By Tamas Mondovics

As one of the County’s largest community events, celebrating its residents’ achievements, the 14h Annual Hillsborough County Neighborhoods and Youth Conference is once again ready to draw a large crowd of attendees, including local government officials, neighborhood leaders, representatives of county departments as well as dozens of vendors.

Scheduled for Saturday, July 15 at the Sheraton Tampa East, located at 10221 Princess Palm Ave., the free conference begins at 8 a.m. and offers a variety of opportunities to all in attendance to learn about new programs and ideas for neighborhoods to network.

“This event is truly a forum for county departments to share information about county services offered to our residents,” said County Neighborhood Liaison, Wanda L. Sloan.

Sloan emphasized that as it has been the practice in the past, conference guests and visitors have an efficient way to get their questions answered through a large variety of exhibits, not to mention a number of free workshops, hosted by county officials and department representatives. 

Workshops answer questions on code enforcement, water safety, traffic calming, crime and violence prevention, disaster preparedness as well as how to write and be eligible for neighborhood grants, just to name a few. 

The event is again seeking nominations in Hillsborough County’s annual Neighborhood Recognition Awards program, which rewards the best neighborhood association in the area, homeowner’s group accomplishments and projects and an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference.

“The 2017 countywide awards program has been completely revamped to reflect the changing ways residents are contributing to their communities,” Sloan said.

Nomination forms may also be submitted online. The winners will be announced at the conference on July 15.

For the second year in a row, the conference also includes a special youth component and interactive community conversation engagement workshop, which County officials say will allow open dialogue between various community leaders, business professionals, county and city residents and law enforcement.

For details and conference information, go to and click on the 2017 Neighborhoods Conference link, or call 272-5860.

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