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Celebration of Lights is today at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park


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The City of Brooksville Parks and Recreation will offer a six-week Start Smart "Little Buddies" Basketball program on Thursdays, starting Jan. 14, at the Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place.

The session for ages 3-4 will be from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the session for ages 5-8 will be from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. There will be a mandatory meeting 15 minutes before the first class on Jan. 14.

This is an indoor program designed to help parents work one-on-one with their children, while teaching them the basics of basketball.

The cost is $50 per child, which includes a T-shirt. For information or to register, call (352) 540-3835.


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Hernando County 4-H will present several programs for youth ages 8-18 at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 1653 Blaise Drive:

• Forest Ecology: The Next Generation, starting 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 4. There will be numerous hands-on learning experiences related to plant and tree identification, wildlife habitats, using maps and compasses, survival and more. The program, which runs through mid-April, includes classes, field trips, camp-outs, forest walks and guest teachers. Participants will be eligible to compete at the state contest in Gainesville.

• Consumer Choices: Getting the Most for Your Parents' Money, 5:30 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 29-Feb. 26. Participants will learn about marketing tricks, comparison shopping, getting what you need and not paying for what you don't, and public speaking. Classes are based on four youth-friendly products and all materials are provided at no cost. Participants will be eligible to attend the Central Florida Fair free and compete at the state Consumer Choices Contest.

For information, contact 4-H Agent Nancy Moores at (352) 754-4433 or


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Sponsors are needed for the 2010 Hogan Law Firm Charity Fishing Tournament to benefit HPH Hospice. The tournament will cast off April 24 from Bayport. A dinner and awards ceremony will follow at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way.

Last year's event included more than 50 anglers participating and raising more than $13,000 for the local hospice, a nonprofit organization that provides care, comfort and support to more than 1,000 individuals affected by a life-limiting illness on an average daily basis in Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties. For details, contact Debbie Hogan ( or Jennifer Rey ( at (352) 799-8423.


Dawn Center invites poster contest entries

The Dawn Center is accepting entries for its third annual poster contest, which is open to Hernando County students in grades 8-12, including those who are homeschooled. This year's theme is "Imagine a World Without Violence."

Posters in any medium should be created on 8 1/2- by 11-inch paper with an image and/or text to reflect the theme. Entries, along with complete artist contact information, must be turned in to the school administration office or mailed to Dawn Center, P.O. Box 6197, Spring Hill, FL 34611. Deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 15.

Posters will be judged on creativity, content of message and artistic execution. Winning designs will be used to create posters in support of a youth-led antiviolence campaign beginning in April.

Through sponsorships from the Suncoast for Kids Foundation, contest winners will receive savings accounts. The first-place winner will receive an account with a $300 balance, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

Winning designs will be on display at the City Hall Art Gallery at Brooksville City Hall in February and will be highlighted at the gallery's reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 18.

For information, contact Dawn Easter at (352) 592-1288 or

The Dawn Center is Hernando County's domestic and sexual violence center, and its mission is to end the cycle of family violence, abuse and sexual assault. Visit the Web site at www.dawn

Suncoast for Kids Foundation is sponsored by Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, with 100 percent of its funding going to organizations and initiatives that assist children in the communities the credit union serves.


Celebration lights up holidays with events

The Celebration of Lights will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. today at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, 4150 S Suncoast Blvd.

A Christmas Eve non-denominational candlelight service will be provided by Nature Coast Community Church. There will also be holiday music provided by DJ Joe Dube. Admission is a donation of a nonperishable food item, to be donated to We Care Food Bank.

The event will conclude with an After Christmas Party from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, where there will be special appearances by Elvis (performed by Marcus Held). Admission on Saturday is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12, free for ages 5 and younger. For information, call (352) 628-5343.


Fun times for toddlers coming to libraries

Hernando County Public Library System will offer preschool programs at several branch libraries. The programs include the Toddler Time for children 18-35 months, and Storytime for children 3-5 years.

The programs include age-appropriate stories, fingerplays, songs and more.

Sessions begin the week of Jan. 4 and end the week of March 8:

• East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West. Toddler Time will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesdays.

• Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive. Toddler Time will be at 10 a.m. and Storytime at 11 a.m. Thursdays.

• West Hernando Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill. Toddler Time will be at 10:15 a.m. and Storytime at 11:15 a.m. Fridays.

No registration is required. For information, call (352) 540-6391 or visit


Dance will headline Inter-Tribal Gathering

A Native American Pow Wow and Inter-Tribal Gathering and Dance will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 1 and 2, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 3 in Webster, off Highway 478, across from the Westside Flea Market.

The event will include entertainment, demonstrations, drumming, dancing and vendors. Admission is $3 for adults and children 6 and older; ages 5 and younger are admitted free.

