ColorOcala Contest

Grab your crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers and cray pas, and join the hot new coloring craze!

Floridians, are you ready to COLOROCALA? Create beautiful art and compete for valuable prizes in Ocala Magazine’s latest big giveaway contest. You could win tickets for four to the Walt Disney World® theme park in Orlando, a family Christmas for four at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, and more. Color us excited!

Our latest contest is specially designed with family fun in mind. With a contest for both children and adults, you and your kids will have plenty to do this summer. And best of all, you can be creative together!

You can always count on Ocala Magazine for the best in news and entertainment, family fun, and fabulous prizes, so let’s get coloring! Show off your artistic side, and you might have a summer you’ll never forget.

Feeling Social?

Visit Ocala Magazine’s Facebook and Instagram pages and Colorala’s Facebook and Instagram pages – and while you’re at it, we hope you’ll Like our pages!

Here’s How You Enter:

You must complete Steps 1 through 4 to qualify for prizes!

  1. Download, print, and color your favorite specially drawn Ocala-themed coloring page from contest sponsor Colorala. (You can download pages as many times as you like.)
  2. Fill out the entry form (below) on the Ocala Magazine website before 6 p.m. Eastern time, July 22, 2016.
  3. Upload a photo of your completed coloring page using the File Upload feature provided on the form.
  4. Post your photo on Facebook OR Instagram before midnight, July 22, 2016. Use the hashtag #ocalamagazinecontest on Facebook OR Instagram in your post. Don’t forget to tag your friends and show off your creative genius!

That’s it. You’ve entered!

Click Each Image to Download a Coloring Page! (PDF Format)

Adult Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page - Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Adult Coloring Page - Silver Springs

Children’s Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Children's Coloring Page - Thoroughbred

Children’s Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Children's Coloring Page - Silver Springs


Entries Are Now Being Judged, Stay Tuned!

Click for Contest Rules

Official Rules

  1. By entering, you agree to abide by The COLOROCALA Official Rules.
  2. All contestants must reside in the state of Florida.
  3. The contest will be administered by contest sponsor 7Hills Communications of Tallahassee, Florida.
  4. Entries must be submitted through the online form located at and all entry requirements must be met before midnight, Friday, July 22, 2016 in order to qualify.
  5. Entries submitted will be screened by 7Hills Communications and/or contest sponsor Colorala of Newport Beach, California, to ensure all entries meet contest requirements.
  6. Ocala Magazine, 7Hills Communications, and Colorala cannot be held responsible for email that is misdirected or undeliverable.
  7. Entries that do not meet all the “Here’s How to Enter” criteria will be disqualified.
  8. 7Hills Communications may, at its sole discretion and depending upon volume of entries, notify contestants whose entries are incorrect and must be resubmitted.
  9. 7Hills Communications will send only properly completed entries to Ocala Magazine.
  10. Completed coloring pages, along with the artist’s name, will be posted on the Ocala Magazine Facebook page and Instagram profile, and the Colorala Instagram profile. If the artist is 12 years of age or younger, the artist’s age also will be published.
  11. Following the conclusion of the contest, a team of fine artists from Colorala will judge the entries and select the winners.
  12. A list of winners will be published on the COLOROCALA Contest official web page, located at; the Ocala Magazine Facebook page; the Ocala Magazine Instagram profile; and the Colorala Color Instagram profile.
  13. Winners must claim their prizes by 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, August 22, 2016. Any prize not claimed by Monday, August 22, 2016 will be awarded to an alternate winner.
  14. Ocala Magazine and/or 7Hills Communications will make every effort to notify winners via email, telephone, or postal mail within the 31-day prize redemption period. Ocala Magazine and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for winners who cannot be located for notification within the prize redemption period.
  15. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications will hold all contestants’ personal information except name, age, and city of residence confidential, and will not reveal said information to any third party unless required by law.
  16. By entering, contestants agree to allow Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications to post their names, ages if applicable, and photographs of their coloring pages to social media.
  17. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish their coloring pages in Ocala Magazine without remuneration. Published entries will be credited.
  18. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish photos of the winners, if applicable, without remuneration.
  19. Anyone employed as a professional artist, or who holds a college or university degree in studio art or graphic design, is not eligible to participate.
  20. Employees of Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications and their families are not eligible to participate.
  21. Each participant may enter the contest only once.
  22. All children 12 years of age or younger in a single family may submit one entry each for the children’s contest.
  23. Only one contestant 13 years of age or older from a single family may submit an entry to the adults’ contest.
  24. Only one prize per family will be awarded.
  25. While we encourage parents and legal guardians to experience the joy of coloring together with their children, contestants 12 years of age or younger must color their own coloring pages without physical assistance from any third party.
  26. All contestants 13 years of age or older must color their own coloring pages without assistance from any third party.
  27. Because children must be 13 years of age or older to have a Facebook or Instagram account, entries from children 12 years of age or younger must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
  28. Entries submitted by children 12 years of age or younger without parental supervision and consent will be disqualified.
  29. Contestants must abide by all Facebook and Instagram rules. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for any adverse decisions made by Facebook or Instagram as a result of a contestant’s violations of their Terms of Service.
  30. Contestants may use crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers, or oil pastels (cray pas) to complete their coloring pages.
  31. Contestants may not use online or electronic coloring apps to complete their pictures. All entries colored with electronic coloring applications will be disqualified.
  32. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the children’s coloring contest.
  33. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the adults’ coloring contest.
  34. Contestants, or the parent or legal guardian of contestants 12 years of age or younger, must pick up prizes by appointment at the offices of Ocala Magazine, located at 743 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, Florida 34471. Ocala Magazine, at its sole discretion, may waive this requirement for winners who are not area residents.
  35. Winners must present a picture ID to receive their prizes.
  36. Ocala Magazine may, at its sole discretion, require a scanned or faxed copy of a picture ID before shipping prizes to winners who are not area residents.
  37. The Children’s Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of the Walt Disney World® theme park.
  38. The Adults’ Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
  39. While we invite contestants to be fans, liking or following any Facebook page or Instagram profile is not required to win a prize.
  40. No purchase is necessary to win a prize.
  41. All judging/winner decisions made by Colorala Color are final.
  42. All contest decisions made by 7Hills Communications are final.
  43. Questions about The COLOROCALA Coloring Contest must be submitted via email to No telephone calls, please.

