Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 22, 2016

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A vigil to honor a life gone too soon; Guv’na candidate increasing fundraising efforts; Making life easier for local Marines

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 22, 2016

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    By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    Seventy-seven-year-oldL. David Kirk lives by theU.S. Marine Corps motto,Once a Marine, always aMarine.

    He served in theMarine Corps from 1956to 1964, completing twotours of duty in theMediterranean, two toursof duty in Okinawa, andserving in Southeast Asiaand California, as well.

    It was the best eightyears I ever spent, becauseit took me from teenagerto man, said the retiredLutz business man. I cannever thank the MarineCorps more, for giving methe discipline to make itwhere I am today.

    Even though he com-pleted his service morethan half-century ago, Kirks fidelity to theU.S. Marine Corps remains robust.

    Three years ago, two other Marines andmyself, and our wives, we got together andwe thought it would be a good idea if westarted a Marine group in Land O Lakes,Kirk said.

    That group, named Marine ForeverVeterans Group LLC, meets on Mondayevenings at the Beef O Bradys in theVillage Lakes Shopping Center, 21539Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive inLand O Lakes. The shopping center is onthe north side of State Road 54, slightly eastof U.S. 41.

    Kirk now is accepting applications fromthose wishing to join a new Marine CorpsLeague Detachment that likely would meetat the same Beef O Bradys restaurant.

    The league is open to active duty, re-serve and honorable discharged veterans ofMarine Corps and Navy FMF Corpsmenand Chaplains who live in Land O Lakes,Lutz, Odessa, Wesley Chapel and surround-ing areas.

    Theres a need for the new detachmentbecause there isnt one nearby, Kirk said.

    Weve got Marines here that travel 15and 20 miles to belong to the League. Thinkhow many more that would join, if theydidnt have to travel that far. And, theres alot of Marines that live in this area.

    Besides being more convenient, itwould be less expensive to attend meet-ings in Land O Lakes, because it wouldnttake as much gas to get to meetings, Kirkadded.

    To launch a new charter, the groupneeds at least 20 members that do not be-long to an existing detachment, Kirk said.Once the new detachment is established,existing league members can transfer, headded.

    A meeting has been scheduled for June25 at 2 p.m., at Beef O Bradys, in theVillage Lakes Shopping Center, to answerquestions about the proposed new detach-ment, the annual dues, uniforms, meetingdates, mission of the group and so on.

    Anyone who would qualify to join andwould like more information is encouragedto attend, said Kirk, past commandant ofthe Angus R. Goss Detachment in Tampa.

    The Marine Corps League was foundedin 1923 by World War I hero Major GeneralCommandant John A. Lejeune, and its con-gressional charter was approved by an actof the 75th Congress, which was signedand approved by President Franklin D.Roosevelt on Aug. 4, 1937.

    The leagues mission calls for its mem-bers to join together in camaraderie and

    Making life easier for local Marines

    B.C. MANION/STAFF PHOTOL. David Kirk, of Lutz, is spearheading an effort to establish aMarine Corps League Detachment in Land O Lakes.

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    A bouquet of heart-shaped balloons sep-arated and floated skyward into the nightair, carrying messages of love forChristopher Joseph Sanfeliz.

    Below, candles burned brightly, heldaloft by more than 400 people who filledthe stands at Ron Allen Field at GaitherHigh.

    They had gathered for a candlelight vigilto honor the life of the 24-year-old Sanfeliz,one of 49 people killed during a massshooting on June 12 at Pulse nightclub inOrlando.

    Chris was taken way too soon from theworld, Stephanie Woychowski, president ofGaithers Parent Teacher StudentAssociation said during the June 15 vigil.Remember Chris. Remember love.

    Besides killing 49 people, the lone gun-man armed with an assault rifle, injured 50others before he was killed by law enforce-ment.

    The mass shooting, reported as thelargest in the nations modern history, tar-geted a club popular among the LGBT(lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)community.

    The Gaither community responded im-mediately, with former classmates, currentstudents and faculty coming together to or-ganize the vigil for Sanfeliz, a member ofthe class of 2010.

    Once a Cowboy, always a Cowboy, saidTeresa Trumbach, a teacher at Gaither,known as the home of the Cowboys.

    Trumbach met Sanfeliz when he was afreshman.

