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From the Desktop

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer In a blink of an eye, your kids will probably be all grown up and taller than you. Many of you remember my daughter, More »

Brighten Your Day with a Delicious Cake!

Brighten Your Day with a Delicious Cake!

by Trish Utter No bakery is complete without its cakes. Although Hitchcock’s has a few on display, they offer many more. They have design books to look through for ideas or bring More »

Hitchcock’s, Raising Money for Local Charities

Hitchcock’s, Raising Money for Local Charities

Hitchcock’s held its Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Ironwood Golf Course. Over $30,000 was raised for MDA and local charities. Golfers enjoyed a barbecue lunch and many prizes and awards. More »

Be prepared for the upcoming Florida Summer!

Be prepared for the upcoming Florida Summer!

– Knowledge is Power! by Christopher J. Balamucki, MD Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 5.4 million cases diagnosed in over 3.3 More »

Weekend Celebration at Disney

Weekend Celebration at Disney

by Trish Utter My son, Colt, celebrated his 21st birthday at … Disney! I cannot believe that here we were celebrating my son’s 21st, when it seems like yesterday he was at More »

Local Celebrity Spotlight – Robert A. Rush, PA

Local Celebrity Spotlight – Robert A. Rush, PA

Robert A. Rush is one of only four attorneys in the State of Florida who has been designated an expert in both Civil and Criminal law, but you probably don’t know that More »

Those Who Help Others Sometimes Need a little Help Themselves

Those Who Help Others Sometimes Need a little Help Themselves

by Trish Utter I have known the founders of Gentle Carousel, Jorge and Debbie Garcia-Bengochea, for years. Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is an award winning, all volunteer 501(c)(3) charity. They travel More »

Bosshardt Realty – 30 Years of serving Gainesville

Bosshardt Realty – 30 Years of serving Gainesville

March 15, 2017, marked the 30th Anniversary for Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC. Carol Bosshardt, owner and founder of the company, opened her brokerage with one simple philosophy – take care of the More »

America’s Most Jaw Dropping Piece of Real Estate

America’s Most Jaw Dropping Piece of Real Estate

The mountain air is fresh in Ashville, North Carolina. The huge, beautiful trees sweep across the 3-mile driveway. The winding narrow approach road gives visitors time to sit and relax, but wonder More »


Let Them Eat Cake!!!!

Let-Them-Eat-Cake1The Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs devoted the month of October to raise money and awareness for a cure for breast cancer. The Great Outdoors donated all proceeds from a very special desert, a Five Layer Strawberry Pink Cake and raised over $3,000.00! One might ask what makes this dessert so special. Well, it is made by the restaurants’ very own Pastry Chef, Aunt Jean, who is a breast cancer survivor. Jene LeDew, or better known by all that love her as, “Aunt Jene,” was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer more than a year ago. After an uphill battle of surgery and chemotherapy, Aunt Jene is ecstatic to say, “Today, I am Cancer Free!”

“Going Pink” to support the cure for breast cancer is a yearly event at The Great Outdoors. This year it just seemed like a great idea to go pink and prepare Pink Cakes! From the moment the staff introduced our guests to the five layer delight, this heavenly treat took off as one of our best desserts ever. Brittany Bouchard, a server at the restaurant, sold over 100 servings! All told, the restaurant sold over 456 slices…WOW!

If you missed out on this October treat don’t worry, you will not have to wait until next year to indulge in this very special treat. Aunt Jene is now baking full time for the Great Outdoors Restaurant. If you stop by this Holiday season be sure to try her Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake, it is divine!

Cutting-Edge Technology

by Dr. Allison Grow

CuttingEdgeWhen you have a good relationship with your oncologist, you know you’ll be listened to, taken seriously, and given personalized care—and you know when those things are missing. But with medicine being so technical and complex, how do you know your care is state of the art? Radiation oncology is a highly technology-dependent field, and the very best is available to you here in Gainesville.

Improvements in radiotherapy technologies should make your treatment easier (by reducing side effects and/or shortening treatment times), more accurate and reproducible (by daily image guidance to ensure precise positioning and targeting), and more effective (by enabling higher doses to be delivered safely).

