Compiled by Michelle Colesanti

Life Story Writing/Memoir Classes To Begin At Bloomingdale Regional Library

Life Story Writing/Memoir classes will start once again the third week of January at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. Three classes will run simultaneously for 10 weeks each.

One begins Tuesday January 17, 2017 from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Another class begins Friday,
January 20, 2017 from 1:30–4:30 p.m., and the third class starts Saturday, January 21 from 1:30–4:30 p.m.

All skill levels are welcome. Pick up a brochure in the lobby of the library or email for more information.

Students are required to plan on attending all ten classes. The classes are sponsored by the Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library and are free to the public. To register, go to the “Ask Desk” inside the library or email

Celebrate The Birth of Jesus At Lighthouse Revival Center
A Lighthouse Christmas Presents: An Offering To The Newborn King on Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m. This is a musical production to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christmas of Hope will take place on Friday, December 16 at 6 p.m. A special Christmas service with a delicious dinner served immediately after, gifts given by Santa Claus to kids between the ages of 2-10 (children must be present), then receive a packed food basket to take home.

Lighthouse Revival Center is located at 7211 S. 78th St. in Riverview. For more information, call 677-5220 or visit

Benjamin Uher Performing With Heidelberg University Symphonic Band

Benjamin Uher of Apollo Beach is a member of the Heidelberg University Symphonic Band for the 2016-17 academic year. The band, under the direction of Jonathan Waters, gave its fall concert, a folk-inspired program titled Music of the People on November 12.

Uher is a freshman majoring in Biology and Chemistry.

U.S. Postal Service Letters From Santa Program

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter, complete with a North Pole postmark.

Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response.

Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child.

Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.

Affix a First-Class Mail stamp to the envelope. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope — preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope — with appropriate postage and address it to: North Pole Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Dr., Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

“Letters from Santa” must be received by the Anchorage, AK, postmaster no later than December15. Santa’s helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest.
Be sure to share the experience on social media using #LettersFromSanta.

Tips to save paper, write Santa’s response on the back of your child’s letter. If you keep them together, your child will also be able to recall what he or she wrote.

When responding as Santa, make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child’s accomplishments over the past year, for example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school or participating in community service activities.

This is a great activity to do at Thanksgiving that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers.

The Letters from Santa program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for interesting youngsters in letter writing, stamps and penmanship.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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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.