StrawBerry Ridge is an adult, gated community located in Valrico, FL. There are 867 homes in The Ridge. The community boasts indoor and outdoor pools, spas, a brand new Fitness Center, Activity Center, and Clubhouse. There are tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, a ceramics shop and a woodshop. In addition to all the various activities, there is also a library and billiards room on premises. StrawBerry Ridge has so much to offer. Why would you want to live anywhere else!
SANDY NITCH TICKET SALES AT HOA OFFICE
The HOA Office will open on the following days so you may come in and purchase your tickets 10 AM to 1 PM. The tickets are $7.00 each.
Mondays – 1/25; 2/1; 2/8
Wednesdays – 1/27; 2/3; 2/10
Tickets will also be available before Wednesday night Bingo or you can call Rose Panella 662-9862 or Jean Di Beneditto 438-5166
In addition, there are many activities/events that take place every week, and there is also a nice library, puzzle closet, etc. for your use. Check the SR calendar (link below) on the Blog for additional information. Don't forget the Fitness Center, Wood Shop, and Ceramics Shop and the Pools. Check the Toppings, the Blogs, Bulletin Boards, and the Community Channel for more info.
By: Teresa Fuller, Manager FROM THE MANAGER’S DESK
Happy Valentine’s Day!
As most of you know, John Gill, our resident maintenance supervisor retired in January after over 17 years of service. John worked tirelessly to maintain our community and will be missed. Albert Talavera joined the staff in June 2015 and worked closely with John to ensure a smooth transition. When you see him out in the community be sure and say hello!
For our residents with four legged friends, please be sure and keep your pet off other resident lawns when you are walking them. There are common areas in the community that will allow you to let them relieve themselves, but be sure to pick up after them in those areas as well.
Pets are acceptable to Management provided they are leashed and attended when outside and confined to your location and common ground areas of the Community. No pet is to be left outside tethered and unattended. Pet droppings are not permitted anywhere within the Community and therefore, you must clean up after your pet. Any resident may be required to permanently remove a pet from the Community, if in the sole discretion of Management, the pet constitutes a nuisance or if this provision is violated
Membership fees are $6.00 for 1 year and $15.00 for 3 years. Memberships run from April 1 thru March 31 of the following year
Applications for joining can be
dropped off at the Homeowner’s Office which is in the Activity
Center. If the office is closed, please use the slot in the door to drop off. If you are a current member, please enclose your current
membership card if you wish to have that updated. THE DEADLINE FOR RENEWING OR JOINING IS JANUARY 31st IF YOU WANT TO VOTE IN THE ELECTION IN MARCH!
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles places a high
value on customer service. They provide a convenient method to renew
a driver license, obtain a replacement driver license, change a name
or address on a driver license, get an identification card, renew a
vehicle registration and purchase a specialty license plate. They
also offer the Department’s critical safety services such as
emergency contact information registration and safety campaigns.
Board elections will take place at the March SRHA meeting. Below is information about the four individuals who are running for the three available Board seats. Dee Costoso - I have lived at the Ridge for three years. I co-chair Bingo on Wednesday nights and I also volunteer for community activities and cleanup. I retired from banking, where I worked in customer service. My hobbies are jewelry making and interior design. I look forward to continue volunteering my time in the Strawberry Ridge Community. Sharon Hurley - I have lived here since 2009, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2013. I have served as President since mid-2013. I believe that as a Director, it is my responsibility to provide services for residents of SR (Flu Clinic, Fl. Licensing on Wheels, Golf Cart/Bicycle Registration and the Senior Nutrition Program: provide programs of social events for residents (Elvis, Cliff Ritchie, Halloween Party, New Year’s Eve party and holiday dinners and picnics;) and to liaison with Management to maintain and improve our quality of life here at the Ridge. I retired from New York State Office of Mental Health where I worked for 33 years as a therapist and Mental Health Administrator.