Side effects of radiotherapy are caused by radiation dose to normal tissues near the tumor—minimize those doses, and you reduce the side effects. Our machines do this by using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)–multiple beams all perfectly matched to the profile of the tumor from multiple different angles. The Varian RapidArc machine delivers radiation continuously in a 360-degree arc all the way around the patient, continuously adjusting the beam profile to match the tumor as it travels. They also use motion compensation—making sure that each beam is able to follow the motion of tumors which move in the body, for example with respiration. Our CyberKnife can track the motion of tumors in real time during treatment, so that each beam moves in perfect coordination with the patient’s normal breathing, and much less surrounding normal lung tissue receives radiation.

Cutting-Edge2More and more patients are being treated over shorter time periods, using techniques called brachytherapy and radiosurgery (also called SBRT—stereotactic body radiotherapy). With brachytherapy, radiation sources are placed directly into the tumor tissue needing treatment. Our brachytherapy technologies include radioactive seed implants for prostate cancer (single outpatient surgical procedure), and special applicators used for cancers of the uterus (3-5 brief sessions), cervix (5 sessions), and breast (10 sessions over 5 days). Our CyberKnife, designed from the ground up as a dedicated radiosurgery machine, can treat tumors literally anywhere in the body in 1-5 sessions, completely noninvasively. It is used for lesions in the brain, spine, lungs, liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, prostate, and elsewhere. With very high doses per session, relief of symptomatic lesions is often very quick, even the first day.

Radiation oncology is a highly
technology-dependent field,
and the very best is available
to you here in Gainesville.

Our machines use image guidance every day prior to treatment, and sometimes multiple times throughout a treatment (the CyberKnife checks continuously). This means that the patient’s anatomy is checked every day by X-ray or CT, to confirm that positioning is perfect and beam targeting is precise—so we never miss! The CyberKnife uses real-time motion tracking for tumors that move with breathing.

All of these technologies result in a higher chance of controlling a tumor—because lower normal tissue doses and better targeting mean that MORE dose can be safely given to tumors. For many types of cancer, this dose escalation has been shown to improve cure rates—and for you, getting that cure is the whole point. We hope you don’t need us, or our machines—but if you do, we’re ready to explain which technology will work most in your favor, and to make sure you get the maximum results for the minimum time spent away from what you love.

Oasis in the middle of Tourist Town

by Trish Utter

Oasis1Shopping in Orlando and visiting Disney can leave you exhausted and wanting sanctuary. It is a pleasant surprise to find a hotel that offers the weary visitor a place to recharge that is conveniently located within 5 minutes of the main gate to Disney and the Outlet Malls and offers a tranquil refuge for visitors.

The Bohemian Hotel is in the heart of Celebration Town Center and sits on the edge of the water. Celebration is a neighborhood of single family homes, unique retail stores, restaurants and cafes that have all been beautifully designed. This is an oasis in the heart of tourist town that only locals seem to know about. You can sit outside with a cup of coffee on one of the quiet little streets and watch the horse drawn carriage go by as it takes people for tours of the neighborhood.

Oasis2On arrival guests are greeted by the doorman. The lobby of the hotel is a work of art but then that is what you expect from one of the Kessler Collection properties. The rustic furniture, mixed in with glittering chandeliers is a sight for the senses.

The hotel gives you the feeling of being in a fabulous upscale, grand home of a movie star, more than a soulless building. Rooms are comfortable with Bose stereo, along with the Kessler CD, luxury linens and beds that are so comfortable you might end up wondering how you can get one to take home.

You can enjoy a martini out by the pool that overlooks the lake or dine in the intimate and sophisticated Lakeside Bar + Grill.

This is a great place to relax and get away from Orlando’s hopping tourist area and rates are surprisingly affordable.


Local Cancer Survivors

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Local-Cancer-Survivors1Storm Roberts

Storm Roberts of the WKTK-FM, Morning Show, is on of the best known voices Gainesville. In his words, Storm shares shares his life with his listeners and on social media. And that sharing took a whole new turn when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Local-Cancer-Survivors2Kim Bosshardt

Kim Bosshardt’s family means everything to her. Not long after the birth of her third child, she learned she had breast cancer. Kim turned her passion for her family into strength and spirit to help her beat her disease. She also turned to The Cancer Center and Dr. Cherylle

Hayes. Now, years after her diagnosis, Kim has returned to her life with empowerment, dynamism and quality.

