Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Manatee Viewing Center To Remain Closed

Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center, where people can watch manatees gather each year, will remain closed until at least fall as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The viewing center, located at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, has been a staple for more than 30 years and allows visitors easy access to the herds of manatees that are drawn to the plant’s warm waters in its discharge canal.

“As with so many of the changes we’ve seen this year, we know keeping the Manatee Viewing Center closed this season was a disappointment,” said Stan Kroh, manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for Tampa Electric. “Safety is our top priority, and with that in mind, we’re offering virtual ways to experience the center until we can welcome visitors back in person.”

It is expected to reopen on Sunday, November 1.

In the meantime, you can watch the manatees from the comfort of your own home by visiting

River Hills Country Club Shows Thanks To Local Elementary School

River Hills Country Club recently raised $4,000 to show thanks and appreciation to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic through its ‘Tee It Up For Teachers’ mission. In April, it raised $10,000 and used that to deliver over 1,000 lunches to two local hospitals for the professional healthcare workers while supporting local restaurants.

This time, the $4,000 was used to provide every employee at the Lithia Springs Elementary School in Valrico with a $50 Christmas present.

“Our board has fully backed management’s efforts to show appreciation to those that serve not only our club and residential development of River Hills, but also on behalf of those they serve in other areas and communities,” said Bob Swezey, general manager.

He added, “We wanted every single employee of the school to know that we realize each of them is as important as another, regardless if an administrator, teacher, cook, janitor or support services. They are a family taking care of other families, and our family cares.”

Bingo Returns To St. Stephen Catholic Church

Bingo returns to St. Stephen’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, January 19. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost to play is $15 and there are cash prizes. The event is sponsored by St. Stephen Catholic Church Community for Women, who provide support to the St. Stephen community at large with donations.

St. Stephen Catholic Church is located at 10118 St. Stephen Cir. in Riverview.

Strawberry Square Dance Center Continues Social Dances

Plant City Social Dance will be hosting dances every Saturday night in January at the Strawberry Square Dance Center at 4401 Promenade Blvd. from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The number of attendees will be limited to 50 people and reservations are required. To listen to a sample playlist and find out additional information, visit

To make a reservation, call 863-409-7714.

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