Valrico Press Releases


Salon Presents Cash for Your Old Products
Trade in your current shampoo, conditioner and styling aids for Elite Salon Suites’ recommended salon brands and receive 25 percent off already low prices. All collected products will be donated to The Spring Women’s Shelter.
Located at 2064 Badlands Dr. Brandon, the salon can be reached at 833-2278 or visit

Merry Makeovers at Westfield Brandon
Merry Makeovers specialists will be available to speak with shoppers on Friday, December 18, from 12 Noon-8 p.m. at Westfield Brandon, near Dick’s Sporting Goods, while receiving helpful tips on determining their personal style, ideas for the best holiday “look” or gift ideas. The mall is located at 459 Brandon Town Center Mall in
For more information, 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

Organization Partners With Bookstore
Volunteers of KarensKause have collected more than 1,000 books for the Karen B. Henderson Memorial Library Program. The nonprofit is partnering with Barnes and Noble for its annual holiday book drive. Until January, Barnes and Noble, located at 122 Brandon Town Center Dr. in Brandon, will be asking every customer that comes in if they would like to donate a book to the library, which, in turn, is distributed to local dialysis clinics.
For more information, call 770-1142.

Resident Receives Recognition for News
In October, Stephanie Farmer, associate publisher of Farm & Ranch News, received Florida’s highest award for agriculture journalism. She received the Ag Journalist of the Year Award from Florida Farm Bureau. This is quite an honor, especially since Farm & Ranch News is not a Farm Bureau publication. Normally, recipients do not speak at this ceremony, but John Hoblick, president of Farm Bureau, said he was proud to accept Stephanie’ request to speak. A large variety of people from all walks of life congratulated her that day, including Congressman Adam Putnam. Special thanks to Duval and Pasco County Farm Bureau’s who nominated her for this prestigious award.
To learn more about Farm & Ranch News, visit

Break Out Your Paints at Center Place
Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon, is offering Design and Watercolor with instructor Meletha Everett on Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21 and 28, from
9:30 a.m.-12 Noon for $40 for members or $50 for non-members.
For more information, call 685-8888.

County Presents Animal Angel Tree
Hillsborough County Animal Services, 440 Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa/Brandon, is collecting donations for its Animal Angel Tree. Donations may be placed under the tree in the facility’s lobby. Donors are invited to take home a photo ornament as a keepsake and gesture of thanks. Wish-list items include treats, biscuits, chews, peanut butter; sturdy, water-proof toys for dogs and cats; towels, blankets, pet beds and laundry detergent; gentle shampoos (no flea types), brushes and flea combs; Frontline, Advantage and Revolution; and kitty litter, crates and carriers. Monetary donations are also being accepted.
For more information, call 744 – 5660 or visit

Group Home’s Barbeque Fundraiser a Success
New Horizons Group Homes’ barbeque fundraiser was a great success, raising more than $10,000 between its barbeque, ornaments and silent auction. There were more than 45 businesses and restaurants that provided items for the silent auction. First Choice Southern Bar-B-Que provided the event’s food. Ornaments are still available for purchase.
For more information, call New Horizons, 109 Clay Ave. E., Brandon, at 571-2690.

Holiday Movie Released
On Wednesday, December 16, at 8 p.m., with a pre-recorded encore on Thursday, December 17, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) return to movie theaters across America this holiday season with special guest “Weird Al” Yankovic as they take on the bizarre animated “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other classic Christmas shorts and commercials in RiffTrax LIVE: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza!, showing at Regency 20, 2496 Brandon Blvd. W., Brandon.
Tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at

Holiday Discount Offered with Flight
Fantasy of Flight, 1400 Broadway Blvd. SE, Polk City, is offering Florida residents a special gift this holiday season with $8 off regular general admission (adult or child).  The offer is valid Monday-Thursday, December 14-31. Regular priced admission for an adult is $28.95 and for a child is $14.95. This is not valid with any other offers, discounts or promotions. Proof of residency is required.
For details, visit or call 1-863-984-3500.

Local Church Group Hosts Children’s Party
The Tampa Kiwanis and volunteers from First United Methodist Church in Brandon are hosting the Children’s Medical Services Christmas party at the University of South Florida, 4202 Fowler Ave. E., Tampa, on Saturday, December 19.
For more information, call Mark Tubb at 505-0445.

Church Announces Christmas Happenings
The youth of Brandon Christian Church, 910 Bryan Rd. S., Brandon, will perform the Living Nativity on Sunday, December 20, and Monday, December 21. The scenes will be accompanied by a narrative starting at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. A special Christmas Eve Worship Service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, December 24, at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome.
For further information, please call 689-4021.

Chorus Presents Handel’s Messiah
The Brandon Choral Society will present the Christmas portion from Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, December 20, at 3 p.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico. Advance purchase tickets are $10 at Roydon Music, 939 Oakfield Dr., Brandon or Music Showcase, 1110 Oakfield Dr., Brandon. Tickets will be available at the door for $15 or for $10 if accompanied by a donation of non-perishable canned goods. Children, high school age and younger, will be admitted free. The net proceeds from ticket sales as well as the donated canned goods will be given to Metropolitan Ministries.
For more information, please contact Deidre Young at or 685-0287 or Mary Lou Danahar at or 671-3703.

