Heart of Hillsborough Shows Love for Wimauma Area
Some 50 service providers will be on hand at the Heart of Hillsborough Community Fair, an all-out effort on Saturday, April 7, to combat challenges - poverty, safety, and education and employment barriers - faced by many residents of the Wimauma area.
It marks the second year Hillsborough County has helped present the free gathering in this still largely rural enclave east of Sun City Center and Ruskin. The family-friendly event is a festival, too, with games, music, a bounce house, giveaways, arts and crafts, health screenings, and a mobile food pantry.
Ronnie Peacock, director of the Wimauma Boys and Girls Club, recalls the inaugural Heart of Hillsborough. "It was extremely, extremely beneficial for my kids and their families, and the entire Wimauma community," she says.
She hopes health screenings planned for this year's festival will have lasting effects.
Heart of Hillsborough is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethune Park, 5809 Edna St. Among the dozens of community-based groups expected to participate:
- Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Deputies distribute free bicycle helmets, while supplies last
- Bess the Book Bus The yellow bus rolls up to Bethune Park, and offers one free book to each child
- Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Residents can pick up mosquito prevention brochures and tiny fish whose favorite meal is mosquito larvae
- Children's Board Mobile Swim Unit Get information about learn-to-swim programs and water safety instruction
- Head Start The program for children from low-income families presents an educational activity for parents and kids
Heart of Hillsborough increases awareness of services available to residents. It also bolsters community spirit, and enhances trust of groups and agencies whose mission is to help residents in need.
"A lot of my parents don't get health screens or venture out to do things on their own," Ronnie says. "The Heart of Hillsborough is a huge event for the community."