Treasure Island Beach Sign Design Contest

Ahoy artists. The City of Treasure Island is hosting a design competition to create beach signs. The contest is open to everyone ages 10 and older. Help keep beaches healthy and looking good by designing a sign to help promote litter prevention. Finalists will be selected in five categories and have their art featured on one of the City’s new beach information signs.

 Best Overall
 Best Anti-Litter Message
 Best Original
 Best of ages 10 to 14 years old (at the time of submittal)
 Best of ages 15 to 18 year old (at the time of submittal)

Submission Guidelines: Clip and fill out the entry form next to this article. Each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form.

 The entries must be on a single sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper, landscape.
 Use white, non-glossy paper; do not laminate.
 Any art medium may be used (e.g., colored pencils, crayons, paint); however, computer graphics will not be accepted. Artwork must be hand-drawn.
 Artwork must be flat (e.g., no glued pieces or glitter) and able to be scanned.
 Avoid using brand names in the artwork.
 A description of no more than 75 words must accompany the artwork (space provided on the entry form). Label each entry on the back in pencil (marker bleeds through the artwork)

Artwork should be mailed or delivered to no later than 4 pm March 31. Beach Sign Art Contest, City of Treasure Island – City Hall 120 108th Avenue Treasure Island, FL 33706.

ONLINE REVIEW: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus XTREME in Tampa Jan. 25-29

Feld Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld can be very proud of the great restructuring that his daughters and co-producers Nicole and Alana Feld did with Circus XTREME, first seen here in 2015 but updated as a brand-new production of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Sadly, it will be the last production of the Circus, with Feld’s recent announcement that the show would close forever May 21 in Uniondale, NY. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups, all contributed to its demise. “There isn’t any one thing,” Feld told the Associated Press. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.” Feld’s late father bought the Circus from the John Ringling North family in 1967.

Kristen Michelle Wilson is the first female Ringmaster (pictured above) and the 39th overall in the 146-year history of the “The Greatest Show on Earth”. In homage to her hometown, the show opened January 13 for the first time ever in Orlando at Amway Center.

With a commanding presence and booming voice, she got excellent help from internationally famous clown couple Alex and Irina Emelin — who navigate in a “sailboat” and “tour jeep” to compete in discovering the world’s best extreme artists and performers. They also interact nicely and creatively throughout the show with the famous Ringling clown alley, led by boss clown Taylor Albin.

This year’s production is missing the famous Ringling pachyderms, retired after last year’s performances to the world-renowned Ringling Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk County.  

Among the standout acts that more than make up for the loss:

Tiger trainer Tabayara “Taba” Maluendo from Chile faces 14 Bengal tigers, with such stunts as a first-ever 14-tiger laydown, sit-up and hind-leg stand-up waving their paws; four tiger rollover; four tiger sit-up on four others; a seven-tiger pedestal sit-up; and a dance-off with one tiger finale. Using his catchphrase “Azucar”–  for sugar or sweet, he calls them by name to perform.  

The Daring Danguir high-wire troupe, led by Mustafa Danguir who once walked a mile-long, 540- foot-high tight wire in Spain, accomplishes dangerous stunts with stunning footwork.  Highlights include a daring female somersault to split; leaping over four others on the wire; a one-man leap forward, then backward, from one member’s shoulder to another’s; and the four-person pyramid finale.

On the 16,000-pound, 50-foot-high “Pendulum of Steel”, daredevil Benny Ibarra does amazing stunts First he executes forward and back flips inside the whirling wheel, and then goes outside to defy gravity by jumping rope and doing forward and backward somersaults atop the wheel.

Featuring acrobats, contortionists and a trio of strongmen, the Mongolian Marvels troupe stuns the audience. Their feats include the trio playing catch with 200-pound iron balls, a teeth-only 551-pound lift of three others and barbells, and a finale three-man lift of 900 pounds of six other troupe members.

