Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-April 20, 2016

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Brunchies set to open this summer; Preparations underway for EcoFest 2016; Scholarship budget slimmer this year

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-April 20, 2016

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    By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    An effort that began seven years ago onthe Hanna Road campus of Learning GateCommunity School, in Lutz, has morphedinto an event expected to draw thousandsto Tampas Lowry Park on April 23 in a festi-val that pays homage to protecting MotherEarth.

    EcoFest is an annual event aimed at rais-ing awareness about the principles ofsustainability ecology, equity and econo-my.

    Learning Gate Community School, theUniversity of South Floridas Patel College ofGlobal Sustainability and the City of Tampahave joined forces to present the festival,also dubbed as Earth Day Tampa Bay, nearthe parks band shell at 7525 North Blvd., inTampa.

    Michele Northrup, who has been eventcoordinator of EcoFest since its inception,has watched it grow and evolve.

    There were 40 vendors and about 500 at-tendees at the first EcoFest, she said. Thisyear, there are 158 vendors, plus a waitinglist of 20. More than 4,000 people are ex-pected to attend.

    Parking and admission are free, and thereare plenty of free activities, too, Northrupsaid.

    There are plenty of opportunities tolearn and have fun, too, she said.

    There will be live music, workshops, cos-tumed superheroes, demonstrations,informational booths, green living productsand services.

    Local artists, green businesses, environ-mental organizations, alternative healthpractitioners, renewable energy specialists,and people from organic farms and gardenswill be there, too.

    We have some unique vendors. Wevegot some really cool artisans, craftsmen,Northrup said.

    Most of the vendors are local, comingfrom such communities as Tampa, NorthTampa, Wesley Chapel, Carrollwood andSouth Tampa.

    Last year, the festival was set up deliber-ately to mimic a marketplace, and its goingto be set up the same way this year,Northrup said.

    Everybody loved that, Northrup said.Another highlight will be an agility

    course, designed by a competitor from the

    B INSIDE,PAGE 1B

    Preparationsunderway forEcoFest 2016

    FILE PHOTOLots of people did a double take when they saw Amanda Renaud, of Topsy Turvy anentertainment troupe towering above them on stilts at the 2015 EcoFest at Lowry Park.

    By Kevin Weisskweiss@lakerlutznews.com

    A new brunch restaurant is ex-pected to open this summer inLutz.

    Bill Kranich and Janet Folsom,owners of Brunchies of Tampa, at14366 N. Dale Mabry Highway, areopening a second location of thepopular eatery, at 24400 State Road54 in Lutz.

    Kranich hopes to open thebrunch spot by Aug. 1, adding thetiming depends on the completionof Pasco Countys building permitprocess.

    The restaurant will replace thenow-closed Stage Left Bar & Kitchen, acrossthe street from Ferman Chrysler Jeep DodgeRam of Tampa.

    Brunchies, which prides itself on goodfood and good service, will be open dailyfrom 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Catering services will

    be available, too.With relatively sparse brunch op-

    tions in Lutz, Kranich believes the areais an ideal fit for opening the eateryssecond location.

    One thing is, we live out there,the restaurateur said. Theres just up-side potential with all the growth, andplus, theres a definite need for a reallyquality breakfast place up there.

    According to Kranich, the 3,500-square-foot restaurant will have about120 seats, smaller than the 190 seatsat the original Carrollwood-based lo-cation, which opened in 2004.However, the Lutz location will have apet-friendly patio, which expects toseat up to 30 patrons.

    Deemed as serving upscale quality

    Brunchies set to open this summer

    By Kevin Weisskweiss@lakerlutznews.com

    Cancellation of the Lutz Arts & CraftsFestival last December has resulted in a dipof $16,000 in the GFWC Lutz-Land O LakesWomans Clubs scholarship budget, com-pared to last year.

    The club has a tradition of awardingscholarships to Lutz and Land O Lakes stu-dents.

    But this year, it can only bestow two$1,000 scholarships, according to BarbaraNicholson, the clubs scholarship chair.

    Last year, the club awarded 12 scholar-ships of $1,500 each.

    The club would still like to add anotherscholarship or two, so it is seeking contribu-tions from local businesses and members ofthe community.

    Through donations, Nicholson has al-ready raised about $600 to put toward athird $1,000 scholarship.

    I encourage any businesses to feel freeto donate to us, Nicholson said. Were a5013c (nonprofit) organization, so anythingthat is donated is tax-deductible. Its going tohelp the future of Lutz and Land O Lakes.

    I havent discussed it with the othercommittee members, but...say we raised$800, I would ask the club for another $200

    to bring it up to$1,000. That way, wecan give another$1,000 scholarship,she said.

    The womans clubscholarships are typi-cally awarded in lateAugust, and take intoaccount students fi-nancial needs, as wellas their grade point

    averages and letters of recommendation.Nicholson had hoped the club would be

    able to provide more scholarships this yearthan it did last year, but a sinkhole that devel-oped at Lake Park put a dent in those plans.

    If not for a banner year from the clubsflea market in March, Nicholson acknowl-edged there might not have been enoughfunds for the two $1,000 scholarships.

    The $1,000 scholarships are a separatedelineation from the club-administered LutzVolunteer Firemans Memorial ScholarshipFund, which is invested and used for stu-dents with Lutz addresses. Nicholson saidthe club will award two memorial scholar-ships for $5,000 apiece this year. Thewomans club took over the $260,000 en-dowed scholarship fund in 2014, after theLutz volunteer firehouse was decommis-

    sioned and replaced by Hillsborough Countyfirefighters.

    Nicholson notes its not possible totransfer money from the endowment fund tosupplement additional $1,000 scholarships.

    Next year, the organization expects tomeet similar budget projections from 2015,especially with the arts & crafts festivals lo-cation moving to Keystone Prep HighSchool in Odessa, starting this December.

    I would certainly hope to meet what wedid last year. Id really like to see it increase,the scholarship chairwoman said.

    About one-half of previous festival ven-dors have already applied for the annualevent, according to Pat Serio, head of publicrelations for the womens club. Serio addedthe new venue most likely will be able to ac-commodate additional vendor spacescompared to prior years at Lake Park.

    Nicholson acknowledged there may be alearning curve for handling the logistics atthe new location, but ultimately will be ben-eficial for the festivals future.

    I think therell probably be some confu-sion and traffic issues...this being the firstyear, but after that, everybody will becomeaccustomed to it, and there shouldnt be anyissues, Nicholson said.

    I understand that its going to be a veryfriendly site for the event.

    Scholarship budget slimmer this year

    KEVIN WEISS/STAFF PHOTOThe owners of Brunchies of Tampa are opening a secondlocation in Lutz. The restaurant will replace the formerStage Left Bar & Kitchen, at 24400 State Road 54 in Lutz,shown here.

    See ECOFEST, page 11A

    Seventh annualEcoFestWHERE: Lowry Park, 7525 North Blvd., inTampa (in the band shell area and acrossthe street)

    WHEN: April 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.More than 150 vendors, speakers and ac-tivities, in a festival aimed at promotingearth-friendly living.

    See BRUNCHIES, page 11A

    Barbara Nicholson

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