Local-Cancer-Survivors3Caren Gorenberg

Caren Gorenberg is on a journey! With advanced stage disease, she is frustrated that the nation’s biggest cancer killer does not receive top research dollars. In 2010, Caren began an annual 5-K event that started at The Cancer Center and ended at the Duck Pond at North Florida Regional Medical Center. Funds raised went to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation for lung cancer research. According to Mrs. Gorenberg, “To date the Gainesville Run Amuck event has raised over 300K.” Mrs. Gorenberg asks that everyone join her in March, 2016 for the annual event! Caren has an amazing spirit and sense of humor. She calls her event Run Amuck with the Duck. The namesake for the event is a small stuffed duck who has accompanied her.



Recipes by Chef Taylor Dukes,
Great Outdoors Restaurant

Bread-Pudding2Bread Pudding

Step 1 – Core and peal 1 medium size pumpkin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place on a baking tray with a few pats of butter and roast in an oven at 350°Ffor 40 minutes or until soft… Let cool…Puree

Step 2 – In a mixing bowl whisk 1 dozen eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 quart heavy cream. Incorporate 1 loaf Challah bread (or any other bread) as well as the pumpkin. Make the mixture an even texture and pour into a 10 x10 buttered baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Put the pan into a larger pan filled with 1 inch of water, being careful that the water does not spill into the pudding. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour until edges are slightly brown.


Step 1 – Use same procedure for the pumpkin as above. Place pumpkin into a pot with 1 quart heavy cream and 1 quart chicken stock. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and bring to a boil.

Step 2 – Remove from stove and add 1/2 a stick of butter and blend until texture is smooth. Garnish with nutmeg if desired and serve.

Making a Difference to So Many

by Ruth Ward

Making-a-Difference3Karen and Lee Reed live in beautiful downtown Alachua. It may seem that they live an ordinary life but one look at their travel photos will give you an idea of how these two people have helped so many overseas. Karen works at the University of Florida where she is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing. Her unique international experience gives her students a different perspective on challenges in other parts of the world.

Why did you both fall in love with the work you were doing and the country you were in?

It was a dare! We went to Vietnam and Cambodia on a mission trip with Lee’s father. We were vetting one another to see if we really did enjoy traveling and possibly working in an international setting.

From the time I first landed in Cambodia, I knew I would return. The needs are overwhelming and I knew that my skill set could be quite useful there. However, the challenges are many. There are no nursing textbooks in their language which isolates them from the health care information we take for granted in the US. That means I need to be in-country, working with nursing faculty and students, helping them gain the skill set and knowledge necessary for THEM to make the long-term differences needed in their country. While I worked my husband Lee taught English as a second language and found he loved it.

Why did you apply for the U.S. Fulbright Scholars grant?

Karen’s passion is nursing education, particularly in Cambodia. She has been teaching during working “vacations” since 2005.

The U.S. Fulbright program is the only grant funded program available to support educators like me with a heart for international education in their areas of specialty. Cambodia had never had a nurse apply before and I wanted to show the Cambodian Ministry of Health and the U.S. State Department what a nursing professor can accomplish when given the opportunity to do so. I will say that everyone was quite happy with the outcomes.

Making-a-Difference2How long was the trip to Cambodia?

When we are lucky, we are able to make it three flights (the longest being 13 hours) and total travel time typically runs 27-32 hours. Unfortunately, this summer I was stuck with four flights and it took me 40 hours to get home!

What were your accommodations like? In a house or condo comparable to the US or was it different and in what way?

The grant provided a nice living allowance so that individuals who are not comfortable living in a home can afford a hotel for their entire stay but we wanted to engage with our neighbors and live as ex-pats while there. So, we were quite fortunate to find a home that was reasonably furnished and then we had some pieces made (something you can do quite cheaply over there) and with a mammoth shopping list in hand, we went to the local shops and stalls outfitting the house with what we needed to live. While our house was much larger than we needed (four bedrooms), we used our home to “adopt” backpackers coming through the area and to provide a comfortable getaway for aid workers, who live in much humbler circumstances. A hot meal, hot water shower and a soft bed was a welcome reprieve for many. Last year, we received holiday greetings from multiple countries from young people we had stay with us while we were in Cambodia.

What did you learn from your students?

I love my Cambodian students to pieces. I cannot say that I learned any one thing but that I continued to grow as an educator and as a nurse which in turn allows me to be a better nurse and educator here at home. My Cambodian students keep me on my toes. They are insatiable for information and are keen to understand and I must present them with information in a manner that they can find useful and relevant.

Making-a-Difference1What is the most memorable experience you had while over there?

