Ernest Hooper of the Tampa Bay TImes will speak at the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Teacher Luncheon.

The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce will host the second annual Back to School Teacher Luncheon on Wednesday, August 8 from 10:30-12:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale High School. The luncheon is intended to welcome teachers from 18 area schools back in to the new school year and is sponsored by local businesses in the community.

This year, Tampa Bay Times Editor Ernest Hooper will be the keynote speaker and teachers will enjoy entertainment provided by Bloomingdale High School ROTC and music programs. In addition, teachers will be pampered with school supplies donated by local businesses and have the opportunity to win raffles.

“This is the chance for local businesses to appreciate our local teachers,” explained Chamber past-president and newly crowned Brandon Honorary Mayor Melissa Haskins. “We want to partner with our local schools and make our community stronger.”

Food will be provided by Chick-fil-A Brandon South, Yo-Yo Juice, LeAnne’s Cookies and Philly Pretzel Factory.

In addition to lunch, speakers and entertainment, the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber has partnered with OneBlood this year to host a Blood Drive at Bloomingdale High School from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The community is welcome to donate a pint.

“This is a way for local businesses to make a major impact on our local schools,” describes Bridget Wilson, owner of Cardinal Roofing and Solar. “It is our pleasure to sponsor this event and help welcome our teachers back to school.”

Ernest Hooper is the East Hillsborough Bureau chief and columnist at the Tampa Bay Times. Hooper joined the Times in 1992 and has worked as a prep sports writer and editor, TV/radio sports columnist, NFL writer and news columnist.

The community is also welcome to donate a case of paper to a local school. The case cost is $31 delivered to any local school.

The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization and a local 501C-3 which promotes opportunities for local businesses to increase sales and awareness of their establishments. Membership includes opportunities for a ribbon cutting, community events, networking, after hours events and educational seminars to continue to foster growth in local businesses. Currently, there are more than 200 business members of the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce.

For information or to donate school supplies or raffle prizes to the event, visit

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!