Hernando County news briefs

News and notes from Hernando County
Published March 24


Survey wants views on health

Community members, health care providers and business leaders are invited to share their views on health and healthcare in Hernando County by taking a 10-minute survey. WellFlorida Council is conducting surveys on behalf of the Florida Department of Health in Hernando County through May 26.

The survey is available at wellflorida.org (select “Survey”). Residents who take the survey may enter to win a $30 gift card. Survey results, along with research and health-related data, will be used to assess the region’s most pressing health needs. The information will be made available in the fall 2019 report, Hernando County Community Health Needs Assessment.

Those who wish to receive a printed version of the survey, or for additional information, contact Chris Abarca at cabarca@wellflorida.org or (352) 727-3767.

Grants available for schools, parents

Action for Healthy Kids is accepting applications through April 5 for the following grants available for the 2019-20 school year:

• Games On Grants: Funding and resources for your school to introduce or improve nutrition and physical activity programs. Build a school garden, jump-start active recess, purchase physical education equipment, host taste tests, kick off an after-school activity club or more with a grant of $1,000 or more through the Game On flagship program.

• Parents for Healthy Kids Grants: Parents and parent-led groups can apply for a $1,000 school grant to provide funds and resources to introduce or improve fitness or nutrition programs.

• School Breakfast Grants: Expand access to school breakfast for hungry and undernourished children with grants from $1,000 to $3,000. Funds can be used to implement or expand breakfast in the classroom, grab-and-go breakfasts, or other alternative breakfast programs.

For further information, visit actionforhealthykids.org/grants.

Various landscaping classes offered

The following programs will be offered by Hernando County’s Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program coordinator Lilly Browning:

• Common Insects and the Plants they Love, 10:30 a.m. April 4, West Hernando/S.T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill. Learn the difference between beneficial insects and pest insects. Free; no registration required.

• Shabby Chic Landscapes, 10:30 a.m. April 10, Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Learn easy and inexpensive ways to have a beautiful and long-lasting landscape. Free; no registration required.

• Rain Barrel Workshop, 10:30 a.m. April 13, East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West. The cost is $50 for a rain barrel. Hernando County utility customers who attend and install a rain barrel at their home will receive a one-time $25 credit on their water bill. Workshop attendance is mandatory for a rain barrel; however, those who do not want to purchase a rain barrel can take the class at no cost. Preregistration is required by April 11. Call (352) 540-6230.

Veterans can apply for transitional home

Operation Homefront is accepting applications from veterans and military families for a new transitional home in Weeki Wachee. The home is the latest addition to Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Community Reintegration Program, designed to help veterans and their families as they transition from the military into civilian communities.

Through the program, a veteran (within 12 months of discharge and who has served honorably) and his or her family, will receive temporary, rent-free, single-family housing, financial education and support services. The family will work with a caseworker and financial counselor to create realistic financial, educational, employment and personal goal plans. The two- to three-year program prepares families for home ownership and provides skills needed to improve credit scores, pay off debt, accumulate emergency savings and establish ties to the community they reside in.

The veterans must be willing to work toward self-sufficiency during the program. They pay a monthly fee, which will be refunded upon program graduation. Families also will be responsible for utility costs, while Operation Homefront provides lawn care and landscaping.

For details, or to apply for a transitional home, visit operationhomefront.org.

Foundation helping homeless needs volunteers

The Nature Coast Community Services Foundation seeks volunteers to help make a difference in Hernando County.

The nonprofit organization creates and funds hands-on programs providing care, food, clothing and medical treatment for homeless families, children and disabled veterans. To learn more, call (352) 600-9555.


Blueberry fest returns April 27-28

The annual Brooksville Blueberry Festival will be April 27 and 28 in downtown Brooksville, centering around Hernando Park.

Now in its ninth year, the festival will feature more than 125 vendors selling unique arts and crafts. There will be food vendors, a free butterfly encounter, a kid zone and continuous entertainment and live music.

The fest will include everything blueberry — blueberry pie, cheesecake, bread and shortcake; blueberry soap and scrubs, blueberry beer, blueberry plants and more.

Admission and parking will be free. For further information, contact John Lee at (727) 410-0072 or johnlee@activefoodservice.com.

Nominate a ‘Great Brooksvillian’

The City of Brooksville is accepting nominations for the 2019 “Great Brooksvillian” Award.

The annual program recognizes outstanding men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, culture and/or economy of the community.

Nominations will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 7 at the City Clerk’s office at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave. Information, criteria and nomination forms are available at City Hall or download from the website at cityofbrooksville.us.

The Brooksville City Council will make the selection. A perpetual plaque naming each year’s honoree is maintained at City Hall, and the winner also receives an individual plaque, which will be presented to the honoree or their family at a reception held in their honor.

For information, contact deputy City Clerk Sandra Kirby at (352) 540-3853 or skirby@cityofbrooksville.us

German club to host dance

The German American Club of Spring Hill will celebrate Heimatabend April 12 at the Hernando County Shrine Club, 13400 Montour St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dancing is from 6 to 10 p.m.

Open-face sandwiches will be served. Music will be provided by Manni Daum. Guests are to bring their own beverages.

The dress code is “Trachten” (or club casual). Tickets are $16 for members, $20 for guests. Reservations must be made at least one week in advance. Call Lisa Yaskulski at (352) 688-3744.

Plant, rummage sale benefits scholarships

The Brooksville Garden Club will host the annual scholarship fundraiser, a plant and rummage sale, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 13 at Tom Varn Park, in Pavilion 2, 306 Darby Lane.

Proceeds will benefit the PHSC Scholarship Fund and the Florida Federation of Garden Club’s Wekiva Youth Camp, a summer camp founded to educated youth about nature. For information, call Diane at (727) 418-6678.

