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A Final Roar At Big Cat Rescue

  • 8:57 am Sunday, March 4th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

I cried this morning when I read this post from Jamie Veronica at Big Cat Rescue with the news that their beloved Joseph had died. This visit was one of my favorite Ann-Ventures and to Carole Baskin and everyone at Big Cat I know how deeply you feel the loss of each and every friend you’ve taken care of for many years. The good news is that all our beloved friends will be waiting for us at the end of that Rainbow Bridge someday. I’d love to share my visit with you from last year and how [More]

Are You Aware?

  • 5:23 am Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

“But you don’t look sick.”

Someone that deals with a rare illness can hear that a lot. That someone is me. I’ve talked about my journey with Systemic Lupus with you before but today I want to share a little more with you. Today is Rare Disease Day. What makes a disease “rare?” In the US it is something that will affect 1 in ten people and the sad fact is half of those are children. Lupus has some many symptoms and syndromes and there are times when even I lose track. But it was something I didn’t even know I [More]

Help For Parkland

  • 7:24 am Thursday, February 15th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

In the aftermath of the deadly school shootings in Parkland there is something we can do. Donate blood. OneBlood especially needs type O negative, the universal donor type. They ask you make an appointment here, and we’ll also show you a location close to you. Thank you for your help and your prayers. #Parkland

Florida’s Own Nadine Sierra Joins Andrea Bocelli For Valentine’s Day Concert

  • 7:56 am Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 by Ann Kelly

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and we have a wonderful way for you to spend the evening of February 14th – with world reknown tenor Andrea Bocelli, guest performers Emmy and Tony award winner Kristin Chenoweth and Florida’s own Nadine Sierra at Amalie Arena. Listen all week for your  chance to win tickets in Dove Morning Trivia!

I had a great chat with Nadine recently to talk about her career which began with her professional debut while she was still in her teens with the Palm Beach Opera. But Nadine knew from a very young age that music [More]

A Salute To Our Community Hero

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

Three years ago, Robert and Michelle Shimberg started a jobs program for under resourced youth in Tampa as part of the Men of Vision Program, in partnership with Hill Ward Henderson Clients. Over those three years the program has continued to flourish. Ten young men were place in jobs last year. For that work and their many other philanthropic efforts they have been named a Community Hero here at Cox Media Group.

I was proud to sit down with them earlier to talk about that program, and then welcome them to the Circle K Performance Theater for the presentation. [More]

On Top Of Mt Cockroach

  • 8:58 am Sunday, January 28th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

The Hillsborough County Hiking Spree has led me to some beautiful parks, some interesting ones…and then there’s Cockroach Bay Preserve. It was a new one to me but that’s what the Hiking Spree is all about. Discovering those parks right in your neighborhood that you’ve always meant to visit and discovering those you weren’t aware of. So off I went across the Sunshine Skyway bridge, up 75, off on 41 and up to Cockroach Bay Preserve, and as part of that the Aquatic Preserve. This particular trail is rated as a Class C, primitive trail with a 2, or [More]

Back Out On The Trails

  • 4:44 am Monday, January 22nd, 2018 by Ann Kelly

One of the nice things about the Hillsborough County Hiking Spree is finding those lovely little neighborhood parks with a playground for the kids, a solid walking trails and all right down the road from your house. Branchton Park on Morris Bridge Road in Thonotosassa is one of those. It’s in a great area that a lot of hikers and bikers already frequent but I liked it since it was less crowded the morning I dropped by. It was one of those very cool mornings, so that made for a brisk walk! So right now I’m up to [More]

Suncoast Animal League Puppy Bowl Bound

  • 7:50 am Saturday, January 6th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

With my schedule I always see more of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet than the actual big game. This year it’s very big and exciting news for the Suncoast Animal League as two of their puppies will be on the Puppy Bowl team! Executive Director Rick Chaboudy made the official announcement earlier this week:

“The Suncoast Animal League is pawsitively thrilled to announce we have two puppy players in this year’s PUPPY BOWL XIV. The cutest competition in sports history airs Sunday, February 4th at 3:00pm on Animal Planet. Kelly Barkson and Henry storm the GEICO gridiron and make the cutest [More]

Bear Aware

  • 4:17 pm Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 by Ann Kelly

There are certain things that get my attention on Ann-Ventures. Great views, beautiful sunrises….and signs warning of bears. You don’t have to go that far outside of the Bay area for that. But it is the first time I’ve seen that sign in Colt Creek State Park off SR 471 in Lakeland. Oh it’s a beautiful park with great trails but since I was a) on my own, and b) without bear spray the wiser choice was to stay close to path around Mac Lake and not venture out too far.

But it’s a beautiful park with equestrian trails, campsites, [More]

Will A New Year Bring A New Me?

  • 8:23 am Monday, January 1st, 2018 by Ann Kelly

So how are those resolutions going? I wasn’t going to make any but after a couple of less than stellar flights home I did. I saw a man wallop a woman right in the head with his carry on in the mad rush to leave one flight and barely apologize, then refused to give her his name and address and told her “the airline would take care of it.” No, the airline is about to take care of you, sir. Then as I was enjoying a nice approach to Tampa International Airport at sunset a women sitting next to me [More]

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