For information, call Boomer at (352) 603-2643.


Battle reenactment offers other activities

The Dade Battlefield Society will present the 29th annual Reenactment of Dade's Battle and Trade Fair Jan. 2 and 3 at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, County Road 607B, off County Road 476. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day.

The event will include a reenactment of the first battle of the Second Seminole War. On Dec. 28, 1835, at the site of the present-day state park, Maj. Francis Langhorne Dade, seven officers and 100 soldiers were ambushed by 180 Seminole warriors. The fateful battle, which became known as Dade's Massacre, marked the beginning of the seven-year war between the United States and the Seminole nation. It was an unpopular conflict that introduced U.S. soldiers to jungle warfare and cost the government $30 million and 1,500 lives.

The reenactment will include 200 historians and reenactors from throughout Florida and from as far away as Texas and Indiana. The battle will begin at 2 p.m. each day at the edge of a 40-acre pine barren, which is within site of the actual historic battleground.

Spectators will be able to watch from a sloping viewing mound and bleachers.

Additional activities will include infantry maneuvers, a color ceremony, soldier and Seminole encampments and artisans. Food and drink vendors will be on hand.

Admission is $5 per person; children younger than 6 will be admitted free. For information, call Park Manager Robert Baker at (352) 793-4781 or Dade Battlefield Society Board member Jean McNary at (352) 567-2596.


Academia Hernando slates winter lectures

Academia Hernando has announced its winter lecture series, which will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Jan. 18-March 22 at Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way.

Lectures include:

• Jan. 18 — Personal Communication: What is Body Language and How Does It Work?, presented by David Traveland.

• Jan. 25 — Frank Lloyd Wright — Working With a Genius, presented by Mark Tiachac.

• Feb. 1 — Acupuncture: The History and Modern Usage, presented by Dr. Susan Phillips.

• Feb. 8 — Great American Trials, presented by Bill Heath.

• Feb. 15 — Monet: The Water Lillies and More, presented by Anne Shamas.

• Feb. 22 — The Moors in Spain and Southern Europe, presented by Joe Menasce.

• March 1 — Bus trip for series subscribers only.

• March 8 — International Events: How They Affect the United States and American Interests, presented by Mike Pheneger.

• March 15 — Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music, presented by Randi Rosmarin.

• March 22 — To be arranged.

Individual lectures are $7. The cost for the series is $50, which includes two free lectures and the museum bus trip. For information, call (352) 597-0158.


Bugles blowing again for Brooksville Raid

The Hernando Historical Museum Association and North Pinellas County Scout Sertoma Club will host the 30th annual Brooksville Raid Reenactment Jan. 16 and 17 at the Sand Hill Scout Reservation, 11210 Cortez Blvd.

Camps open at 9 a.m. each day. Both days there will be artillery demonstrations, music by the 97th Regimental String Band and the Brooksville Raid Battle reenactment. There will also be food concessions, wagon rides and chair rental available. Special activities include a ladies' tea (period dress required) at 11 a.m. and the Blue/Grey Ball at 8 p.m. Jan. 16.

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for youths ages 6 to 12, and free for ages 5 and younger and scouts in uniform. For information, call (352) 799-0129 or visit


Gong Show benefits Alzheimer's group

The Alzheimer's Family Organization will present the 11th annual Gong Show fundraiser at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Jewish Community Center, 9841 Scenic Drive.

Participants are needed for the show. No talent is necessary. For a $15 fee, participants will receive a Carrabba's dinner, custom T-shirt and a seat for the show.

For information or tickets, call (727) 848-8888 or toll-free at 1-888-496-8004.


Polish American club celebrates New Year's

The Polish American Social Club will host a New Year's Day Dinner Dance Jan. 1 at the clubhouse, 7615 New Jersey Ave. Doors open at 12:15 p.m.

The dinner choice is prime rib or chicken cordon bleu, which will be served at 12:45 p.m. Dancing to Music by Jeannie will be from 2:15 to 5 p.m. Proper dance attire is requested.

Tickets are $25 each. Reservations are required by Tuesday. Call Dolores at (352) 596-4802 or Josephine at (727) 862-1520.


Manatee Festival offers tons of fun

The 23rd annual Florida Manatee Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 9 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 10 at U.S. 19 and Citrus Ave., in downtown Crystal River.

The event includes manatee boat and kayak tours, manatee education, a fine art show, craft show, Paul Bunyan lumberjack show, entertainment, children's activities, and continuous entertainment.

Admission is $2 per person. Parking and shuttle service will be available from the Crystal River Mall. For information, call (352) 795-3149.

Celebration of Lights is today at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park 12/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 8:36pm]
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