Playing By Faith

By Joshua Jacobs

Not many musical artist can capture your attention like Ocala’s newest rising star, Hannah Matos. Though she is young, her voice reminds you of a time gone by and her lyrics give you a sense of wonderment and longing that only faith could fulfill.

For someone so young, your voice carries so much weight and timelessness to it. Where does that come from?

I think what influences that is the kind of music I listen to. I listen to so many different styles of music but what attracts me to specific genres or artists is the emotion that is portrayed through their voice, lyrics or melodies. I suppose it’s just natural for me to emulate what inspires me the most.

Where did your passion for music begin? 

In 2008, when I moved to Ocala, I didn’t have many friends and there wasn’t much to do so I picked up the guitar and would try to play all of the songs I listened to. When I started high school, I joined music classes and started developing my passion for singing.

Which artists have influenced you the most as you’ve grown as a musician?

When I first started singing and playing, Colbie Caillat, Kina Grannis, and Sara Bareilles were my biggest inspirations. Throughout the years, my list has expanded to Tori Kelly, JoJo, Catie Turner, Fleetwood Mac, Natalie Grant, and Lauren Daigle.

As amazing as your voice is, your guitar and piano skills are just as impressive! Do you have a favorite instrument?

It’s hard to choose a favorite but I guess I’ll have to go with the bass. I love a good bassline. I wish I would have put more time into learning the bass.

What other instruments can you play? 

Guitar and piano are pretty much the only instruments I play. In high school, I played cello, upright bass, and some percussion but that stayed in high school.

As a songwriter, what do you want to convey with your lyrics?

I really want to write and sing about things that matter. I want to move people with my lyrics and write songs that everyone can relate to on some level.

When writing a song, what comes first for you; melody or words?

Most of the time the melody comes first but sometimes I’ll get an idea of the main lyrics first and base the rest of the song around them.

As a relatively newcomer to the Ocala music scene, what is one thing you hope to see very soon in the community that could help you and others like you grow and flourish?

I would love to see more places that are dedicated to live music for artists to play at rather than just bars and restaurants. Maybe specific events for up and coming artists to share their music. I don’t know a lot about the Ocala music scene, but this is what I have gathered in the time I have been exposed to it.

What attracts you to the lifestyle of a singer/songwriter? 

Honestly, I can’t say the lifestyle itself attracts me. I just realize that God has given me the gift of singing and songwriting, and it is my responsibility to share that with people.

How would you like to use your platform as a musician?

I want to make a difference and not just blend in. With my music, I want to use my talent to build up God’s Kingdom. 

To listen to Hannah’s music follow her on her Instagram account

Viva Havana!

By Benjamin Baugh

It’s a place that offers its patrons the clarity of a Hemmingway novel, whose ambiance makes the diner feel at home and every mouthful of food bursts with a flavorful explosion.

Havana Country Club is located in The Villages in the Village of Hemmingway, creating a dining experience where friends can eat, laugh and discuss the day’s events in an environment that’s welcoming and comfortable.

The restaurant continues to evolve, and its transformation places an emphasis on the customer, welcoming their feedback, by providing meals to satisfy even the most fastidious of palates.

The transformation began over three years ago when Vinny  Issa assumed the role of director of operations. He brings more than four decades of experience in the restaurant industry to Havana Country Club, having specialized in seafood and international cuisine.

