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Hometown Pasco

What's happening

By Times Staff Writer
Published July 24, 2005

The Daybreak Rotary Club of Zephyrhills recently celebrated its 10th new member of the year. Madonna Wise, presiding over the last meeting of her term as president, initiated new member , Brenda Paradis, in a ceremony that included charter members Nelson Ryman and Jean Murphy.

Paradis recently relocated to Zephyrhills from Lewiston, Maine. She is a mortgage broker and previously worked in the field of higher education. Paradis is interested in becoming involved in the local community and is currently scheduled to do a presentation for the Daybreak group later this summer.

The program of the day, presented by program chairman, Larry McLaughlin, included an inspirational PowerPoint of nature photography completed by McLaughlin at Myakka River State Park, one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks.

Daybreak Rotary announced new officers for the 2005-2006 year. They are Manny Funes, president ; Larry McLaughlin, president-elect; Sharon Heinrich, secretary; John McKenney, Web secretary; Jack Thies, treasurer; Joe Worrell, sergeant-at-arms; Madonna Wise, vice president/past president; and board of directors Danielle Hall, Patrick Graham, Kent Compton, Daisy Sanders, Terry Mears and Theresa Sommers-Peacock. District governor is David West and district assistant governor is Madonna Wise.

For information about the Zephyrhills Daybreak Rotary club, visit Web site

* * *

Boy Scout Troop 311 from San Antonio recently participated in a summer camping trip to Camp Daniel Boone near Waynesville, N.C. The trip was the culmination of many months of work and planning for scouts and adult leaders, including scoutmaster Cary Ritter.

The scouts and their leaders traveled 650 miles to the spot in North Carolina, arriving in time to experience a flash flood brought on by Tropical Storm Arlene. "There was water and mud everywhere and the river through the camp was close to spilling over it's banks," Ritter said.

The storm soon settled and to the group's relief, the week began with clear skies and temperatures ranging from the high 50s to the high 70s.

While at camp, each of the 23 scouts worked on five or more merit badges, totaling more than 115 hours of work in five days. More than 35 different classes were offered, including archery, citizenship, cooking, emergency preparedness, personal management and wilderness survival. Some members worked on badges required to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

To help defray costs of this trip, the scouts held two yard sales and two spaghetti dinners during the past several months. According to Ritter the trip costs about $5,000 and requires a great deal of work. Individuals and businesses helped to make the trip possible.

"We were able to get a great deal from Enterprise Rental Car in Zephyrhills because we do not have the vehicles to accommodate 28 people going to camp," remarked Ritter, as he voiced appreciation for those who helped.

Ritter went on to say, "It takes a tremendous effort by many people to make this happen, and I want to personally thank St. Anthony's Catholic Church in San Antonio, its parishioners, our community, parents, committees, adult leaders and boys for their efforts with various fundraisers during the past 12 months to make this trip possible. Because of this support, we were able to rent SUVs and treat the boys to pizza on the way up to North Carolina and stop at the Dillard House in Dillard, Ga., for an awesome family style breakfast on the ride home. The boys are excited about going back next year."

Troop 311 has been together for seven years and meets Monday nights at St. Anthony's. Ritter explained that the troop has a longer history but was "dormant" for a few years. Serving in adult leadership roles, in addition to Ritter, are five assistant scoutmasters: Bruce Weber, Steve Herring, Rob Christmas, Tom Edwards and Frank Richter. All of the assistant scoutmasters grew up in the San Antonio area. Ritter grew up in Tampa, lived in Land O'Lakes for 12 years and has lived the past four years in San Antonio.

After the trip, the troop took a few weeks off but will pick up with activities the end of this month. The group has planned a water skiing outing and a canoe trip on the Santa Fe River.

Plans are under way for next year, including activities such as how to be a Boy Scout, building fires, wilderness survival, first aid, backpacking and swimming.

For information about Troop 311, contact Ritter at (352) 588-4817.

* * *

The Daybreak Rotary Club of Zephyrhills recently held its end of the year banquet at the Senior Center in Zephyrhills.

