By Michelle Caceres

Rebecca Wilson had one entry in the Live Free for a Year Sweepstakes at The Preserve at Alafia. Just one entry among hundreds. Her dismal chances of winning didn’t stop her and her daughter from attending the party in February where the winner would be announced.

“I thought it would be a fun evening and we might go home with a box of chocolates,” she said.

Wilson left with something better than chocolate.

When her name was called as the grand prize winner of free rent on a two-bedroom apartment for one year, worth an estimated $18,868, she jumped out of her chair, knocking it to the ground.

“I couldn’t believe my luck,” she stated.

The Wilsons earned their one entry when they visited the community while searching for a place to live that was close to work and their two children’s school (they both attend HCC). The family is now happily settled in their new apartment and couldn’t be happier with the timing.

“We are very fortunate that with the costs associated with supporting two children in college we get to take a break from having to pay rent or a mortgage,” said Wilson. “We are really enjoying the community, its staff and our neighbors.”

Located at 9711 Magnolia View Ct. in Riverview, The Preserve at Alafia is the only community in the Brandon area that sits right on the Alafia River. First-class amenities include an 80-acre nature trail, river access for boating, a fishing pier, pool and hot tub, controlled-access entry gates and garage parking. Spacious one, two and three bedroom units are available.

“Our leasing associates are happy to give tours of the community,” said manager, Donna Trimue.

If you decide to move in, you won’t live rent-free like the Wilsons, but you’ll still enjoy calling this urban-style apartment community home.

Trimue says readers should keep their eyes open for the next big promotion. “You never know when we’ll do it again,” she said.

For more information about the Preserve at Alafia, call 443-0600 or visit them online at




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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.