Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Why I'm proud to call Seffner my home

Tell someone you live in Seffner, and you just might get this response:

Related News/Archive

What's a Seffner?

As far as names go, Seffner doesn't exactly connote glitz and glamor or fun and excitement. Tampa residents who have never ventured east of Ybor City usually say, "Wow, you live all the way out there?"

I explain it's only 11 miles east.

When I first moved into the community nine years ago, my friend said I should just tell people I live in North Brandon and reduce the need for explanations. Every time I say it, one friend says, "Where do you live again? Zephyrhills?"

But no, I don't hesitate to tell folks where I live and I proudly say, "I'm a Seffnerian."

My friend asked, "Are you sure it's not Seffnerite? Seffnerian sounds like a disease."

Well, that question halted my plans to trademark "Seffnerian" and have some "I'm a Seffnerian" T-shirts made up, but it can't dent my affection for the simple charm of the town I call home.

We don't have the fancy restaurants you might find in Hyde Park, but we do have a Bob Evans that graciously agrees to feed the Armwood High football team every game day for a nominal fee.

We don't have a skyscraper hotel, but we have a Hampton Inn that looks quite nice from the interstate.

No, we don't have a Starbucks or a Panera Bread (and a Panera would be nice), but we do have Hungry Harry's barbecue that just added "red neck nachos" to the menu.

Yes, we're excited (well, I'm excited) about getting a rebuilt McDonald's and a brand new 7-Eleven at the corner of Parsons and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — what some call "downtown Seffner."

For whatever Seffner may lack, however, it compensates with lots and lots of heart.

Consider the monthly lunch meeting of the Greater Seffner Chamber of Commerce I attended last week. Each business owner received a few minutes to give an introduction and talk about his or her business.

But many in attendance stood and forsook the quick sales pitch opportunity to speak about charitable efforts in the community.

Did you know the Seffner Relay For Life, scheduled for next spring, kicked off its fundraising efforts Tuesday? SeffnerFest, celebrating the community and its veterans, will be held Nov. 13 and the Cookson Hills Toy Run will be Dec. 5 and wrap up at Evans Park near U.S. 92 and Kingsway Road.

For each event, attendees solicited help because they know a Seffnerian is reliable.

"We really back each other," said Gloria DeVare, a Seffner native who now works as an event coordinator for Lenna Hall, an event facility in a refurbished church.

"When people say they're going to show up, they show up. I haven't found that everywhere."

You find Seffner's heart in such organized efforts as the I Am Hope Cafe at the First Baptist Church of Mango, which serves the homeless on a weekly basis.

And you find it in random acts of kindness. A large party entered the Pizza Hut on Sunday night and waited for a table. With the server clearly busy tending to a few other customers, a woman in the group smiled and said, "If you hand me a rag, I'll be glad to wipe down the table for you."

The server politely declined and hustled to help seat them at a clean table, but understand the point. In some other town, the customer would have stood and stewed, tapping her feet and loudly sighing. If she didn't receive an immediate acknowledgement and a profuse apology, she would storm out.

In Seffner, it's the exact opposite. Most folks approach life with a courteous calm and exude a kindness you don't find in every burg.

But don't just take my word for it, come to the Seffner chamber's second annual Community Business Expo Saturday at the Brandon Family YMCA from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sure, the folks there will be peddling their wares, but they'll also be wearing a smile.

In Seffner, that's how we roll.

That's all I'm saying.

Why I'm proud to call Seffner my home 09/16/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What to expect: Howl-O-Scream is crawling with monsters this year


    Those darn scare actors at Howl--O-Scream. They get me.
    Every. Stinking. Time.

    The scare zones like this one, Wasteland, can look as scary and elaborate as the haunted houses at Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens.
  2. Rick Baker debuts new campaign ad to woo younger voters


    Former mayor Rick Baker's campaign unveiled a reboot of sorts Tuesday with the debut of a new TV ad.

    Delores Green and mayoral candidate Rick Baker smile as they look at a selfie that Green took at a food truck food giveaway at Rick Baker's disaster assistance registration center on Central Ave. in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15.
  3. Editorial: DOT listens, adjusts on I-275 plans in Tampa


    Florida continues to improve its plan for modernizing the interstate system in Tampa Bay. The Florida Department of Transportation has unveiled four new options for rebuilding I-275 near downtown Tampa, and some of them would ditch previous plans for toll lanes downtown while keeping express lanes for faster, …

    State officials are re-evaluating parts of I-4 and I-275 in Tampa as part of a supplemental environmental impact study, or SEIS. 
  4. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay


    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  5. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.