Spreading joy through bubbles
Blaise Ryndes, of Land O’ Lakes, attracted national attention when he took his bubble-making skills to America’s Got Talent.
Now, during a time of a global pandemic, the performer decided to take to his neighborhood streets, to help spread joy during a time of social isolation.
He recently put on a one-car bubble parade for his neighbors.
“To abide by social distancing, everyone stayed in their own yards and we went house to house spreading fun bubbles around, or as I like to call them, little orbs of happiness and cleanliness,” Ryndes reports, in an email to The Laker/Lutz News.
He described his act as “an effort to relieve the angst of quarantine.”
And, based on the photos, it looks like his mobile “Spheres Bubble Show,” was a hit.
Helping two groups, at the same time
When Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey heard about an effort to show appreciation to front-line workers during the global pandemic, she latched onto it — immediately.
The initiative — launched by Liz Bernich, of Chatham, New Jersey, and Gina McGuire, of Madison, New Jersey – is called the Frontline Appreciation Group (FLAG) 2020.
They wanted to show appreciation to front-line workers, and help restaurants at the same time.
So, they began raising money that they spent to help feed front-line workers.
When Starkey heard about the initiative she launched a Pasco chapter, which is known as FLAG2020Pasco.
As of last week, a total of 105 meals had been delivered, with 64 going to AdventHealth Dade City, and 41 to BayCare’s North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey. Another delivery was planned for the evening of April 24 at AdventHealth Zephyrhills.
So far, restaurants that have participated include Boulevard Beef & Ale and Rose’s Bistro Off Main, both in downtown New Port Richey, which provided meals for North Bay Hospital; and, Green Door on 8th, which provided meals for AdventHealth Dade City.
Donations supporting the efforts so far have come from citizens, as well as county officials including Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley, Pasco County School Board member Allen Altman, Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning and former Pasco Clerk & Comptroller Paula O’Neil.
When she saw the initiative on the news, Starkey said she wanted to get involved because it is innovative and smart.
To help, send donations to:
Those donating $100 or more will get a sign to place in their yard, which Starkey has purchased as a show of appreciation to contributors.
Make a veteran’s day brighter!
As nursing homes remain off-limits to visitors, the Friends of the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home have launched a project aimed at brightening veterans’ days.
The project is called Operation FAV (For Any Veteran) and it seeks to enlist the help of anyone who wants to get involved to help overcome social distancing requirements by writing a note or sending a card to residents at the nursing home.
Organizers of the effort note, “this Land O’ Lakes nursing home has, like nursing homes throughout the world, been closed for visitors, leaving the residents there somewhat isolated.”
The great thing about this project is that anyone, of any age, can get involved.
All you have to do to is make up a card, note or letter, and address them:
For Any Veteran
Baldomero Lopez State Veterans’ Nursing Home
6919 Parkway Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639
The staff will make sure your cards and notes are distributed to the veterans there who haven’t had visitors in a while. Cards also can be sent in bulk to the same address.
A unique way of reaching out
While acknowledging that a swimming pool is not the most important necessity in life, Glenn Simpson, of GPS Pool, is offering a free chemical pool service to those age 60 and older. For many people, swimming in their pool is the only activity they have during this time of pandemic, Simpson says, in a blurb about his offer. Call (813) 948-9091 for details.
Sunlake High seniors step up
When Pasco 2020 Grad Bash was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors from Sunlake High School decided they wanted to do something worthwhile with the money they’d raised to pay for the event’s buses. They decided to make a big donation to Keystone Community Church’s Second Serving program. That program provides food for the homeless, operates a food pantry and helps people with other essentials, during their time of need.
The church is immensely grateful, said Lisa Kamps, of the Second Serving program.
“The most important thing, I think, for the senior class was to reach out in the Lutz, Land O’ Lakes area, because we don’t have as many opportunities here to assist families in need.
“They wanted to be sure that we were reaching people in this area,” Kamps said, noting that not all of the money will go for food. “We have to see what the need is, and meet it.”
Monica Isle, assistant superintendent of high schools for Pasco County Schools, gave kudos to the Sunlake seniors during the April 21 school board meeting.
“I think it just speaks to our graduating class that we have — of how much they’re thinking of how they can give back to the community,” Isle said.
Serving meals, in show of gratitude
It’s not uncommon for a restaurant to have a special, but Nabruzzi Trattoria has taken its Wednesday night specials to an entirely new level.
It is delivering free hot meals to people who serve the community.
“Every Wednesday we’re going to pick somebody in the area that has put themselves at risk, that are out there every day,” said Massimo Sabetti, the chef/owner of Nabruzzi Trattoria at 6062 Van Dyke Road in Lutz.
The restaurant was closed for about two weeks, before deciding to reopen for take-out and curbside, only.
When it reopened, Sabetti and his wife decided: “We have to do something for the community during this time,” he said.
After all, the community support is the reason the restaurant has done well.
So, on April 8, a meal was delivered to support the workers at Publix, and then another delivery was made that night to support the emergency room staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North.
On April 15, the restaurant delivered a meal to Hillsborough County Rescue Station 34, on Van Dyke Road, and then, on April 22, it delivered a meal for workers at Magnolia Manor Assisted Living Facility.
“We pick a place every week, I call, coordinate, what time is good for them? I get my chefs to make it and we bring it to them,” said Sabetti said.
He’s giving back to a community that has been very good to him, he said.
“The neighborhood has been very, very supportive. I’m very fortunate.”
Tell us about acts of kindness
If you know people who are going out of their way to make life easier for others during this time of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, please let us know by emailing .
Published April 29, 2020
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