Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Golf Tournament Will Support Paralympic Sports Tampa Bay

The Friends of the County Parks & Recreation Department, Inc. will be hosting a golf tournament on Saturday, November 5 at Summerfield Crossing Golf Club, located at 13050 Summerfield Blvd. in Riverview. Check in is 12 Noon with a 1 p.m. shotgun start; four person scramble. 

The cost is $75 per person or $300 per team of four.  Awards and prizes will also be offered.  Sponsorships are available.  Registration fee includes:  green fee, cart, range balls, golfer gift pack, tournament banquet and awards.
All proceeds will benefit “Paralympic Sports Tampa Bay” a program that is offered by Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of the County Parks & Recreation Department, Inc. Paralympic Sports Tampa Bay has a scholarship fund which helps its athletes with training, competition travel and continuing education (post high school). The Friends of the County Parks provides funds for youth, special needs and seniors. 

The registration deadline is Friday, October 28. For more information call:  267-6991 or email:  Entry forms and checks can be sent to: Friends of the County Parks, c/o Brandon Recreation Center, Attn: Mary Clements Fowler, 502 E. Sadie St., Brandon, FL 33510.

Florida Strawberry Festival Announces 2017 Theme

The Florida Strawberry Festival released today the theme for its 82nd annual event – “We’re Playing Your Song!”
“Yes, it highlights our entertainment,” said General Manager Paul Davis. “But most of all, it points to our focus of providing what our visitors like.”

A new theme is created for each year’s festival to offer patrons a glimpse of the experience they will have at the 11 day event. It also unifies vendors, FFA chapters, organizations, corporate partners and exhibitors who create parade floats and displays throughout the celebration, said Davis.

The festival’s strawberry character featured in each year’s theme artwork is an iconic part of the event’s branding and advertising efforts. In this theme’s artwork, he wears a baseball cap and sunglasses and plays a guitar.

“It is our goal for every person who walks through our gate to leave satisfied, knowing we offered them something that they personally enjoy,” said Davis. “We think this theme reflects that well.”

Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation Receives Prestigious Accreditation

 Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation has received national accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), making it one of fewer than 150 such departments in the country to achieve the prestigious designation.

The accreditation is a coveted stamp of approval that a parks and recreation system has well-operated and maintained parks and facilities and offers a robust lineup of recreation programs, according to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), under whose auspices the accreditation is given.

Parks & Recreation encompasses 176 parks, 54 recreation centers, 118 playgrounds, four skate parks, six dog parks, 38 sports complexes, 69 athletic leagues, and offers 280 recreation programs.

The accreditation process involves a self-assessment, a visit by accreditors, and a review by CAPRA. Applicants are judged on their ability to comply with 151 operational standards covering everything from fiscal management to recreational programming to maintenance to accommodating underserved populations. Agencies must be successfully reviewed every five years to maintain accreditation.

Halloween-Themed Activities On Tap For Seniors

Hillsborough County Aging Services offers a variety of activities for adults 50 and over. Visit the to view activity calendars and additional center information or call Aging Services at 272-5250.

Flu + You Expo 

Hillsborough County’s annual Flu + You drive is a partnership with the National Council on Aging that provides flu education, and emphasizes the importance of immunizations, especially for older adults. All centers have free brochures on this important immunization program. For more information, contact Lori Radice at 274-6852.

Brandon Senior Center – 612 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon; 635-8066
Monday, October 24 at 10:30 p.m. – Food Hoarding: How to know when a loved one is hoarding food.
Wednesday, October 26 at 10:30 a.m. – Pajama Party: Wear your favorite PJ’s, robe, slippers – don’t forget your teddy bear.

Monday, October 31 at 10 a.m. – Halloween Spooktacular: Scary costumes encouraged (Children’s parade, games and treats).

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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.