Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

5th Annual Gifts & Crafts Fair at The Bridges Seeking Local Vendors

With the holidays approaching, shopping for unique gifts could not be easier when you visit the 5th Annual Gifts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Bridges Retirement Community, 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview.

This one-stop holiday shopping event features over 30 vendors. Whether it is handcrafted decorations or personalized gifts, such as jewelry and handbags, art, candles, soaps, sweet treats and more, you will find just what you are looking for. “Customers of all ages are invited to stop by this free event to get a head start on their shopping,” said Janet Noah, Community Relations Liaison and event coordinator.

Interested vendors please contact Janet at 413-8900 or

DAR Honors Vietnam War Veteran

On Thursday, September 8, the local Alafia River chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) joined the De Soto and Tampa Chapters of the NSDAR at Veterans Memorial Park and Museum of Hillsborough County to honor Vietnam War veteran SMSGT Roy Callow, US Air Force (Ret.), who was accompanied by his wife, Diana.  DAR Regent Becky Johnston read the official letter from the President of the United States regarding the Vietnam 50th Commemorative Anniversary. SMSGT Callow was presented with the letter along with other items from the US Department of Defense by DAR member, Laura Culver. 

Friends of Mary & Martha House Walk, Run or Strut To Raise Awareness For Domestic Violence

This year on Saturday, October 1, Stepping Out Against Domestic Violence Awareness Day, will be the biggest event to date for Mary & Martha House with more color, prizes, vendors, and more fun for the entire family! Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the color run/walk to start at 9 a.m. Following the Color run/walk, there will be food, live music, and much more.

Registration for the “Stepping Into Her Heels” event begins at 9:30 a.m. Race begins at 10:30 a.m. For more Information and to register, visit

Strawberry Ridge Hosts The Berry Clay Pit Fall/Winter Ceramic Sale

The Berry Clay Pit Fall/Winter Ceramic Sale will be held on Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

It will take place at the Strawberry Ridge Mobile Home Park, located at 3419 SR 60 in Valrico. Follow the signs to the Activity Center.

There will be one-of-a-kind items at very reasonable prices and all are made by the residents. There will be pieces for all holidays and many items for your yard and house. There will also be several raffles for surprise items that were donated.

Clean Water Activist Speaks Too Democratic Women

With a rallying cry of “Clean water is a basic human right,” John Heim, founder of the Southwest Florida Clean Water Movement, gave an informative, passionate, and disturbing presentation at the September 8 meeting to members and guests of the Democratic Women’s Club of SE Hillsborough at the Bloomingdale Regional Library.

Jim Lange, who is running as the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, will be among the guest speakers at Democratic Women’s Club’s next meeting, Thursday, October 6, at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Contact 654-7464 for more information.

Riverview Garden Club Meets

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, October 12 at 10 a.m. in the Riverview Civic Center, located at 11020 Park Dr., in Riverview. The guest speaker is Phil Elting of Elting’s Exotic Plants.  Parking is free and admission is free for first time attendees. For more information call Harriet at 813-727-6567.

Southern Company Chorus Seeks Women Singers

If you are a woman that loves to sing, Southern Company Chorus is an all woman a cappella barbershop group that is seeking additional singers. It meets Mondays from 6:45-9:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall in Bell Shoals Church of Christ. Everyone is welcome to a practice on Monday night to listen and even join in. Visit For more info, email or call Denise Padgett at 260-3983.

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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.