Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Seeking Vendors For Holiday Bazaar

Brandon Christian Church, located at 910 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, is seeking vendors of hand-crafted items for its fifth annual Holiday Craft Bazaar. The bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 1, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Both inside and outside vendor booths are available. To obtain booth agreements, e-mail or call 404-9393.


Access Church Preview Services

Access Church has started in Brandon. They believe church should be a life-giving, enjoyable experience, so they’ve have created a casual and comfortable environment where you can relax and be yourself.Whether you are brand new at discovering who God is, or you have been a Christ follower for a long time, you are invited to join and see how God can change your life. Monthly Preview Services will take place on Sunday, November 11 and December 2. Services will begin weekly beginning in January 2013. All preview services will be held in the Bloomingdale High School Theatre at 6 p.m. For more information, visit or call 863-409-2600.


Annual Fashion Show Presented By Brandon Christian Women’s Connection

Brandon Christian Women’s Connection will be presenting their annual Fashion Show, “Celebrate Holiday Fashions” featuring Dillards and the special style of singing by Ella Chadwell,  Monday, November 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Special Events Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., in Brandon.  The cost is $14. This is a non-denominational event and all ladies are very welcome, no membership is required. As seating is limited, please make a reservation by Monday, November 5 with Lillie at  740-0098 or Reservation must be honored, paid for or used by a friend.


St. Stephen Catholic Hosts “Navidad En Las Americas Concert

Celebrate this holiday season with a concert. Travel through eight Latin American countries (Argentina, Peru, Columbia, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico). Celebrate the ever beautiful Hispanic Christmas customs and visit guest Brittany Mruczek, along with local artists Joe Rivera and Mariachi Guadalupeno Den San Clemente. Accompanying the guest singers will be the musical group “Enlaces”, Lorna Barroso, Angelica Chica, Miguel Oquendo, Ramon & Sonia Barroso and Chris Westfall. This presentation will be held on Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico.   Pre-sale tickets are $12 for adults; $15 at the door. Tickets are available at the church’s main office or Ave Maria Catholic Store, located at 222 Bryan Rd. in Brandon.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the new St. Stephen Catholic Church Building Campaign.  For more information, contact George Miecyjak at 541-1690 or or visit


Shoppers’ Paradise Held At Nativity Catholic Church

Shoppers’ Paradise will be held on Saturday, November 17 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and there will be crafts, gifts and holiday decorations available for purchase. This event will take place at Nativity Catholic Church, located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd., in Brandon. For more information, call 689-4131 or e-mail


Annual Flea Market To Benefit Homeless

The annual Flea Market at Brandon Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, located at the corner of Bryan Ave. and Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, will be held on Saturday, November 10 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Proceeds will go to Family Promise of Brandon to help homeless families.


Operation Christmas Child

While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Volunteers with Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind—are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect 33,500 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week (November 12 –19).

Using whatever means necessary—trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants—the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.    Locally, you can drop items off at FishHawk Fellowship Church, located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia during the following hours: Monday, November 12 from 8:30 a.m. -12 Noon, Tuesday, November 13 from 3-7 p.m., Wednesday, November 14 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thursday, November 15 from  3-7 p.m., Friday, November 16 from  8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon, Saturday, November 17 from  9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sunday, November 18 from 2-4 p.m. and Monday, November 19 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. For more information, call (800) 353-5949.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.