The first course that I taught at the nursing school in 2013 was gerontology. I shall never forget a student shyly asking me, “Do wrinkles hurt?” You see, 70% of Cambodia is under age 30 as a result of the massive genocide in the 1970’s by the Khmer Rouge. As a result, the age of the population is skewed. These young people do not know what normal aging is all about or the role grandparents play in keeping the stories of families and societies alive. I am a grandmother; both here and in Cambodia. I have my children here in the US and I have my “children of the heart” over there.

How have you helped the people there?

Teaching nursing in Cambodia is a labor of love. I quickly become soaked with perspiration, the bathroom facilities are pretty non-existent, the bugs are pesky and my brain feels fried by 10:30AM trying to come up with culturally appropriate examples of concepts I am teaching. But I would not trade it for the world. I know I am appreciated here, but I also know that there are many wonderful faculties at UF teaching nursing students. In Cambodia, I taught 500 students during the 10 months of my Fulbright experience and those 500 young nurses and midwives will care for close to 10 million people across their collective careers. That is an impact worth living for.

Making-a-Difference4Do you hope to go back and if so when?

I have made six trips there over the last 10 years and summer 2015, I was only able to be there for two weeks. That did it for me. I have requested and been approved to go to a 9 month teaching contract so that I can annually spend all summer in Cambodia. The goal is to be there 12 weeks each summer and in about 14 years, retire there.

Local Celebrity Spotlight: John Spence

spenceAre you from Gainesville? If not where and why did you move here?

I was born and raised in South Miami, I am a fifth-generation Floridian, I moved to Gainesville in 1984 to go to Santa Fe College and then the University of Florida. I graduated from UF in 1989 from the College of Journalism and Communications with a degree in Public Relations.

How do you relax?

Fly fishing, typically for freshwater trout in Colorado or New Zealand – My wife, Sheila and I also have a boat that we take to Cedar Key and Steinhatchee quite often. I also like to garden and I’m learning to paint landscapes and painting with acrylics.

Do you have pets?

We have an absolutely wonderful Vizsla named Suri – which is short for “surrender” because we surrendered our heart, our wallet and our yard to her. She’s a show dog and a national level champion. She is the smartest and sweetest dog we’ve ever owned.

What gadget and/or app can’t you live without?

The voice recognition software called Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I use it to dictate all of my memos, emails and the last three books I’ve written…or spoken.

What don’t we know about you?

My mother was one of the top lady anglers in the world. She caught the first 500 pound blue Marlin in Key West after Hemingway and was the Commodore Bimini.

What is in your fridge?

Fresh vegetables from our yard, fresh eggs from her next-door neighbor’s chickens, and Noosa yogurt from Australia……. it is so delicious.

What has your best financial investment been?

In self-learning… books, audiobooks, and seminars – anything and everything that would help me improve in my business and life.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“You become what you focus on and similar to the people you spend time with” – John Spence

Who inspired you as a child?

Leonardo da Vinci – his work still inspires me.

What is your favorite thing to do in Gainesville?

Go to the downtown art shows or events at the Phillips Center and Santa Fe College.

What type of music do you listen to?

I mostly listen to books and news, but acoustic guitar and jazz are my favorite types of music.

What is your favorite movie?

Monty Python’s quest for the Holy Grail – I have it completely memorized.

What drives you crazy?

People who do not do what they say they will do.

What is your favorite meal?

Grilled steak with baked potato and garlic spinach.

Where is your favorite beach and why?

The beach on the east side of Bimini, I spent a lot of summers there and it’s never crowded.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

I worked as a mate on a charter boat in the keys, and I learned the importance of customer service. It was a menial job, cleaning toilets, cleaning up the boat, bringing food to the customers and I learned that if you treated them great, even if we didn’t catch fish they had a good time.

What was your first car and what do you drive now?

A black Ford Bronco and now I drive a Chevy Tahoe – I’ve always driven trucks my entire life.

Lumberjacks, Moonshine and Mountains

by Trish Utter

Lumberjacks,-Moonshine,-MountainsAre you longing to see the autumn colors, cool brisk air and the smell of the Holidays?

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are set high in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The drive into this area is breathtaking with mountains, log cabins and lots of wildlife.

This is a destination for great family gatherings as it has something for everyone, from the glitzy tourist attractions to the untamed beauty of nature. Hotels and log cabin rentals are all around. On one side of the Smokies is Gatlinburg and on the other is Pigeon Forge. You can easily travel between both towns, however, there is so much to do that you may want to plan several trips. I traveled there with my two teens, Colt and Brooke and found that even my hard-to-please teens were enjoying themselves.

