Restaurant Offers Added Bonus

Stonewood Grill, located at 612 Bloomingdale Ave. E. in Brandon, is offering a $40 bonus card in addition to the purchase of $250 in gift cards or a $100 bonus card in addition to $500 in gift cards through Thursday, December 31. Now open on Sundays from 12 Noon-9 p.m., the restaurant offers a children’s menu, a gluten-free menu and vegetarian dishes, as well as various drink specials. Call-ahead seating is welcome.

For more information, call 655-9561 or visit

Realty Hosts ECHO Holiday Food Drive

River Hills Realty, located at 4316 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico, will be accepting donations for the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) in Brandon throughout the month of November and December, this being its second year participating in a holiday food drive for the nonprofit.

Please call the office at 681-3555 or visit for a list of the most needed items. River Hills Reality

Live Radio Show Broadcasts at Onething Prayer

Community In Touch with Mike and Sherry Moore will be broadcasting live at Onething Prayer, located at 777 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, on the third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

To learn more, visit or

Holiday Craft Makers and Seekers Wanted

Staff of Delaney Creek Lodge, located at 320 Lakewood Dr. S. in Brandon, would like to invite the public to a Holiday Gift and Craft Show on Friday, December 4, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Come visit more than 50 indoor booths selling unique gifts and handmade crafts. Get your holiday shopping done early and enter to win numerous door prizes. Crafters and vendors are being sought. There is no charge for a booth, just the donation of an item to be raffled off.

Please call Elisabeth or Barbara at 655-8858 or email

Ladies Invited to a Night Out

Ladies Night at the Rolling Pin is being held on Monday, November 30, from 6-8 p.m. Ladies can shop, sample foods, and wine or just hang out and mingle. There will be door prizes, wine and beer sampling, tasty tid-bits and more, including chair massages from Massage Envy.

For more information, call 653-2418 or visit

Business Seminar Announced

The Small Business Information Center will be hosting the workshop “Doing Business with Government” on Tuesday, December 8, from 10 a.m.-12 Noon at The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, located at 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100, in Brandon.

For more information, call 914-4028.

Fundraiser Works Like a Charm

The Greater Brandon Community Foundation recently held its annual fundraiser, The Southern Charm Wine & Food Gala, which was a success. Raffle tickets were sold for a chance to win a 2010 Mercedes Benz or a Camaro and the drawing will be held on February 1, 2010 to see who the winner is. Food sponsors for the event included Floyd’s, Fresh Harvest, Council Oak, Maggiano’s, The Original Leena’s Chocolates, StingRays Grill, The Catering Company, GFS Marketplace, Starbucks, Costco and AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors.

For more information on The Brandon Foundation, please visit

Association Members Hit the Races

The Brandon Running Association recently sent four runners to compete in the Chicago Marathon in October. Jess Sims completed the marathon with an official time of 3:32:06 and has qualified for the 2010 Boston Marathon. Michael Demko completed the marathon with an official time of 3:12:51 and has qualified for the 2011 Boston Marathon. Jen Morgan completed her first marathon in Chicago with a time of 4:08:26, and Judi Letteri finished with a time of 5:11:38. A total of 15 members headed to the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in late October. In addition, two members, Craig Osborn and David Garrison ran in the New York City Marathon in early November.

3Captionforpicture: Volunteers from Publix give back to Bloomingdale West Park, located at 3940 Canoga Park Dr. in Brandon, during United Way’s 16th Annual Day of Caring. Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful partnered with Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department for the planting project at Bloomingdale West Park in Brandon. For more information, call 960-5121.

Newcomers Welcome

The Brandon Newcomers Club welcomes new members, whether you just moved here or have been here forever, to join the group on the third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Center Place, located at 619 Vanderburgh Dr. in Brandon. Everyone is welcome to take part in its different activities, be it Bunco, Bridge, gardening or community projects.

For further information, call Re Dangremond at 643-3281.

4Captionforpicture: Resident Stacy Snow Feiler, former Pioneer nominee, and Pam Iorio, mayor of Tampa, enjoy great food and fellowship at the Annual American Business Women’s Pioneer Awards dinner at the Brandon Elks Lodge in October.