Fine Arts Council hosts planning workshop

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. April 7 at the Hernando County Health Department, 300 S Main St. This will be an organizational planning workshop to discuss the long-term Strategic Operating Plan.

The meeting is open to the public. For information, contact the council at (352) 587-8062 or hernandofinearts@gmail.com.

Events planned at Chinsegut Center

The following events will be hosted by Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Blvd., north of Brooksville:

• Nature Explorers: Birds of Prey, 10:30 a.m. April 3. Children ages 5 to 9 are invited to this program that focuses on what makes birds of prey unique from other types of birds. Free. Advance registration is asked of those who have not already attended a class.

• Rude Guests in the Garden, 10 a.m. April 5. The Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service will provide this class on dealing with pest plants in the yard. There is no cost; no registration needed.

• Bat Belfries, 4:30 p.m. April 6. Florida’s “bat maternity” season begins soon. Learn about building bat houses, see live bats and learn about the role bats play in the native environment.

• Night Hike for Fireflies, 7:30 p.m. April 12. This night hike is open to all ages, to take a stroll out to May’s Prairie to look for fireflies. Recommended for ages 5 and older. No registration required.

• ASA Archery Tournament, 9 a.m. April 13. Open to archers 6 and older. Includes 15 known distance targets, 15 unknown targets. The cost is $25 for adult shooters, $10 for youth. Prizes awarded to top shooters. Lunch provided by Drawn by Grace. The tournament will be four to five hours.

• Spring Photo Blitz , 9 a.m. to noon April 13, at either Perry Oldenberg or Big Pine. This is a free, guided activity. The program requires advanced installation of iNaturalist and joining Florida Nature Trackers, both free programs.

• Nature Photography 101, 10 a.m. April 14. Provided by photographer and nature-lover Alice Herden of Green-Fly Media. All levels of photographers welcome. Registration and $20 fee are required. Visit creative-nature-photography.com.

• Tuesday Wildlife Trek, 5 p.m. April 16. This is the last evening guided walk for the season. Registration required.

• Butterflies 101, 10 a.m. April 19. Free, but registration is required to ensure enough giveaways.

• Beginners Archery, 10 a.m. April 20. For ages 12 and older. All equipment provided. Free, but advanced registration required.

For information or to register for any events, call Chinsegut at (352) 754-6722 or visit myfwc.com/chinsegut.

Spring Hill

Jazz concert pays tribute to women

The Hernando Jazz Society will present a tribute to the “Ladies of Jazz” from 2 to 5 p.m. April 14 at the Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Ave. The concert will feature Valerie Gillespie and Sally Smith Adams.

The Wellington Bar and Grill will have a cash bar and optional buffet available. Musicians are welcome to sit in.

Admission is free to Hernando Jazz Society members. Nonmembers pay $10 each or $15 per couple. There is a separate cost for the buffet. For information, call Bill McLoughlin at (352) 799-9690.

AARP chapter hosts lunch meetings

AARP Chapter 5445 will host the following meetings in April:

• April 2 at Perkins, 4685 Commercial Way. The speaker is wellness advocate Karen Mead.

• April 10 at Golden Corral, 5300 Commercial Way. The speaker is Colleen Garrison, who will discuss her experiences with bail bonds, funeral directing and other topics.

• April 25 at Kally K’s, 3383 Commercial Way. The speaker is Alyssa Rawlings who will discuss health and rehabilitation.

All meetings start at noon. For information, contact Bob Howell at (352) 683-9361.

Ladies host a cappella cabaret

Suncoast Harmony Chorus, the local chapter of Sweet Adelines, will present their annual “Everything Old is New Again” Cabaret Show at 7:30 p.m. April 6 at Salishan Gracious Retirement Living, 191 Astaire Lane.

The women’s a cappella chorus and quartets will entertain, and “Death by Chocolate” desserts will be served.

Tickets are $5; call Cindy at (352) 597-4376.

Chorus rehearsals are open to visitors and are open to women 18 and older who have a passion for singing.

Club receives grant for after-school program

The Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County was awarded a $155,000 grant from the Florida Department of Education to operate a 21st Century Community Learning Center free after-school program at Suncoast Elementary School.

The program, Be Great Suncoast, aims to improve academic performance at Suncoast Elementary and will serve children in the third through fifth grades. The program will consist of an academic portion tied to the children’s school lessons and Florida Standards, and a personal enrichment portion that will feature the Boys and Girls Club of America research-based programming.

The site opened on March 11 and will run for the remainder of this school. It is slated to resume operations for the 2019-2020 school year. Applications are available at Suncoast Elementary or at bgchernando.org

Temple hosts events in April

Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., will host the following:

• Zumba with Ease, noon to 1:30 p.m. April 7. Participants dance at their own pace. Movement adaptations include wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Everyone is welcome. The cost is $5 for temple members, $7 for nonmembers. Call Jaynie at (352) 796-4171.

• Passover Seder, 6 p.m. April 19. There will be a catered brisket meal, Haggadah reading, insights and songs. The cost is $25 for adult members, $30 for nonmembers; children (ages 4-12) are $7 members, $10 nonmembers. Children 3 and younger, and all Temple Beth David religious school children eat free. The deadline is April 12 for payment by check or online at tbdfl.org. No walk-ins will be allowed.

Weeki Wachee

Young musicians wanted

The Hernando Youth Orchestra is seeking young musicians, ages 6 to 18, to join the nonprofit group. Adult mentors also are needed.

All levels of experience are welcome. Instruments and music lessons can be provided. Many instruments are available for loan at no cost. Violin and cello lessons are available.

Rehearsals are from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays at the Heather Community Center, 9100 Nakoma Way. To learn more, visit the website at hernandoyouthorchestra.org.

Contact Phyllis Day at pday@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.

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