Compiled by Jenny Bennett

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.

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.

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

East Hillsborough Democratic Club Meeting

The East Hillsborough Democratic Club will be holding its monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 9, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Brandon Crossroads Bowl, located at 609 Crater Ln. in Tampa. Club members, family, friends and anyone who would like to join are invited.

A Zoom link can be found on the website at If you have any questions, please call 813-677-8300 and leave a message.

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

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

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

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

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

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