tampabay.com

What's happening

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 18, 2005


HIGH FIVES

Works of art by Muriel Prieto will be on display during September at the West Hernando/S.T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill. Prieto's display features oil paintings of portraits and landscapes that express her feelings for nature and mankind.

Prieto became more involved with her art after retiring from teaching English at the University of Puerto Rico in 1988. She studied with well-known painters and completed a formal art school program. Her work has been exhibited at the Tampa Aquarium and at other venues in Hillsborough and Hernando counties. Prieto is a member of the Spring Hill Art League.

For information, call 540-6391.

* * *

Rita Zeidan of Brooksville took part in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Atlanta, July 17-26. Zeidan joined 350 other high school students from around the country who demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential and an interest in a career in medicine.

During the 10-day forum, Zeidan was introduced to a variety of concepts in public health, medical ethics, research and general practice. Participants visited medical facilities and clinics.

Students engaged in a simulation using problem-based learning. The students were presented with a fictional patient's case history and had to diagnose and develop a treatment plan.

In addition to visits to medical schools and clinical facilities, Zeidan had the opportunity to hear from and interact with leaders in the medical field. Students had personal contact with physicians, surgeons, researchers, scientists and medical educators as they went behind the scenes to see the professionals at work.

Zeidan attends Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa and is the daughter of Dr. Fadi Zeidan and Emily Zeidan of Brooksville.

* * *

Brandon Meier, 12, has been selected as the 2005 Red Cap Ambassador for the American Heart Association's Nature Coast Heart Walk in both Pasco and Hernando counties.

Brandon, born with a heart condition called aortic stenosis, was only 3 weeks old when he went into cardiac arrest. He was not yet strong enough for open-heart surgery, so doctors inserted a catheter up his leg into his heart, where a balloon was inflated to open his aortic valve.

At the time, the tools used for the procedure were meant for adults, not babies, and the procedure was experimental. Today, things have changed, and Brandon is thankful for new research, because without it he doesn't believe he would be alive.

Today, Brandon has no restrictions and is as normal as any other 12-year-old. Even though his valves could close again at any time, so far he has beaten the odds.

That's where the American Heart Association comes in, raising money for research, awareness and more, including Camp Boggy Creek, where children with terminal illnesses have fun and are treated like normal kids at no cost to their families. Brandon attends the camp each year.

On Sept. 8, at the Nature Coast Heart Walk kickoff, Brandon gave a short speech. The walk, which he will also attend, takes place Oct. 29 at the Rotary Pavilion at the Concourse, 15325 Alric Pottberg Road, approximately a quarter-mile west of the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 52 in Pasco County.

Brandon is the son of Peter F. and Christina Meier of Zephyrhills and the grandson of Peter and Ilse Meier of Spring Hill.

To register for the walk, visit: www.americanheart.org/naturecoastwalk For information, call toll-free 1-800-275-0448.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

The Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill completed another cleanup along Forest Oaks Boulevard on Aug. 20. The members gathered at 8 a.m. to get an early start before the weather turned hot.

As one of the volunteers, new member Rosemarie Milks was initiated with her first cleanup duty. Members reported an easy day; there was not too much trash. There was plenty of time for conversation, and everyone looked forward to the breakfast afterward.

There was only one surprise along the way: member Rich Boothby was greeted by a 3- to 4-foot snake as it slithered past his feet. He was happy to report it was a black racer.

Members attending the cleanup included Milks, Boothby, Beverly Reso, Cathy Edmisten, Curt Krabel, Dave Spelts and Michael Jackson.

* * *

The Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill welcomed Rosemary Hamilton, owner of General Nutrition Center, as guest speaker at their lunch meeting Aug. 16 at the Residence of Timber Pines.

Hamilton spoke about how the food we eat today is lacking in the nutrition we need for our bodies. The reason for that, she explained, is that the soil that grows our foods is lacking the minerals it once had, and the crops are genetically engineered to grow bigger and faster.

