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Hometown Hernando

By Times staff write

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 25, 2001

Italian artist Felice Applauso, 28, recently returned to the United States and currently gives art lessons at the Jerome Brown Community Center in Brooksville. Applauso is an experienced illustrator who works in watercolors, acrylics, tempura, pencil, ink and charcoal.

According to Emilia Raia, program coordinator at Jerome Brown Community Center, Applauso is the first independent subcontracted art instructor the city has taken on board. "Felice has a wonderful reputation with his students. His students claim that no art teacher has ever taught them so much," said Raia. "He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and gives the potential artist the information they need to advance in their art."

Born in Queens, N.Y., Applauso's parents, Pasquale and Annamaria, moved the family to Riolo Terme, Italy, when he was very young. There, he discovered his love for art and received all of his education. Applauso graduated from Liceo Artistico of Ravenna, Italy, and then went on to graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, Italy.

In 1998, Applauso moved to Spring Hill, where he lives with his mother. He hopes someday to do animation for Disney.

Art classes are offered from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 7-9 p.m. Fridays at the Jerome Brown Center, 301 Darby Lane, across from the Tom Varn Park, Brooksville. Private lessons are also available. Individuals interested in the course should contact Raia at 544-5498.

Lillian J. Winters, 72, of Spring Hill recently had her first book, A Woman on the Job, published. According to Winters, her recent divorce after a 49-year marriage drove her headfirst into a career of writing fiction novels.

Winters would like to share her triumph, and hopes that others who are struggling with surviving a divorce will be encouraged by her success.

A Woman on the Job is a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense about a woman engineer fending for herself in a man's world. She faces both good and trying times as she forges ahead in her career.

There will be a book signing at 1 p.m. April 28 at Bide A Wee Book Store, 420 S. Broad St., Brooksville. For information, call Peggy Davis at 754-9107. Winters can be contacted by e-mail at:

Clubs and Organizations

Mariner United Methodist Church recently presented its fourth annual Mariner Players Mystery Dinner Theater. And So they had None, by Robert Alan Ward, is a comedy mystery with a nursery rhyme twist that kept the audience guessing.

The cast included: Jim Henneman, Harriet Robbins, Fred Basehore, Betty Lou Ward, Jim Furco, Ruth Henneman, Jack Marine, Pat Mantsch and Donna Marie. Jean Wilkins coordinated the production.

The play was presented in a building with a portable stage. The stage managers, Van and Millie Van Fossen, produced a family living room without using permanent construction. Even the stage curtain was installed without the use of nails.

The fun didn't stop with the zany parade of colorful characters at a dinner party, one of whom makes off with a delectable Boston cream pie. Was it the globe-trotting business tycoon or the health-food fitness fanatic? How about the computer marvel or the straight-laced deacon?

Mother Hubbard found the cupboard empty. The clues were as goofy as the characters themselves.

One lunch and two dinner performances took place on March 2 and 3, with entertainment and suspense right up to the unpredictable conclusion.

The dinner, including hors d'oeuvres, was prepared by Dorothy Morgan and Millie Van Fossen, assisted by members of Mariner United Methodist Church.

A friendly competition among Hernando County government employees recently netted the HEART Literacy Program $93 in donations to be used for its annual volunteer recognition program. Both the supervisor of elections office and county extension office had 100 percent participation among their employees in the funraising effort.

The staff of the elections office included: Kathy Olley, Rosemarie Beisacher, Marleen Bonin, Sherri Williams, Pat Boyd, Lisa Keelin, Annie Williams, Ange Lenzi, James Wilkes, Sharon Holland and Laurel Parmelee.

The staff of the county extension office includes: Jim Moll, Nancy Moores, Donna Peacock, Wayne Odegaard, Peggy Gist, Lilly Browning, Susie Williams, Lynda Powell and Donna Beairsto.

During a recent public safety session of the "County Connection" program, Paul Nonnermacher of Brooksville, assisted by Mike Nickerson, Hernando County Fire Rescue director, suited up to get an idea of what it's like to be a firefighter. Nonnermacher experienced the discomfort of a firefighter's full bunker gear. After "saving" the life of a teddy bear in a smoke-filled county firehouse, Nonnermacher was happy to shed the 70 pounds of gear.

At the Feb. 27 meeting, the Spring Hill Lions Club featured a special guest speaker, Tim Johnston. Johnston is a horticulturist and gave an informative talk to members. The subjects he covered included when to prune and how much, when to transplant and what plants, how to get the most out of your watering restriction days, and how to check grass that appears to be dead to see if it is actually dead or just dormant.

Following the talk, there was a question-and-answer period. According to president Anthony Mosca, club members were impressed with Johnston's presentation.

The Lions Club of Spring Hill meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Lions Club building, 247 Hallcrest Ave., Spring Hill. For information, contact Marie Frederici at 686-7953 or the club at 686-8686.

County Commissioner Nancy Robinson presented local mental health service representatives with resolutions adopted by the Hernando County Commission requesting Gov. Jeb Bush's support of funding for mental health services in Hernando County.

Receiving resolutions were: Evelyn DeHart, representing the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Hernando; Susan Wright, representing Springbrook Hospital, and Sharon Rose, representing the Harbor Behavioral Health Care Institute.

Notes of Thanks

It is very refreshing to know that there are still good people in the world willing to help those in need. The need was at Pine Grove Elementary School, where several stumps needed to be removed, ground needed to be leveled and about 70 yards of cypress mulch needed to be moved and spread behind some portable classrooms.

To the rescue came Bobby Coggins, Buddy Stills and Pat Passons, all of Grubbs Construction Co., which was doing road improvements to Ken Austin Parkway. Using time from their break, these men, with expert handling of a front loader and grading tractor, made short order of a job that would have taken weeks to complete by students.

Their efforts will allow teachers a place outside their classroom for student activities. When approached with the request, these men were quick to get the okay and eager to get at the task. Within 20 minutes, they completed a job that would have taken weeks, thus making the area ready that much sooner to be used by teachers and students.

Once again, a very special "thank you" to Bobby Coggins, Buddy Stills and Pat Passons, their supervisor and, of course, Gary Grubbs of Grubbs Construction. It is heartwarming to see that there are businesses in Hernando County that are community-minded and instill the same attitude in their employees. Thanks from the students, teachers and administration at Pine Grove Elementary and West Hernando Middle School.

Dave Dannemiller, Cindy Martin, Dave Harris and Ken Pritz, Pine Grove Elementary School

West Hernando Middle School

On behalf of the board of directors of the Alzheimer's Family Organization, we would like to say thank you to all of the following sponsors of our second annual Gong Show that was held on Feb. 17 at the Jewish Community Center in Port Richey

The sponsors include: the Jewish Community Center, National Association of Letter Carriers Suncoast Branch 2008, Aqua Clara, Suncoast Browns Backers Inc., Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home, Doran & Beam P.A. and Milcowitz & Lyons P.A.

Also, we would like to extend a special thank you to Carrabba's Italian Grill in Port Richey for the wonderful job they did catering this affair for us. With their expertise, they helped make the second annual Gong Show a great success.

Lois Martell Alzheimer's Family Organization

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