The meeting was called to order by presiden t Madonna Wise. Jean Murphy joined Wise to lead the group in a rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, complete with Rotary inserts. Clarence McKenney then made some opening humorous remarks and led the club in an invocation.

Honorary Rotary members Barbara and Larry Monroe of Rock and Soul Catering provided a catered buffet meal. Flowers for the occasion were courtesy of member Richard Deighton from Marion Smith Florists.

The Daybreak members enjoyed a musical presentation by Brittany Harrelson, a 2005 graduate of Zephyrhills High School and member of the Showstopper Show Choir. She was joined by Elizabeth McLaughlin, a student at Stewart Middle School and a member of Entertainment Review Show Choir. McLaughlin did a humorous song, Last Year's Queen, inserting Rotary as a theme.

Harrelson finished the evening's entertainment with My Man, which the club dedicated to District Rotarian of the Year, Russ Miller, who attended the banquet.

Wise presented the outgoing board members and committee chairpersons with gifts. She also recognized Faye Six of the Neighborhood Care Center. Six presented the club with a certificate of thanks for its donation and volunteer work.

Francis Crociato of Saint Leo University accepted a scholarship donation that will go to a Zephyrhills area student attending Saint Leo. Crociato gave a brief overview of the work of Saint Leo. Wise also recognize d Crociato as the incoming president of Dade City Sunrise Rotary for 2005-2006.

Club secretary Sharon Heinrich presented perfect attendance certificates to Jon O'Dowd and Patrick Graham, one year; Jack Thies and Wise, two years; Deighton and Heinrich, three years; Manny Funes and Joe Worrell, four years; Mona Burtz, Clarence McKenney, Lea McKenney and Nelson Ryman, five years; Chris Robin, 10 years; and Jean Murphy, 14 years.

Wise thanked Heinrich for her excellent work as secretary of Daybreak and acknowledged that the club was frequently in the 90- to 100-percent range in attendance ratings for the past year.

Miller joined Wise for the presentation of the Rotarian of the Year from the Daybreak Club. Miller announced O'Dowd and Burtz as co-Rotarians of the Year.

O'Dowd was recognized for the Web site that he developed for the club. The interactive site at is considered a model for the district. O'Dowd also served as the club's sergeant-at-arms.

Burtz was recognized for her work in coordinating programs and for her work with the Web site.

Burtz and O'Dowd were commended for coordinating a Rotary and Chamber of Commerce sponsored project where they taught workshops for the community on how to market Web sites. This project also had the help of Marie Duffy.

Mille r presented two Paul Harris Fellowships to Wise and Thies. Wise received the award from the club as a tribute to her tenure as president.

New officers were inducted and includ e Funes, president; Larry McLaughlin, president-elect ; Heinrich, secretary; John McKenney, Web secretary; Thies, treasurer; Worrell, sergeant-at-arms; Wise, vice president/past president; and Danielle Hall, Patrick Graham, Kent Compton, Daisy Sanders, Terry Mears and Theresa Sommers-Peacock, board of directors.

Fune s gave an acceptance speech, recalling his initiation into Rotary 11 years ago and his sponsorship fro m Murphy and Gloria Brown. Funes also recalled the spirit of the Rotary Club, giving attention to the fun and camaraderie enjoyed by members.

Wise was presented a gift from the club and Bill Nye closed the meeting acknowledging the new 2005 Rotary Theme: "Service Above Self."

* * *

Marie Powell Realtors recently raised $1,965 for Hernando-Pasco Hospice by hosting a large silent auction at two open houses. About 2,000 area Realtors received an invitation to tour Deeb homes at Pristine Place in Spring Hill and River Crossing in Trinity.

Laurie Powell-Naiman, broker and owner of Marie Powell Realtors, came up with the fundraising idea and her agents in Hernando and Pasco counties donated at least one auction item. The funds raised will be used for Hernando-Pasco Hospice patient care programs.

Hernando-Pasco Hospice is a not-for-profit agency that take care of patients and families affected by a life-limiting illness regardless of ability to pay. Its service area is Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus counties.

