Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

SWAT Networking Lunch Meeting Moves To Shrimp Boat

The Brandon Chapter of Successful Women Aligning Together (SWAT) Networking has outgrown their space. SWAT is a unique sisterhood of professional women that is comprised of exclusively women entrepreneurs and business women from the Brandon/Riverview/Apollo Beach and surrounding areas meeting the second Thursday of every month at 11:45 a.m. for lunch. The meeting will now take place at Shrimp Boat Grille in Plaza Bella at 1020 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. All business types are invited.

Visit for more information.

Master Gardener Clinic Gives Advice On Orchids

On Wednesday, May 3, from 6:30- 7:30 p.m., there will be a Master Gardeners Clinic on Dividing and Potting Orchids given by Master Gardener Verna Dickey at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This will be the last program for the 2016-2017 calendar year. This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardner Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.

Declutter And Organize Your Closets On A Budget

On Monday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m., kick off Money Smart Week with professional organizer Pam Hopener. She will share organizational and time management tips on how to become more structured on a tight budget using ingenuity and easy techniques. This free event is for teens and adults and will take place at Bloomingdale Regional Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a monthly support group for those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers on the third Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings include April 20, May 18, June 15, and July 20. Physical, speech and occupational therapists will discuss treatment for issues related to balance, swallowing, talking and other skills that can be affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 West Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in their assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases.

The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.).

Finding The Missing Piece

Geri Clark has been happily retired for several years, but felt like something was missing her life. When girlfriend Melinda and her mom Lynnette suggested she join Kappa Kappa Chapter of Kappa Delta Phi Sorority, she realized this might be just what she has been looking for. Lynnette Zink has been a member of Kappa Kappa, a philanthropic based sorority, since 1966. She has seen many members come and go throughout the years, and was excited to see “new blood” join the organization.

When Betty Harper’s friend Janice heard that Betty was looking for new members to join Kappa Kappa, her first thought was that she wanted to help a good friend. Betty and Janice carpool to the meetings and now share this common bond in addition to other aspects of their friendship.

As part of this small sorority, both women have found new friends and companionship amongst the other women and their husbands. They both feel a renewed sense of purpose in contributing their efforts to fundraisers which benefit local Brandon charities such as Nativity Food Pantry, Outreach Clinic and so many more. There are also afternoon and evening socials to enjoy the company of others while exploring our community, and a common bond of working together to help those who need it most.

The Kappa Kappa Brandon, chapter of Kappa Delta Phi is looking is looking for new members. Would you like to meet some truly wonderful women and make lifetime friends with a minimum time commitment? Please call Lily Barney at 681-6006.

Is E-Voting For Your Business Community

Last July, a new Florida law took effect allowing community associations to conduct elections and other votes online. While online voting is convenient and may increase owner participation, it can also present new challenges to the community. This event will help your board navigate this new technology.

It will take place At Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon on Tuesday, April 25. Registration and social hour will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Program runs from 6:30-8 pm. Instructor is Attorney Steve Mezer. Appetizers and beverages will be served.

RSVP online at For more information, contact John Rowles, LCAM at

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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.