William Shrader was one of the first veterans to walk through the turnstiles Wednesday as the Florida Strawberry Festival saluted the military and those who serve to maintain public safety.
Shrader, a 72-year-old Vietnam-era Army veteran, said he has only missed one since the festival started American Heroes Day in 2009.
“I love the festival and what they do for veterans,” the Lakeland resident said.
The festival offered free gate admission to current and former members of the military, law enforcement and other first responders. A program in their honor was held Wednesday evening on the Wish Farms Soundstage.
About 3,000 to 4,000 veterans and others who qualify visit the festival on American Heroes Day each year.
Festival President Jim Jeffries said General Manager Paul Davis came up with the idea to offer a day of free admission for veterans. The board of directors enthusiastically endorsed the plan and the festival has set aside a day ever since, Jeffries said.
“We feel very strongly about support for our military and we want to do everything we can to help them,” Jeffries said.
March busy for teens at library
Bruton Memorial Library will have three events exclusively for teenagers this month:
Tuesday, 3:45-5:45 p.m., action movie starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Free popcorn and drinks will be served.
March 19, 4-5 p.m., the first meeting of the library’s Comic, Manga, Anime club (CMA).
March 31, 4-5 p.m.: Teen advisory board meeting. Members of the board can earn community service hours for graduation and scholarships. Joining the board also looks good on college applications, and it is a great way to have a voice in the kinds of teen programs that the library provides.
All activities are free at the library, 302 W. McLendon St.
For information, call Teen Services Librarian Walter Critzer at (813) 757-9215, ext. 23.
Students honored for excelling on tests
Plant City High School recently had a reception to congratulate all the students who have met the SAT or ACT scores that make them eligible for the highest Bright Future Scholarship.
Students must score a 1290 on the SAT in math and critical reading or a composite score of 29 on the ACT.
The students who were honored included Cole Arn, Jamie Burke, Diana Corzine, Haley Cruzado, Jonathan Cruz, Chase Dunn, Jacob Fortune, Kalihanna Fuentes, Jordan Genevie, Adrianna Gianino, Michael Hahn, Nicholas Johnson, Sydney Johnson, Maddy Keene, Trey Langston, Vicki Nguyen, James Orso, Dhara Patel, Michelle Pelham, Kristin Podsiad and Deja Simmons.
There’s a new friend on Facebook
A new Facebook page was recently created to keep the public informed of city-sponsored happenings.
City Special Events Manager Deanna Hurley, who developed the page, said she is using the social media site “so we can get the word out about our events.”
Hurley is trying to build an audience among residents and others who might be interested in keeping up with the city’s special events. She also wants suggestions, including this recent posting: “We are working on the event schedule for Downtown Plant City. Tell us — what would you like to see here?”
The page is at facebook.com/plantcityspecial events.
Hurley is also planning to link the page from the city government’s website.
Wanna play ball?
Registration is continuing through March 28 for the spring adult softball leagues sponsored by the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department.
The leagues play eight-week seasons at the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex, near Plant City Stadium. The co-ed league plays on Mondays, and the men’s leagues on Thursdays.
The cost is $310 per team.
To register online, go to www.teamsideline.com/ Plant City. Registration forms and payments can also be dropped off or mailed to the recreation and parks department administrative office, 1904 S. Park Road, in the stadium complex.
Prospective players who don’t have a team can call Deborah Haldane, the recreation department’s program manager, and she will check for team openings.
For details, call Haldane at (813) 659-4200, ext. 4302.
Ready to write your memoir?
Local writer Lark Underwood will conduct a three-part workshop from 3-5 p.m. Fridays through March 28 on Writing Your Memoir.
Participants must commit to attending all three sessions, and should bring a notebook, 3-by-5 cards and a pen or pencil to class.
There is no charge for the classes at the library, 302 W. McLendon St.
For information, call Adult Services Librarian Lisa Kreutter at (813) 757-9215, ext. 23.
Sign up now for football, cheerleading
Youngsters can sign up through June 1 for Plant City Eagles football and cheerleading.
Registration is available from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Bealsville Recreation Center, 5009 Nesmith Road.
Registration forms are available for download at www.plantcityeagles.com.
Registration fee is $85 per child through June 1, when the fee goes up to $100.
For information, call (813) 737-1352.
Durant High grad makes college dean’s list
Durant High 2012 graduate Joshua Evans, a sophomore political science major at Grove City College, has been named to the college dean’s list for the fall semester.
He is the son of John and Kimberly Evans of Dover.
Grove City College, with about 2,500 students, is located 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. The college was founded in 1876 on Christian principles and rigorous academics.