Throughout his life, Issa has carried three things: quality, service and clearness. And he treats his employees the way he wishes to be treated, with all of those variables being found at Havana.

It’s that camaraderie between the employees that makes them seem more like family than professional colleagues nd resonates with diners, making the restaurant feel like home. The relaxed atmosphere sets a tone creating an experience that will make the diner want to return routinely. Some of the patrons can be seen dining at Havana twice a day, six times a week, said Issa.

As director of operations, Issa works closely with the restaurant’s chef Matthew Street, and their outstanding rapport has been critical to the restaurant’s success. It’s that communication that makes a difference, understanding what the patron likes to eat and what the food should taste like.

The cuisine itself is evocative of a different era, a familiar one, with Issa placing an emphasis on his experience, with many of the savory plates being found on menus from the 1970s.

“The customers love it because they’re mostly my age,” said Issa, whose sense of humor and warmth, add to the overall dining experience.

The interior of the restaurant is spacious and welcoming, featuring tasteful décor and an oval-shaped bar. The customers are familiar with one another creating a pleasant atmosphere.

“We have elite bartenders and service,” said Issa. “They’ve been with me since day one, and they’re not going anywhere.”

Many diners choose to sit outside so they can enjoy the idyllic environment that surrounds Havana, and its ingenuous nature accents the restaurant’s beauty. Live entertainment in the breezeway underscores the restaurant’s commitment to making the customer happy.

“We do whatever it takes to bring them in,” said Issa.

Havana has a diverse number of menu options. It’s lobster night on Mondays; Italian night (arguably the most popular) on Tuesdays; seafood nights Wednesday and Friday. On Thursdays, patrons can enjoy prime rib. Saturday is the catch and cut of the day, and customers can enjoy specials seven days a week, said Issa.  The menu changes every few months.

Chef Matthew Street boasts that every item on the menu, appetizers included, is prepared from scratch. Havana’s diversity in its offerings provides entrees not found anywhere else in the area, creating a ‘wow’ factor with distinctive and singing flavors.

Street, who has been a chef for 15 years, puts his own spin on Issa’s classics, creating a dynamic that’s funky and different. Street’s presentations make each entrée as visually appealing as they are delicious.

“We have stuffed flounder on the menu, and stuffed flounder has been around since Vinny’s been around,” said Street. “What I do is stuff it with crab, shrimp, spinach, a lot of different flavors. I put a spinach cream sauce on it, so it has a vibrant, bright greenness to it. It really pops out when you see it. The customers know it’s going to be good.”

The Korean Tacos and Shrimp Francese are two entrees that are worthy of return visits, making dining a memorable experience that will resonate long after a customer leaves the table.

“I think a reason that we have a lot of success here is that we put a lot of heart into this place,” said Street. “We love seeing it grow. We love seeing the business thrive. I go out and touch tables, and hear from the customers that the meal is fantastic, and that’s exactly what I do it for. That’s why I love doing it.”

The Korean Steak Tacos, are made from 34-day aged prime rib, cooked and roasted in the oven and shaved very thin before entering the honey-soy marination process which lasts 24-48 hours. The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth. Havana serves the steak in tortillas, which are accented by red cabbage, green scallions, sriracha and sesame seeds.

“I use to run these (Korean Tacos) as a lunch special,” said Street. “It wasn’t on my menu, but every time I ran it as a lunch special, I’d sell like 50 at a time. The next time the menu change came about, I was like, ‘I’m going to put them on there.’ They fly.”

Havana is open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  It’s located at 2484 Odell Circle in The Villages. For more information, call 352-430-3200 or you can access their website at

Super Bowls

By Robin Fannon of RSVP Robin

Eating a healthy diet during this historic worldwide health crisis is of the upmost importance. We are so blessed to live in a country where, even in the direst of situations, we have an abundance of fresh food available. I have long been an advocate of preparing the majority of meals at home, thereby limiting the amount of fast food consumed by the family. Flooding our bodies with nutrients, and in particular antioxidants, helps to boost our immune systems to ward off influenza and viruses. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best (and most delicious) way to accomplish this.

Buddha and smoothie bowls are a great way to up your essential nutrients game. Not only are they packed with delicious fiber and antioxidants, they are also fun and delicious! It’s a creative way to reinvent leftovers for a new and exciting meal. Get the kids involved and let them personalize and create their own bowls. If you enjoy having a morning smoothie like I do, smoothie fatigue can set in. Smoothie bowls are a great alternative and can actually fill you up for several hours.  Regardless of whether you are vegetarian, vegan or on a high protein plan, you can incorporate all your favorites. Here is a basic guideline of ingredients to try.


Saddle Up!

By Benjamin Baugh

Saddles have evolved over time, from a simple design to its sophisticated present state. Its importance can’t be understated and can play an integral role in a horse’s performance and a rider’s position.