The aerial display is one of the most dramatic show-stoppers, topped by Bungee Skydiving in a blacked-out arena under ultra-violet, blacklight in stunning fluorescent costumes including duos, trios and a six-girl, hand-holding finale. A troupe of Angelic Aerialists from Russia and the Ukraine includes four “magical mermaids” on single traps, two single orbs, and five-girl giant orb, as all do synchronized stunts.

Human cannonball “Nitro Nicole” Sanders rockets over 140 feet across the arena experiencing seven G’s, usually encountered by fighter pilots and astronauts. Her shot is followed by a nice choreographed dance routine with her group of assistants.

The Freestyle Sports show finale is a fast-paced display featuring BMX bikes doing half-pipes and 360 wheelies, and the Ukrainian Art of Trampoline troupe doing acrobatics launched off twin trampolines through a 15-foot transparent tower — bouncing, flipping and tumbling around the entire arena.

Also sure to please are the other animal acts, with trainer Colleen Pages opening the show with her six-Bactrian (two-hump) camel group with bareback Desert Goddess riders doing stunts in various ménage routines.

Alex and Irina’s talented group of all-size – toy to standard — Poodles delight the crowd with jumps, dances, “Mutt & Jeff” under legs and jump-overs, and a six-dog, hind-leg “long mount” emulating the Ringling Pachyderms.

Feld Entertainment Executive Vice President and Circus co-producer Alana Feld told Paradise News, “We constantly travel the globe looking for the best and brightest talent. Kristen Michelle Wilson wowed us with her powerful voice and charismatic personality. We knew immediately that she would be able to connect with the audience and bring them along on the Circus XTREME adventure.”

Lucky Tampa Bay residents and visitors can catch the very last local performances of RBB&B Circus XTREME at Tampa’s Amalie Arena: Wed. & Thur. (25-26), 7:30 pm; Fri. & Sat. (27-28), 10:30 am & 7:30 pm; Sun. (29), 1:00 pm & 5:30 pm. For tickets: online at https://ringling-bros-circus.tickets-center.com. 

STORY by STEVE TRAIMAN
PHOTOS by Feld Entertainment

[Steve Traiman is President of Creative Copy by Steve Traiman in St. Pete Beach, offering freelance business writing services. He can be reached via email at traimancreativecopy@gmail.com.]

Membership: The Perfect Last Minute Gift

LOWRY PARK ZOO:

Individual, Couple and Family Passes available. All passes include one free guest admission. Get yours today at http://www.lowryparkzoo.org/involvement/join.

Benefits

  • Unlimited admissions for all members (no blockout days) for 12 full months from the date of purchase.
  • One free guest with each membership.
  • Unlimited access to our 2016 seasonal event series (new Sunset Celebration, ​new ​Creatures of the Night and new Christmas in the Wild).
  • Preferred parking (based on availability).
  • Discounts on Zoo dining, shopping and education programs.
  • Discounts on separate ticket events.
  • Invitations to special member-only events.
  • $5 off admission for visiting friends and relatives.
  • Free or discounted admission to over 150 zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and SWAPtember privileges (see below for details).

*Membership accounts must contain at least one adult member. Family Plus children are dependents between the ages of 3 and 17. Memberships include one guest privilege. Guest add-on’s can be purchased for $40 at the Zoo’s Member Relations window with proof of membership, or by calling (813) 935-8552 ext. 0. Cardholder must accompany guest. Prices subject to change without notice. 

Information courtesy of Lowry Park Zoo.

FLORIDA AQUARIUM

Annual Passes available for 1-8 people ranging in price from $60-$205. Get your Florida Aquarium Annual Pass today at http://www.flaquarium.org/annual-pass/purchase-annual-pass-membership.aspx.

