Networking group goes to bat for needy students at festival

The FishHawk Area Networking Group will hold its seventh annual Back to School Festival from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 8 at the FishHawk Youth Sports Complex, 16120 FishHawk Blvd., Lithia. More than 50 local businesses and 10 restaurants are signed up to showcase their wares and give out product samples. There is no admission fee, but a suggested donation of $10 or $10 worth of school supplies will benefit the children of local migrant families. Last year the event yielded school supplies for more than 400 students. FANG, comprised of more than 100 local business owners and representatives, meets on the second and fourth Thursday monthly at 7:30 p.m. at The Palmetto Club in FishHawk Ranch. The group networks, performs community service and hosts events promoting local commerce. For information about the festival or FANG, contact Denise Graf at (813) 643-0730 or dlgraf@tampabay or go to

Legislative lunch date

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Congressional Update luncheon at noon Aug. 20 at Embassy Suites -Tampa/Brandon, 10220 Palm River Road, Tampa. The chamber invited U.S. Reps. Adam Putnam and Gus Bilirakis to provide an update from the committees they serve on and discuss general issues in Washington. The group holds the annual event to help locals learn how federal policy affects business, education, health care, quality of life and other issues. There will be a question-and-answer session. Registration is $23 or $18 for chamber members. Corporate tables to seat eight people are $210 or $170 for chamber members. For information or to register, contact Crystal Colegrove at (813) 689-1221 or

ccolegrove@brandon or go to www.brandonchamber


Artist takes it on the road

Brandon resident Lannie Battistini is getting ready to take his latest Latin Jazz CD album, "Hands In Motion," on the road. Battistini, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, released the CD in March. He will launch a promotional tour this year to include such cities as New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; Dallas; Tampa; Orlando; Miami; and San Juan. A pianist who played on a Grammy-winning album in 1999 with Latin pop singer Olga Tanon, Battistini composes arranges and records CDs for independent artists. He has produced jazz, salsa, gospel, pop and other music genres. He also produces commercial jingles for radio and television. For information, call (813) 500-0866 or go to


There's a new dog in town

FETCH! Pet Care is targeting the Tampa Bay area as part of its nationwide expansion blitz. The franchise provides professionally trained, bonded and insured pet sitters for any kind of pet, from dogs and cats to hamsters, birds, fish, iguanas and more. Caregivers can be hired for temporary or ongoing daily services. Franchisees use the company's software-based telephone dispatch system to track assignments, deliver electronic order confirmations and send automated sitter assignment reminders. The business can be run from home and requires an initial franchise fee of $12,000 which includes training, national marketing and support. For information, call (866) 338-2463.