Press Releases


FishHawk Road Race Announced
The 13th Annual FishHawk Road Race will take place on Saturday, February 6, at Park Square in FishHawk Ranch, 16144 Churchview Dr., Lithia. The 5K and 10K will start at 8 a.m., and the Kids’ Race will start at 9:30 a.m. Early registration fees for adults are $25. The day of the event, fees will be $30 for adults. Kids are $15.
For more information, call 685-7500 or register at

Teach Your Dog Manners
Dog Obedience classes (8-week course) will be offered at the Brandon Recreation Center, 510 Sadie St. E., Brandon, starting the week of Monday, January 11. Basic is taught on Mondays or Tuesdays; Sub-Novice is Wednesdays or Thursdays; and all classes are 7-8 p.m. The registration fee is $80.
For information and pre-registration, call 689-0731 or email

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.

2Captionforpicture: FishHawk Ranch resident Robert Gallo, 15, won second place for his light display, set up in honor of his sister, the late Jessica Rose, who passed away from cancer in February of 2009. His mother, Maureen Massari, will kick off a foundation for her beloved daughter on Friday, February 6, at Sunset Bay Chapel, located at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia. To learn more, visit

Paint Wildlife
Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon, will host Oil Portraiture – Wildlife Painting (all levels), led by instructor Debra Bryant, on Tuesdays, January 5, 12, 19 and 26, for $48 per member or $58 per non-member per month.
For more information, call 685-8888.

Plant Lovers Welcomed to Clinic
Master Gardener Jim Hawk presents Dooryard Fruit for Central Florida at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, on Wednesday, January 6, from 7-8 p.m.
For more information, e-mail

Residents Keep Roadways Clean
Area residents took to the roadways of the 19-acre parcel of land bordered by Lithia Pinecrest, Brooker and Valrico roads, beautifying the area that is up for rezoning. With plans sought to turn an ASC-1 cow pasture into 99,500-sq.-ft. retail commercial space, residents are asking for neighboring residents to attend the Tuesday, January 12, meeting at 9 a.m. to let the Board of County Commissioners know where they stand, held at the County Center, 2nd floor,  located at 601 Kennedy Blvd. E. in Tampa.
For more information, call Lynea D’Angelo at 661-8397.

Networking Social for Leadership Alumni Announced
The Leadership Brandon Alumni Planning Committee would like to invite all Leadership Brandon Alumni to the first Networking Social of the 2010 year on Friday, January 15, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Barnacles, 926 Providence Rd., Brandon. Come have some light hors d’oeuvres, “happy hour” beverage specials and social other Alumni members.
For more information, please contact Crystal Colegrove at 689-1221, ext. 8824.

Chai Group Unveils Wardrobe Party
Brandon’s Hadassah Chai Group invites residents to a Wardrobe Party on Sunday, January 17, from 3-6 p.m. at Westfield Brandon’s Chico’s, 415 Brandon Town Center, Brandon, which will provide refreshments and personalized service. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to Hadassah.
Reservation can be made by contacting Janice at or 571-2029.

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

Watch the Game at Formaggio’s
Come find out why Formaggio’s was voted the best pizza in Brandon. Join residents every Monday to watch Monday night football. The doors are open from 4 p.m. until the end of the game. It is located at 5622 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia.
For more information, call 643-1418.

The Farm Welcomes All
The Farm, 7818 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia, welcomes all to its grounds for food, fellowship and music the last Friday of the month. On Friday, January 29, Richard Kiser, a world famous guitarist, will be in concert; Friday, February 26, welcomes New Artist of the Year 2008 Danny Ray Harris; and Friday, May 28, Rockabilly Gospel artist Jayc Harold will be in attendance. Admission is free. A donation box is available.
Visit for more information.


Announcements for St. Stephen
St. Stephen Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico, will host the following events: Join Friar Bill for his Pastor’s Open House for the latest on the new church on Sunday, January 10, after the 5:30 p.m. Mass in the multi-purpose room; celebrate Mass in honor of the victims of abortion and their families on Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m.; Matthew Kelly is coming on Sunday, January 24, at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted and a gift will be given with each donation; and lastly, join the church for XLT Adoration on Sunday, January 31, at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, call 689-4900.

Renew Your Vows in 2010
Visit Sunset Bay Chapel, located at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia, for a day to remember God’s blessing on your vows again (pictures and cake), taking place Sunday, ___, at 10 a.m. at FishHawk.
For more information, call 661-7105.

Jewish Tradition Revealed at Mall
Chabad of Brandon, 3005 Waylon Ln., Valrico, held its Third Annual Chanukah Wonderland at Westfield Brandon at which a crowd of more than 100 enjoyed the kindling of Brandon’s first Balloon Menorah and Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin’s telling of the story of Chanukah. For more information, call 657-9393.

