GFWC Valrico Service League, Inc. (VSL) members made mats out of recycled plastic bags that were gifts to homeless in the community. Its main fundraiser of the year, its Harvest Dinner & Auction, will be held on Sunday, November 3 at Center Place.

A New Senior Community Choir Seeking Singers

A new senior community choir is seeking singers with all levels of singing experience. ‘Joyful Voices’ will hold its first rehearsal on Monday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. This senior community choir was created for older adults who have a love of music and a desire to sing.

“Singing has a way of lifting spirits and stimulating memories,” stated the choir’s music director, Janet Formato.

The idea for the senior community choir came as a result of a number of residents at The Bridges who love to sing.

Executive Director Donna Steiermann is excited about the choir.

“In addition to a number of our residents, we anticipate 20 or so seniors from the greater Brandon/Riverview area to join us. We especially welcome those with mild cognitive impairment,” explained Steiermann.

Studies have proven that singing with others provides benefits, such as managing stress, alleviating pain, increasing happiness and establishing friendships.

Sixty-minute rehearsals will be held every Monday starting September 16 at the Cambridge Clubhouse at The Bridges located at 11202 Dewhurst Dr. in Riverview. A holiday performance will be scheduled in December and a spring performance will be held in April.

For additional information and to reserve your spot, please call 413-8900.

Eighth Annual Gifts & Crafts Fair At The Bridges Seeking Local Vendors

Vendors with unique gifts and crafts are invited to register for the annual Gifts & Crafts Fair held on Saturday, October 12 at The Bridges Retirement Community. The Fair will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

“Due to the positive feedback from those who attended last year, and the fact that we were filled to capacity with vendors, made the event a huge success,” said Janet Noah, the director of community relations and event organizer.

The Bridges Retirement Community is located at 11350 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview. Interested vendors please contact Janet at 413-8900 or

VSL’s Annual Harvest Dinner & Auction

A new activity this year for GFWC Valrico Service League, Inc. (VSL) members was making mats out of recycled plastic bags that were gifts to the homeless in the community. Children helping on the project learned about recycling and were amazed that plastic bags we throw out could make something so helpful and liked making those in need more comfortable.

The group’s main fundraiser for the year is the 2019 Harvest Dinner & Auction to be held Sunday, November 3 at Center Place, 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at Center Place through Friday, October 18.

The event, sponsored by Terry Fink of State Farm Insurance and Matt Carter, realtor, of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, starts at 5 p.m., with a catered dinner at 6 p.m. and live auction at 7 p.m.

Other activities of the group include providing food, clothing and school supplies for Title I elementary school children, participating in Cards for the Troops and hosting activities for residents at a needs-based nursing home.

Last year’s auction also helped VSL to support ECHO, Brandon Outreach Clinic, Center Place, Family Promise of Brandon, A Kid’s Place, Seeds of Hope, Real Hope Ministry, Campo YMCA and Canine Companions among others.

For more information, call Claudia Yake at 685-7998 or Sue Hadden at 685-6160.

Newcomers New Season Begins

Wednesday, September 18 marks the start of the new season for The Newcomers Club. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Brandon Recreational Center, located at 510 E. Sadie St. in Brandon.

Join in for coffee and socializing before the meeting. Make new friends and maybe meet some old friends and neighbors. Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, you are welcome.

There are many activities such as bridge, bunco, hand and foot, dominoes, crafts and breakfast with the movies. Out and About (short trips to local attractions or trips out of town) may interest you. Come to the meeting to learn more and get involved.

Stepping Out Against Domestic Violence 5K Color Walk/Run

The fourth annual Stepping Out Against Domestic Violence Awareness Day 5K Color Walk/Run will be held on Saturday, October 5. This walk/run will benefit Mary & Martha House.

The walk will take place at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 US Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa. Parking is $8 (enter the Fairgrounds at Gate 2). Registration will take place at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. Families, beginners, children and pets (on a leash) are welcome.

The cost is $30 per person. Register online at

For information on sponsorship, contact Laurie Herring at 645-7874 or

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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.