Benefits

  • FREE Aquarium admission for 1 year
  • Annual subscription to WaterColors,  electronic newsletter (more info)
  • Free parking during regular hours as available & for annual pass/member events
  • SHARE Program and AZA Reciprocal program benefits (free and discounted admission to more than 150 attractions, restaurants and retail establishments)
  • Discounts at Café Ray (20%), The Caribbean Cantina (20%), the Gift Shop (10%), & Sharpshooter ($5 off $30 photo package)
  • Discounts on Education programs, birthday parties and camps, and Aquarium sponsored special events
  • Discounts on Wild Dolphin Cruise & Behind the Scenes Tours
  • Discounts on Guest Dive Experiences (Dive with the Sharks & Swim with the Fishes)
  • Annual Pass/Membership Card – you will receive one (1) card per household for all categories

* Primary members, those listed on your membership card, are limited to members of a single household. Primary members must be 16 years of age or older and provide photo ID.

Information courtesy of The Florida Aquarium.

MOTE MARINE LAB AND AQUARIUM

Mote offers annual passes for 1-12 individuals for one or two years starting at $60. Please call 941-388-4441 ext. 373 to purchase a gift membership.

Benefits

  • Admission with your guests to Mote Aquarium for one year.
  • Reciprocal benefits granting Mote Members discounted admission to more than 100 zoos, aquariums and gardens across the country and in Canada and Mexico. Download our reciprocal list here.
  • Exclusive special events for Mote Members during Member Appreciation Month every September.
  • Discounts on most purchases at Mote Aquarium gift shops, on education programs (including summer camps and family programs), on children’s birthday parties, Breakfast at Mote for adults and on the Sarasota Bay Explorers boat cruise.
  • Complimentary admission to the annual Special Lecture Series. The Special Lecture Series is an evening lecture series featuring renowned scientists and experts speaking on many fascinating marine-related topics. Lectures are normally scheduled between March and April.
  • Subscription to Mote publications: Mote E-News (a monthly e-mail newsletter of Mote happenings) and Mote Magazine (a printed publication covering the stories of Mote’s sea science research).
  • Early registration for Mote summer camps.
  • Your Mote Membership is 100% tax-deductible!

Information Courtesy of Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium.

CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM

CMA offers memberships for 1-20 individuals starting at $50. Purchase a membership today at https://tickets.seewinter.com/.

Benefits:

  • Free general admission to Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Discounts on boat tours, kids camps, birthday parties and other events
  • Invitations to Member Only events
  • 10% discount in the gift shop
  • Membership discounts on camps only apply to members at the family of 4 level or greater.

Information courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

THE DALI

The Dali offers museum memberships for individuals ($50), couples ($80) and families ($100). Get your today at http://thedali.org/get-involved/membership-2/.

Benefits

  • Unlimited FREE admission! Skip the lines and visit anytime.
  • FREE parking (as space available).
  • Invitations to private exhibition receptions.
  • Preview days to view exhibits before they open to the public.
  • Private shopping events.
  • Special discounts just for members at select local merchants.
  • Free or discounted tours, films and other programming.
  • 15% discount in The Dali Museum Store.
  • 10% discount at Café Gala.
  • Monthly membership e-newsletter.
  • A $5 admissions discount for guests accompanying members.
  • Reciprocal free admission to select museums and attractions.

Information courtesy of The Dali.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

MFA St. Pete offers memberships for individuals and families starting at $60. Purchase yours today at http://mfastpete.org/join/membership/.

Holiday Offer: MFA St. Pete is offering 1/2 OFF for NEW members only! Contact MFA St. Pete Member Services at (727) 896-2667, ext. 248for more information about getting your 2017 membership today!

Individual Pass Benefits:

  • Free admission every day of the week
  • Reciprocal admission to all Southeastern (SERM) museums
  • 10% Discount in the Museum Store
  • 10% Discount in the MFA Café
  • Access to new gallery openings in advance of opening to the public
  • Exclusive invitations to special exhibitions, concerts, lectures, programs and events
  • Discounts on ticketed events, workshops and lecture series
  • Quarterly issues of the MFA Member magazine MOSAIC
  • Weekly electronic news of upcoming activities in MFA HAPPENINGS
  • Priority for volunteer opportunities in Museum programs and projects
  • Access and use of the Museum’s art reference library

Information courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg.