Trail Run Benefits Kids

A 5k Trail Run and 3K Fun Walk will be held on Saturday, December 5, in the Bell Creek Nature Preserve, located at 10940 McMullen Rd. in Riverview. Parking will be at Rogers Middle School, located at 11910 Tucker Rd. All proceeds will benefit A Kid’s Place, located on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon.

Visit to register as a participant or sponsorship. For more information, email

Lighting of the Christmas Tree Announced

The 26th Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree will be held on Wednesday, December 2, at 7 p.m. at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon. There will be performances and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

For more information, call 685-8888.

Volunteers Need for the Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary 74 Brandon is seeking volunteers interested in becoming members. Qualified members can assist in conducting various kinds of patrols on Tampa Bay waterways, assist with Homeland Security duties, teach boating safety programs, conduct free vessel safety checks for the public and assist in public affairs and administration. Members must be at least 17 years old and a U.S. citizen.

For information, call 1-800-704-4216 or go to

Annie to Premier

The Florida Academy of Performing Arts will present the musical, Annie, on Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee on December 6 at 3 p.m. at Riverview High School Theater, located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors, students and military and can be purchased online at or

For more information, email or call 244-8669.


Church Hosts Bake Sale and Craft Show

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, located at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico, will hold its Second Annual Christmas Whistle Stop Bake Sale and Craft Show on Saturday, December 5, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Craft, art and specialty vendors will be on-site as well as Spirit FM 90.5. Raffle tickets will be sold for various baskets and show, with the featured item being a handmade quilt. Home-baked treats and other food and drinks will be available for purchase. Proceeds from this event will go to the churches’ various outreach ministries including the Dominican Republic and A Kid’s Place in Valrico.

For more information, visit or call 689-3130.

Cabin Fever Transitions

Cabin Fever Open Mic Night, held in a log cabin behind Horizon Christian Church at 1720 S. Saint Cloud Ave. in Valrico, is now moving to the first Saturday evening of each month to better accommodate busy family schedules, having been held on Wednesday evenings originally. It is sponsored by the local Valrico Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, which provides affordable and delicious meals specially designed for the open mic night. On Saturday, December 5, singer/songwriter Melissa Brethauer will be in concert.

Additional information and photos are available at

2Captionforpicture: Seffner resident Brenda Cannon poses in front of her self-decorated table at First Baptist Church of Brandon’s Simply Christmas, being amongst some 400 women in attendance. The group had brunch and heard speaker Sharon Jaynes talk on “Preparing Our Hearts a & Homes for the Holidays.” For more information, call 689-1204.

Calling All Singers

The Brandon Choral Society is looking for people who love to sing and would like to join in the presentation of the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, December 20, at 3 p.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Valrico. No auditions are required although a familiarity with SATB singing would be helpful. Singers should bring their own copies of the vocal score, but the church will have some available for purchase at $10 each. They will be provided with a practice CD of their parts. Rehearsals will be held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico on November 24, December 1, December 8 and December 15, plus a dress rehearsal on Friday, December 18.

If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Deidre Young at or 685-0287 or Mary Lou Danahar at or 671-3703.

Congregation Beth Shalom Announcements

Members of Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon, located at 706 Bryan Rd., joined together in November for the culmination of a Bat Mitzvah project organized by student Zoe Flaks, 13, to be able to dedicate the congregation’s Genizah (box which holds books that have God’s name written in them). Students and adults placed assorted Jewish prayer books into a hole in the ground that was prepared specifically for this morning and buried them.

Also announced, the church will be hosting a monthly Bingo starting Saturday, December 5, and continuing on the first Saturday of every month. There will be a food concession at 6:30 p.m., with Bingo beginning at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for 20 games.

For additional information, please call 681-6547 or e-mail Rabbi Torop at

Residents Invited to Meditate

American Buddhist teacher, Angus Berry, will teach Viewing Others as Supreme, at Unity in Brandon, located at 115 Margaret St., on Thursday, November 26, from 7:05-8:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10.

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


Etiquette Taught in Time for Holidays

Table Etiquette Boot Camp will take place on Saturday, December 5, from 10 a.m.-12 Noon at All Stars Italian American Grill, located at 15260 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. Children ages 6-12 are exposed to the rules of table etiquette through discussion and role-playing activities that include appropriate posture, place setting and acceptable conversation during a meal, plus much more. Reserve your place as seating is limited. The cost is $49 per student. A meal is included.

