Eric Blankenship has joined the executive team for The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1 Concepts.

Bottle Engraving At AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors

AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors will host an engraving event on Tuesday, November 26 from 6-9 p.m.

The engraving can be done on the following items: Woodford Reserve from 375ml and up; Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 375ml and 750ml, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye 375ml and 750ml, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel proof 375ml and 750ml and Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select 1L.

You are welcome to purchase items from the store ahead of time and bring your receipt to have the bottle engraved that evening. These make great holiday gifts as well as a nice host/hostess gifts for Thanksgiving celebrations.

AJ’s Fine Wine & Liquors is located at 3443 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. For more information, call 654-6488 or visit on Facebook.

Latitudes Tours Celebrates One Year

Latitudes Tours will celebrate one year on Sunday, October 20. It offers guided ecotours and sunset cruises which are perfect for all ages. The captain and naturalist are expert guides who will take you on an exploration of the Little Manatee River and nearby nature preserve.

Owner and Managing Director Nancy Lopez said, “We’ve had a phenomenal response from the moment we opened. We are especially appreciative of the local support. We even have a number of repeat customers who bring their visiting family.”

While onboard, you will encounter various local and migratory birds, dolphin pods, manatees, rays and more while hearing about the rich history of the area. The 36’ tour boat offers covered/cushioned seating and onboard restroom. Optional meals and drinks are available on each cruise. Reservations are required.

Latitudes Tours is located at 580 Bahia Beach Blvd. in Ruskin. For more information, call 641-1311, email or visit

Tropical Escapes Pool Builders Offers Boutique-Style Service

If you are looking to build a beautiful area where you can spend your time relaxing in the comfort of your own home, Tropical Escapes is your premier outdoor contractor, specializing in swimming pool construction. Some of the many additional services offered are spas, fire pits, rockwork and water features.

The latest technology is used as well as innovative building methods. You will receive the one-on-one attention needed during any major construction project. Tropical Escapes likes to be considered a local swimming pool boutique providing more quality, less volume.

Hours are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and it is closed on Sunday. For more information, call 474-2500 or visit

Campo YMCA Focuses On Keeping All Ages Active And Engaged

The Campo Family YMCA is pleased to welcome Angela Fulgieri as its new program director of senior health and well-being. In this role, Fulgieri will work with the community’s ever-expanding active older adult population, helping grow current offerings while also developing new and innovative senior programming.

Fulgieri brings with her a wealth of experience having served as the wellness experience director for the Plant City Family YMCA for the past two years. Her time at the Plant City Y resulted in new community partnerships, increased member retention and expanded personal training.

Prior to that, Angela began working for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA years ago as a Welcome Center representative, group exercise instructor and wellness coordinator.

“As we age, it is increasingly important to stay active and exercise regularly,” said Fulgieri. “From group exercise and pickleball to potlucks and chronic disease prevention, the Y is committed to providing fundamental health and social activities that contribute to older adults living a healthier and more fulfilling life.”

She will work with the YMCA of the USA and institutional experts to develop an overarching strategy to serve the local senior population. With Fulgieri onboard, the Campo Y team is eager to expand its positive impact in the Greater Brandon community.

Hess Orthodontics Holds Annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back To Benefit Troops

Hess Orthodontics will be holding its annual Halloween candy buy-back. For every pound of candy donated, you will receive $1. All candy collected will be donated to the troops via Operation Gratitude.

Candy collections will take place on Friday, November 1 from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Riverview office, located at 11970 Boyette Rd., on Monday, November 4 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the FishHawk location at 16307 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia and in Parrish at 8312 US Hwy. 301 N. and on Wednesday, November 6 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Apollo Beach location at 421 Apollo Beach Blvd. and at the Riverview location.

For more information, call 645-4377 or visit

Eric Blankenship Named Chief Marketing Officer For The Heights District, Armature Works & BE1 Concepts

After over five years with the Tampa Bay Lightning and over 20 years in the sports and entertainment industry, Eric Blankenship has joined the executive team for The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1 Concepts. It was announced by Chas Bruck, co-owner of The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1 Concepts.

During his tenure as the vice president of marketing, Blankenship was responsible for the brand development, advertising, promotions, digital marketing, digital media, social media, live events, creative services and retail marketing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“We are very excited to acquire someone with the experience, relationships and track record for success that Eric has in this market,” commented Bruck. “Eric led efforts to develop one of the most-admired brands in the Tampa Bay area and we look forward to his leadership as we look to elevate some already-strong local brands into something even bigger.”

In his newly created role, Blankenship will be responsible for the brand development, advertising, promotions, digital marketing, digital media, social media, special events and creative services across all three business units—The Heights District, Armature Works and BE1 Concepts.

“I’m extremely fortunate and excited to join an organization that continually brings people together in memorable ways,” commented Blankenship. “I look forward to being part of a team of individuals so committed to making the Tampa Bay area a better place to live, work and play.”

Born and raised in Tampa, Blankenship graduated from Jesuit High School and from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Blankenship is married and resides in Tampa with his wife, McKenzie; son, Jackson; and daughter, Isabella. Visit

Phoenix House Florida’s Holds Annual Celebration Of Recovery

Phoenix House Florida (PHFL) recently hosted its Annual Celebration of Recovery. The celebration is held each year to recognize patients’ hard work and success in recovery. Phoenix House Florida holds the event every year in September to commemorate National Recovery Month.

John Cunningham, a graduate of Phoenix House Florida, received the Celebration of Recovery Alumni of the Year Award for his inspirational story and leadership in the recovery community. Since leaving PHFL, Cunningham successfully maintained his recovery and eventually became a house manager at Real Recovery, a sober living home in Brandon where he is still employed as the program administrator.

“Here I am able to give back and help guys transition back to life without drugs and alcohol. Many of the life skills I still used today can be traced back to the many groups I took at Phoenix House Florida,” stated Cunningham.

For more information, visit

Riverview Chamber Celebrates Remodeling Of Shapes Fitness For Women-Brandon

GRCC members and many gym-goers gathered to celebrate the remodeling reveal of Shapes Fitness for Women-Brandon. The female-focused fitness center invited vendors in to enhance their celebration and also decorated the newly remodeled space with an explosion of pink. Several tenured employees, including Shapes Fitness for Women-Brandon owner Ann Gilbert, greeted all who joined them on this special day.

Shapes has been involved in women’s fitness for nearly 30 years. Its first location opened in 1990 and it has been helping women achieve their fitness goals ever since. The new remodel features an open layout, new equipment and a redesigned childcare—Kids Zone. The Kids Zone area is equipped with video monitoring so you can rest assured your children are safe and having a blast while you enjoy your workout.

During the event, demonstrations were provided. One of the most unique demos was on its paddleboard simulation equipment. This prepares participants for paddleboarding on the open water or just allows them to enjoy the same workout as they would if they were on the open water. It is a workout that engages the full body and can increase in intensity by inflating the device you stand on.

Shapes Fitness for Women is located at 731 W Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. Call 661-0033 or visit

Previous articleCraft Show, Trunk Or Treats & More…
Next articleTeacher Of The Month: Oct. 2019, Brandon/Winthrop; Mr. Peter Rowley, 8th Grade, Progress Village Middle Magnet School Of The Arts
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.