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By Times Staff Writer
Published December 16, 2007
Clubs and Organizations
Hernando County Republicans turned out in force in October for the GOP "Presidency IV" convention in Orlando.
More than 45 local Republicans attended the convention, meeting with the Republican presidential candidates. The event culminated in a debate telecast live on the Fox News Channel. Those attending got the chance to meet Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities.
Some of the Hernando residents who attended included: Eva Mortak, Richard Mortak, Jim Adkins, Clara Adkins, Tom Hogan Sr., MaryAnn Hogan, Ana Trinque, Art Trinque, Alan Setelius, Erin Setelius, Lynn Setelius, Susan Wahl, Sandra Nicholson, George Rodriguez, Diane Rodriguez, Bonnie Ruge, Ron Ruge, Lena Castel, Sam Castel, Gail Samples, Gary Schraut and Bill Schwab.
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As a group, members and families of Preceptor Delta Iota, Beta Sigma Phi attended Weeki Wachee Springs' 2007 Wild N' Wicked Nights. The sorority sisters called the gathering their fall party, and together they watched the Halloween mermaid show, "Jack Sparrow's Quest."
Lauren Dodson, daughter of member Lydia Dodson, performed as one of the lady pirates. Member Rose Trier and her daughter, Brianna Rose, performed in the "Nightmare in the Graveyard" dance routine that was presented by John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts.
The sorority sisters and their families also visited the haunted forest.
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Twenty-one years ago, Hal Steffes, past district deputy grand exalted ruler of Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520, visited a Masonic lodge in Michigan and witnessed a Halloween program for mentally and physically challenged children in the area. He was so touched that when he returned to Florida, he brought the idea back to the Aripeka Elks Lodge, which approved the idea.
For 20 years now, the Aripeka lodge has continued its tradition of hosting an annual Halloween party for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults, their siblings under the age of 10 and their parents.
On Oct. 25, a miniature village was set up, wheelchair accessible and complete with 16 storefront windows where store keepers passed out goodies to those who walked and wheeled by to trick-or-treat.
More than 350 enjoyed the fun, games and refreshments. Everyone left with a door prize.
Also at the event, Wayne Getz, chairman of the Bingo Charities, made two presentations. Pasco Sheriff's Office Capt. Jim Driscoll received a check for $1,000 to benefit the Sheriff's Youth Camp, and Joe Neri received $1,000 for Angelus Home.
McGruff the crime prevention dog was on hand to greet the guests, thanks to Gus Lawerence and Earl Back with the Pasco Sheriff's Office Citizens Support Services.
The lodge said the event wouldn't be possible without the help of local businesses, churches and its members, including the Ladies of Aripeka Elks.
[Last modified December 15, 2007, 20:20:26]