Help Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus

The Kiwanis Club will once again be collecting supplies from Monday, July 27-Thursday, August 13, in its Second Annual Stuff the Bus program. A container will be placed within the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s lobby, at 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100, in Brandon, to help with collections.

For more information, call 294-0645.

Expo at Dallas Bull

The Dallas Bull will host an expo on Saturday, August 1, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free-of-charge to the general public. There will be a wide variety of vendors onsite, displaying their merchandise to be used for private parties at the venue. Those who attend will get to enjoy complimentary line dancing lessons as well as a chance to test their skill on the club’s infamous mechanical bull. There will be live entertainment as well as an opportunity to win an exclusive party at Bar 9, the club’s private party room. There is still vendor space available for those interested.

For more information, please visit or call 373-0700.

Chick-fil-A Awards Scholarships

Riverview resident Viviana Vargas received $1,000 scholarship from Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village. She is studying Cosmetology at Paul Mitchell The School in Orlando.

To learn more about Chick-fil-A, visit

Auxiliary Hosts Back-to-School

The Brandon Eagles 3566, located at 1810 Front St. in Brandon, will offer the Ladies Auxiliary Birthday Dinner “Back-to-School” on Saturday, August 15, from 6-7 p.m. with music by Tony and Trish. Please bring school supplies to donate to the kids at Mango Elementary School.

For more information and offerings, visit or call 685-4173.

Adoption Gallery Unveils New Website

The Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay, which hosts an event annually at the Brandon Westfield mall, recently announced its new Website, which features 50 new faces of children now available for adoption, at

Brandon Chapter GWRRA Changes Venue

The Brandon Chapter FL1-B of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association has changed its meeting location to Ben’s Family Restaurant, located at 704 E. Brandon Blvd. Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month. Dinner is at 6 p.m. with the meeting to follow at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 654-9325.

Better Your Business

Upcoming seminars at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, located at 330 Pauls Dr., Ste.100, in Brandon, include: Marketing Series Part I, on Tuesday, August 4, from 10 a.m.–12 Noon; and Marketing Series Part II, on Tuesday, August 11, from 10 a.m.–12 Noon.

For more information, call 689-1221.

Chamber Offers New Savings Program

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the second release of the “Dining Dollars” card for $5, which offers cardholders an opportunity to receive discounts at 14 chamber-affiliated restaurants until December. The “Dining Dollars” cards are available at the chamber, located at 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100, Brandon, or online at

For more information, call 689-1221 or email

Advantage Center’s Board Meets

The Brandon Community Advantage Center Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of the month at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce building at 330 Pauls Dr. in Brandon. The BCAC is a freestanding special events center and multi-use facility for the greater Brandon area. Meetings start at 4:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

For information, call 413-8878.

Momentum Festival Searches for Charity

The Momentum Festival is seeking an area charity to be the recipient of the fundraising for the 2010 Momentum Festival. The deadline is Saturday, August 1.

To apply, go to For more information, call Dave Loebig at 685-9206.

Recycle Your Cell Phone for Soldiers

Drop off your unused cell phones at Pak Mail, located at 2420 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, so that they can be recycled. The proceeds from the recycling are used to purchase one-hour phone cards for our soldiers. A free one-hour phone card will be included with any package shipped to an APO or FPO.

For more information, call 643-0405.

Free Car Seat Check-Ups

Babies“R”Us, located at 11201 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon, will host a complimentary Buckle Up & Boogie Workshop on the last Tuesday of every month – July 28, August 25, September 29, October 27, November 24 and December 29 – at 6:30 p.m., where new and expectant parents will learn about the features and benefits of car safety seats as well as how to safely select, properly use and correctly install the seats.

For more information, please call 685-7899.

Westfield Events

Westfield Brandon, located at 459 Brandon Town Center in Brandon, announces Friday Night Live – every Friday night Westfield Brandon will be hosting live music entertainment in The Restaurant Courtyard from 7-10 p.m.

For more information, visit

Come Picnic at Plaza Bella

Picnic at the Plaza will be held at Plaza Bella, located at 1078 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, on Saturday, July 25, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., benefiting the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO). Donations are welcome.

For more information, call 689-0523.

St. Andrew’s VBS a Success

St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, recently drew in some 400 children to its Vacation Bible School in June. Students learned how to go serve, go tell and go lead with God’s help through stories, plays, songs, crafts and activities.

For more information, call 689-6849.

Meditation Class Announced

American Buddhist teacher, Dr. Anika Trancik, will teach Healing the Heart – Taking and Giving Healing Meditations on Thursday, July 23, from 7:05-8:30 p.m. at Unity in Brandon, located at 115 Margaret St. in Brandon. A suggested donation of $10, or $5 for students/low-income residents, is welcome.