THE RINGLING

The Ringling offers museums memberships for individuals ($75), couples ($125), and family ($135). Purchase yours today at https://www.ringling.org/general-membership.

Benefits

  • One year of unlimited free Admission
  • Priority entrance via Member Service Desk
  • Free Admission to Thursday Art After 5
  • Free Admission to Ringling by the Bay
  • Free Admission to Joseph’s Coat Turrell Skyspace Sunset Experience
  • Free Ca’ d’Zan tours of the first and second floors
  • Invitations to exclusive Members Preview events
  • 15% discount at Museum restaurants and cafés
  • 10% discount on Museum store purchases
  • 50% discount on Ca’ d’Zan Private Places tours
  • Member for a Day guest passes for a reduced rate of $15
  • Discounts on select classes, programs, and ticketed events
  • Members only travel opportunities
  • Subscription to The Ringling magazine and The Ringling e-newsletters

Information courtesy of The Ringling Museum.

MOSI

The Museum of Science and Industry offers dual, 5-pack and 8-pack memberships. Purchase yours today at http://www.mosi.org/members/.

Benefits

  • FREE parking at MOSI
  • FREE admission to more than 250 ASTC science centers
  • FREE or DISCOUNTED admission to multiple local attractions
  • FREE admission to The Florida Aquarium and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo during Swaptember
  • 10% off every purchase in the ELEMENTS Gift Shop and Everything’s FreshSM Café
  • DISCOUNTS on MOSI Science Camps, birthday parties, and education programs
  • DISCOUNTED admission to more than 200 children’s museums nationwide
  • EXCLUSIVE pricing on special events
  • Special Member pricing for special engagement exhibitions and IMAX® films
  • 25% off guest admission to MOSI

Information courtesy of MOSI.

gift

ST. PETERSBURG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

St. Petersburg Museum of History offers memberships for individuals and families starting at $50. Get a gift membership today at http://spmoh.com/get-involved/membership/.

Benefits

  • Admission to museum exhibitions, and archival library with membership card.
  • Invitations for you and a guest for previews, receptions, programs, parties, workshops and special events.
  • Periodic membership newsletter and activities calendar.
  • Schedule of upcoming classes and workshops.

Information courtesy of St. Petersburg Museum of History.

St. Petersburg Holiday Happenings

snowfestHoliday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Bring in the holiday season with St. Petersburg’s festive kickoff celebration. Mayor Kriseman flips the switch that turns on the downtown Christmas tree and lights on Friday, November 25, from 5 to 7:30 p.m at North Straub Park. You’ll enjoy onstage entertainment provided by the St. Pete High Pitchforks, Expressions Dance Studio and the St. Petersburg Community Band. Children will also enjoy the activities and interactive games. Food concessions available. Blanket seating. Free to the public. Presented by City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation. For more information, call (727) 893-7441.

St. Petersburg Santa Parade
St. Petersburg’s 90th Annual Santa Parade starts Saturday, December 3, at 10 a.m. The route from Central Ave. and 5th St. travels east to Bayshore Dr. then turns north ending at 5th Ave. N. Free family fun, bands, floats and much more will delight the spectators.

Snowfest – A Real Snow Event
Sixty-four tons of snow are expected to fall on North Straub Park at the annual holiday Snowfest celebration on Saturday, December 3, from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Activities include a big and kiddie toboggan slide, art tent, karaoke, moonwalk, giant slide, “glice” ice skating and a Kiddyland area designed especially for preschoolers with inflatable train, cookie decorating and more. Wristbands are $5 and are required for all activities. Save time from waiting in line, purchase wristbands in advance, from November 21 through December 2, at any St. Petersburg recreation center. For locations click here.

Santa & Ice Skating in North Straub Park
Visit Santa in the Park and go “glice” skating on a simulated ice rink in North Straub Park. Both activities typically are from 6 to 9 p.m. on the following dates: December 3 & 4, 8 through 11, and 14 through 23. Skating is $5 for 30 minute sessions. Santa visits are free. Cameras welcomed.

