine your current skill level and help you get the most from the class. New artists need bring nothing more than pencils, paper and enthusiasm. The fee for members is $36 and non-members is $46. For more information, call 685-8888.

Brandon Ballet Holds Auditions
Aspiring dancers are needed for Brandon Ballet’s magical performance of The Nutcracker. Extras auditions will be held Saturday, August 23. Dancers 7 years and up who are currently enrolled in ballet class can audition for the casting of party boys, little rats, soldiers, polichenelles, angels and party adults. Auditions are 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at 161 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. The fee is $20. Please call 684-4282 for information or visit

It also offers training and performance opportunities for apprentice, junior and senior levels. Job opportunities are available for pre-professionals and professional dancers. Brandon Ballet performs two full-length ballets and benefit performances per season, including the magical ballet The Nutcracker in December. Auditions for Brandon Ballet are Saturday, August 16, at 161 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. The fee is $20. Dancers ages 9 years and up with a minimum of three years classical ballet training are eligible to audition. All should arrive 30 minutes prior to the audition for registration. Audition times are as follows: 9:30-11:30 a.m. for not on Pointe through Demi-Pointe ­ 9 years and up; 12 Noon­2 p.m. for Pointe 1 through second Year Pointe ­ 10 years and up; and 2:30-4:30 p.m. for third year Pointe through Professional. Please call 684-4282 for information or visit

Youth Soccer Challenge Announced
St. Stephen Knights of Columbus Council #14084 invites Brandon area kids to show off their soccer skills in September. All boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2008 Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge on Saturday, September 13, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Brandon Area Youth Soccer League Fields just off Kings Ave., near Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event. Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent. For entry forms or additional information, contact Tom Bailey at 787-1021 or at

BSAC Registering for After School Care
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center is now accepting scholarship applications for its After School All Stars childcare program for children ages 5 to 14. The center picks up at 12 local elementary schools and two middle schools, with care beginning at 2:30 p.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m. Qualified applicants will be notified within seven days. Please call Phyllis Skiffington at 689-0908 for more information.

Twirlettes Start 49th Year
The Hillsborough County Twirlettes will begin their 49th year in August. Registration for baton and flag twirling classes will be held at Alafia Elementary, 3535 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico, in the multi-purpose room on August 21 from 4-6 p.m. Classes are held every Thursday between 4-6 p.m., depending on age and ability and are available for girls in kindergarten – high school. Students will learn one and two baton twirling skills, hoop baton, small and large flag twirling skills, dance twirls and marching routines and will participate in three-four parades each year (optional). Students who complete our 49th year will participate in a recital and receive a complimentary trophy. The director and instructor is a Florida certified teacher. For more information, please contact Charla Kerwin at 634-7988.

Campo YMCA Unveils Family Fun Pool
The Campo Family YMCA recently hosted local community officials, donors and volunteers for an exclusive preview of its new Family Fun Pool, slated to open this summer in Valrico. The Family Fun Pool project will dramatically expand the outdoor recreation space at the Campo YMCA, adding a zero depth entry pool and splash structure as well as a four-chute waterslide leading to a plunge pool. Added to the existing junior Olympic-size pool, the new pools will make the facility the largest water recreation area in East Hillsborough County. For more information, call 684-1371.

South Brandon Holds Registration
South Brandon Little League winter baseball registration will be held at the South Brandon Little League Park in the upstairs board room on Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday, August 21, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, August 23, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The cost is $95. If you are registering more than one sibling, each additional sibling will cost $80. Please make your check out to South Brandon Little League. For more information, call 689-1662.

Local Judo School Gets Recognized
Established in 1963, the Florida School of Judo is run by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Ed Maley. At his Tampa-based school, the eighth-degree Kodokan judo black belt teaches his students how to overcome the challenges of modern life through the lessons and values of the traditional arts. For his dedication to addressing his students’ physical, mental and emotional needs, Black Belt is proud to present Maley and the Florida School of Judo with the 2008 Industry Award for Best Traditional School. For more information, call 654-4700 or visit

Music Showcase’s New Fall Classes
Music Showcase is offering many programs for all ages during the fall of 2008. Group Guitar, Beginning Violin, Karate Recorder and More!, Music Theatre, (Acting Up! for ages 4-9 will do Twas the Night Before Christmas, JSP for ages 8 and up will do Rented Christmas, SP for ages 12 and up with do Big), Show Choir, Music Theory, Rock Band and private instruction in all instruments, including voice.

Also, Music Showcase will hold auditions for the ELITE performance show choir on September 4 at 5 p.m. Prospective members should be between the ages of 8 and 18 and have a special talent for singing and dancing. Those interested in auditioning should call to pre-register. Once at the audition interested parties should be prepared to sing two songs in contrasting styles and perform one lightly choreographed dance number. New director Joy Rodgers will guide the ELITE group. She has been a long time member of the staff at Music Showcase. For more information or to register, please visit or call 685-5998.

