Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Local Resident Completes Basic Training At West Point
Cadet Steven Anthony Cilenti III, son of Steven and Kristen Cilenti of Valrico, completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy. Steven entered West Point on June 27 and successfully completed six weeks of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy. The initial military training program provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training. Steven began classes in August.

The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. Steven was homeschooled and dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College. He plans to graduate from West Point in 2020 and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Third Annual Bloomingdale High Alumni Tailgate & Business Expo
The Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation will be hosting the third annual Alumni Tailgate on Friday, October 14 from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Bloomingdale High School parking lot. There will be a bouncy house for the kids, face painting, DJ, and more. Alumni T-shirts for sale, yearbooks from all of the past classes will be for sale.
Local business will be set up for you to visit. Attendees are encouraged to attend the Homecoming football game afterward, where there will be special recognition for Bloomingdale Alumni. Businesses can rent a booth for $40. Proceeds will benefit the Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation, which works to enhance the learning experience for students by adding more technology in the classrooms. Donations are welcome. Contact Becky McDaniels at or Michelle Hernandez at

Music Makers At Music Showcase
Children ages 4-10 can attend a free workshop on the second Saturday of every month from 9:30-11 a.m. by The Florida Academy of the Performing Arts at Music Showcase at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. This fun and interactive workshop allows children to hear and see band and orchestral instruments like the flute, trumpet, tuba, or violin and they get to try them out themselves. Kids will also make an instrument that they get to take home along with a goody bag. The Music Makers Workshop will take place on Saturdays, October 8, and  November 12. The Workshop is free, but you must register in advance by visiting

pr_legacy-rewound-kat-heckenbachLocal Author Releases Third Book In YA Fantasy Trilogy
Local author, artist, and home school mom Kat Heckenbach has released the third book in her fantasy trilogy for teens, Toch Island Chronicles. Legacy Rewound finishes off the series with a combination of magic, mystery, and time travel. Melinda knew Kalek’s music created powerful visions, but it wasn’t supposed to actually send her into the past. Heckenbach is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. Her YA fantasy series Toch Island Chronicles includes Finding Angel, Seeking Unseen, and Legacy Rewound. All three books are available on and in ebook and print. Visit or visit to keep up with her writing and events.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.