    He was just one of those great guys,Trumbach said. I find it impressive that somany of you came back.

    Before filing into the stands, peoplestopped to pick up candles, drop donationsinto a box, or leave photographic memen-tos of Sanfeliz in a memory box.

    Friends and family clung tightly to eachother in long hugs. And, they shed tears.

    Amid the sorrow, though, they found away to share the joyous times and recalledSanfeliz love of life.

    They talked about a young man whowas the friend that everyone wanted. He

    was loyal, funny and compassionate. He wasalways ready to do whatever it took tomake his friends happy.

    He also had his own way of doingthings.

    Chris loved cottage cheese. He lovedDisney. He would walk around the houseand sing Disney songs, said Ben Mercado.He loved Selena (the movie).

    Mercado said he and Sanfeliz came out

    KATHY STEELE/STAFF PHOTOSJunior Sanfeliz, the older brother of Christopher Sanfeliz, is consoled by friends at a candle-light vigil at Gaither High School.

    See VIGIL, page 15A

    GOFUNDME.COMChristopher Joseph Sanfeliz, a 2010 GaitherHigh School graduate, died June 12 when agunman killed 49 people at the Pulse night-club in Orlando.

    Want to help?If you would like to make a donation, visitGoFundMe.com/297mht34.

    A vigil to honor a life gone too soon

    Guvna candidateincreasing fundraising effortsBy Kevin Weisskweiss@lakerlutznews.com

    Greg Gilbert is new to the area justlike his competitor in the Lutz Guvnarace.

    And just like his rival, Andre Pamplonaof Royal Lanes Bowling, Gilbert was urgedby by Suzin Carr, the Lutz Guvna ambassa-dor, to jump into the 2016 race.

    She was relentless, Gilbert said, de-scribing Carrs encouragement for him toenter the race.

    However, it did sound like a lot of funto do something like this, and to be in-volved in the community a little bit more,said Gilbert, who took over as the manag-ing owner of Beef O Bradys in Lutz inDecember.

    Before moving to Florida, he spent 20-plus years in Michigan working as ageneral manager for both T.G.I. Fridays andRuby Tuesday.

    Due to his wide-ranging obligations tohis restaurant, Gilbert admits he has somecatching up to do on the Guvna campaigntrail.

    To try to make up some ground, Gilbertplans to dive headfirst into fundraising ef-forts between now and July 4, the final dayof the annual charity event.

    He hopes to organize a car wash be-hind the restaurant, and perhaps hold a

    See MARINES, page 15ASee GUVNA, page 15A

    FILE PHOTOGreg Gilbert is a candidate for the annual LutzGuvna race. Gilbert is the managing owner ofBeef O Bradys, 18421 N U.S. 41 in Lutz.

  • By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    Ryan Paul James first brush with famecame at the age of 6, when his name waslisted in The Laker/Lutz News.

    I was playing Little League there, withthe Red Sox. All of the players were men-tioned there in an article, said James, aformer Land O Lakes resident, now an actorand writer who lives in Los Angeles.

    Since moving to L.A., hes performed intwo dozen plays, has written 10 plays and isnow shopping a pilot for a television showhes written called The Comeback Kids.

    The show is about a pair of actors whowere famous as children and are attemptinga comeback, decades later.

    While no one has picked up the televi-sion show yet, it has been screened at filmfestivals in such places as Los Angeles,Honolulu, Miami, Switzerland, Australia andLondon.

    It also has picked up a number ofawards.

    Its a project James has been working onfor five years. Hes written eight episodes ofthe show and has casted most of them, withdifferent stars who would be making ap-pearances as themselves, or performing arole in the sitcom.

    The TV pilot most recently screened onJune 10 at The Chinese Theatre inHollywood.

    James said his desire to act began whenhe was a young boy, when his dad was awildlife officer and the family lived on thegrounds of Pine View Middle School in LandO Lakes.

    Living in the middle of nowhere andplaying there on the campus of Pine View, Iwould let my imagination go.

    I remember, that, like for a year, theywere building their (Pine View Middle) gym.I dont think I can get in trouble for this any-more but I would go in there and play

    Indiana Jones, James said.I would watch probably too much tele-

    vision, he added.His acting debut came in 1994 when he

    played the role of a Mousekateer on theMickey