Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Isaac Maxwell. Joseph White, from Brandon, fires a 9mm pistol during a live-fire handgun qualification course held on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85). McCampbell is forward-deployed to the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Bikes For Christ In Need Of Used Men’s Bikes

Bikes for Christ’s main focus is providing bicycles for those in need, and it has reached critically low levels on its men’s bike inventory. If you have a good used bike that you do not use, please consider donating it.

Local drop off areas include Cycle Therapy at 917 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon (548-0007), Florida Mattress at 1809 W. Brandon Blvd. (477-9016) and A Peace of Plant City at 120 N. Collins St., Ste. 101 (704-5773).

Visit for more information or to make a donation.

5K Race Seeks To Help End Substance Addiction

Substance abuse and addiction is a very real and present tragedy affecting our communities. According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 70,000 drug-related deaths reported in the United States in 2017 alone.

Unfortunately, many people who fall prey to the trap of addiction do not have the means to find a way out. That is why Next Level Church is teaming up with Phoenix House to host the very first Run For The One 5K charity event and fight the battle against substance addiction.

You are invited to walk or run in the 5K race on Monday, September 2 at 7: a.m. at 5642 FishHawk Crossing Blvd, Lithia. The race entry fee is $25, $20 for recovering participants, $15 for children under 10 and $40 for virtual participants. The entry fee covers the race as well as a short-sleeve T-shirt. For anyone interested in contributing without participating in the race, online donations are accepted.

All of the proceeds will directly support Phoenix House. The race packet pickup at Next Level Church on 10540 Browning Rd. in Lithia will be on Friday, August 30 from 4-7 p.m.; Saturday, August 31 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and race day pickup from 6-6:45 a.m. at the race location, 5642 FishHawk Crossing Blvd. in Lithia.

Preregistration is recommended. To register and for more information, please visit and select the link to the race location near you. You may register online or print the application.

Call Walt Robbins at 308-3090 or email for more information.

YMCA Expands Program For Falls Prevention Patients

The YMCAs of Tampa Bay can now improve the health of older adults thanks to a recent expansion of a program proven to help seniors. Enhance®Fitness is now available at 22 locations across Tampa Bay.

The 16-week evidence-based program is offered at no cost to the participant, thanks to the generosity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. The Y partners with BayCare Health System to help refer into the program patients who are at risk for falls.

Enhance®Fitness is a proven community-based senior fitness and fall prevention program. It helps older adults become more active, energized and empowered for independent living. The national physical activity program is deemed particularly safe and effective for older adults living with arthritis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to expand Enhance®Fitness in the Tampa Bay area. Over the next two years, we will serve nearly 4,000 seniors with this impactful program,” said Summer Cruff, director of Community Integrated Health Programs at the YMCA of the Suncoast. “We hear such great success stories from our participants about improved quality of life and feeling socially connected to a group. Our Enhance®Fitness classes are like a second family.”

Enhance®Fitness participants meet three times a week for an hour, where they experience cardiovascular exercises, strength training, stretching and balance work. The wide variety of movement keeps members engaged.

For more information, contact or stop by a participating Y. Visit

Holy Innocents’ Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show Seeks Vendors

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church is accepting vendor sign-ups for its Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show on Saturday, November 2 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event will be held on the church grounds at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico.

Both inside and outside locations are available. The fee for an inside location, which accommodates one six ft. table and two chairs, is $45 and $40 for an outside 12×12 ft. space, which is well shaded.

Interested vendors can register for a spot at For any questions, please contact the church during normal business hours at 689-3130.

Homeschool Day At Cracker Country: Pioneers & Cowhunters

Homeschoolers and their families can enjoy a day at Cracker County on Friday, September 6 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Educational interpreters in historic dress will guide young learners through activities that would have been familiar to a child growing up in a Florida farming and ranching community over 100 years ago.

Try your hand at churning butter, helping with the household chores, making your own toy and taking a lesson in a one-room schoolhouse. Learn some ‘cowhunter’ skills, like how to swing a lasso and what to pack for a long cattle drive

The cost is $8 per person 4 years old and up; children 3 years old and younger will be admitted for free. Advance ticket purchase recommended. This is a very popular event and there are limited tickets available.

Cracker Country is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds on 4800 US 301 in Tampa. Parking is free. Enter Orient Rd. only. Please follow the directions listed on the website and not GPS.


Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay Athletes Bring Home 41 Medals

The Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay team won 25 gold, 11 silver and five bronze medals in the Medium Team Division at the national championship tournament, held from July 14-19 in Eden Prairie, MN, taking fourth place honors. Team members set four national records, and Danielle Kanas received the ‘Spirit of Excellence’ award as the outstanding female field athlete.

The Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals is for athletes ages 6 to 22 with physical disabilities. This year’s tournament featured 254 athletes from 32 states.

A signature program of Hillsborough County’s Parks & Recreation, Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay offers year-round sports and recreation programs to promote healthy lifestyles, independence and personal growth for people with physical disabilities.

Previous articleFetch Specialty And Cancer Veterinary Centers Joins The Brandon Community
Next articleAAA: Back-To-School Season Brings Added Danger On The Roadway
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.