Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

GFWC Valrico Service League Harvest Dinner & Auction

The GFWC Valrico Service League, Inc. (VSL) will hold its main fundraiser of the year, the Harvest Dinner & Auction, on Sunday, November 5 at Center Place, 650 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.
The last several years, VSL has partnered with the Campo YMCA funding swimming lessons for children whose families cannot afford lessons.  

“We think it’s important that if you live in Florida, you should know how to swim” said President Karen Boraiko.  

Hands on activities of the group include educational activities at area Title I elementary schools and providing clothing and shoes for needy children, Bunco and bingo at area retirement homes and participating in Cards for the Troops.  

Tickets for the dinner and auction are $30 and may be purchased at Center Place through October 28.  The event, sponsored by Terry Fink State Farm Insurance, starts at 5:30 p.m. with a catered dinner at 6 p.m. and live auction at 7 p.m.  

Last year’s auction helped VSL support ECHO, Brandon Outreach Clinic, Center Place, Family Promise of Brandon, A Kid’s Place, LifePath Hospice, and Canine Companions among others. 
For more information, call Claudia Yake at 685-7998 or Sue Hadden at 685-6160.

The Neem Tree Is Topic At Riverview Garden Club’s November Meeting

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its business meeting on Wednesday, November 8 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Vickie Parsons on ‘The Neem Tree’. The club is located at the Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. Call 654-6987 for more information.

Volunteers Need For Cleanup Of Private Cemetery

Volunteers are needed for the annual cleanup of the Hackney Cemetery, located at 11020 Hackney Dr. (SE corner of Providence Rd.) cleanup will take place on Saturday, November 4 at 8 a.m. For more information, call Florence Sikes at 677-7606 or email

Help For Quitting Tobacco

Quitting tobacco isn’t easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started in these two hour sessions. Free Community worksite and clinic groups will be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges will be available, while supplies last and if medically appropriate.

Classes will be available: Wednesday, November 8 from 2-4 p.m. at Moffitt Cancer Center – Owis Den, 12902 USF Magnolia Dr. in Tampa, Thursday, November 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, Conference Room, 3100 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa, Monday, November 20 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Oakfield Medical Plaza, Classroom B, 276 S. Moon Ave., Ste. 260 in Brandon.

The five week Quit Smoking Now Support Group will meet on Tuesdays from November 21 to December 19 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute Conference Room, 3100 E. Fletcher Ave. in Tampa.

Pre-registration is required by calling 974-7889. For additional classes, visit

Rotary Club Veterans Day Lunch Honors Those Who Served In The Armed Forces

The Rotary Club of Fishhawk-Riverview’s Third Annual Veterans Day Luncheon will be held on Friday, November 10 at The Chateau, 1903 E. SR 60 in Valrico from 12 Noon-2 p.m. This luncheon was started as a way to honor the men and women within the community who have served or are still serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  This is not a fundraiser, but a community activity to give back to our Rotary community.

This year’s guest speaker will be Robert “Bob” Lapella, Sergeant Major, US Army (Ret.) a Special Forces Operator with 25 years of experience and service.

The cost for lunch is $25 per person for all Rotarian’s/civilians and guests with no military affiliation. It is recommended but not required that each Rotarian or Civilian attendee pay for one lunch for a veteran.  This will enable all veteran attendees, active duty, reserve and retired to dine at no charge.  

Marine Corps League Looking For New Members

The Sgt Walter P. Ryan Detachment of the Marine Corps League will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, November 7 at Alafia American Legion Post 148, located at 7240 US Hwy. 301 in Riverview. Membership is open to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen and Chaplains who have served or are currently serving. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. It is proceeded by a social hour which begins at 6 p.m.

The Detachment is always looking for new members that miss the camaraderie they had while on active duty. For more information contact Ron (Doc) Essick at 503-0390 or

The Nutcracker Ballet

Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance (TADA) in collaboration with Tampa Bay Dance Theatre announces its annual presentation of The Nutcracker featuring a cast of 100 aspiring dancers and actors and featuring two professional ballet dancers including Nicole Padilla, former Soloist with the Sarasota Ballet and Edward Gonzalez Kay, Senior Soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet.

Other special guest performers will be featured from area schools including Bevis Elementary, FishHawk Creek Elementary and Newsome High School.

Two matinee performances will be held on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 at Howard W. Blake High School at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, $15 for adults, and $25 for premium seating.  Group discount is available for 15 or more people. 

Visit or call 571-0901.

Previous articleBeethoven Gets The Party Started For Florida Orchestra’s 50th Birthday
Next articleA Call To Artists Has Been Issued For The 10th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival And Artisan Market
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.