Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Florida Aquarium Awarded Lowe’s Hometowns Grant

The Florida Aquarium has been awarded a grant as part of Lowe’s Hometowns, an initiative that is helping to restore and revitalize spaces that serve as the hubs and heartbeats of communities. The grant will provide funding for The Florida Aquarium to renovate its first-floor lobby restrooms. The new restrooms will improve energy and water efficiency, supporting its commitment to sustainable business practices and serving visitors in the years to come.

The Florida Aquarium is located at 701 Channelside Dr. in Tampa. Information about the Aquarium and purchasing tickets can be found on its website at

Congregation Beth Shalom Religious School Open House

Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon is a vibrant, warm and growing Reform synagogue. As the only Reform synagogue in the Greater Brandon area, for 32 years it has provided a home for Jews, interfaith and LGBTQ families of all ages and backgrounds.

It is accepting applications for its religious school for the 2022-23 school year. The mission of the school is to provide both an educational and enriching learning environment for all attendees and strive to nurture the child’s Jewish identity while providing a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

You can register your child for religious school at its open house event on Sunday, August 14, between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit its website at for more details. Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd. in Brandon.

Bingo Night Fundraiser For St. Stephen Catholic Church

The St. Stephen Catholic Church Community for Women is hosting a bingo night fundraiser at Bullfrog Creek Brewing Co. on Thursday, July 21 starting at 7:30 p.m. Along with five games of bingo, there will also be a 50/50 cash drawing. Bullfrog Creek Brewing Co. is located at 3632 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico.

Back-to-School Bash At Westfield Brandon Mall

The Westfield Brandon mall is hosting Florida Penguin’s Back-to-School Bash on Sunday, July 31. It will be handing out over 250 backpacks and thousands of school supplies as well as having after-school programs, tutors, pediatricians and other child care services in attendance.

There will be face painting, dance performances, photo stops and magicians to keep everyone engaged. The event will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Students Honored For Perfect Attendance

Five graduates of Hillsborough County Public Schools were honored for achieving perfect attendance during their entire educational career; local student Makalah Kennedy was one of them.

To mark the impressive achievement, the students were guests at a school board meeting where they received a brand-new laptop through the Partners in Education program and a $500 scholarship from the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.

Furball Frenzy Event Is Looking For Vendors

Local pet charities Kittie Corral and Community Pet Project will be hosting a Furball Frenzy fundraiser in the fall and are looking for vendors of all types. The event will take place at Heroes Paradise, located at 733 Knowles Rd. in Brandon, on Sunday, November 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Spaces are $40 for a 10 ft. x 10 ft.

For more information and to reserve a space, email

Veterans Council Of Hillsborough County Seeking New Members

The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County is seeking to add new members. The objective of the Veterans Council is to serve as a local affiliate of military veterans organizations, act as a liaison between county government and veterans organizations on actions affecting veterans and veterans’ benefits as pertaining to military families in Hillsborough County and to uphold the ideals, principles and traditions of our armed forces.

For more information and to apply to join, visit the website at

HCA Florida Brandon Hospital Receives Distinguished Rating

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons awarded HCA Florida Brandon Hospital a three-star rating for its patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary bypass crafting procedures. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places HCA Florida Brandon Hospital among the elite for bypass surgery in the United States.

“At Brandon Hospital, providing safe, high-quality cardiac surgery is the top priority of our cardiac surgery team,” said Bradley Bufkin, M.D., cardiothoracic surgery specialist at Brandon Hospital.

For more information, visit

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