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    Exercise classes target arthritic

    By RICHARD DANIELSON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 1, 2001


    PALM HARBOR -- The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program is offered five days a week at Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Services, 3450 East Lake Road, Suite 100.

    The program, taught by Arthritis Foundation-certified instructor Fran Larson of Palm Harbor, is a series of gentle exercises in the pool and is open to anyone with arthritis or fibromyalgia. It is not necessary to know how to swim.

    Larson, 61, said she had to quit her job four years ago after fibromyalgia made it impossible for her to sit at her computer. She started the aquatics program because she liked the idea of "gliding and dancing" in warm water. She has recovered enough to become an instructor for the program. She conducts three sessions on Mondays, two on Wednesdays and Fridays and one on Thursdays. Each session lasts 45 to 50 minutes.

    The program is co-sponsored by the Gulf Coast branch of the Arthritis Foundation. Morning and evening classes are offered, and participants meet two to three times a week.

    Also, the Arthritis Foundation PACE program is being offered at Lifestyle Fitness Solutions and Yoga Studio in Palm Harbor. Sessions meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. at 34010 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. Registration is required.

    PACE is an acronym for People with Arthritis Can Exercise. The program is a recreational series of gentle movements and activities designed to help increase mobility and range of motion. Instructors trained by the foundation conduct the sessions.

    For information, class fees and registration for either program, call Lifestyle Solutions at (727) 934-8668. For information about arthritis, call the Arthritis Foundation Gulfcoast Region at (727) 576-1727 or (800) 850-9455.

    Community center shows 'Meet the Parents' movie

    TARPON SPRINGS -- The Tarpon Springs Community Center, 400 S Walton Ave., will show the movie Meet the Parents free at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Call (727) 942-5628 for information.

    Dietitian offers youth weight-control program

    TARPON SPRINGS -- A weight-management program for children ages 8 to 12 will begin April 18 at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. The program, which is run by registered dietitian Karen Cohen, will run for 9 weeks, from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. on Wednesdays. The program requires physician approval and parental participation. It guides children and their families to make gradual changes in diet, exercise, lifestyle, attitudes and communication. A maximum of eight families will be accepted. Call Cohen at (727) 784-8546 for information and to register.

    Little League dedicates new concession stand

    EAST LAKE -- A dedication ceremony will take place today for the East Lake Little League's new concession stand at the Upper Pinellas Youth Sports Complex off Old Keystone Road.

    The $80,000 concession stand is the result of months of fundraising by the Little League, said David Root, president of the organization.

    "A lot of hard work went into this effort," Root said.

    The dedication will take place at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the ceremony, which will feature all the past presidents of the Little League, there will be a dunk tank and moonwalk for the children, and team pictures will be taken.

    The league has 525 players this season in boys baseball and girls softball. The season starts in February and runs through June.

    The Upper Pinellas Youth Sports Complex provides facilities to three separate sports organizations: Upper Pinellas Youth Football and Cheerleading Inc., Upper Pinellas Youth Soccer Association and East Lake Little League.

    Performing arts center presents two shows

    TARPON SPRINGS -- The Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 E Pine St., has two shows this week:

    At 7 p.m. Thursday, Walking the Dog Theater will present The Fall of a Sparrow, a drama of Hamlet's sovereignty featuring music, masks and selections from Shakespeare's text. Admission is $11; $9 for center members or students.

    At 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Russian trio Moscow Nights will present a musical program incorporating classics of Russian folklore and including humorous songs, lyrical suites and dance numbers. Admission is $12; $10 for center members and students.

    Volunteers provide free basic tax help at library

    OLDSMAR -- Free tax assistance is available through April 11 at the Oldsmar Public Library, 101 State St., in the first-floor meeting room.

    Basic tax returns for limited-income, elderly or non-English speaking people is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Volunteers will be at the library Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call (813) 855-5940.

    Garden club meeting includes rain forest speech

    TARPON SPRINGS -- The Garden Club of Tarpon Springs will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Recreation Center, 105 Library Circle in Craig Park. Dr. Paul Beaver of Amazon Expeditions will speak on the Amazon rain forest. Lunch is provided. For information, call (727) 843-0581.

    Palm Harbor newcomers group meets Thursday

    PALM HARBOR -- The Palm Harbor Newcomers Alumnae & Friends will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday at the East Lake Woodlands Country Club, 300 East Lake Fairway. All are welcome. Call (727) 796-1405 for reservations.

    YMCA Healthy Kids event stresses family fitness

    EAST LAKE -- The YMCA of North Pinellas will host Healthy Kids Day on Saturday at the YMCA, 4550 Village Center Drive, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Scheduled activities include canine demonstrations, clowns, arts and crafts, a water kayak show and displays from local agencies.

