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Hometown

By TIMES STAFF
Published May 30, 2007


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High Fives

At its annual volunteer appreciation reception in April, the City of Brooksville honored Charles Miller as its 2007 Volunteer of the Year for his more than 28 years of dedication and volunteer service to the city.

Miller has been an appointed member of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission since 1978. He also served on the Citizen Planning Committee from 1988-91. Miller also served on the 1990 Charter Review Committee.

In addition to his service to the community during his 35-year career with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Miller's expertise as a senior engineer in the technical services section of Swiftmud provided the city with a wealth of information, knowledge, expertise and background to enable it to know what to look for and address in various planning and zoning issues that came before the city.

At the reception, the city's 190-plus volunteers were acknowledged and thanked for their cumulative years of service provided to the city as nonpaid staff volunteers, advisory board members or public event volunteers.

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Jowatha Maner Lee of Brooksville received her associate's degree from Pasco-Hernando Community College.

Lee, 32, maintained a 4.0 grade-point average, despite several hardships in her life, including the 2004 death of her 13-year-old daughter, Richelle Le'Janee Maner Hart, due to a car accident.

Lee was inducted into the National Honor Society, is listed in Who's Who Among America's Junior Colleges for 2006-07, and was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Lee's diligence and determination has led to an academic scholarship to Saint Leo University, where she will study human services in administration beginning this fall.

Lee is the mother of Richard Hart Jr. and Heaven Lee, and is the daughter of Joseph and Martha Maner, all of Brooksville.

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Teens with the Fire Escape Youth Ministry of First Baptist Church of Brooksville recently spent an afternoon preparing and serving a meal to visiting carnival workers who were in town with the Hernando County Fair.

The meal served by the teens was part of a larger effort that also provided toiletries and health-care products to those who travel with the fair.

Many of the carnival workers don't have transportation once they settle into a city and are unable to purchase a meal or necessary toiletry items.

The youth of First Baptist Church had fun getting to know many of the workers and also serving them a meal of beef stew with salad and biscuits. The workers were appreciative of the meal, items and conversation.

The Fire Escape Youth Ministry group meets at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday on the campus of the church, at 420 Howell Ave, Brooksville. They are led by Pastor Brian Brijbag. For information, call 796-6791.

Clubs and Organizations

The Hernando County Philippine-American Association's choral group performed during Philfest 2007 on April 14 at the Bayanihan Arts Center in Tampa. The festival is an annual event hosted by the Philippine Cultural Foundation.

The choral group sang two Filipino folk songs, Pinoy Medley and Halina sa Kabukiran. The music accompaniment was performed by Mac Relampagos; the director was Alsie Morris.

The choral group was formed and recognized by the state of Florida as a nonprofit organization in 2005 to promote Filipino culture, values and camaraderie; to help and support Filipinos and Filipino-Americans; and to serve the community.

For membership or other information, contact Dr. Gilbert Sigua, board of directors chairman, at 684-7464; Aurora Rice, president, at 848-1031; or Cobina Atienza, auditor and chairman of the membership committee, at 666-5381.

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Members of Preceptor Delta Iota, Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority celebrated international's 76th anniversary, Founder's Day, with a banquet at Brooksville Country Club at Majestic Oaks.

Marcia Hood was honored as Woman of the Year by her chapter; Jan Mazourek, was awarded Program of the Year, for the second year in a row, for her program "Chocolates Around the World."

Perfect attendance awards were presented to Marcia Hood, Marsha Roderick, Carmela McCoy, Carol Landers and Nancy Williamson.

Williamson was the chapter's Valentine Queen for 2007. The theme for the coming year will be "Sing a Song of Sisterhood."

Officers for 2007-08 are: Carol Landers, president; Jan Mazourek, vice president; Norma Jean Rawson, recording secretary; and Barbara Jacobs, treasurer.

Veterans

In a ceremony at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Marine Lt. Col. Owen R. Lovejoy II, of Bayport, assumed command of the Third Marine Regiment. He previously served as regimental executive officer.

Lovejoy, 43, has been deployed to Haditha, Iraq, as a battalion military Iraqi training team adviser. He also served in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and served in Bahrain as future operations officer during Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom I.

Among other tours, Lovejoy served at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg as officer-in-charge of the Marine Detachment and Deputy G-3 for the Special Warfare Center. While there, he attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course.

Lovejoy's decorations include two Bronze Star medals, three meritorious service medals, the Navy/Marine Corps commendation medal, Navy/Marine Corps achievement medal and combat action ribbon.

Lovejoy attended Hernando High School and graduated from the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1986 from Jacksonville University. He is the son of Dr. Owen B. Lovejoy. He and his wife, Trudy, have three children, Jai, Cobie and Elsa.