Outstanding Community Members Honored By Local DAR

On May 2, the Alafia River Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) presented awards to three outstanding community members.

B. Lee Elam received the Community Service Award for his volunteer work in the community. As an attorney in Brandon, he supported local service groups and donated his time and legal advice to the community and migrant groups. Elam was nominated by the Community Service Award Chairman, Glenda Thurow, who presented his award. His wife, Pat, pinned his medal on him.

John Noriega was unable to attend but was also recognized with a Community Service Award for the support he and his family have given to Brandon through their business, Bill’s Pharmacy.

Corporal Brian LaVigne of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Medal, which recognizes a first responder or military member who achieves the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism. In addition to numerous commendations, including a Medal of Valor, MADD Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and two lifesaving awards, Cpl. LaVigne volunteered as a youth soccer coach and currently volunteers at Gracie Fishhawk teaching self-defense.

He’s a self-taught, certified Spanish translator. He was nominated by the Alafia River Chapter NSDAR Regent, Roberta Jordan (Lt. Col., US Army, Retired), and his citation was read by National Defense Chairman Melody Powers and Cpl. LaVigne’s daughter, Deputy Caitlin LaVigne, placed the medal.

For more information about the Alafia River Chapter NSDAR, email ARCRegistrar201921@gmail.com.

Tampa Liberty School Teaches Children Our Country Foundations

Tampa Liberty School will take place Monday to Friday, July 8-12 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon.

If you are looking for something educational and fun for your 8-12 year old students to learn how our country was really founded, Tampa Liberty School is a great option. There are still a few volunteer positions available, especially for Founders Friday. Here is your chance to dress up and help children learn.

The cost is $40 per child. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/tampa-liberty-school-summer-2019-tickets62407357085. Call Chris Shalosky at 857-6973 for more information.

Instrument Petting Zoo At Brandon Regional Library

The Florida Orchestra is teaming up with public libraries and other organizations to greatly expand its free Instrument Petting Zoos for kids during the summer.

The popular Instrument Petting Zoo is a collection of orchestral instruments that kids can handle and try out, with TFO staffers and volunteers on hand to help. Sponsored by TFO’s North Suncoast Associates, the zoo includes violin, cello, trombone, trumpet, flute, various percussion and more.

TFO’s Instrument Petting Zoo will come to the Brandon Regional Library, 619 Vonderburg Dr. on Wednesday, July 10 at 2 p.m.

The zoos will be provided in conjunction with summer reading programs at the libraries and are a great way for The Florida Orchestra to continue to serve kids during TFO’s off-season and encourage them to explore their own musicality.

The Instrument Petting Zoo also will be a part of TFO’s new full-orchestra Family Concerts debuting in the fall. The one-hour concerts, titled One Giant Leap, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with live music and stunning visuals from NASA. The program includes selections such as Holst’s The Planets, John Williams’ E.T. and much more.

Performances are geared for families with children ages 6-12 and are scheduled for Sunday, October 27 at the Straz Center in Tampa at 2 p.m. and Sunday, November 3, at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg at 2 p.m. General admission tickets for kids and adults will be $8 in advance and $10 day of show.

TFO also will provide the Instrument Petting Zoo at private camps at the Tampa Bay History Center, Metro Youth Camp, Jewish Community Camp in Clearwater and Camp Banyan in Clearwater.

The Florida Orchestra’s new season opens in September and celebrates 250 years of Beethoven and beyond, including Beethoven’s Fifth, music of The Beatles, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Holiday Pops and much more. Season tickets are on sale now at FloridaOrchestra.org; single tickets are available on Monday, August 12.

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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.