Waterfront Lights and Display
While you stroll along the pedestrian walkway of St. Petersburg’s waterfront, see thousands of holiday lights and decorations in North and South Straub Parks including the unique snowflake lights from Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 1. Don’t miss the giant greeting card display along Bayshore Dr. at Vinoy Park made by local teens from St. Petersburg’s recreation centers. Lights and decorations by City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation.

Treasure Island Holiday Happenings

santa-mailboxSanta’s Mailbox  December 1 through December 16, Santa will personally answer letters from all boys and girls who drop off or mail letters to his mailbox located in front of the Treasure Island City Hall at 120 108th Avenue. Santa’s elves remind everyone to have a return address on their letters.
An Afternoon at the North Pole will be held on Saturday, December 17th from 1-3pm at the Treasure Island Community Center, Gulf Boulevard at 106th Avenue. Activities will include a visit from Santa Claus and live holiday shows throughout the afternoon. Enjoy a magical afternoon cookie decorating, making holiday arts & crafts projects, train rides, face painting, and enjoying interactive entertainers. The event is free to the public.                  
 
31st Annual Treasure Island Holiday Lighted Boat Parade and Celebration is scheduled for Sunday, December 11th at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. The Holiday Celebration begins at 4:30pm with the Boat Parade leaving the Club at 6:20pm. Bring one unwrapped NEW TOY or provide a cash donation to the “Christmas Toy Shop of Pinellas” or “The Edward’s Family Foundation” to the Recreation Department at City Hall or Treasure Bay on Paradise Boulevard by Friday, December 19th   to receive a family pass to watch the parade from a spectacular vantage point, and participate in the events at the Club.  Live entertainment, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, cash bar and food will be served poolside.  For additional information, please call the Club at (727) 367-4511, ext. 236
 
Recreational Camp for Children ages 5-12 years old will be held from Monday, December 19th through Friday, December 30th from 8:00am to 5:00pm. There will be no camp on Monday, December 26th. Activities will include games, sports, arts & crafts, movies and field trips. Registration is held at the Recreation Department inside City Hall at 120 108th Avenue.  Registration forms are also on-line at www.mytreasureisland..com.  The fee for the camp is $25/day for Treasure Island residents and $30/day for non-residents of Treasure Island (discounted weekly rates are available).
For additional information, please call the Treasure Island Recreation Department at (727) 547-4575, ext 237.

Schools Out Camps at Great Explorations

School’s Out Camp
Dec. 19, 20, 21, 22
$35 per day for members or $40 per day for not-yet members
 
When Pinellas County School’s are out, Great Explorations offers a camp for children grades K-3. The program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with early drop off and late pick-up options. This Winter Break camp theme is Festivals of the World! For more info about our School’s Out Camp, click here: http://greatex.org/programs/schools-out-camps/
Museum Closed
Dec. 24 and 25
 
Great Explorations Children’s Museum will be closed Dec. 24th and 25th. We will resume our regular hours at 10 a.m. on Dec. 26th.
 
School’s Out Camp
Dec. 27, 28, 29, 30
$35 per day for members or $40 per day for not-yet members
 
When Pinellas County School’s are out, Great Explorations offers a camp for children grades K-3. The program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with early drop off and late pick-up options. This Winter Break camp theme is Celebrating the Seasons! For more info about our School’s Out Camp, click here: http://greatex.org/programs/schools-out-camps/.

