Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Ceremony

Brandon Regional Hospital recently held its 11th annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Ceremony to honor the more than one million babies who pass away each year from miscarriage and still birth. The event was attended by local families who have all lost children of their own.

Master Gardener Class on Organic Vegetable Gardening

There will be Master Gardener Clinic on Organic Vegetable Gardening given by Master Gardener Brad Ward on Wednesday, December 6 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The clinic will inform on how to successfully grow vegetables organically and  to learn which varieties of vegetables do best in central Florida and when to start those seeds. 
This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardner Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.

Enjoy Chanukah Festivities And More At Congregation Beth Shalom

Enjoy Chanukah Music with Cantor Greenblatt as she serenades everyone with beautiful melodies on Sunday, December 3 at 4 p.m.

Beyond I had a Little Dreidel – Join Cantor Tanya Greenblatt on Sunday, December 10 at 4 p.m. as she once again engages in holiday song. Bring your family and enjoy.

Bible and Bagels – On Saturday, December 16 at 10 a.m., join Rabbi Betsy Torop as she leads in a discussion of the Torah portions pertinent to the parsha. A light breakfast will be enjoyed by all. BYOB. All interested are welcome.

Welcome the Sabbath on Friday evenings at 7:45 p.m. Oneg, nosh and mingle follows. On December 16 at 7 p.m., the Chanukah candles will be kindled to celebrate the Festival of Lights, Consecration and Kabbalat HaSidddur. All are welcome.

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

Holiday Luncheon For Brandon Christian Women’s Connection

The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection will celebrate Christmas at the December luncheon ‘Winter Wonderland’ on Monday December 11 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m at Bell Shoals Bapist Church in the Special Event Center, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. This is a nondenominational luncheon for all ladies with no membership required. This special luncheon with music, entertainment and a Christmas decorating demonstration is $15.

First time guests pay $10 so bring a friend to enjoy the celebration.  Reservations are requested by Monday December 4. Please call Lillie at 740-0098.

Chabad Jewish Discovery Center Holds Community Events To Celebrate Chanukah

The following local events will be held by the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center to celebrate Chanukah.
A Chanukah Festival will take place at Winthrop Town Centre on Tuesday December 12 at 6 p.m. It will feature The lighting of Brandon’s tallest Menorah, Face Painting, Tony the Balloon guy, Hot Latkes, Chanukah craft and more. The event is free to attend.

Chanukah Klezmer Festival & Menorah Lighting at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce will feature The Freylach band. It will take place on Thursday, December 14 at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Enjoy NY deli style food for sale.

A Chanukah Chocolate Gelt Factory & Electric Menorah Wiring Workshop will take place on Sunday, December 17 at 11 a.m. at the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, 1578 Bloomingdale Ave, in Valrico. The event is for families with children ages 3-13. The cost is $8 per child.

A Menorah Lighting at Park Square in Fishawk Ranch will occur in front of Cool Beans on Sunday, December 17 at 6 p.m. It will feature Kindling of giant Menorah, Chocolate gelt, Hot Latkes, Chanukah Music, Chanukah crafts and more. It is free of charge.

For information, visit  or call 571-8100.

Brandon Christian Writers Meet

Do you have a story to share but don’t know how to start? Would you like to get your feet wet in the sea of publishing? Come meet with a great mix of successful and aspiring writers who get together monthly to learn the ropes, find inspiration and enjoy networking. The Brandon Christian Writers meet the fourth Thursday of every month at St. Andrews Methodist Church, 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon in Room 305 of the Family Center. Further info and guidelines for manuscript critique can be found 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.