For more information, call 727-797-9770 or visit

Presbyterian Church Hosts VBS

Crocodile Dock will be hosted at Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, located at 710 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, from Monday-Thursday, August 10-13, for kids ages 4-14, running from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Each day concludes at Firefly Finale—a celebration that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned at 8:15 p.m. Kids at Crocodile Dock will join nearly a million children sharing God’s love in a hands-on mission project, helping disaster victims in North America.

For more information, call 654-3699.

Back-to-School Extravaganza Hosted

A Back-to-School Extravaganza will be held at Bay Life Church, located at 1017 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon, on August 22, from 9-12 Noon. The community is welcome to purchase used clothing for back to school students in kindergarten-12th grade. All items are just $1. All proceeds go to benefit missions. Donated items for the sale are being accepted until Sunday, August 16.

For additional information, contact Beverly at 661-3696, ext. 231.

Craft Show Announced

Horizon Christian Church, located at 1720 St. Cloud Ave. in Valrico, will host its Second Annual Christmas in July Craft Fair on Saturday, July 25, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. It is a free event open to the public. Come one, come all to see a showcase of all different kinds of crafts displayed. Vendors are needed for this inside show. Limited space is available, so please call to reserve your $5 table today.

Please call the church office 689-1457 to reserve your table today.

Soccer League Announces Registration

Brandon Area Youth Soccer League’s (BAYSL) Coach’s Registration will take place on Thursday, August 13, from 6-9 p.m. at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, located at 2561 E. S.R. 60 in Valrico. Player Registration will be at the J.C. Handley Athletic Complex, located at 3104 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon, on Wednesday, August 26, from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Thursday, August 27, from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; and Thursday, August 27, from 6-9 p.m. Two more will be on Saturday, August 29, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, August 30, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., both being held at Dick’s Sporting Goods, located at 459 Brandon Town Center Mall in Brandon.

For more information, please visit or call 684-5948.

Baseball Tryouts Unveil

The Brandon Panther 10U AAU competitive baseball team will be holding tryouts at the Bloomingdale Little League fields for the upcoming 2009/2010 season. The 10U tryouts (child cannot turn 11 years old before May 1, 2010) will be held Friday July 31, at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 1, at 1 p.m. Players are expected to attend both sessions.

For more information, please contact Jeff Cooper at 787-0369 or at

Children Welcome to Doodle

Abrakadoodle, led by instructor Tony Capobianco, is an art education company for children ages 6-11, focusing on different artists, techniques and materials, held on Wednesdays, August 5, 12, 19 and 26, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon. The cost is $36 a member or $46 a nonmember.

For more information, call 685-8888.

Learning Center Holds Round-Up

A Children’s Kastle Early Learning Centers, Inc., located at 950 S. Mulrennan Rd. in Valrico, is hosting its fourth Pre-School Round-up for the 2009-2010 school year. Round-up dates and times are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, August 11, 12 and 13, from 10-11 a.m. Families will receive information in the mail with their child’s round-up date and classroom assignment. Round-up dates include all accelerated, enriched and VPK programs.

For more information, call 654-9500.

Robotics Camp Announced

National Science Foundation funded Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida are hosting three summer camps designed to introduce middle school students to the world of robotics and automation. The Lego Mindstorms Summer Robotics will be held at Hillsborough Community College-Brandon, located at 10414 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa, in Room 218, on Friday, July 24, at 1 p.m. and Friday, August 7, at 1 p.m.

For more information, call 259-6581.

Head Start Now Accepting Applications

Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start is now accepting applications for 2009/2010. Families may be eligible for this program if they: have a child who is at least 6 weeks of age, but no older than 24 months (for the Early Head Start program); have a child who will be 3 years old before Tuesday, September 1, 2009 (for the Head Start program); are employed at least 25 hours per week or enrolled in school/job training full time; are homeless; receive public assistance (SSI, TANF or Subsidized Child Care); or have a child who has been diagnosed with autism, hearing impairment, mental retardation, orthopedic impairment, developmentally delayed, speech language or any other impairment affecting the child’s learning.

Applications can be downloaded at For more information, residents should call 272-5140.

Informational Meetings Held for BCCS

Brandon Christian Community School (BCCS) will be holding the final informational meeting before the June 30 registration deadline for the 2009/2010 school year. It will be at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, at Oakwood Baptist Church, located at 540 S. Oakwood Ave. in Brandon. BCCS is a hybrid of a traditional Christian school and home school.

Please call 685-2227 for reservations or visit for more information.

Athletes Needed for Triathlon

A free triathlon clinic will be held on Sunday, August 9, from 7:30-10 a.m. at AJ’s Bikes and Boards shop, located at 1538 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This free triathlon clinic, by Tri-Freddie Coaching, is geared for all level of athletes – from those that have never competed in a triathlon to the experienced athlete. This 2.5 hour clinic will cover all aspects of swimming, biking and running. Nutrition, transition, heart rate training and race strategy will also be discussed. There will also be a “Bike 101” portion on basic bike maintenance and how to change a flat tire.

RSVP by email at or visit for more information on triathlon and run coaching programs.

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Carisa Biesecker
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.