Rose Panella - I have lived here since 2005. Prior to joining the Board, I volunteered my time doing membership for the Association, but had to stop due to working full time. I have since retired and was appointed treasurer of the Association, and have held this position since April 2014. My bookkeeping background consists of having worked in the auditing department of Sears and as bookkeeper and teller for a bank, both in Newburgh, NY. Since being appointed treasurer, I devote my time to keeping the Homeowner’s Association’s finances current and I also am back doing membership. Norma Torres - A native New Yorker I have been in the Tampa area since 2005 and at the Ridge since August 2015. I have worked at several Arts Services Organizations and Museums developing community arts projects such as Artist-Adopt-a-School, murals and arts studios. During my 20 years of service for New York City and State I established measurable standards performance for NY City Arts groups, evaluated groups against said standards both performance and fiscal, operated 758 Cultural Complex which included staffing, maintaining records, instructional classes and special events such as concerts , annual events and festivals. Since moving to Florida I have acquired a 20/40 Personal Lines License and worked at Progressive Insurance as Bilingual agent. I enjoy planning events, various forms of crafting, and baking.
If you have cable tv with Bright House, you can receive the StrawBerry Ridge Community Channel. There is much useful information for all the residents on the Community Channel. Why not take 20 minutes and sit down and relax and watch the whole thing scroll. It is updated regularly for you, so be sure to check it often. If you have an analog tv, you will find it on channel 95. If you have a digital box, you will find it on channel 98-1. (Some tv's have analog tuner AND digital tuner, then you will have both 95 and 98-1.) And if you are using a hi-def tv with a smartbox (or dvr,) it will be on channel 732. The Community Channel can also be accessed from the Blog (at the top of the right sidebar.)
"All in Stitches" Quilters are working on quilts and mattresses for the cradles the Woodshop is making for their Christmas toy gifts. The Quilters meet on Tuesday night in the back room at the Activity Center from 6:00 to 9:00PM. New people are always welcome!
Soliciting is NOT allowed in StrawBerry Ridge. If someone comes to your door that you do not do business with, DO NOT allow them inside your home. Inform them that soliciting is not allowed and that you are calling the office to report them. Then call the SR Sales Office and report this immediately. Keep your doors locked at all times.
There are always many wonderful things going on in StrawBerry Ridge. And it’s easy to keep informed on it all. Here are a few to mention: There is a great Phone Directory that is updated every year. It contains all kinds of useful information…a listing of all the residents and their phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. You will also find contact info for the Sales Office, the Homeowners Association, and a listing of all the clubs and activities along with contact info. The phone directory is free to all residents. If you don't have one, call Carol Tate at 643-1015, and she will get one to you. The StrawberryToppings is distributed to each home by the 1st of each month. It contains all the recent announcements and news about all the activities and the community. Do use it for reference throughout the month. If you have articles for the Toppings, you can send them to Bob Burfitt, Editor, at email@example.com. If you are having problems getting one delivered to your home, contact Amy or Fred Lumpkins at 502-5008. If you have a computer, you can check the StrawBerry Ridge Blog every day at http://strawberryridge.blogspot.com/. There are also blogs for Computer Club, Travel Club, Toppings, the Veterans Club, SR Bulletin Board, and the Homeowner’s Association which are listed on the sidebar. You will find information for the activities, events calendar, and many more things on the blogs. Articles and pictures for the Blogs can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris Ritter at 654-2940. If you are on Facebook, search for “StrawBerry Ridge Activities” and LIKE US to see the latest community activity and information in your news feed. You can also see many StrawBerry Ridge videos on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/SRActivities. If you have Bright House Cable, you can watch the Community Channel on channel 95, 98-1, or 732 depending on your tv tuner. If you don’t have cable, you can see the community channel at the top of the StrawBerry Ridge Blog on the sidebar. In addition, there are Bulletin Boards in various locations around StrawBerry Ridge and at the Hwy. 60 entrance. There is no reason to be uninformed at the Ridge!