2016-2017 Season Lightning Watch Parties at Tradewinds Island Resorts

With feet in the sand and a drink in hand, watch the Lightning on a big screen TV right on the beach! Grab your friends and family and enjoy:

  • DJ and MC/Announcer
  • Lightning Girls
  • ThunderBug
  • Alumni
  • Giveaway items
  • ‘Enter to win’ contests
  • Beach games such as corn hole, and more!

tampabay-lightning-watch-party-banner

LIGHTNING WATCH PARTIES AT GUY HARVEY OUTPOST

Sat., Oct. 29 – 7:00 PM vs New Jersey (Watch Party begins at 6:00 PM) – package available (see details below)
Sun., Oct. 30 – 7:00 PM vs N.Y. Rangers (Watch Party begins at 6:00 PM) – package available (see details below)
Sat., Nov. 19 – 1:00 PM vs Philadelphia (Watch Party begins at 12:00 PM)
Sat., Jan. 7 – 1:00 PM vs Philadelphia (Watch Party begins at 12:00 PM)
Sun., Jan. 8 – 1:00 PM vs Pittsburg (Watch Party begins at 12:00 PM)
Sat., Mar. 4 – 7:00 PM vs Buffalo (Watch Party begins at 6:00 PM)

Beverages and all your cookout favorites will be available for purchase, including drink specials. Please note that coolers are not allowed on the beach. Don’t forget your beach towels, beach chairs and of course sunscreen! Parking is available at Island Grand or Guy Harvey Outpost for $10.

LIGHTNING WATCH PARTY WEEKEND 2-NIGHT PACKAGE

Available for our first Watch Party weekend (Oct. 29th and Oct. 30th). Now you don’t have to worry about driving home after the games. Package includes:

  • 2 nights accommodations, at a discounted rate, for two adults
  • Preferred Cabana Seating at both Lightning Watch Parties directly on the beach!
  • Nightly Resort Amenity Fee, which includes one parking pass (guaranteed parking for the games!)

Happy Hauntings on Halloween

happy-halloweenLocals looking for the ultimate Halloween party to strut their costumes and inner child throng the bars on the weekend of  Oct. 28, 29 & 30.

Want to know where to go haunting? Sign up for our e-newsletter and will send you the hottest happenings. Until then, use this guide to start planning your boo-tiful Paradise adventures now, best read with a pumpkin pie latte in hand.

Halloween Costumes

Perhaps you’ll take a cue from our cover and dress like your favorite celebrity – Fred Astaire, Madonna or a Kardashian. From devilish divas to pirate wenches, Halloween is one of the biggest adult celebrations of the year. Don’t get caught in last year’s costume if you want to win the costume contest at local bars. Here’s some best bets:

• Smart shoppers pull together one-of-a-kind costumes from local thrift shops and Goodwill.

kids-trick-or-treating

• You can find vintage clothes at ArtPool Gallery in downtown St. Pete.

• Find your naughty maid and fright masks at Party City, Spirit Halloween Superstore and Halloween City.

• Stop in at Pinellas Park’s Theatrical Fantasy Costumes on Park Blvd. for sexy outfits, Steam Punk, fairy gear and boas, stockings, accessories and more.

Parties

Hosting a party at your house is a good way to avoid the bar crowds. Pick a theme, stock up on black and orange plates and utensils, make a party tape (Monster Mash, Thriller) and go wild. Decorate with cobwebs, fake spiders, paper bats and black and orange balloons. Order online from Oriental Trading Company or stock up at the party and dollar stores.

halloween-party

• Foodie Fun: Set out glass jars filled with gorey treats (gummy worms, candy eyeballs) and let your guests make their own goodie bags. Make everything finger food.

• Drink Ideas: If it’s punch, make sure it icky green or devilish red. Add dry ice for an eerie effect.

halloween-treats

Halloween Events

Guavaween, costume parades, zombies dancing Thriller and haunted houses are all part of our local Halloween fun.  Local recreation centers host Halloween family costume parades and fun events while some area bars throw legendary freaky bashes (Crabby Bills, The Wharf, Ricky T’s, Daiquiri Deck to name a few).  Let me admit, I’m a scaredy cat so I can’t deal with the walking dead or Casper the ghost.

• For those who can, make a date to attend Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Evil Encore haunted houses Sept. 23 – Oct. 30.

