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

Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show Pulls into Tampa Convention Center

From vehicle reveals to mobility innovations, the 2017 Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show serves as a stage for automakers and suppliers to showcase their products and technologies to thousands of people in the Tampa Bay Area. Auto enthusiasts, casual drivers, families, and those curious about the latest innovations in today’s vehicle industry can all enjoy the offerings that the three-day event holds. It will take place Friday, December 2 from 12 Noon-10 p.m., Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

It will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. in Tampa. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $5 for children, seniors (62 and over) and Military and First Responders. Advance sale E-tickets can be purchased at Purchase online now and save $1 on adult tickets.

Scout Troop Seeks Donations For Wreath Around America Day

Boy Scout Troop 665 in Brandon is securing donations to purchase and place wreaths at Bay Pines National Cemetery. Wreaths are $15. The troop will be placing them at Bay Pines gravesites on National Wreaths across America Day – Saturday December 17. To give online on behalf of Troop 665: To pay by check, make your check or money order payable to “Wreaths across America”, mark “Group FL0197P & Location FLBPNB” on the check and mail to: Wreaths across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623.

Public-Private Coalition Aims To Help Students Receive Financial Aid For College

LEAP, the Hillsborough College Access Network made up of a dozen community partners, aims to help more students and parents get over one of the biggest hurdles to college – money. 

Partners and supporters have collaborated on a series of Financial Aid Nights and FAFSA Workshop Labs to provide assistance with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
FAFSA completion is the first step in the financial aid process, and determines the amount of financial support students may be able to receive to help them reach their postsecondary education goals. LEAP aims to increase the number of high school seniors completing the FAFSA this year by 5 percent in Hillsborough County. Last school year, only approximately 4 in 10 Hillsborough seniors completed the process, missing out on an estimated $9 million in available aid (U.S. Department of Education Office of Student Financial Aid, Florida Department of Education). 

At the school district-sponsored Financial Aid Nights, representatives from local colleges offer information and insights into the financial aid process. Community volunteers trained by United Way answer FAFSA questions at the FAFSA Labs. Volunteers and college staff assist students and families with the sometimes-difficult process of completing the online form. Participants attending the Labs will need to bring their FSA ID, parent and student 2015 tax returns, and parent and student 2015 W-2 forms. 

Financial Aid Nights and Labs scheduled locally are:  Saturday, December 3: FAFSA Workshop Lab at the Bill Carey Brandon Boys & Girls Club from 12 Noon–4 p.m. and Tuesday, December 6 from 6-8 p.m. Financial Aid Night at the Plant City High School Auditorium.

iFLY Collecting Toys For Toys For Tots At Open House

iFLY is hosting an open house on Thursday, December 1 from 4–7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots and receive $10 off your first flight. Come on out to watch the flight instructors flying and to view the vertical tunnel. Purchase gift certificates for the holiday.
iFLY is located at 10654 Palm River Rd. in Tampa.

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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.