After multiple stays in the hospital, a local 15-year-old girl has used her experience to recognize a need of others. While at the hospital, Caitlin Shannon found herself dreading long days in the hospital awaiting tests and procedures and thought that many other children in her position, or worse, may experience the same feeling. When thinking about her experience, Caitlin, the oldest of four siblings, says, “When I was 13, I was in and out of the hospital and surgery centers for two years. It gave me an amazing outlook.”
The ToyMakers of East Lake are group of jolly elves of all ages that work together year round in their toyshop. Why? For the same reason that Santa’s elves do their work; the happy smile of a child. Of course, the ToyMakers of East Lake focus on children who may need a smile more than the average bear. They make and donate their handmade wooden toys to hospitals, fire stations and clinics all over Tampa Bay.
Congratulations to 15-year-old Emma Meyers, who will be representing the United States and Florida as a member of the United States Tap Dance Team. Emma, a tenth grade student at J.W. Mitchell High School, auditioned for the team and was the only tapper from Florida to make the 2015 USA Tap Dance Team. Emma will travel with the team to Riesa, Germany to compete at the World Tap Championships this December. The team boasts dancers from a dozen different states. The dancers will represent the United States at the competition, which also is known as the “Olympics of Tap Dance.” The International Dance Organization (IDO) sponsors the event.