Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Brandon Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon Will Make You Smile

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection March luncheon “Irish Eyes are Smiling” welcomes all ladies. on Monday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  It will take place in Bell Shoals Baptist Church Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. 

Luncheon and entertainment cost $15. First time guests pay $10.  No membership is required for this nondenominational event, but a reservation due to limited seating is requested by Friday, March 3.  Please call Lillie at 740-0098 for reservation. 

Upcoming Events At Congregation Beth Shalom

Shabbat services take place on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg (nosh and mingle) follows services. All are welcome.

Purim Spiel – Sunday, March 12. We will shake our groogers as we retell the story of Queen Esther, the Jews and our foe, Haman. All are welcome to this family-friendly event. Call the office for exact time.

Life Learn Israel iengage – Rabbi Torop will present another fascinating session as we continue to gain insight into our relationship with and values towards Israel and the Middle East. March 14, 7:30 pm.

Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. Call 681-6547 for more information.

ECHO Will Open Its Doors Tuesday Nights

Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon recently announced that it will have night time hours. Along with their regular hours of Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ECHO will also be open every from 5 -7 p.m.

Clients will be able to receive the same services offered during the day. This includes, shopping for food and clothing. ECHO will also be offering a night time GED class.

“We estimate seeing an additional 500 families a year, simply by keeping our lights on, one night a week” says Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders. ECHO’s new night time hours will allow the organization to help those families who work during the day but still need services.

ECHO provides food and clothing for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County who have experienced a recent emergency.  Since its inception in 1987, ECHO has served more than 180,000 Brandon area residents. Along with immediate resources, ECHO also provides an array of educational classes and basic social services.

For more information contact ECHO at 685-0935 ext. 8000.

Good Samaritan Mission’s 2017 Family Salsa Fest

This year the annual Salsa Fest at the Good Samaritan Mission in Wimauma will be held in conjunction with its monthly Saturday Farmer’s Market on Saturday, March 4  from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m

This is a celebration of its community and all things Salsa.

Come and join in to sample the cuisine offered by the food vendors. Move your toes or your whole body to entertainment with a Latin beat. There will be a lot of games and activities for the whole family. Shop at craft vendors and learn about local businesses and non-profit organizations.  

Entrance and parking is free. The Good Samaritan Mission and the Family Salsa Fest is located at 14920 Balm Wimauma Rd. (Corner of Balm Rd. and Balm Wimauma Rd.) in Balm. For more info, call 634-7136 or email

St. Patrick’s Day Social At Brandon Community Center

A  St. Patrick’s Day Social and Event, Lunch and Dance will take place on Monday, March 13 at 11 a.m. at the Brandon Community Center located at 502 E. Sadie St.

This event is free. For more information or to RSVP (by Thursday, March 9), please call 734-4806 and ask for Maria.

Tuesday Night Bingo Open To Public

Tuesday night Bingo is open to both members and non-members of the Brandon Moose Lodge #1880 (North Hall).

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. First number is called at 6:30 p.m. sharp. The cost is $10. Food is available for sale before the games start, coffee and popcorn all night. Every week there are over 20 games and depending on how many players there are $700 to $1,000 is given out weekly.  The Brandon Moose Lodge is located at 804 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico.

Enjoy The Triumphant Quartet At First Baptist Church of Gibsonton

The First Baptist Church of Gibsonton is excited to announce that The Triumphant Quartet will perform at the church, located at 9912 Indiana St., in Gibsonton on Friday, February 24 at 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person and tickets may be purchased at the door.

The Triumphant Quartet is the number one southern gospel group in the nation and First Baptist Gibsonton is honored to host them. For information, call the office at 677-1301.

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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.