In addition, Hamilton said, people tend to overcook food, and it loses nutrients. People also eat more fast food.

By supplementing foods with vitamins, minerals and fiber, people can make their bodies healthier, she said.

General Nutrition, according to Hamilton, makes its own vitamins and minerals. Her center is in the Lakewood Plaza on Commercial Way in Spring Hill. For information, call 597-1982.

For information about the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill, call Beverly Reso, president, at 683-7668.

* * *

Oak Hill Hospital has announced that Mary Hill, the daughter of Oak Hill employee Chuck Hill, and Maria Thompson, the daughter of Oak Hill employee Bonnie Thompson, are recipients of scholarships from the HCA Foundation.

Hill is in her third year at the New College of Florida in Sarasota, majoring in political theory and art. She is the daughter of Priscilla Floener of Sarasota and Chuck Hill of Brooksville.

Thompson is a recent graduate of Lecanto High School and is attending the University of Central Florida, where she is majoring in premedicine. She is the daughter of Eric and Bonnie Thompson of Homosassa.

The HCA Foundation scholarship program is offered annually and provides educational assistance to the children of employees at HCA-affiliated facilities. Recipients are selected based on academic records and personal achievements and must be enrolled at accredited colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools. This year, the HCA Foundation recognized more than 520 scholarship winners with awards totaling more than a half-million dollars.

NOTES OF THANKS

I know many of your readers can write similar letters, but I want to share with all of you the most beautiful sight I have seen in a long time. As I drove up to Hernando Christian Academy one afternoon, I saw bags and boxes full of much-needed items for Hurricane Katrina victims. But most beautiful of all, it was collected in one week.

It all started with an idea from two senior girls, Kasey Moneyhan and Courtney Oxendine, who wanted to help. From that idea, they sent home homemade fliers to the parents, and, presto, seven days later the front hall of the school was filled, and the items even spilled out to the front wing.

Of course, corporate donations are needed, but so are such ideas from this younger generation. As the truck was being loaded by Terry and Rosa Mills, headed for Mississippi, I could not help but feel thankful once again for good people in this world. They make their one goal in life to help others. It makes us realize we are not such a big country after all that we cannot help our fellow man when the need arises.

And, as an extra note, at the end of the school day I saw Kim Ward leaving on her way to the Salvation Army with a sizable cash donation.

God bless the children.

Julia Jinkens, Brooksville

VETERANS

On Aug. 19, Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite presented 18 veterans from the 5th Congressional District with medals honoring their military service. The ceremony took place at the Hernando County Commission chambers.

Receiving the Korean Defense Service Medal were: Daniel Arnold, Thomas Caton, Donald Hennessy and Richard Richmond, all of Spring Hill; John Downey of Weeki Wachee, and Berwin Storer of Floral City. Caton also received a Cold War recognition certificate.

Receiving the Korean War Service Medal were: Richard Beyerl of Spring Hill and William Hooker of Floral City.

Also, Richard Avis of Spring Hill was presented with the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. Harold Kurth of Hernando received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, combat infantryman badge, Philippine liberation ribbon and the honorable service lapel button.

Agostino Loporto of Dunnellon was presented with the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, honorable service lapel button, sharpshooter badge and rifle bar.

Thomas McGrath of Spring Hill received the American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, honorable discharge lapel button and honorable service lapel button.

Clarence Miller of Spring Hill received the Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam campaign ribbon, marksman badge and rifle bar.

Anthony Palmieri of Spring Hill received the Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal.

Albert Sasko of Spring Hill received the Bronze Star.

Richard Sanchez of Spring Hill received the Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Conduct Medal and the Cold War recognition certificate.

Robert Treur of Hernando received the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, combat infantryman badge, Republic of Vietnam campaign ribbon, expert badge and auto rifle bar, and the parachutist badge.

Donald Wood of Spring Hill received the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, presidential unit citation ribbon, Navy unit commendation ribbon, meritorious unit commendation ribbon and the combat action ribbon.