Customization, repair and individuality are important components for those participating in equestrian sport, recreational riding and the extreme conditions one encounters when working on a farm.

In Ocala, there is a workshop dedicated toward horsemen and specializing in custom and repair work, and building and making saddles.

Tack Shack of Ocala has been a staple in the area for more than 30 years and has adjusted and changed with the times to accommodate horsemen and their particular needs. The place is renowned for its Famous Horsey Yard Sale and being the official merchandiser for the Florida Horse Park and Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event.

“We started making exercise saddles because the supplier we used to get them from went out of business,” said Julie Jessee, Tack Shack of Ocala store manager. “We took one of the saddles that we used to buy from the supplier, took it apart, and it took about two years for us to sort it all out. We had the mold made for the trees and got that done.”

The art of making a saddle, whose primary purpose is to protect the horse’s back and enable the rider to maintain balance while allowing for the horseman to shift his weight, takes on added significance. There are people on staff at the Tack Shack who specialize in the customization and making of saddles.

“Horse people want their things customized,” said Marti Haugt, Tack Shack of Ocala owner. “They have their farm colors, barn colors, race colors and they want it to be their own.

The workshop in the back of the main store plays a critical component in the outlet’s business. Experienced horsemen compose the staff at the Tack Shack of Ocala, and their knowledge and expertise allow for them to create and customize saddles, tack, saddle pads, etc…, that are valued by their deep base of loyal customers.  The workshop is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

“We listen to our customers and what people are requesting,” said Jessee. The Tack Shack of Ocala also washes and repairs blankets. “If you get enough requests, there’s a need for it. You have to be innovative and creative.”

Hoss Fraiser grew up around horses, and his father was involved with leather work, so he had the opportunity to immerse himself through practical experience and observation. When he was younger, Fraiser used to break and train horses, so making and repairing saddles has allowed him to stay in the same line of work and around horse people.

An average day might find him replacing billets, a piece of tack that holds the girth in place, or rebuilding a stirrup bar hanger that holds the irons on the saddle.

It’s been an evolutionary experience for Fraiser, whose first name is actually Hoss, when working with the saddles.

“I do any kind of saddle, English, western, Australian and side saddles,” said Frasier. “I mostly work on western saddles. I basically build them.”

The side saddles can be a bit challenging, said Fraiser, who now has a global following because of his expertise. His knowledge and ability to replace western saddle seats and the fleece underneath has earned him plaudits from customers because of his attention to detail and craftsmanship.

“It’s kind of a dying trade,” said Frasier. “It’s in demand.”

However, Frasier isn’t the only one on staff who has experience with the craft. It was through shop manager Sheila Greer that Fraiser was able to hone his skills when working with exercise saddles.

“It’s kind of like an art,” said Fraiser. “It comes natural. I like working with leather and braiding. We do a lot of braiding here—back braiding, snaps and chains. It’s a pretty laid back job.”

Not limited to just customizing saddles, Tack Shack also makes custom halters, bridles, lead ropes and other items according to Greer, who has been with the company for five years. Practical experience was a great teacher for Greer as she learned from the ground up, improving the previous process.

“What I did was take a saddle apart, and then proceeded to make a pattern of it,” said Greer. “We perfected the pattern and came up with something that worked for us. It was a little bit different from somebody else. We took a little bit from here and a little bit from there to come up with a design that was cost effective, held up well and was easy to make.”

The presence of large sewing machines in the workshop resonate with those making their way back to the area where the leather work is done; they’re powerful and are heavy-duty, designed to handle the stress that comes with heavier stitching on halters, girths, lead ropes, lead shanks and saddles, said Greer. The lighter machines are used for English tack, bridles, martingales and those pieces of equipment with finer stitching.

“Racehorse people want something that’s practical, is good quality and that’s going to hold up,” said Jessee, who said they make a lot of the saddles and tack during the summer, when it’s slower, so they have the inventory available. “They’re riding 10 to 12 horses a day, six days a week. We stock them too. You don’t have to wait three weeks for us to make one.”

Tack Shack has the ability to make different colored saddles such as red, black and blue and can also place embroidered patches on them as part of the customization process. The store’s slogan is the Horse Lovers Candy Store, and their ability to accommodate horsemen of any discipline has become the stuff of which legends are made.

Tammy Bobel has worked in multiple departments at the Tack Shack, starting in customer service then demonstrating her versatility by moving to blankets and embroidery before settling into her current role of customizing saddle pads. Like Greer, she has always liked crafty things. Working with saddle pads has enabled her to learn about Thoroughbred racing.

The staff takes great pride in its work and watches with great interest when a horse is wearing an item made at Tack Shack of Ocala. One horse recently followed intently was 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“We watched those races with our hearts exploding because we made those items for them,” said Erica Rivera, embroidery department head and daughter of a Thoroughbred trainer. “The saddle pads, saddle towels and all of that, we digitized their logo for the embroidery, so we could give them something that’s personal. In the beginning, before they show the races, they always show the horses leading up to the races.