Did you know that there is an electronic bulletin board for residents to use free of charge? Whether you are looking for something to buy, have something to sell, or are looking for a handyman to help you, you might find it there. The more people that use it, the more useful it will be. Why not check it out.... http://strawberryridgebulletinboard.blogspot.com/
The StrawBerry Ridge Blog was born on September 3, 2008 after months of considering different ways to keep the residents and snowbirds updated on Ridge events in between issues of the monthly Strawberry Toppings. After creating a blog listing all the various activities and contact numbers, more things came to mind that could be helpful to residents of StrawBerry Ridge. After seven years, you can see that the Blog has grown to contain so much more than just a listing of activities. StrawBerry Ridge is a wonderful place to live, and the Blog is meant to reflect that. Many thanks to all the residents who have contributed photos, articles, and suggestions. It is much appreciated!
When Christine Ritter sent me an email about her
next-door neighbor's garden with hollyhocks, delphinium, dahlias,
foxgloves and more, I had to go see it. She called it the most
beautiful yard in Strawberry Ridge. I already knew there are many amazing
gardens there. Joyce and John Gill have
lived in Valrico for 17 years. The property was just a
pile of dirt when they came. Joyce had always gardened and done so in five
different zones, but she still had to learn from trial and error. She tried
tulips and they didn't do at all. The peonies she planted came up and died. Now
she is successful with crape myrtles and magnolias.
John is a park maintenance
supervisor who will retire at the end of the year, but he already helps Joyce in
their own garden. There is a preserve behind it, which is a plus for privacy and
a mostly pleasant background, but can be a source of nasty vines like air potato
that cross boundaries. When weeds try to settle in this garden, they don't stay
The front yard and plants
on the porch would be garden enough for many people. Joyce has two great talents
I wish I had: absolute neatness and a flair for garden art. Even the carport is
attractive, with a large jade plant and dried bouquets at the side
Their lot is pie-shaped and
quite large in the back. Strips of white fencing provide a bright background to
some of the flower beds. Sure enough, she had three large pots of foxgloves in
full bloom. She buys them and the delphinium at Kerby's Nursery in Brandon when
they first come in. One summer they lasted until
She has kept
dahlias year-round and has
grown some of the tall ones that have huge blooms, but they were hard to stake.
Now she enjoys the dwarf ones, which require less maintenance. Her hollyhocks
are the Vietnamese kind, and she has both pink and
All of the beds
are neatly edged, some with stone or concrete edgers. And there
are stepping stones or paths for easy access to
every plant. Even the mulches - some stone, some rubber - add to the scene. I
haven't recommended rubber mulch because there has been concern about what it
does to the soil. But it has worked well for the Gills, and it does last much
longer. They say they've had no problems with their
Joyce works in her garden
about 20 hours a week, more if she and John have a weekend project to work on
together. On the side between their home and Christine's, Joyce grows her
orchids through the warm months hanging from a magnolia
She tries to water as much
as she can from her rain barrel. When it's dry, she uses the hose on the shower
setting. She soaks her pots and
simply sprinkles the ground gardens.
She feeds everything with
Miracle-Gro sprayed through the hose. She also spreads Kirby's fertilizer about
three times a year.
Joyce likes gardening for
the peacefulness it gives when she is out there and can forget all things except
what she's doing at the moment - and for the beauty it adds to her
pick is the Hoya
compacta cultivar Krinkle Kurl, commonly called Hindu rope, Indian rope, angel
rope or porcelain flower. This tropical perennial vine grows no more than 6 feet
a year and thrives in sun to partial or light shade. Joyce has a beauty in full
bloom on her screened porch.
This plant needs consistent
watering. You shouldn't let it go dry or over-water it. The flowers are fragrant
and attracts bees, butterflies and birds outdoors. The plant can be multiplied
from green or woody stem cuttings. Like most hoyas, it blooms best if it's pot
time air potato vines
are resurrecting and trying to take over everything. Pull them out whenever you
see them. If you find the little potatoes, put them in the freezer overnight and
that should kill them. They are very rampant, like most weedy vines, but they