Come Sing at Bell Shoals
The South Shore Sound Chorus performed at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parrish in December. Residents are invited to join the chorus on Mondays at the Bell Shoals Church of Christ, 2908 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, from 7-9:30 p.m. For more information, call 1-866-730-7464 or visit

Have Lunch with the Stonecroft Ladies
The women of Stonecroft Brandon Christian Women’s Connection will meet for lunch on Thursday, January 21, at the Bell Shoals Special Events Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, at 11 a.m. The cost is $12, with guest speaker Gay Martin.
For information, please call 310-9518.


Early Bird Leaguerette Girl’s Softball Tournament
The Hillsborough County Leaguerette Early Bird Tournament that kicks off the 2010 girl’s softball season will be held at the Brandon Community Center from Saturday-Sunday, January 2-3, and Friday-Sunday, January 8-10. The girls play in three divisions ranging in age from 6-17. The Brandon Leaguerette program will open its regular season on Saturday, January 16. Past players are invited to attend the league opening day, featuring guest Tony Salidino.
Call 744-5595 for more information.

Teach Kids Manners for the New Year
Manners DO Matter will be holding its four-week program beginning Thursday, January 7. Each session is one hour per week. Session includes introductions, proper handshake, eye contact, power words and rude words, making mistakes, apologizing and much more.  Table setting and proper table etiquette will be covered as well as a small celebratory meal at the conclusion of the program.
For more information, contact Lisa Aber at or 966-9787.

New Offerings at Dance Center
The Dance Center, 161 Bloomingdale Ave. E., Brandon, is offering Mommy & Me classes for mommies and 2-year-olds (Must be 2 as of September 1, 2009). Classes include music, dancing and more, beginning Tuesday, January 5, and Wednesday, January 6, from 10:30-11 a.m.
Also being offered is STOTT Pilates, beginning Friday, January 8, at 4:30 p.m. for students and 5:30 p.m. for adults. It is recommended that each student bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing. A maximum of eight students will be allowed per class, which costs $65 per month.
For additional information call 684-4282 or e-mail

Mold Your Own Snowman
Center Place, 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, Brandon, will host Kid’s Clay for ages 5-13, led by instructor Anita Devine, on Tuesdays, January 12 and 26, from 5:15-6:15 p.m. for $20 per member or $25 per non-member.
For more information, call 685-8888.

Registration for Little League to be Held
Pinecrest Little League’s spring registration will be held on Saturday, January 9, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Monday, January 11, from 6-8 p.m.; Saturday, January 16, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday, January 21, from 6-8 p.m.; and Saturday, January 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tryouts will be held on Thursday and Friday, January 28 and 29. Coaching applications are now being accepted for the spring season.
For more information, e-mail

Sign-Up to Play in the FishHawk League
The FishHawk Youth Baseball League spring 2010 season registrations will be held on Wednesday, January 6, from 6-9 p.m., Thursday, January 7, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, January 9, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Please visit for league boundaries, fees, dates, location and more information.

Girls Softball Registration Open
The Miss Tampa Bay Softball at FishHawk will hold its spring season registration until Saturday, January 9, for girls between the ages of 4 and 16 and does not have any boundary restrictions. In-person registrations are available on Wednesday, January 6,     from 6-9 p.m., Thursday, January 7, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, January 9, from 10-2 p.m. at the FishHawk Youth Sports Complex meeting rooms, behind the baseball/softball concession stand.
For more information or to register online, please visit

Baseball Tryouts for Bandits
The Bloomingdale Bandits 11U competitive travel baseball team will be holding tryouts for the upcoming 2010 season on Sunday, January 10, at 1 p.m. at Bloomingdale Little League. The player cannot turn 12 years old before Saturday, May 1, 2010.
For more information, please contact or Coach D.J. Peña at 230-1874.

Girl Scouts Aid Others
The Junior Girl Scout Troop 5, from Alafia and Brooker elementary, are committed to helping others and have completed three different service projects since Thanksgiving. They made Christmas cards and a banner to send to an Armed Forces unit in Afganistan, held a clothing drive to donate to the Osprey Observer for distribution to the homeless in Brandon and held a food drive to benefit the Women’s Resource Center.
For more information, e-mail

County Updates

County Receives $4.8 Million In Housing Funds
Hillsborough County’s Affordable Housing Department recently reported that it had met and exceeded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) deadline to disburse and commit HOME Investment Partnership Program funds that it had received. Additionally, this year the department has received approximately $4.8 million in additional federal and state government funding for homeless prevention programs, first-time homebuyer programs, affordable housing building projects and property rehabilitation efforts.
The complete quarterly report and Strategic Plan are available at by clicking on “Publications.”

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.

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.

County Receives Strong Credit Rating for new ELAPP Debt
Three international credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have issued credit ratings of AAA, AA+ and Aa1, respectively, for the county’s proposed new ELAPP bonds that will be used for acquisition and preservation of environmentally sensitive lands in Hillsborough County. In addition Standard & Poor’s affirmed the county’s AAA general credit rating and Fitch Ratings affirmed the existing “A” rating for the county’s solid waste and resource revenue bonds.
For more information, visit

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