San Antonio Elementary School student Vin Sanchez is 7 years old, and he has always loved baking and sweets, according to his mom, Amberlee. Recently, Vin decided to make some (hot) cocoa ‘bombs’ for his family and neighbors, and sold them to make money to spend at his school’s book fair. Since a neighbor shared the young boy’s creations on Facebook, he has made more than $500. Vin continues to bake and makes all the sweets himself — from start to finish — while his parents supervise and help to make up the packages. He already is looking forward to creating more treats for Valentine’s Day, and would someday like to own his own bakery shop. The cocoa treats are priced at $3 apiece. Visit Vin’s Chocolate Shop on Facebook for more information.
Reasons To Smile
Ten-year-old Magdah Moore and her grandmother, Hilary Moore, sold items at the Connerton bazaar on Nov. 6, and donated the proceeds to Joshua House. Magdah made slime to sell, and Hilary made knitted stockings and baked goods. They raised $263, which Magdah wanted to donate, after hearing DeDe Grundel talk about the kids there, during a tea she attended in May. The pair hopes their gesture will draw attention to the need to help others who are less fortunate, Hilary said, in an email to The Laker/Lutz News.
The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club members recently formed assembly lines of crafters to put together Thanksgiving and Christmas treats and favors for Meals on Wheels homebound recipients. The women prepared hundreds of turkey cookie packets and elf candy canes to lend a festive surprise to the meal trays that seniors and shut-ins receive. From left: Sandi Giddens, Mary Anne Lykins, April Saland and Joan Young.
From all of us at The Laker/Lutz News, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
Congratulations to Brooke Lea, a senior at Zephyrhills High School, for being applauded by Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
Lea has lived in Zephyrhills for her entire life and loves the close-knit community that she’s grown up in. Her mother, Missy, has been volunteering in the local community since she was 13 and instilled the same mindset into Brooke and her two sisters, Brittani and Bryann. For years now the three girls have been volunteering at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village where they work the concession stands, set up games, and help out at a lot of other events put on by the museum.
“I think giving back and helping local nonprofits in an effort to grow our community, businesses, and children’s programs is important,” says Lea.
“Brooke always jumps in wherever she is needed…. She is an awesome team member, but even as a teenager she is a clear leader and a great example,” says Stephanie Black, executive director for the Pioneer Florida Museum.
“I am grateful for this young woman and all she does for our community.”
Right now, Lea works at Pet Supplies Plus, a pet supply retail store in Zephyrhills that recently praised her efforts on social media:
“All year long we ask for donations to go to local shelters and today Brooke did an amazing job. She got over a 100 donations in the first 3 hours of her shift. Way to go Brooke and thank you to all the neighbors that said yes to her today.”
Other foundations she has volunteered for include The Thomas Promise Foundation, The Dade City Chamber of Commerce Car Show, A Salute for our Soldiers Backpack Drive, Little Everglades Ranch Mud Run, and much more.
When asked what the most rewarding part is about being an active community member, Lea says, “It’s fun being involved with so many different organizations and it is an even better feeling knowing you were able to do your part in giving back and helping others.”
Brooke also plays softball while she’s finishing up her senior year of high school.
“I love softball! Learning the game and competing is so much fun, especially when you love the people around you. Win or lose, I always do my best,” says Lea.
After she graduates, Lea plans on attending the University of Central Florida where she wants to work for child protective services or become a game warden.
Published November 10, 2021
GraceLyn Griffin donated three boxes of pet supplies to Pasco County Animal Services. This 6 year old loves fundraising and making friendships through the pageants.
Griffin competes in pageants and loves being involved in her community. She currently is the winner of the Little Miss Florida preliminary pageant and is preparing for the Little Miss Florida State Pageant (scheduled for Nov. 19 to Nov. 21).
In addition to pet supplies, she also has donated hundreds of items to local food banks, pajamas to local children’s hospitals, Easter baskets to children in need, and thousands of band aids and craft supplies to area pediatric facilities.
In late July, my mom came across a post on Facebook about an adoptable 8-year-old Rottweiler at Pasco County Animal Services named Bear. Without any hesitation, she brought up the conversation into our family group chat about adopting him. Even though it was an easy yes for my mom, simply because she’s wanted a Rottweiler for over 20 years, she knew that she’d have to get approval from not only me, but from my dad and sister.
My family is the definition of crazy animal people. I have a hedgehog, my parents have one dog, and my older sister has a cat and two dogs. We love animals to say the least and adding another pet to the mix wasn’t necessarily in the plan, but my mom couldn’t help but feel bad for Bear whose owner recently passed away.
After getting a yes from all three of us, my mom immediately called to try and book a meet and greet at the shelter, and to her surprise they told her she could come in on the same day. Without a doubt in her mind, she and my dad headed over to Pasco County Animal Services and, a few hours later, quickly fell in love with this gentle giant.
It’s been about two months since we first adopted Bear and he has been nothing but a great addition to our home. Despite a Rottweiler’s reputation, Bear is the sweetest, friendliest, and cuddliest dog you’ll probably ever meet. His age has nothing on him and he still acts like a puppy, constantly playing with our other senior dog and his endless supply of toys.
By Nicole Sanchez
Digital Content Assistant, The Laker/Lutz News