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Hometown Hernando

What's happening

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 13, 2005


The General Federation of Women's Clubs-Spring Hill Service League would like to thank the following for allowing us to place our Christmas angel and dove trees at their locations: the Head Shed, Publix at Lakewood Plaza and at Seven Hills and Regency Oaks clubhouse.

Because of the generosity of the people of Spring Hill who took an angel or dove from a tree, all of the gifts pictured were collected. You all made the children of Hernando County very happy on Christmas morning. We thank you, one and all.

The gifts were distributed to: the Department of Children and Families foster care program, the Visitation Center, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Arc Nature Coast and the United Way of Hernando County.

Alice Elliott, League president

* * *

Volunteers at Oak Hill Hospital's two Enrichment Centers and H2U (formerly Senior Friends) had their annual holiday party Dec. 9 at Heritage Pines Country Club.

H2U stands for Health, Happiness and You, a health and wellness program with the goal of empowering people 50 years and older to manage their health and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Eighty-seven members attended the celebration. Many wonderful door prizes were donated by local merchants and given out to those in attendance.

Thanks to Shirley Jacobs and Lynn Carver from Music Aires in Brooksville for their wonderful entertainment.

Debbie Walker-Druzbick, Enrichment Centers coordinator


Michele Evans, owner of the Natural Healing Center in Spring Hill, presented Susan Harman, community health and safety specialist with the American Red Cross, with a check for $500 on Jan. 11.

Two previous checks Evans donated to the Red Cross went to help with last summer's hurricane relief. With this check, Evans asked that part of it go to help the recent mudslide victims in California, as well as hurricane victims.

Also in January, Evans donated more than $1,000 to two local families she read about in the Times. The families had suffered hardships, and Evans wanted to help.

In addition, Evans mailed a check for $200 to the Southwest Indian Children's Foundation, a cause she has supported for many years.

Evans raises the funds for her donations by contributing $5 from each client she sees at her center.


The Hernando Beach Property Owners Association had its installation of officers ceremony Jan. 6 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9236 in Hernando Beach.

Hernando County Administrator Gary Adams presided in front of a crowd of about 70 residents.

New officers include: Don Martin, president; Mike Jordan, vice president; Lucy Levine, secretary, and Shirley Jordan, treasurer. Members of the board of directors are: Bobbie Williston, Betty McGuire, Paul Levine, Mike Gemmel and Fran Baird.

Commissioner Nancy Robinson was also in attendance, providing an update on subjects pertinent to coastal community residents. Robinson told the crowd that the long-awaited dredging of the Hernando Beach channel is about to become a reality.

Residents complained about the Brazilian pepper plant ordinance. The invasive plants on county property were sprayed, and many residents are unhappy about the unattractive dead branches. Adams promised to look into getting rid of the plants.

Fran Baird, outgoing president, disbursed donation checks to the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hernando County. Under Baird's leadership, the association saw the completion the new Shoal Line Boulevard side walk, which Baird personally promoted for many years.

* * *

There has been a change of watch at the Hernando Beach Yacht Club. Sally Cosenza was recently welcomed as the club's new commodore.

Running a yacht club is analogous to running a ship. The commanding officer, wardroom officers and the crew form a team. Yacht clubs worldwide emulate Navy organizations and tradition.

The Hernando Beach Yacht Club change of watch corresponds with the Navy's change of command. First comes the honoring of the accomplishments of the off-going watch, then the commitment to team cooperation with the oncoming watch.

With eight bells ringing, the ceremony took place at the Hernando Beach Yacht Club on Jan. 9.

Since the founding of the club in 1978, Cosenza is the second woman commodore, and she is proud of that. By her words, she was once a shy and passive young woman; when she was married 18 years ago, her life changed.

Since her husband, Paul, was involved in many activities, he encouraged her to do the same. She learned to speak in front of a crowd and plan events. Since joining the yacht club in 1988, she has worn many hats - newspaper editor, secretary to the commodore (the year her husband was serving as commodore) and, finally, rear commodore - before taking the new position.

* * *

The Estates of the Grand Pines homeowners in Timber Pines have created a spirited Christmas tradition of collecting toys and donating them to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office so the sheriff's Community Oriented Police and Problem Solving unit can distribute them to children.

Residents in Estates of the Grand Pines donated 61 toys during the 2004 holiday season, and the Sheriff's Office employees wrapped and delivered them just before Christmas Eve.

* * *

AmSouth investment officer Rick Cotton, and his wife, Linda, provided a Christmas holiday for the young people at the Eckerd Youth Challenge Program, a juvenile justice residential program south of Brooksville operated by Eckerd Youth Alternatives for boys ages 12 to 17.

The Cottons spent time with the boys and presented a set of sports items for each group at center and a toy for every youth. Employees of Cotton's wealth management team at the Clearwater/Feather Sound AmSouth location donated the money to buy the gifts.

"The generosity of AmSouth's employees have given these kids something to make their holiday truly special," said Chris Samuel, the youth program's director. "We are very grateful."

For many of the youth, the holidays are a difficult time. Some cannot go home. Others may find little or no celebration at home. Celebrating the holiday festivities at the Eckerd program may be the only holiday activities some of the children have.

* * *

With the spirit of Christmas in the air, the Spring Hill Cruisers and Hardee's had their annual benefit car display at Hardee's on Commercial Way in Weeki Wachee.

Car club members donated toys and other items to make Christmas better for the less fortunate children in Hernando County. All donations went to the Christmas Angel Program of Hernando County.

Club members displayed their cars along with other car clubs from the area, including the Model T Club, which gave rumble seat rides. Members sang carols and enjoyed a visit from Santa.

In the end, a $400 donation and lots of toys were passed along to the Christmas Angel Program.

For information about the club, call Norma at 596-0729 or Will at (727) 856-0421.

[Last modified February 13, 2005, 01:07:16]

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