Phil Waldren presents a check for $50,000 to United Food Bank of Plant City.

Compiled by Jenny Bennett

A Kitten Place Rescue Looking For Vendors And Sponsors For 5K Run

Local cat and kitten rescue A Kitten Place is holding its annual Black Cat Halloween Run on Sunday, October 30 at Twin Lakes and is looking for vendors and corporate sponsors for the event. Last year, the 5K run had over 175 participants.

If you are interested and would like more information or register for the event, please email

Bloomingdale Neighborhood Garage Sale

The Bloomingdale Neighborhood Community Garage Sale is on Saturday, September 12 starting at 8 a.m. This annual sale features homes throughout the Bloomingdale East and West neighborhoods. A wide variety of items are usually available, including kitchen wares, books, furniture, clothing, toys and games and furniture.

Addresses will be posted on the Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association website at To have your house listed, email or call 813-681-2051.

St. Stephen Catholic Church Announces XLT Praise And Workshop Events

XLT stands for ‘Exalt’ and is designed for participants to spend time in the presence of the Lord. The Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics know is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord, is placed in a monstrance for adoration. There is time for self-reflection, community prayer, and contemporary Christian music. With the Blessed Sacrament exposed, XLT Praise and Worship is one of the most powerful forms of prayer outside of the Holy Mass.

XLT Praise and Worship will take place on the second Friday of every month from 7-8 p.m. at the St. Stephen Chapel, located at 10118 St. Stephen Cir. in Riverview. For more information, visit its website at

Strawberry Ball Donates $50,000 To Food Bank

The Florida Strawberry Festival presented the proceeds from its annual Strawberry Ball to the United Food Bank of Plant City.

“This year’s Strawberry Ball was a huge success,” said Phil Waldron, Florida Strawberry Festival chairman of the board. “Everyone enjoyed the food, the dancing, the theme, the entertainment and of course the fellowship.”

The event raised a total of $50,000 for the nearby food bank.

Cruise Planners Presents Holistically Harmonized Event

Cruise Planners of Valrico is presenting a women-only event, Holistically Harmonized Retreat. The event will take place from Friday to Sunday, October 7-9 at a central Florida mansion.

It is meant to help attendees replenish their spirits, rejuvenate their minds and bring balance to their bodies. It will also help teach the different methods of self-care. Services included in the weekend are facials, massages, yoga classes, cooking classes and self-care classes. All food and drinks, plus a swag bag, are also included.

For more information, visit its website at

Your Next Step Is The Cure 5K Run

Your Next Step is the Cure 5K run in Lithia will be taking place on Saturday, October 1. You can either run the easy 5K route from Park Square in Lithia or sign up for the new virtual option, which is especially helpful to encourage family and friends who do not live locally to sign up. All monies raised goes directly to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Visit for additional information and to register for the event. If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to the event, please email

Pelican Players Complimentary Shows

Pelican Players Community Theater is proud to present two complimentary shows on September 15. Join them to see The Twilight Zone – To Serve Man, directed by Ron Deitsch, and Father Knows Best – The Housekeeper, directed by Leslie Stull. Doors open at 6 p.m., and curtain time is at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

The Kings Point Veterans Theater North is located at 1900 Clubhouse Dr., in Sun City Center, please feel free to bring your own drinks, snacks and cups. Visit for more information.

Plant City Community Chorale Seeking Singers

The Plant City Community Chorale will begin rehearsals on Monday, August 15 at the First United Methodist Church, located at 303 N. Evers St. in Plant City, in preparation for its fall concert.

Rehearsals are every Monday night from 7-9:30 p.m., and it would love to have new members join them. It has members of all ages who sing songs from all genres, and most of all, they have fun. If you love to sing, go and see what it is all about.

Additional information can be found on its website at, by emailing or by calling 813-965-7213.

Up Up And Away Florida Makes Donation To Flight To Honor

Up Up and Away Florida Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit proudly presented Polk County Veterans Council a donation for their upcoming Flight to Honor Mission #8. The Up Up and Away Florida hot air balloon festival held this past May was a three-day event that included hot air balloons, bands, attractions and vendors.

For more information on Up Up and Away Florida, visit its website at

RP Funding Center Concession Stand Goes Cashless

The RP Funding Center in Lakeland has gone cashless at its concession stands. All payments at the concession stands will be by credit card, debit card and mobile payment only, including Apple Pay. By going cashless, the venue will help prevent loss from human error or theft, promote safety and enhance the visitor experience, as cashless transactions reduce wait times.

Cash payments will still be accepted at the RP Funding box office for all other transactions.

ECHO Thrift Named One Of The Best Of The Best In Tampa Bay

The ECHO Thrift store, located at 424 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, has been presented with a silver award in the Best of the Best People’s Choice Awards presented by the Tampa Bay Times.

Last year, it received a bronze recognition, and it couldn’t be prouder of its amazing staff and volunteers who bumped them to receiving the silver award. Every dollar earned from sales at the thrift store goes right back into its mission of providing immediate and long-term solutions for our neighbors in need.

Additional information can be found on its website at

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