Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

First Wheelchair Accessible Baseball Fields Will Be Constructed In County

Players with special needs will soon have a baseball field that is wheelchair accessible, safer for play and allow even more opportunities for children with special needs and mobility issues to play baseball.

Buddy Baseball is a non-competitive recreational league for boys and girls with special needs where players are paired with a buddy to assist them on the field. Since the league’s inception in 2009, the league has been playing on traditional clay and sod softball fields which can be challenging for children with mobility issues. Currently there are no synthetic rubber baseball fields in Hillsborough County for children with special needs.

Buddy Baseball, in conjunction with the City of Temple Terrace, are in the early planning stages with construction scheduled to begin in March 2018. The State of Florida and Hillsborough County will be funding the project. The fields will be located at the Temple Terrace Parks & Recreation – Family Recreation Complex.

 Current funding will be used for field construction. Buddy Baseball is seeking additional donations and sponsorships to support the growing league. All donations are a tax-deductible investment to the league. Donations can be made online at or by contacting Russ Oberbroeckling, executive director at

Buddy Baseball is a non-competitive recreational league for boys and girls ages 8 to 22 with special needs. Each player is paired with a buddy to assist on the field and in the dugout. At the start of the 17th season in September 2017, the league has grown to more than 16 teams with more than 90 different schools participating. 

Theme Announced For 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival

The Florida Strawberry Festival announced its theme for the 83rd annual event – ‘Building New Memories.’

“Yes, it points to the new entertainment venue we’ve constructed,” said President Paul Davis. “But most of all, we want our guests to know we’re in the business of continuously making new and better memories for families.”

The festival’s strawberry character featured in each year’s theme artwork is an iconic part of the event’s branding and advertising efforts. In this theme’s artwork, he wears a hard hat and safety glasses and carries a hammer and construction plans for the new entertainment venue.

“We’re so excited about our visitors having a brand new experience with our new entertainment seating and the added vendor building,” said Davis. “It is our desire for our guests to make lifelong memories with their loved ones at the Florida Strawberry Festival.”

Riverview Public Library Offers Cyber Security Course And More

The Cyber Security course will be held on Tuesday, November 14 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This course helps businesses understand potential computer security threats and offers guidance that can be taken to protect data, computers, mobile devices, identity and other digital components. The program is presented in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center at Hillsborough County. Registration is required online or by phone at or 204-9267.

On Wednesday, November 15 at 10:30-11 a.m., the library presents Fall Into Science, a class where children ages 3-5 years of age can explore what happens during fall with experiments and investigations. 

Also, all libraries will be closing early on the days leading up to the Thanksgiving break from Monday, November 20 until Wednesday, November 22, the closing hours will be at 6 p.m.

The Riverview Library is located at 10509 Riverview Dr. in Riverview. For more information, call 273-3652.

Blessing Of The Animals

Saint Anne Catholic Church celebrated its annual blessing of pets on Saturday, October 7, in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Fr. John McEvoy, Pastor, bestowed the special blessing in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s great love for all God’s creatures. The bond between a person and their pet is like no other. For many, a pet can be a true companion.

Saint Anne Catholic Church is located at U.S. Hwy. 41 and 11th Avenue N.E. in Ruskin. For more information about the Parish, visit or call 645-1714.

Vendors Needed For Toy Train, Collectible, Hobby Show and Sale

Vendors are wanted for an upcoming Toy Train, Collectible and Hobby Show/Sale on Saturday, November 18 at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. All vendors are welcome, any train memorabilia, trains,  accessories, baseball cards, crafts, comic books, coins, crafts, antiques, diecast cars or any other hobby or collectible related items you may be interested in selling.  Six ft. tables cost $20 each. If interested call Joe at 727-244-1341 or visit to rent a table online.

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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.