Published April 18, 2007

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High Fives

Granddaughters were in the spotlight at the Weeki Wachee North Mobile Home Park's first Beauty Pageant for Granddaughters.

Granddaughters from ages 2 to 19 competed in six categories: Toddler, Kindergarten, Pre-Miss, Pre-teen, Teen and Miss Teen.

In the Toddler category (ages 2 to 5), Elena Oehler, 3, granddaughter of Marge Winant; and Noell Oehler, 5, granddaughter of Marge Winant, tied for first place.

In the Kindergarten category, Shyan Kincaid, 6, granddaughter of Agnes Kincaid, was the winner. In the Pre-Miss category, Morgan Kincaid, 15, granddaughter of Agnes Kincaid, was the winner.

In the Pre-Teen category, Bree Kincaid, 16, granddaughter of Agnes Kincaid; and Jannah Hawley, 16, granddaughter of Marybeth and Bobby Hawley, tied for first place.

In the Teen category, Alicia Kincaid, 17, granddaughter of Agnes Kincaid; and Heathery Colmer, 17, granddaughter of Brenda and Richard Colmer, tied for first place.

In the Miss Teen category, the winner was Larah McElroy, 18, granddaughter of Jim and Ann Disney.

All winners received certificates, ribbons, a sash and a bouquet of flowers. In addition, winners in the Toddler and Kindergarten categories also received stuffed animals.

McElroy, in addition to the other prizes, received a crown and carries the title of Miss Weeki Wachee North Mobile Home Park until next year's competition.

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Co-chairs Dr. John DeLuca and John Mitten have been named to chair the Hernando County Family YMCA annual Giving Campaign for 2007.

DeLuca and Mitten will lead a team of more than 80 volunteers during the campaign. Other leaders in this year's campaign include Jason Roebach, Kathleen Hopkinson, Anne Thetard, Donna Gosnell, LeAnne LaMarre, Mark Mooney and Charles Donley.

"I feel it's an investment in children and families, and our community pays the greatest dividends to sustaining a healthy future for Hernando County," said DeLuca.

DeLuca opened his dental practice six years ago in Spring Hill. He is an Army Reservist and was deployed to Iraq in 2004 to render dental services to servicemen. He participated in the Ironman in 2006 and chairs the Board of Managers at the YMCA.

"The importance of this campaign is reinforced to me each time I see a child at the YMCA with a smile, a 'seasoned' citizen working out, or the teamwork exhibited in any of our sports programs. Knowing many of them are able to become a member due to the scholarship funds from this campaign," said Mitten.

Mitten, owner of Chick-fil-A, received the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year award in 2005, and was recently awarded the "Symbol of Success" by Chick-fil-A Inc. He and his family moved to Spring Hill in 2001. He is a community advocate and serves on the Board of Managers at the YMCA.

The campaign's goal this year is $80,000. Last year the YMCA awarded more than $425,000 in financial assistance for programs and memberships. Every dollar raised in Hernando County, stays here. For information, call 688-9622.

Clubs and Organizations

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Hernando County, also known as RSVP, held its 34th annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet at the Palace Grand.

RSVP is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Sponsors include Mid-Florida Community Services and George Popovich, director of Senior Services.

Linda Graves is the project coordinator, and Caroline Struthers is project assistant. Advisory council officers include Dr. Richard Trump, president; and Del Eichers, vice president.

Advisory council members include John Druzbick, James Adkins, Suzanne Hill, Linda Campo, Connie Salyers and Dudley Hampton.

After lunch, Graves recognized all the volunteers and presented awards and gifts. She reported that 621 volunteers served at 81 duty stations throughout Hernando County in 2006. Volunteers served a combined total of 73,581 hours.

Volunteer longevity awards were presented to Mary McVicker for 20 years; and Bernice Baker, Clayton Myers, Edwannah Perna, Lucille Sico, Carolyn Willis and Edward Young for 15 years.

Ten-year recipients included: Patrick Barone, John Bilcheck, Angelina Crocilla, Evelyn Dennis, Alvin Hudson, Shirley Klump, Albert Korringa, Frances Korringa, Mary Parker, Wayne Parker, William Ramsden, Elizabeth Ramsden, Robert Rose, Al Schmitt, Marion Schmitt, Norman Constantine, Nick Giovinazzi, Mary Mione and Vincent Siberine.

Five-year recipients included: Sharon Abbe, Rita Badenchini, Stephen Barton, Helen Birchill, Doris Buckley, Raymond Buckley, Rose Ciampolillo, Dianna Clar, Lenvill Clark, Gretchen Countryman, Elizabeth Dieck, Esther Flint, Anne Fuller, Elizabeth Gates, Emmet Hester, Frances Hester, Edith Housell, Diana Johnston, Raymond Kaposi, Richard Keller, Myrna Lax, Billy Luecke, Mary Luecke, Maxine Matilainen, Margaret McDonough, Edward McLeod, Natilie Merten, Rita Milone, Joanne Morse, Elaine Orlando, Beatrice Polichak, Marie Redes, John Regan, Beverly Rochow, Virginia Rusk, Sharon Skrimshire, Edward Sousa, Deborah Swanson, Sharon Swanson, Jon Van Steen, Pearl Weiner and Lenny Wydotis.

More than 80 "duty stations" or organizations welcome AARP volunteers in Hernando County, including the American Cancer Society, Catholic Charities, Day Star, Enrichment Centers, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, the Spring Hill Garden Club and Volunteers in Education, to name just a few.

The event ended with entertainment provided by the Silvertones and then closing remarks by Popovich.