Contact Lisa Aber at 966-9787 or for more information.

Be a Pixie Painter

Pixie Painters, led by instructor Doreen Donovan, will be held from 3-4 p.m. on Mondays, December 7, 14 and 28 and January 4, 11 and 25, for those age 4 at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon. The cost is $30 for members or $40 for non-members.

For more information, call 685-8888.

Center Prepares Students for High-Tech Careers

Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, a National Science Foundation regional center of excellence in manufacturing located at Brandon Hillsborough Community College, located at 10414 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa, hosted an information session highlighting educational and career pathways in robotics and high-tech manufacturing. Programmed for Success – preparing students for robotics and high-tech careers – was held in October and involved parents of middle school students from Hillsborough County who attended FLATE’s robotics camps in 2008-2009. The mood expressed by parents and kids was one of excitement and eager expectation for a 2010 Summer Robotics Camp program.

For more information, call 259-6577 or e-mail

2Captionforpicture: Juliet is available for adoption at C.A.R.E. in Ruskin, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from Tuesday-Saturday. For directions, visit or call 645-2273.

3Captionforpicture: Buck is available for adoption at C.A.R.E. in Ruskin, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from Tuesday-Saturday. For directions, visit or call 645-2273.

Create Your Own Gingerbread House

Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium, located at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon, will be offering a gingerbread house workshop on Sunday, December 13, at 12 Noon and Saturday, December 19, at 11 a.m. Those in attendance will learn to shape, assemble, secure and decorate a real gingerbread house. Each participant will leave with a completely decorated gingerbread house ready for displaying. Seating is limited, so sign up early. The cost is $30.

For more information, visit or call 653-2418.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Amongst Friends

The Brandon Family Support & Resource Center, located at 1277 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon, is hosting the following events: Giving Thanks Potluck on Monday, November 23, at 6 p.m. – Join staff in celebrating Thanksgiving; Also offered is the Grandparents’ Support Group every Friday at 10 a.m. – Grandparents and their grandchildren get together to swap precious memories, discuss fun ideas, socialize and play in the spacious playroom.

For more information, call 740-4634.


Players Club Members Place

The Players Club’s Division 1 U-11 boys Fortal soccer team recently competed in the Braden River Halloween Classic. The team played in the U-12 Bracket with an amazing run that led to playing in the championship game. Having given up a year, the team was still able to finish as runner up. The team plays at 1850 Windingwood Ave. in Brandon.

For more information, visit or call 661-1974.

BSAC Tennis Players Advance

The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon, hosted the BSAC Tennis Local Junior Fall Classic in October, with the HI Performance players advancing to the finals. In the boys 18s, BSAC’s Alex Peckham defeated HI Performance teammate Colin Edwards. BSAC’s Luke Blankenship advanced to the boys 16s finals. The girls 14s found Alaina Ewing over HI Performance teammate Savannah Ewing, and BSAC’s Lauren Dupuis advanced to the girls 12s finals.

For more information, please call 689-0908.

Swimmers Compete for Foundation

IN October, The Aaron Piersol Foundation’s Race for the Oceans and Swim Florida from Ft. Myers hosted an open water event with more than 100 participants. Swimmers of all ages, including Aaron Piersol himself, and some additional Olympians, raced over 1K and 5K courses. Blue Wave swimmers participated in both events with a lot of success. In the 1K race Brittney Butler won girls 15-16s, and for girls 10 and younger, Lindsey Bowden placed second. On the side of the boys in the 10 and younger category, Blake McGovern finished first. His brother, Wes McGovern, won the boys 11-12s. Rudy Felts earned fifth place in the boys 13-14s. In the 5K race, Blue Wave girls dominated. Bailey Bowden (13-14) and Kayley Chevalier (15-16) swam side by side throughout the entire race, with only a second separating them one hour later. Bailey won the girls 13-14s while Chevalier took first for the girls 15-16s. Clare Fleming and Mary Margaret Deedrick finished third and fourth, respectively.

