Charities hit hard

It was a gorgeous day on March 7, as patrons streamed into the annual Fabulous Flea Market  hosted by the GFWC Lutz Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, at the Old Lutz School. Crowds were lined up on both sides of the school, on U.S. 41, waiting for the sale to start. Elaine Pittman, affectionately known as “The Plant Lady,” said she sold more plants in a single day than on all but one other day … [Read more...]

Treasure-seekers may discover hidden gems at Lutz Flea Market

Elaine Pittman is looking forward to the annual flea market at the Old Lutz School. She’s a staple at the annual event, hosted by the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club. Nicknamed the ‘Plant Lady,’ Pittman will have her signature booth displaying an array of plants and flowers outside. “Plants have always been my hobby,” the 87-year-old explained. “I had my first garden bed when I … [Read more...]

Local Boy Scouts and their parents help food pantry

A group of men and women gathered recently at Harvester United Methodist Church, off Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, to lug bags and boxes of food from a room in the church to their SUVs and mini-vans in the church parking lot. They made numerous trips carrying all sorts of items, including potato chips, granola bars, Goldfish, pasta, Little Bites, pudding cups, bottled water, Gatorade, … [Read more...]

2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

Lutz gardener cultivates generosity

Eighty-five-year-old Elaine Pittman’s love affair with gardening began 7 1/2 decades ago. “My father gave me my first piece of a garden on Long Island when I was about 9 years old. “Every spring, I would go to all of the neighbors around the block and ask for the little seedlings that they didn’t want. I had snow-on-the-mountain and bachelor buttons, and you name it,” said Pittman, who … [Read more...]

Local businesses are ‘companies to watch’

Three local businesses will be honored on Nov. 3 as being among 50 “companies to watch” in Florida. Gator Cleaning Solutions, RISA and X-Link Medical Software Interfacing will receive their awards at a celebration at Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk, in Orlando. These companies were selected from 500 nominees in the annual Florida Companies to Watch annual awards program. The … [Read more...]

Thrift store seeks to push up sales

Christian Social Services of Lutz & Land O’ Lakes Inc., gets a lot of visitors, as people bring donations to the thrift store at 5514 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., which resembles a large red barn. But, the charity had been trying to figure out a way to capture some of that traffic, before it headed back onto Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, said Jacquie Petet, executive director of the charitable … [Read more...]

Tilling the soil to share earth’s bounty

It’s around 8 a.m. on a Saturday, and a volunteer crew is hard at work in a garden at Tims Memorial Presbyterian Church in Lutz. Renee White is yanking plants out of a raised bed, like a one-woman wrecking crew. Her husband Mike is on the other side of the garden trying to make sure that he’s placing a wood post in the right spot for a new raised bed. Eric Kopp is working up a sweat, … [Read more...]

Food pantry ‘blessed’ to provide for those in need

The big red building on Land O’ Lakes Boulevard might not fetch more than a causal glance from some passersby, but many who step through the doors say it’s a place where blessings are granted regularly. The nonprofit food pantry located just south of Ehren Cutoff has been helping feed area families in need since 1987. Although not always situated in its current 5514 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., home, … [Read more...]