• Tame fun with the family can be had at the Lowry Zoo’s “Creatures of the Night” Oct. 7 – Oct. 29 where you can wander into scare zones or encounter animals at night. Party the night away at a ghoulish dance party. No horror or gore, just scares and startles for one & all.

lowry-park-zoo-pumpkins

• Further out, Disney and Universal Studios offer Halloween-themed events for kids of all ages.

ghost-tour-stpeteGhost Tours of St. Petersburg lets you peer into the shadows and mysteries of Florida’s “Sunshine City” on a candlelight walking tour of downtown St. Petersburg! Hear true ghost stories of wandering spirits, haunted mansions, phantom lovers, and age old curses… forgotten tales brought back to life. http://www.ghosttour.net/stpetersburg.html

• Oct. 15, 11 am – 5 pm, the Studio @ 620 presents Hauntizaar: Halloween and Day of the Dead Arts Festival: This unique seasonal offering will feature original creations from 20 area artists who are passionate about Halloween and Day of the Dead! Come buy yourself something SPOOKTACULAR!!

• On Oct. 22 from 10 am – 1 pm, bring your doggie in costume to Wag-O-Ween Costume Party at the Treasure Island Community Center Park sponsored by Bow Wow Express and Gulf Beaches Rotary. Bring a donation of pet food or treats; RSVP to whitneyshenkman@gmail.com

pumpkins-on-the-porch• Oct. 27, 5 – 7:30 pm is Tampa Bay Watch’s Pumpkins on the Porch is a fun-filled evening at their Pinellas Bayway South Marine and Education Center that includes a costume contest for best family, boy and girl as well as a showing of  “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”  http://tampabaywatch.org/pumpkins-on-the-porch.html

• Oct. 29, 5 pm, John’s Pass Seafood Festival: Zombie Alert! Start practicing for your Thriller dance moves with the club or by video. Thrill St. Pete is a local division of Thrill The World, raising money for charity (Ready for Life – Foster Care here) while celebrating Michael  Jackson’s talent by simultane-ously dancing to “Thriller.” http://thrillstpete.org/

• Oct. 30, you can run or walk the 8th Annual Florida Halloween Halfathon & 5K in costume (or not) at Ft. De Soto Park. http://www.active.com/st-petersburg-fl/running/distance-running-races/8th-annual-florida-halloween-halfathon-and-5k-2016

Halloween Safety

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has some suggestions for your little ghouls to stay safe, suggesting that parents prepare for the spookiest night of the year with these helpful tips:

• When you’re setting up your haunted house with cotton cobwebs, cardboard tombstones, and plastic spiders, be mindful about your visitors’ safety.

• Establish a clear walkway free of tripping hazards (whether they are leashes and hoses or rubber snakes and eyeballs), and keep flammable materials away from fire.

• You can avoid fire by lighting your jack-o-lanterns with holiday lights instead of candles.

• Make sure your kid’s costumes are sensible and they can see clearly if they wear a mask. Be sure to give them a flashlight and attach reflective tape to their costumes. Keep children in sight at ALL times.

• Talk to your children about proper trick-or-treating behavior and manners. Don’t let them eat all their candy at once and sort through it first. 

Story by Nanette Wiser

A New Field For The Miracle League Children

The 4th Annual Tierra Verde Octoberfest is the highlight of the island’s fall season. 

This year we have committed to help the Miracle League raise the $100,000 it needs to refurbish their ten-year-old ball field, designed to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play Miracle League baseball.

miracle-leagueGoals of the International Organization are to:

•Promote community support and sponsorship of Miracle Leagues.
•Promote the construction of special facilities that meet the unique needs of Miracle League players and their families.  

The Miracle League needs a rehab for its St. Petersburg field as the individual rubber tiles come loose, the children trip and fall. What is needed is a solid rubber field, costing about $125,000. Grants and individual contributions are presently trying to fix this need. TVBP hopes to contribute as well.

We cannot change or cure the medical issues life has dealt children with disabilities. What we can do is provide them with an opportunity to experience the joy and benefits that come from playing our National pastime baseball.