For more information, visit

Baseball Players Sought

2009 National Champions Bullets Baseball seeking elite experienced baseball players for the spring season.

For more information, please call 541-7625.

Baseball Minicamps Unleashed

The Thanksgiving Minicamp will be from Monday-Tuesday, November 23-24, from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The Winter Minicamps will run Monday-Tuesday, December 21-22 and December 28-29, from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Baseball instruction will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for all minicamps, all being held at South Brandon Little League, located at 600 Parsons Ave. S. in Brandon. The cost is $80 per camp. Ages 6-14 are welcome.

For more information, please call 684-8226 or visit


New Regional Park Fees Start

Residents and visitors using Hillsborough County’s Regional Parks will be charged an entry fee and boat launch fee. This is first time these fees have been implemented in the Hillsborough County parks. Entry fee is $2 per vehicle (up to eight people) and the boat launch fee is $5. Frequent users of the parks are urged to purchase an annual pass that is good for one year from the date of purchase and good for any regional park in the system. The annual entry pass is $100 for a family or $50 for individuals. The boat ramp fee annual pass cost $100. For more information or to purchase the passes, visit or call 635-3500.

Water Resource Center Moves

Hillsborough County Water Resources Services’ (WRS) Brandon Customer Service Center will move to WRS’ new Brandon Support Operations Complex at 332 N. Falkenburg Rd., just south of the county’s Animal Services shelter.

As usual, bill payments may be made online at or by phone at 276-8526.

Representative Votes Against Health Care Act

U.S. Representative Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District, voted against H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, and supports the Republican alternative health care reform bill.

To learn more, visit

One Call for Public Works Help

Hillsborough County Public Works Department wants to remind residents in unincorporated Hillsborough County that they can call one convenient phone number – 635-5400 – to request a variety of department services, report a needed repair or find out more information about a Public Works Department project.

To request any of these services, call the Hillsborough County Public Works’ Customer Service Center at 635-5400 from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Comment Needed for Local Mitigation Strategy

The County’s Hazard Mitigation Section in the Planning and Growth Management Department is requesting public input from residents on its draft updated Local Mitigation Strategy Plan. The public can send their comments to Hillsborough County Hazard Mitigation Section, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 19th Floor, Tampa, FL 33601.

For more information, visit or contact Hazard Mitigation at 276-8245 or at

County to Become IMAGE Certified

Hillsborough County Administration will become the first IMAGE Certified county organization in a 57-county region in the state of Florida by early 2010 – a distinction the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes will become an industry standard. Hillsborough County Administration is participating in a voluntary collaborative program, known as IMAGE, with DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to develop a more secure and stable workforce and to enhance fraudulent document awareness through education and training.

For more information, contact George Williams at 276-2758.

Commissioners Seek Applicants for Citizen Boards

Hillsborough County Commissioners are seeking residents to serve on several county citizen advisory boards and councils. Residents interested in seeking appointment must be registered voters in Hillsborough County. These are voluntary positions, and members serve without compensation. The deadline for applying is Thursday, November 19. Appointments will be scheduled for a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners in December.

An application is available in the Commissioners’ reception area on the second floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa, by calling the Boards and Councils Coordinator at 272-5826, or by visiting

New Ordinance With Abandoned Property

Hillsborough County will become one of 13 local governments in Florida that have a new foreclosed property registry on their books. The county’s new Property Registration Ordinance is in effect. The new ordinance requires lending institutions to register all vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties with Hillsborough County Code Enforcement and provide periodic inspections of the property. Each registration costs the mortgage company $100 per property.

For information, log onto

Bullying Initiative Receives $50,000

Bully Busters, Hillsborough County’s new anti-bullying campaign, received a $50,000 donation from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The donation comes from asset forfeitures seized by the sheriff’s office. The money will be used for services and events for children to help stamp out bullying. The Bully Busters program includes public awareness, education, intervention and community support.

County Unveils Website for Chinese Drywall

Residents concerned about problems associated with Chinese drywall found in some homes can view an online portal of resources by visiting and clicking on the Chinese Drywall button on the right-hand side of the page. It includes links to federal and state agencies handling investigations and findings, information regarding tax breaks offered by the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office and recent news coverage about Chinese drywall.

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