With a heart as big as the women and girls she’s helped numerous, Lutz-resident Cheryl Landon, office manager at Landon Plastic Surgery and The Spa Boutique as well as president of Landon Outreach Foundation, INC., is an excellent example of what it means to be a leader in our community. Married for 26 years with two children, 22-year old Benjamin and 19-year old Alexandria, Cheryl successfully juggles family, career and philanthropy which makes her a perfect addition to our 10 Leading Ladies.
What are your favorite charities?
Landon Outreach Foundation, INC. Other charities I have a soft spot for are People for Haiti, Children’s Cancer Center, Salvation Army Domestic Violence Shelter, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and PACE Center for Girls.
How did you become involved in your charity work?
I perceived, in my own community, too many families struggling to get by on little or nothing. I listened firsthand to stories of women and children forced to leave their homes under the cover of darkness with nothing but a dream of a better non abusive existence. I witnessed the positive change PACE Center for Girls had on a child and their family members. These few experiences were the driving force behind founding my charitable organization.
What is one of your favorite memories when working with your charity?
There have been several fond memories! One in particular was last year when we were putting on a holiday party for the Salvation Army Domestic Violence Shelter Children and one of the kids said “I never thought I would have a Christmas!”
As a leading lady, what is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Raising my children to be healthy, well-adjusted, well-educated and respectful adults. To see my children carry on my passion for life and passion for giving back.
Who do you most admire in Tampa?
I admire my husband who I have been with for 34 years. He is my best friend, my confidant, my partner in life. He is everything I strive to be – selfless, sincere, patient, honest, kind, generous, reliable, humble, genuine, compassionate and funny.
Outside of charity work, what inspires you?
So many things inspire me. Individuals who overcome adversity. People spontaneously doing something heroic. People giving when they have nothing. My husband and children. Challenges. Marathon and Ironman runners. People with disease. People in poverty. People who just plain do nice things for others.
Now that we’re entering the holiday season, what is one of your favorite memories with your family?
Packing up the car, heading to Asheville, North Carolina to enjoy the Biltmore Hotel for the holidays.
What are a couple of your cherished holiday traditions?
Hostess Chocolate Donettes, Polish Babka and soft Rugelach bites Christmas morning while opening presents! Putting on our favorite Christmas songs and trimming the tree when the kids come home from school. Trekking to ICE at the Gaylord Palms with our entire family.
Which Bay area spots do you take your out-of-town guests to really show off our city?
St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, strolling through Vinoy Park and ending at Parkshore Grill for a sunset dinner and boating to our beautiful barrier islands.
What are your favorite kinds of gifts to give and receive?
Although it depends on the person, I enjoy giving personalized gifts or gifts that have meaning for that person. I like giving gifts for no particular reason – just because! I love receiving handwritten notes, personalized gifts and those gifts that are meaningful to me.
What advice would you pass on to younger generations?
There is nothing you cannot do or achieve if you are willing to work hard enough for it. Spend time enjoying the present; the future comes too soon for all of us. Be content with life’s simple things – they have the most to offer.
What is your favorite hero of fiction?
If you had one wish this holiday season, what would it be?
I wish for everyone to experience happiness! So spread some happiness, everyone deserves it!
What is your motto or words you live by?
Everything happens for a reason and always be positive!
Ultimate Curried Turkey
Cooked Turkey (any size)*
1 package Knorr Spring Vegetable Recipe Mix
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, (let spinach drain, press out all water with paper towels)
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Real Mayonnaise
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 tbl. Curry powder (adjust according to your liking!)
2 cups pecans, chopped
After cooking turkey, let cool.
Cut all white meat off of breast area (no skin), cube and set chopped turkey aside.
Preserve turkey carcass by wrapping in plastic wrap and set aside.
Combine all other ingredients except chopped pecans
Adjust curry to your liking
Add cubed turkey to dressing and mix well.
Un-wrap turkey carcass. Place turkey salad over breast area where turkey was removed. Pat down. Form turkey salad to look like the turkey breast. Cover turkey salad with chopped pecans, lightly pat down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
*For turkeys more than 12 -15 lbs, you will have to double recipe.