Upcoming Meetings of the Superintendent
Superintendent MaryEllen Elia has announced the dates for the 2008-2009 series of town hall meetings: September 8 at Burns Middle School located at 615 Brooker Rd. in Brandon; September 15 at Mulrennan Middle School located at 4215 Durant Rd. in Valrico; and September 22 at Brandon High School located at 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. Parents and community members will have the opportunity at each meeting to discuss issues affecting their students, schools and the district. All interested persons are encouraged to attend.

Fundraiser Held for TPD Dog
The Young Chefs Academy of Brandon recently held a fundraiser, Dog Days of Summer, teaming up with M&I Bank to help raise money for training equipment for Mattie, the 4-month-old bloodhound that M&I Bank recently purchased for the Tampa Police Department. Students in attendance made homemade dog biscuits for both Mattie and their own dogs, plus made a few dog-themed “people recipes.” As a thank you, M&I Bank gave every child in attendance a stuffed “Mattie” puppy dog to take home. A second Dog Days of Summer event will take place on Saturday, August 16, from 10-11 a.m. at Young Chefs Academy, located at 1576 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, for kids age 3-4 with a parent.
For more information, call 643-7025 or go to

CAI’s Events Announced
Concerned Action, IncHRIST will hold the following events:
Orientation for thought-action process, repressed anger, grace, forgiveness and choosing a happier life held on the first and third Monday of each month from 7-9:30 p.m., August 18 and September 1 and 15 at CAI’s office located at 3813 Ravenna Dr. in Valrico 2. Canoeing, Rope Swings & Family Fun, will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., August 16 and September 19. Sunday Services will be held from 3:30-4:15 p.m. on August 24 and September 23 at one of four assisted living facilities in Brandon. I Am Hope Café will offer a free hot meal and help and referral assistance to the homeless, needy singles and families in the community every Saturday from 9-10:30 a.m. at 114 N. Kingsway Ave. on the north side of the Church of the Nazarene in Brandon. Call 689-9552 for directions or more information.

New Children’s Worship Begins
Children Worship and Wonder, a Montessori-based children’s worship service, is starting a new cycle at Brandon Christian Church, located at 910 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, beginning at 10:45 a.m. each Sunday for children ages 3-10 who have the opportunity to encounter and worship God in a manner meaningful to them. For more information, call 689-4021.

Bell Shoals Hosts Women’s Gathering
La Bella Vita, a special women’s gathering to be held at Special Events Center of Bell Shoals Baptist Church located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon, will be held on Friday, September 12, from 6:30-10 p.m. and continues into Saturday, September 13, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Ladies will enjoy a comedy video by Anita Renfroe, dinner and a dessert on Friday evening. Saturday morning begins with a cup of coffee and is followed by a variety of workshops developed by women, for women, to meet the unique needs of women and lunch. Early bird registration is through August 17 at $18 per person. After that date tickets will be $25. Childcare is available with paid registration. Register via email at, keyword “Gathering” or call 689-4229, ext 482.

BCWC Holds Liberty Lunch
Brandon Christian Women’s Connection will be hosting a Liberty Lunch on Monday, September 8, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Special Events Center of Bell Shoals Baptist Church located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $12 which includes guest speaker Judge Martha Cook and the special music of Michelle Lazzara. “How to be a good American” will be the feature topic of the luncheon. The deadline for reservations is Thursday, September 4. Please, reservations must be kept, cancelled or used by a friend. If you are unable to attend, donations are appreciated. Complimentary childcare is available by reservation, birth through age 5. All ladies are warmly welcomed to this non-denominational event, sponsored by Stonecroft Ministries and Brandon CWC. To make your reservation, call 657-8632, email or mail checks to Barbara Harvey, 7608 Loghouse Rd., Plant City, FL 33565.

New Church Unveils in Valrico
Father Monserat Romero announces the unveiling of the new church, Templo de la Irmosa Inc. which is located at 1016 Miller Rd. S. in Valrico. If you would like more information on this church, please call 661-2119.

Help Needy Children at Life Center
Life Center of Brandon, located at 720 W. Robertson St. in Brandon, is hosting a Back-to-School Outreach and is need of notebook paper, composition books, pencils and pens (blue, black or red) in order to provide 150 children with free school supplies. The Sunday worship service schedule is: 10:15-10:30 a.m. with Fellowship with Coffee before the worship service, followed by the worship service at 10:30 a.m. Cafe Nights are every first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. There is free food, great fellowship and an open forum. For more information, call 322-3860 or visit

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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'!