By Marie Gilmore

ChickfilalogoDue to their generosity during a recent “Buy A Sandwich, Donate A Meal” promotion, two area Chick-fil-A locations were able to host a huge family-fun event for military and foster families at YMCA Camp Cristina. The event, sponsored by Chick-fil-A Lake Brandon Village and Chick-fil-A Westfield Brandon Mall, both owned by Paul & Tammy Holmberg, was a huge success.

Families of deployed military personnel, foster families and all of the kids, parents and staff at A Kid’s Place in Brandon were invited to Camp Cristina for Chick-fil-A lunch along with face-painting, balloons,  games and activities. The DJ, Mr. Ed Cullins, donated his time providing great music for the day. A drum circle, hosted by Drum Magic and sponsored by the Osprey Observer and “Make & Take Art” projects, sponsored by Center Place Fine Arts and local artist Doreen Donovan, were also enjoyed. The “Zipline” and  all of the Camp Cristina activities were sponsored by the YMCA. The day concluded with an amazing magic show by Mr. Bones, the Pirate Magician.

“During the promotion on March 6,” explained Tammy, “for every original Chick-fil-A Chicken sandwich customers purchased, we would donate a meal to our selected charities. We chose the Sylvia Thomas Center for adoptive and foster families; the MacDill Resource Center in Brandon for the families of the deployed; the YMCA foster families program and A Kid’s Place as our selected charities. We wanted to make the free meal special for the families so we hosted one big fun event to bring the families together for a special day.”

According to the Chick-fil-A website, for every Tampa Bay area Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich purchased in the drive-thru at free-standing restaurants or at the counter at mall restaurants on March 6, a Chick-fil-A Sandwich Meal was donated. Nearly 40 charities received donations following the event.

For more information, find Chick-fil-A Brandon on Facebook, visit or call Lake Brandon Village at 655-1237 or Westfield Brandon Mall at 654-6769.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!