* * *

The Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County elected new officers at a recent membership meeting. Officers for the upcoming year are Patricia Kley, president; Jim Welch, president-elect; Maryann Senderling, vice president, Sister Margaret Mary, secretary; John Forgette, director; and Sister Joan Foley, director.

Returning officers include Dick Motley, treasurer; Angela Littlefield, director; Marguerite McInnis, director; and Charlene Daprile, director.

The coalition's vision is to develop a collaborative, county-wide effort to implement a continuum of care that ensures an end to homelessness in Pasco County. The goal is for every individual and family to be self-sufficient and have safe, decent, affordable and permanent housing.

The coalition meets at 9 a.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Land O'Lakes. For information, call the coalition office at (727) 862-5805.

* * *

The Dade City Kiwanis Club recently hosted guest speaker Dr. Thomas Krizek, professor of sports ethics at Saint Leo University. Krizek is a retired plastic surgeon with extensive graduate work in ethics and philosophy. He is the director of Saint Leo's Center for Ethics in sport business. In his address to the Kiwanis Club, Krizek talked about medical mistakes and the research related to the actual numbers of medical mistakes.


Liz Iaconetti, member of the Lutz/Land O'Lakes Woman's Club, was named Guv'na of Lutz at ceremonies following the traditional Fourth of July Parade in Lutz. Iaconetti won the title by collecting more than $5,000 in contributions, topping the amounts gathered by other candidates. All funds collected benefit community causes.

Moments before the parade, Iaconetti was busy organizing sign carriers, and doling out beads to be distributed, meanwhile carrying a plastic jug where her contributions continued to accumulate. She took a moment to hug Eric Rodriguez, the 12-year-old grandson of Patricia Weinmann (who stood nearby in Red Hat Society regalia), after he dropped a sizeable donation into the jug. "Now here's a real community supporter," Iaconetti said as she embraced Rodriguez.

When asked about his contribution, Rodriguez glanced around with a big smile directed at Weinmann and remarked, "Well, my grandma is here."

Bedecked in patriotic colors, wearing a red, white and blue top hat, and surrounded by friends and supporting club members, Iaconetti was all smiles as the parade began.

Iaconetti was assisted in her campaign by the woman's club, which hosted weekly luncheon for her promotion in the campaign. Also assisting her was a chapter of the Red Hat Society of which Iaconetti is a member.

The mother of two children, Iaconetti is a real estate agent with Best of the Bay Realty. She has lived in the area about 30 years and through her membership in community clubs has helped in supporting many charity causes in the area.

One of Iaconetti's firsts official duties will be to assist the Lutz/Land O'Lakes Woman's Club with the annual scholarship banquet slated for Thursday at the Lutz Community Center.

* * *

On July 1, David West began serving a one-year term as district governor of Rotary International District 6950. A member of the Rotary Club of Dade City, West will oversee the activities of fifty clubs in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. David and his wife recently attended Rotary's Centennial International Convention in Chicago where he celebrated Rotary's 100th anniversary along with 45,000 Rotarians from 161 countries. Rotary, the world's first and largest service organization, has 1.2-million members in 168 countries.


The Zephyrhills High School Band will begin its annual band camp Wednesday. The camp will run through Saturday with the main focus for the band members to learn the festival show, "Disney."

In addition to the high school band, there will also be a middle school band camp during the morning sessions. All middle school band members are invited to attend this free camp.

Instructors for the camp will be Russell Schmidt, band director from Zephyrhills High School, middle school band directors, and several instructors from the University of South Florida.

For information, call Schmidt at (813) 783-7834.

* * *

In late July the summer heat collides with cool deals in downtown Dade City. Caribbean Christmas in July will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In addition to early Christmas shopping, this year's event will feature Tropical Santa, butterfly gardens, Conga line and Hula Hoop games, live mermaids, tropical plants and produce, watercraft display, and live "trop-rock" music provided by De Lei'ed Parrots.

For information about this annual event, contact Sally Burns, executive director of Downtown Dade City Main Street, at 352 567-0284 or

[Last modified July 24, 2005, 00:22:18]

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