“When we were watching the races for American Pharoah, after he had received our items and we actually saw him training in our equipment, we were so thrilled. I’m sitting there watching the race with my American Pharoah hat on that I made, watching him in a pad that I embroidered. Me and my team, we were just absolutely thrilled. It was so very exciting.”

Several items that the Tack Shack of Ocala has made are now on display at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The Tack Shack of Ocala is located at 481 SW 60th Ave., Ocala. For more information, call 352-873-3599 or visit their website at

On The Menu: A Legacy Reimagined

The Suleiman family find new ways to deliver the classic dishes you know and love.

By Sarah Jacobs

In life, few things matter more than the legacy we will leave behind. The Suleiman family is working hard to ensure that the name they are building for themselves in the restaurant industry is one that will stand the test of time. The family owns three restaurants in the Ocala area, and each of them have their own unique flair. A year ago they decided to add Legacy at Nancy Lopez Country Club to their business endeavors and, in true Suleiman style, curated a gorgeous restaurant for their customers. Manager Joseph Suleiman works hard to ensure a personal touch is delivered to every guest. If you are looking for a distinctive dining experience, Legacy is sure to deliver an atmosphere and a meal that will have you immediately planning your next visit.

Upon arriving at Nancy Lopez Country Club, the restaurant is easy to locate on the beautiful grounds. The exterior of the building is quintessentially Floridian in its design and blends nicely with the tropical feeling of the golf course. The moment you set foot through the door, you will feel as if you are in a whole new world. The Suleimans did a full renovation from floor to ceiling of the building, and no detail was overlooked. The pattern of the carpet, the embellishments on the wallpaper, and the custom light fixtures come together to create the perfect ambiance for fine dining. Furniture was handpicked to fit the space, and every piece adds to the rich mood the interior exudes.The bar was redone and completed with red light glass from New York City, which rounds out the feeling that you could be in the Big Apple itself. Nancy Lopez’s legacy is proudly displayed through family portraits and memorabilia from her golf career and flows smoothly into each piece of the restaurant. Diffused lighting helps make the setting more intimate, and sound panels were built in to dampen the normal noises of the restaurant, allowing guests to focus on their conversations with minimal interruptions. It is apparent that any need a customer might have was taken into consideration when designing Legacy.

The menu was created with the idea that fine dining and service would be provided at competitive prices. The cost of each dish is reasonable for the amount of care that is put into every item. Legacy boasts an array of dishes that are not easy to find in the Ocala area. The Suleimans work closely with their kitchen staff to make sure that every plate arrives at the table with the perfect presentation. Whether it be edible flowers, delicious sauces, or a bit of fiery flair, each menu item is a work of art on its own.

Appetizers for the table could include beef carpaccio or escargot. The beef carpaccio is served with yogurt blended with local honey and dijon mustard and will be a perfect start to your meal. The escargot is prepared perfectly and each of the twelve pieces served will feel as if they melt in your mouth. If you want a memorable drink , the bar menu should be fully explored. A refreshing lemon drop martini is a fun way to start your meal, or if you are feeling adventurous, order a smoked old fashioned. The old fashioned is delivered in a cloud of smoke that appears otherworldly. The smell and the flavor of the drink are enough to make anyone stop and savor each sip.

When you are ready to move on to the main course, there are several options that should be featured. Pear and Ricotta–stuffed Sacchettini comes tossed in a pulled short rib, marsala cream sauce and envelops your tastebuds. The creamy sauce compliments the crisp bite of the pear, and the expertly prepared sacchettini is important from Italy. If you are looking for a rich meal that delivers flavor and comfort, look no further than the Salmon Wellington. The crispness of the pastry combined with the moistness of the mushrooms and the salmon make this dish a stand out. Slow roasted for 14 hours, the lamb shank is another meal that is sure to impress. It is drizzled with a port wine reduction and delivered to the table with freshly roasted rosemary. Chateaubriand is a rare find on any menu, but Legacy will win you over with theirs. Many of these items are accompanied by whipped garlic potatoes and vegetables that are capable of stealing the show on their own. To end your dining experience, there are a variety of desserts to pick from. Chocolate lovers should try the Chocolate Trilogy. It is sweet and light but still manages to bring a richness that could bookend any meal.

Legacy does not just provide a place to enjoy fine dining but also takes their customers other entertainment needs into consideration. Personalized wine lockers are available for customers to store their collections and allow access to wine tastings and difficult to find wines. They are beautifully displayed with custom name plates. If you have a particular bottle in mind, you can also bring your own wine to chill before your meal. Legacy also provides a scotch collection that features vintages aged as long as 35 years. VIP membership is available and earns you special discounts and promotions, making dining with Legacy even more accessible. For those that like to try their hand at new adventures, cooking classes are offered on Mondays at 12:30 and 2 p.m. A chef immerses you in every step of making a dish as you sip on a glass of wine and sample the completed meal. Private dining is also available for any event you might be hosting and will allow you and your guests to have a memorable evening.