Lumberjacks,-Moonshine,-Mountains2Pigeon Forge Lumberjack Feud:
This dinner show is top notch….…pun intended! One of the best dinner shows we have ever seen. Real lumberjack athletes from ESPN showcase their skills…..and believe me the girls in the audience noticed their every move. The show captures the history of logging in the area before the Smokies was declared a National Park. We marveled at the shear strength of the Lumberjacks as they climbed to the top of large logs chopping the tops off, stood on floating timbers and wielded their chain-saws. There is also singing and dancing. We all adored the Timberdogs. These specially trained dogs compete worldwide and here you get a close up view of how talented they are. Leaping into water and racing back with decoys. The show even has horses on stage! Oh, and the food! Guests enjoy a half roast chicken meal, enough for any hungry lumberjack! Great value, great show and top on our list. Check out their Holiday Show.

Gatlinburg A Walk in the Woods:
This was a highlight of my trip to Gatlinburg. A true vision of what this area is all about. We were lead on a trail that starts right in the middle of Gatlinburg’s busiest tourist area. I could not understand why our guide, Erik Plakanis was meeting us at such a touristy place. We followed him across a busy street and then into…….. a forest! Erik took us for a leisurely stroll down by a wide picturesque river. The scenery looked as if it was from a story book. Beautiful round boulders dotted the water. He stopped and pointed out leaves and their medicinal use and showed us mushrooms that were edible. Our guide even had leaves and things for us to taste. One leaf tasted just like spearmint chewing gum. We came across a pile of small white glittering rocks that was quartz. There are many trails that you can go on, some are good for small children, others for those that are more adventurous and they even have a pet friendly trail. Without our guide we would have walked right past all the amazing natural things and we certainly would never have thought that there would have been a wilderness trail right in downtown Gatlinburg. 865-436-8283

GatliLumberjacks,-Moonshine,-Mountains3nburg Sky Lift: You cannot enjoy the beauty and scale of the Great Smokey Mountains without a trip to the top of them in the Sky Lift. Grab a cup of coffee and relax as you ascend and make sure you take lots of breathtaking photos. Sunsets from here are spectacular. At the top is a gift and snack shop with picnic tables. After dark you will see Gatlinburg ablaze with twinkling lights. www.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum: This is a large collection of cars that are mainly the creation of George Barris, who made these vehicles for TV shows and movies. Knight Rider, General Lee, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and my favorite, the Batmobile.

Circus Golf in Blacklight 3D: I am not a putt-putt kinda girl but we had fun in this place. The 18 hole course is beautifully painted with a circus theme, clean and inexpensive. My teens had a blast and we all laughed our heads off. 865-436- 4415

A Brit of Magic: It was good to sit down and put our feet up for a laugh with British magician and comedian, Keith Fields. His tongue-in -cheek humor is suitable for everyone. This small venue gives you a close up personal show. My son, Colt, was called up to the stage to help with one of the many magic tricks. www.KeithFields. com 888-482-3330

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: In Florida we see a lot of marine life…but not like this! Many say it is the best aquarium they have ever seen and tourists from all over the world descend on this special place. Large exhibits are done in natural settings. The gigantic shark Lagoon is so vast that you stand on a moving walkway while sharks and stingrays glide overhead. 865-436-5096

Lumberjacks,-Moonshine,-Mountains4Pancake Pantry: You know it’s good when the locals eat there. It’s been open since 1960. Meals are very large and good for splitting with family. They specialize in exotic style pancakes such as Orange-Walnut, Red-Raspberry Crepes and Apricot-Lemon Delight to gourmet sandwiches like the Dutch Diplomat and homemade soups. We had so much food that we could not even see one bit of the table. Get there early as lines are long and bring cash as that is the only form of payment they accept.

We are excited to let you know that the owners of the Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs, FL, will be opening a huge resort in Gatlinburg in 2017 called, Anakeesta(TM). Anakeesta is a Cherokee word that translates to ‘place of the balsams’ or ‘place of high ground’. It is also a recognizable geographic feature found throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This ambitious project will feature a 105 room hotel, restaurants, shopping, zip lining and craft stores. There will also be a Chondola. This aerial lift is comprised of both quad chairs and gondola cabins. The resort has a website that you can visit now. 800-588-1817 888-402-2390