NEW PORT RICHEY
fasano donates leftover funds from campaign
State Rep.-elect Mike Fasano got a chance to play Santa early, thanks to about $50,000 in leftover campaign money. Fasano, a Republican who reached his term limit in the state Senate, was predicted to easily defeat a write-in candidate for state House on Nov. 6, but the law would not allow him to disburse his campaign money to nonprofits until after the election. "So far we've given out about $40,000," he said Tuesday. The top beneficiary was Volunteer Way, which runs a food bank. Fasano gave the group $10,000 to put toward a refrigerator truck or other operating expenses. Another cause close to his heart, AMIKids, got $5,000. The agency, formerly known as the Marine Institute, provides educational programs for at-risk children. It took a huge hit earlier this year when it lost a state contract and has had to cobble together a budget with assistance from the Pasco school district and county government. Other agencies included the Salvation Army, which needs new equipment for its soup kitchen, the YMCA and Boy Scouts. Fasano also gave to People for Haiti, an organization started by Trinity family practice physician Leo Vieira and his wife, Guiga, as well as Lost Angels Big and Small, an animal welfare group, and other agencies. Fasano said having a write-in helped him raise more money for charities. "We didn't ask for money, but people kept making contributions," he said. "I think some of them knew it would be going to a good cause."
NEW PORT RICHEY
Join the movement to quit smoking
The Pasco County Health Department wants to help smokers find their "inner quitter" on Thursday in honor of the Great American Smokeout, an annual event in which smokers are urged to give up their cigarettes for a day — and hopefully put them down for good. Tobacco Free Florida, a free program that offers counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, has three ways to help smokers quit:
• Call the Florida Quitline toll-free at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (822-6669)to speak with a Quit Coach who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a personalized quit plan.
• Enroll in the web coach at quitnow.net/florida, which will help you create your own web-based quit plan.
• Sign up for Quit Smoking Now group classes at your local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) by calling (813) 929-1000, ext. 213 or visiting 17817 State Road 52, Land O'Lakes.
"The most important step a smoker can take for a healthier and longer life is to quit smoking," said state Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "We urge Floridians to take advantage of our resources." For information visit tobaccofreeflorida.com.
Democratic club meets on Monday
The East Pasco Democratic Club will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday in the meeting room of the Commons, 38130 Pretty Pond Road. There will be no speaker this month. Club members are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate for a Thanksgiving basket for a student's family at West Zephyrhills Elementary School. For information call club president Diane Parker at (813) 778-6743.
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.