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Hernando County news and notes

EMERGENCY FOOD, SHELTER FUNDS: Hernando County has been awarded about $64,000 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

Agencies interested in applying for the funds must be private, voluntary nonprofits or units of government. The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m. Dec. 16. For qualification details, applications or information, call (352) 688-2026, send email to or stop by the United Way of Hernando County, 4030 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

MUSEUM ASSOCIATION BOARD MEETING: The Hernando Historical Museum Association will host its annual Christmas board meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Country Kitchen, 20133 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.

Food and beverages may be ordered from the menu. The public is welcome. For information, call Ron Daniel at (352) 678-9889.

WREATH CONTEST ADDED TO GARDENS HOLIDAY EVENT: The annual Holiday in the Gardens event will kick off at 9 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill.

Along with the Christmas tree decorating contest, this year's event will include a holiday wreath decorating contest. Themes may vary from urban to country, Hanukkah to Christmas, simple to extravagant. There is no cost to enter the wreath contest. However, those who wish to enter a wreath must call (352) 688-4131 or (352) 683-9933 by Dec. 1, then bring the decorated wreath to the gardens before 9 a.m. Dec. 7. Visitors will be able to vote for their favorite wreaths, at $1 per vote, until noon on the day of the event. The winner will receive $25.

Holiday in the Gardens will also include decorated evergreen trees. Groups, organizations, businesses and individuals may participate at a cost of $25 per tree.

Participants are encouraged to select a distinctive decorating theme that represents their organization, using waterproof decorations without lights (no electricity available).

Decorating will be at the Dec. 7 event, and voting, at $1 per vote, will continue through early January. For information, call (352) 683-9933. Visit the website at

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR TAX SEASON: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide needs volunteer tax preparers and greeters in Hernando County for the coming tax season.

The program is a free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service offered from February through April 15 at various locations throughout the county. Experience in preparing taxes is not required; volunteers who do prepare taxes must be computer literate.

Training is provided for all volunteers in January, at no cost. To become a volunteer, visit to complete a volunteer form.

For information, call (352) 799-2604.

WORKSHOP FOR CAREGIVERS: An Alzheimer's caregivers workshop will be presented from 9:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 5 at Career Central, 7361 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. The workshop, offered through the United Way of Hernando County, will include a presentation on fall prevention. Speakers will include Christine Hamacher of the Pasco-Pinellas Fall Prevention Coalition and Gary Joseph LeBlanc, author of Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness. For information or to RSVP, contact LeBlanc at (352) 345-6270 or

SENIOR PROGRAM NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program is seeking Hernando County residents 55 and older to become volunteers.

Volunteers are needed in various capacities: tutoring elementary and high school students, teaching life skills to young parents, tutoring adult education students, delivering meals to the homebound, providing transportation for the blind and visually impaired, preparing tax returns, working in the thrift store, participating in environmental stewardship programs, and sorting and distributing food to the needy. To learn more, call (352) 796-8117.

HHS ADVISORY MEETING: Hernando High School, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville, has rescheduled its School Advisory Council meeting for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the main office. For information, call Deana Walker at (352) 797-7015, ext. 406.

HOLIDAY BAZAAR: A Holly Berry Bazaar will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 in Johnson Hall at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. The event includes crafts, gift baskets, baked goods and a chance to visit with Santa. Free hot chocolate will be served. For information, call Cindy at (352) 683-9016.

FESTIVAL OF TREES: The Brooksville Woman's Club and St. Anthony Catholic Church will host the annual Festival of Trees Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at the church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.

The event will include a display of decorated trees by participating vendors. There will also be crafts, plants, baked goods, jewelry, woodwork, holiday items and a variety of other gifts available for purchase.

There will be entertainment, pictures with Santa and food available. For information, call Yvonne Malone at (352) 848-7988 or Christy Stafford at (352) 796-2096, ext. 22.

GRIEF WORKSHOP: HPH Hospice will offer a holiday grief workshop at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the team office at 12260 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. The free workshop will be led by a hospice bereavement counselor, who will provide tips on coping with grief during the holiday season. Preregistration is requested. Call toll-free 1-800-486-6784. For information, visit

ARC CHRISTMAS DANCE: The Arc Nature Coast will host its annual Christmas dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Arc's Education Center and Regional Evacuation Shelter, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.

The event is for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Music will be provided by PJ the DJ Lobato. Admission is $5, which includes a gift from Santa, pizza, beverages and snacks.

For information, call (352) 544-2322, ext. 109, or send email to

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Hernando Performing Arts Guild will presents "Christmas With the Marlins" at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Hernando High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville.

The show will include favorites such as White Christmas, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bell Rock and Blue Christmas.

Individual show tickets are $25. Season tickets for this and the remaining 2013-14 shows are available for $72 (four shows). Call (352) 799-5577, visit, or the guild's Facebook page.

Other shows include:

• Jan. 18, Tribute to Johnny Cash with Bill Forness and One More Round

• Feb. 22, Comedian Ted Holum and singer Brian Roman.

• March 22, Central Florida Rat Pack.

CONCERT SERIES TICKETS AVAILABLE: Season tickets are still available for the remaining concerts in Brookridge Entertainment's 2013-14 series.

The next show will be a holiday concert with the Marlins at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., Brookridge.

Individual show tickets are $20. Season tickets for the final five shows are $69.50 for Brookridge residents and $80 for nonresidents.

Additional concerts include:

• A John Denver tribute with Tom Becker, Jan. 9.

• A night of comedy and song with comedian Karen Rontowski and vocalist Steve Fowler, Feb. 13.

• The Edward Twins, March 13.

• Robin Roth, April 10.

For information or to purchase tickets, call Larry or Vivian Schmitz at (352) 610-4901.

TAX VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Untied Way of Hernando County is seeking volunteers to work as greeters, tax return preparers and site coordinators for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. It is preferred that volunteers have an accounting background or experience filing their own taxes. All volunteers should be computer literate and possess good communication skills. In order to prepare tax returns, all registered VITA volunteers will need to complete a short training course to become IRS-certified. Those interested may fill out a volunteer application at or call the United Way office at (352) 688-2026.

Hernando County news and notes 11/21/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 4:43pm]
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