Consider visiting Legacy for your next date night or special occasion. The Suleimans will make your fine dining experience unforgettable, and you will definitely want to return to sample all of the phenomenal food they have to offer you.

For more information,

Eva’s Story

By Benjamin BaughThe complexion of one’s life can change in an instant.

Eva Shloss

The anxiety associated with hiding; being forced to abandon one’s previous life, often being stripped of one’s identity in terms of a profession and being denied the opportunity to make a living with an existing skill set; living in fear and uncertainty; remaining circumspect in one’s actions and relationships—all of these were variables that left long-lasting psychological trauma, whose effects resonated a lifetime with survivors of the Holocaust.

This was routine for many of the Jews in Europe, one that saw the decimation and destruction of their population of nine million. By the end of the Holocaust, two-thirds of the European Jewish population was lost as the result of the wrenching event, one whose impact is still felt today. Six million people of the Jewish faith and ethnicity were systematically murdered by the Nazis.

Chabad of Ocala and The Villages are presenting a program featuring a speaker who experienced the horrors of having lived through one of the most inhumane periods in history. Eva Schloss is an author of three books and a survivor of The Holocaust, having been incarcerated in Auschwitz-Birkenau for eight months. She is also the step-sister of one of the most globally renowned authors of the 20th century, Anne Frank, whose Diary of a Young Girl has impacted generations of readers, since its first publishing in 1947. A Historic Evening with Anne Frank’s Stepsister, Mrs. Eva Schloss, will be held March 26, at the Marion Technical Institute at 6 p.m.

“For us, this is very important, especially because there’s so much anti-Semitism lately in our community,” said Rabbi Yosef Hecht, from Chabad of Ocala and The Villages. “It’s also very significant that it’s [been] 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The community is becoming less and less educated about what’s going on. You also have Holocaust deniers coming along, and so, we as a central Jewish community Center, feel that we have an obligation to educate people. The event is open to everyone, not only to Jewish people, but to all faiths and all people.”

However, it’s Schloss’ experiences along with the experiences of her family—her mother, Elfriede; her father, Erich; and her brother, Heinz—that have played a pivotal role in the author’s life, allowing her to tell her story of personal heartbreak and eventual triumph that has impacted audiences globally. Both Erich and Heinz perished during the Holocaust. Schloss’ tomes—“Eva’s Story,” “The Promise,” a book paying tribute to her artistically gifted brother Heinz, and “After Auschwitz”—provide readers with a first-hand look at the adversity and challenges associated with the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and Schloss’ spirit for living and her connection with her mother, that would lead to Schloss’ eventual triumph.

“The concept that all men are created equal, and that everyone is created in the image of God; everyone has a meaning and purpose,” said Hecht. “That’s what’s really so important.”

The Austrian-born Elfriede Schloss and German-born Frank were neighbors in The Netherlands. They knew each other and played together, so it’s poignant that Schloss’ writing would continue a story that should resonate as loudly today as it did more than 70 years ago, with a far greater impact. Schloss’ mother married Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, in 1953.

When Schloss first began writing “Eva’s Story” in 1986, she realized that the human race really hadn’t learned anything from the experiences associated with The Holocaust, that prejudice, discrimination, and hatred were still prevalent in society. The memoir tells in great detail the ordeal that Schloss and her mother went through. “Eva’s Story” was published in 1988.

“People really didn’t talk that much about it [The Holocaust], but this was an opportunity to come out with it,” said Schloss, who’s 90 and lives in the United Kingdom. “It became very popular and I was always asked to talk at different schools, different venues and so the message spread. That was my first book [Eva’s story], and my mother was still alive, and she had experienced quite a few miracles.”

Schloss’ second book, The Promise, was intended for a younger audience.

“I lost my older brother—he was not quite 18—when he was murdered by the Nazis,” said Schloss. “He was a wonderful musician. But in the course of hiding, we were hiding for two years, he couldn’t make any music, and he created some amazing art work, paintings, and a lot of poems.

“Very often my mother said, ‘Anne has become world-renowned and well-known through her diary, and she has become immortal, but what about Heinz? He had been a wonderful young man, possessed so much promise in his life, and his life was cut short.’ And being artistic, he [Heinz] was very much afraid of dying. I think we all are a bit. He asked my father one day, ‘What will happen when we die?’ and my father said, ‘Of course, your body will disintegrate, but if you have children, you will live on in your children.’ And Heinz said, ‘But what if I die before I have any children?’ And this is what happened to him. He died at 17. And my father said, “Whatever you’ve done in your short life, people will know about it, and you will not be forgotten.’”