Bibles for the Bahamas
Bob and Cindy Ackroyd, members of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church who own a vacation home on Cat Island, will be collecting new and slightly used Bibles for the churches throughout the island which is near the Bahamas. Anyone who would like to donate new or used Bibles may do so by visiting St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 3315 Bryan Rd., Brandon, and leaving them in the box marked “Bibles for the Bahamas” through the first week of February.
For more information, call 689-6849 or visit

Cookie Walk Aids Missions
Central Baptist Church, located at 402 Windhorst Rd. E. in Brandon, will host its Fifth
Annual Mission Cookie Walk on Thursday, December 17, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Residents are invited to fill a holiday box with their choice of handmade and decorated holiday cookies and treats for $5 lbs. All proceeds will benefit the Lottie Moon Missions.
For more information, call 689-6133.

Residents Welcome to Meditate
American Buddhist teacher Angus Berry will lead the class, Exchanging Self and Others, an introduction to meditation from the Kadampa Buddhist tradition, at Unity in Brandon, located at 115 Margaret St., on Thursday, December 17, from 7-8:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10.
For more information, call 1-727-797-9770 or visit

Chorus Seeks New Members
The South Shore Sound Chorus, a chapter of the Sweet Adelines International Chorus, is looking for some new members. If you love to sing, become a part of something extraordinary. Practice is on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the Bell Shoals Church of Christ, 2908 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon.
For further information, visit or call 1-866-730-7464.

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 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


Valrico Resident Gets His Wings
First Lt. Eric N. Dorsey, a 2002 graduate of Bloomingdale High School, recently graduated from U.S. Air Force pilot training and is beginning his flying duties at Scott Air Force Base, which is located 22 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri. Dorsey will be flying the KC-135 Stratotanker jet, which is an in-air refueling aircraft. A wing of the KC-135’s is stationed at MacDill AFB, and residents will see them flying periodically over Valrico. Dorsey married Tiffany Fabian, of Valrico, in November of 2009. He is the son of Kevin and Teresa Dorsey, of Valrico.

School of Fine Arts Now Registering
The First Baptist Brandon School of Fine Arts, 216 Parsons Ave. N., Brandon, is accepting applications for the spring session, which begins Monday, January 11 and includes 12 lessons. Private lessons are available for piano, voice, guitar, brass, drums, oboe, violin, flute and clarinet. General Arts and Ballet & Lyrical are offered in one- hour classes on Mondays. Preschool beginner ballet classes for ages 3-4 are offered on Fridays.
For more information, call 689-1204 or visit

Art Creators Welcome
Center Place, 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, Brandon, is offering Jump Start for Art! with instructor Doreen Donovan on Mondays, January 4, 11 and 25, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for ages 5-8 for $30 for members or $40 for non-members.
For more information, call 685-8888.

Free Fun at Community Center
The Brandon Family Support & Resource Center, 1277 Kingsway Rd., Brandon, will provide the following free classes: Free Play – Parents and caregivers can enjoy playing with their kids in the colorful and friendly playroom area (for birth to 4 years old) on Wednesdays from 10:30–11:30 a.m.; and Story Time – Families will enjoy listening to interactive stories in a friendly and family oriented atmosphere. This class is for children birth to 3 years old and takes place on Fridays from 10:30–11:30 a.m.. No registration required for either class.
For more information, call 813-740-4634.

Nativity Hosts Open House
Nativity Catholic School, located at 705 Brandon Blvd. E. in Brandon, will host its annual open house on Tuesday, January 5, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., starting in the Parish Hall.
For additional information, please visit or contact Karen Heitzmann, director of Enrollment, at 689-3395, ext. 256.

Baseball Tryouts Announced
Brandon Panthers 14U baseball tryouts will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, December 16 and 17, at 7 p.m. at Bloomingdale Little League Field 8, next to the Campo YMCA.
For more information, contact Brian Shinault at 363-8205.


Energy Management and Sustainability Forum Announced
Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita has announced plans for a regional Energy Management and Sustainability Forum to be held Friday, January 29, in Tampa.  The forum, E3: Energy, Environment and Economics, will be held at the St. Pete Times Forum. The E3 forum will provide regional fleet managers and facility managers an environment for sharing best practices and practical ways to save energy. There will also be discussions about carbon credits that communities and businesses can earn based on current green activities. These credits can be sold through an exchange to industries needing improvements in greenhouse gas reduction. The fee for registration is $25 and covers parking, morning snack and lunch.
Go to for registration.

County Gains Community Partners for Cell Phone Drive
Hillsborough County is proud to add four new partners for its second annual Cell Phones for Soldiers drive to help the troops serving overseas stay in touch with their families back home. Those partners are: Coca-Cola Global Finance Shared Services in Brandon; Jefferson High School’s Best Buddies Club; 26th Annual Plant City Christmas Parade; and Sun City Center. While these partner locations aren’t community drop off centers, county residents can help by dropping off their unused or outdated cell phones and other portable communication devices at Brandon Regional Service Center, 311 Pauls Dr., Brandon; Plant City Courthouse, 302 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City; and SouthShore Regional Service Center, 410 30th St. S.E., Ruskin through Friday, January 8. Chargers and carrying cases are also accepted.
For more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Kemly Green at 276-2677.

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.

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