They'll step it up for dance competition
The Rotary Club is dusting off its disco ball. That can mean only one thing: the club's annual Dancing With the Locals competition is approaching.
Ten couples have practiced for weeks in anticipation of the Nov. 9 competition and fundraiser at the John R. Trinkle Center on the Hillsborough Community College Plant City campus, 1206 N Park Road.
Modeled after the ABC program Dancing With the Stars, the couples are paired with dance professionals for 10 lessons. On the night of the competition, the couples will cha cha cha, swivel their hips to salsa and glide Waltz-style as three judges gauge their performances.
Trophies and plaques are awarded to the top dance partners and to those who raise the most money through sponsorships. Last year's event raised $27,000 for more than 33 local charities.
"We've had business leaders, city officials. Last year, the city manager, Greg Horwedel, and his wife were out on the dance floor," event coordinator Marcus Caswell, a sales executive at Plant City-based Wish Farms, said.
About 200 people showed up to watch.
Among this year's contestants: Mike and Angela Sessa — Mike is the sales manager at Jarrett-Scott Ford — and Michael Johnson and Lori Rogers, who represent Johnson Barbecue and Fred's Southern Kitchen. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and the dancing begins at 8. Gary and Tina Pike are the emcees.
Tickets are $100. Call Caswell at (863) 412-2880.
Russian pianist to perform Nov. 2
The Plant City Arts Council is presenting a performance by Russian pianist Eleonora Lvov.
The world-renowned musician will perform classics from Beethoven, Chopin and Gershwin on Nov. 2 at the Plant City Photo Archives, 106 S Evers St. in the historic downtown. Hors d'oeuvres, wine and desserts will be served.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Tickets are $60. Call Marsha Passmore at (813) 245-2244 or Dodie White at (813) 927-0595.
Putnam's memory of the farming life
Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam last week reminisced about his childhood and membership in the 4-H and FFA while growing up in Bartow.
Speaking at the Evelyn and Batista Madonia Sr. Agricultural Show Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds, Putnam said Plant City remained family-friendly despite its growth over the years. Then, addressing about 75 FFA members, he quipped, "Back then we used to think Plant City was a big city."