It was then that Schloss decided to write a book, featuring images of Heinz’s artwork, some of his poetry, leaving a legacy that’s poignant and powerful.

“That’s what I think we would all really like to be, to have lived in this world and to leave something behind to help people create a better life, or an interesting life so people can remember what you’ve achieved,” said Schloss. “Someone has made a postcard book with all the pictures in it. You can tear them out and send them as postcards or you can keep them as well. It’s very beautiful.”

After the second book, Schloss didn’t see herself writing another, but the author would soon be back at work, having been commissioned to write a third, “After Auschwitz.”

“Of course, it’s not only after Auschwitz,” said Schloss. “You just can’t start someone’s life story in the middle of something. It’s a bit of a different version of “Eva’s Story” and much more of how I had to struggle about not being able to share my experience, how I had the hatred, trying to get over that, and that will interest the reader as well. And of course, a play came from it, “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank.” It’s a play about the Frank family and my family.”

The presentation in Ocala will provide a platform for Schloss to share her experiences.

“I will explain what happened, how unprepared we were, but even worse, Hitler didn’t really want to kill the Jews, he just wanted to get rid of them,” said Schloss. “He intended to make Europe his big powerful empire, and he wanted to do it without the Jews. So, at first the Jewish people were able to go to America, Australia, Canada, England, France and other European countries. We came from Vienna, Austria. But at that time, nobody wanted anymore Jews. And then, Hitler realized, people don’t seem to care about them. So, if you were going to kill them, nobody was going to object, lift a finger or anything, and indeed, that is what happened.”

The experiences left Schloss full of acrimony. She was not just bitter with the Germans and Nazis, but with the whole world because The Holocaust could easily have been avoided. She sees some parallels now with what’s transpiring in the world, with the vast number of refugees.

“We make wars in different countries, like Syria and Libya, and then people have no way of living,” said Schloss. “Their house and their property are destroyed. There is no work. There’s disaster, illnesses, and maiming of children. People try to go to a different country to start a new life, and then the world isn’t interested, doesn’t want them, and you know, I try to explain this to people that it has to stop, and that we need to make the world a good place, where you don’t have to move from your own country. We need to find hope for these people. I don’t see why there’s prejudice against people from a different race or a different color or a different religion. It’s very personal. I just don’t understand why this hatred is between people.”

The apathy that still exists after decades is troubling, with many turning away with an all too familiar indifference.

“I think they realize that but don’t seem to care. These people have become very selfish, very self-centered, living in a world and in a community where people should care about each other and that enriches lives,” said Schloss. “I wouldn’t say everybody is bad, there are some wonderful young people growing up now who really care about things … the whole world has problems and we have to solve them and not go against it.” 


or call (352) 330-4466.

Prose and Cons: Call of Duty

By: Judge Steven G. Rogers

The few. The proud. The chosen.

“I don’t believe in your whole system here,” said the gentleman as he looked me in the eye. Rather contentious language for our initial meeting. Especially when considering this statement was his request to be excused from one of the principles upon which our legal system is founded … jury duty.

The right to a jury trial in criminal and civil cases is guaranteed by the sixth and seventh amendments to the U.S. Constitution. With rights come responsibilities and our court system cannot guarantee these rights without responsible citizens willing to serve as jurors.

In Marion County, prospective jurors are selected by a computer program which compiles a random list from the Florida driver license and identification card databases. But not everyone is excited with their winning the “prospective juror lottery.”

Requests to be excused from jury duty are regular occurrence. Some of these requests are genuine and authorized by law. They include expectant mothers, full-time law enforcement officers, and individuals over the age of 70 who do not wish to serve. Even the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are excused from jury service.

Aside from the authorized excuses listed above, the second most common requests fall under the hardship category. Small business owners and employees comprise the group who state they simply cannot afford to miss time from work. The $15 a day juror pay and free lunch is hardly an adequate substitute to those who depend on their normal paychecks.

Schoolteachers will often ask for their jury service to be postponed until the summer months. Others have claimed physical limitations which prevent them from sitting for long periods of time.

Then there are those who have requested to be excused from jury duty for other, atypical reasons. Aside from the “I don’t believe in your whole system here” comment, I’ve also had jurors tell me such things as “I was planning on visiting my sister that day,” “I don’t like judges or lawyers,” and—my personal favorite—“I get sick in courtrooms.”

One reason people are reluctant to serve on a jury is the fear their being selected is going to require significant personal sacrifices, such as being sequestered away from work and family for several weeks. I explain this may be common practice in John Grisham novels but is definitely the exception to the rule in actual cases. Most circuit court jury trials are completed in less than a week, and rarely does a county court jury trial last more than a single day.