    Publix will be serving free hot dogs and soda at the event.

    This is the third year the event is being held at the North Pinellas YMCA. It is part of a nationwide YMCA celebration, according to fitness director Chris Clines. Last year, more than 250 attended the event.

    "This is an event for the whole family," Clines said. "It's a great way to promote health and fitness in an enjoyable way."

    For information, call (727) 772-9622.

    Garden club will discuss herbs and small plants

    EAST LAKE -- The Palm Harbor Garden Club will hold its monthly meeting 12:30 p.m. April 9, at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road.

    The program will be on small garden items and herbs, presented by Monica Brandies of Brandon. The meeting is open to the public. For information, call (727) 784-7425.

    Woman's club offers grants for non-profits

    PALM HARBOR -- The GFWC Palm Harbor Junior Woman's Club will award 10 grants of up to $1,000 to qualified non-profit organizations that serve North Pinellas.

    Interested organizations can pick up application packets in the vestibule of the Palm Harbor Library or get an application on-line at http://www.phmainstreet.com/phjwc.htm. The application deadline is Monday. Grants will be awarded May 23.

    Send questions by email to phjwc@hotmail.com or fax to (727) 781-4725.

    Students need equipment for YMCA scuba classes

    The YMCA of North Pinellas will offer scuba classes beginning April 13. The classes will be held Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the YMCA, 4550 Village Center Dr.

    At the conclusion of class and pool training, students will participate in five open-water dives over two days.

    Students must provide a mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt and weights. Wet suits are not provided and are not required for the class.

    For information, call (727) 772-9622.

    List of activities begin at rec complex and park

    PALM HARBOR -- The Palm Harbor recreation program is registering participants for a variety of programs at the Sunderman Recreation Complex and Putnam Park.

    Programs being organized for the Sunderman complex, 1631 Ninth St., include:

    A 12-week beach volleyball league beginning May 1. Six-player recreational teams for males and females will play on Tuesdays, while six-player coed competitive teams will play Thursdays. The cost is $25 per team, plus $18 for Palm Harbor residents and $23 for non-residents. Organizers will try to place individuals on teams.

    Summer roller hockey leagues for children 8 and under, 11 and under and 14 and under. The season runs from June 25 through Aug. 16, and registration will take place May 1 to June 8. The cost is $50 for residents and $62.50 for non-residents. The fee includes a 15-game season, tournament, hockey jersey, trophy and supplemental insurance coverage.

    A summer adult inline skate hockey league that will play Friday evenings from April 27 to Aug. 17. Registration lasts until April 20. The cost is $70 and includes a jersey. There is no fee for goalies.

    Programs at Putnam Park, 799 Reviere Road, include:

    A spring break cheerleading camp April 11-13 for children from kindergarten through eighth grade. The cost is $60. Registration is 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays through Thursday.

    A 30-and-over flag football league that will play a 12-week season on Sunday mornings beginning April 1. There is a team entry fee of $350, plus a player entry fee of $18 for residents and $23 for non-residents.

    An ongoing tae kwon do program for participants age 5 and up. It meets Mondays and Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Anyone interested can start this program any time. The cost is $37 per month for residents and $46.25 as a non-resident. There is also a $37.50 uniform fee. Call (727) 734-9704 for information.

    A one-stroke art class that meets Saturdays. Call (727) 785-9862 and leave name and telephone number.

    The park also offers a free introductory tennis lesson for adults and children and a variety of paid tennis programs. Call (727) 785-9862 for information.

    Struggling eighth-grader needs male mentor's help

    PALM HARBOR -- Carwise Middle School, 3301 Bentley Drive, needs a male mentor to help an eighth-grade boy who has difficulty with class work. Volunteers work an hour a week tutoring and mentoring struggling students.

    The school district also has scheduled a session on effective mentoring strategies from 9 to 11 a.m. April 17 at the district's Area I Office, 525 Pennsylvania Ave., Palm Harbor. Participants are asked to park at the church next door.

    Anyone interested in volunteering can call the school district's community involvement office at (727) 588-6405 or get information at http://www.pinellas.k12.fl.us.

    All Children's guild plans Margaritaville fundraiser

    PALM HARBOR -- The Palm Harbor Branch of All Children's Hospital Guild is hosting Margaritaville Under the Oaks, a fund-raising event for the hospital at 5 p.m. April 21.

    The event will feature Jimmy Buffet-style music, trained parrots and entertainment by local singer and songwriter John Mayeux.

    There will be a silent auction and a variety of tropical drinks and refreshments. Tickets are $50.

    The event will be held on the grounds of the law offices of Florin, Roebig and Walker at 777 Alderman Road.

    The next meeting of the guild will be April 16 at George Young United Methodist Church, 2801 East Lake Road.

    For information, call (727) 784-8851.

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