For more information visit www.themiracleleague.net

tierra-verde-business-partnership

Oktoberfest is scheduled in Tierra Verde, from 4 to 9 pm, on Saturday, October 15. Some Tampa Bay Ray’s will be there in a dunk tank because  they believe in this cause and we need to raise the money for the children. (Retired Rays will participate if the team is in the World Series)

We have established Sponsorship levels from $25 – friends to $75,000 for Angels, with banners, logo recognition and even Complex Naming Rights available for contributors in the highest categories.The local Miracle League operation

has been a project of the Gulf Beaches Kiwanis Club, a very small group that seriously needs our help to be able to continue the wonderful work the group

has accomplished over the past 10 years.

A Miracle League  ‘Go Fund Me’ page has been established where you can make an anonymous gift from home.

Please open your hearts and your wallets, and lets tell these kids we want to play ball for them.

Get Teens Fishing — FWC will cover the cost

fwc-logoParticipation in rough-and-tumble sports is a great way to get high schoolers exercising. But there are many students who want a different type of adrenaline rush than getting tackled on the football field or tossed in the air while cheering for their team. For those students, I strongly suggest fishing — and there is even funding available to get a team started or add members to an existing team. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with its partners the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation and The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, are offering a grant from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation to encourage the creation and success of high school fishing teams and clubs in Florida. This partnership places a particular emphasis on establishing new high school angling teams and supporting existing ones in schools with diverse student populations. 

The program will provide grants of up to $500 to assist with expenses related to fishing team or club-sponsored tournaments, team jerseys, insurance, and education for novice anglers. Supported teams and clubs will also partner with the FWC, FLW Foundation and The Bass Federation to complete a conservation project. The program not only benefits the students, but program participants and their families will receive education on conservation programs, aquatic and marine biology, and boating and angler safety.

High school can be incredibly stressful, and getting on or near the water to cast a line is a great stress reliever. Fishing encourages focusing on just one task at a time, which can give the brain the break it needs to process and store helpful information. Fishing also promotes mindfulness, because being aware of how fish habitats and changing weather and water conditions affect fish behavior improves fishing success. 

And fishing doesn’t exclude the ladies. According to a recent report released by the RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, of the 46 million Americans who fish today, more than one-third of them are women. In fact, the 2013 Florida High School State Champions were a female and male team from Bartow High School, and Tennessee’s Bethel University became the first college to offer a female angler a scholarship in 2010. 

High school fishing teams and clubs do not have to be comprised of students from a single school. Students from several schools may come 

together to form a team or club, and fishing is one of the few sports where both male and female students can compete on the same team, at the same level. 

There are countless benefits for both male and female students competing in team sports, such as building confidence, teaching respect and contributing to better health and stronger academics. But there are added benefits for female teammates competing alongside their male counterparts, such as an enhanced image of themselves and a greater overall resiliency, according to Jeffrey Rhoades, author of “The Joy of Youth Sports: Creating the Best Youth Sports Experience for Your Child.” Plus, the team camaraderie offers benefits to both sexes, as they enhance their social skills and learn to view one another as a friend and not an intimidating person. 

High schoolers can also earn college scholarships for bass fishing. According to Bassmaster.com, there are nine colleges in Florida that have fishing teams affiliated with the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series: Daytona State College, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, Florida State University, Indian River State College, Polk State College, Seminole State College of Florida, University of Central Florida and University of North Florida. The University of Florida even made the Fishing League Worldwide list of the “Top 25 Bass Fishing Colleges.” 

To date, there have been five high school fishing grants awarded. The first five grant award recipients are: Academy of Environmental Science, Crystal River; Lake Wales High School, Lake Wales; Pasco Middle School, Dade City; South Dade High School, Homestead; and Space Coast Junior/Senior High School, Cocoa.

There is still ample grant funding available, so interested parties are encouraged to apply soon for consideration. Online applications should be submitted at www.flwfishing.com/foundation

For more information about this program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com. For more information about the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation, go to www.flwfishing.com. For information about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, go to www.highschoolfishing.org. Information on the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is available at www.takemefishing.org, select “Corporate” at the bottom of the page. 

By Amber Nabors