So the next time you retrieve your mail and find a jury summons with your name on it, consider yourself special. The few. The proud. The chosen. Citizens willing to serve as jurors in civil and criminal cases are necessary to protecting the longstanding rights afforded to us under the United States Constitution. As a sign of our appreciation, we will even include a free lunch.   

Live Oak International: 2020

It’s a competition that has continued to evolve, emerging from its nascent stages as a combined driving event to its present state as it enters its 30th year. Live Oak International has cemented its place, taking on global status and attracting many of the world’s best horsemen. The competition now features more than one equestrian sport discipline, featuring not only the sport of combined driving but also many of the world’s best show jumpers. The objective of the competition is to improve annually. It provides a world-class environment that caters to riders from around the globe. The worldwide scope of the competition has been the fuel that has ignited the Live Oak International team and the Weber family, expanding the event’s significance in the Ocala/Marion County community.

The brother and sister team of Chester Weber and Juliet W. Reid are co-presidents of Live Oak International. The Weber’s commitment to excellence and love of equestrian sport has made the Live Oak International one of the most highly anticipated competitions on the Ocala area calendar. The event itself resonates deeply with those who make the competition a success: the organizers, exhibitors, sponsors, and spectators, making for a fun-filled weekend in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Juliet W. Reid isn’t an exhibitor, but that hasn’t stopped her from being deeply involved in the show world, serving in several capacities as a horse show organizer and manager as well as being a horse show mom. Juliet gained her knowledge of show management by serving as president of the Washington International Horse Show, earning the distinctive title of “ringleader” of Washington, the renowned horse show in the nation’s capital, for eight years. With Juliet’s attention to detail and event expertise, each and every year, Live Oak International is more exciting than the last. Juliet brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Live Oak International and drives the team forward with a positive outlook and a can-do attitude.

Chester continues to represent the U.S. in many European competitions and shares his love for combined driving, generating exposure for the sport nationwide and locally. He’s set the standard in the sport of combined driving, reaching elite status in the upper levels, having won the USEF Combined Driving National Championship for the Advanced Four-in-Hand division 16 times. Chester is poised for success in 2020 and has his sights set on another title. A veteran horseman, Chester is well-seasoned and looking toward competing at home, in a familiar and welcoming environment.

If you haven’t seen Chester competing in the marathon phase of the combined driving event at Live Oak International, you need to! It’s worth the price of admission. Spectators will have an opportunity to watch Chester compete in all three phases of the CDE, dressage, marathon, and cones, March 5-8 and in the marathon phase on Saturday, March 7.

Other notable drivers this year include crowd-favorite Mary Phelps, the talented Jennifer Keeler and her Zeppo, as well as the internationally renowned driver Suzy Stafford.

Chloe Reid’s passion for horses and the Live Oak International is as deep as that of her family’s. The 23-year-old has distinguished herself in the show ring, ascending to the top tier of the sport as a leading international show jumping professional. The daughter of Juliet W. Reid and Sam Reid, Chloe has been involved with horses from the age of four and has become increasingly involved in the event and tournament each year. Chloe has accepted additional responsibilities over time, helping with marketing and show initiatives to make Live Oak International a must-see event. Chloe’s practical experience and astute understanding has helped to transform the event into a world-class competition. She is a grand prix rider herself with many top results. She won the four-star Grand Prix in Wiesbaden, Germany, this past June. Chloe has enjoyed success on the international stage and was part of the U.S. team that went to Falsterbo, Sweden, in July, and represented the U.S. in the FEI Nations Cup Final this past September in Barcelona, Spain. Chloe, like her uncle, brings global experience to the Live Oak International team.

The Live Oak International transformed its status by hosting a show jumping World Cup qualifier. The change came about when Chloe mentioned to her mom, Juliet, that it would be fun to compete at home. The competition starting with a two-star grand prix continues to evolve, and the venue with its idyllic setting is poised to host the world’s greatest show jumpers, with show rings featuring top-notch footing, elevating the level of competition to rival any place in the world.

The venue hosts only one competition annually, so the footing is considered second to none.

Chloe will compete in this year’s $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala on Sunday, March 8, as this is the final competition in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League, and it’s the last chance for riders striving for points to earn a sport at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final this April 15-19, 2020, which will be held in Las Vegas.

The lineup of competitors this year includes a list of top riders including Adrienne Sternlicht, who has entered her World Equestrian Games Gold medal–winning mount Cristalline; young rider superstar Katie Dinan; and the previous winner of the World Cup Final, Beat Mändli.

In addition to some of the world’s best riders and drivers, this year Live Oak International will feature special presentations by the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Young Living Essential Oil Percherons, and the Paso Fino Association. With an AdventHealth KidsZone, Audi Beirgarten, and the Stella Artois Airstream Trailer, this year’s event is set to be four days full of live action with something for all to enjoy.

Come out to the show March 5-8. For the Live Oak International 2020 schedule, please visit 


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