DISASTER SERVICES TRAINING SCHEDULE: Those interested in volunteering with the Red Cross are invited to a disaster services orientation from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville. Those attending will learn more about the Red Cross and volunteer opportunities available in disaster relief operations locally and nationally. To sign up or for information, call (352) 620-0500, ext. 5751.
RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP: There's a rain barrel workshop 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 1653 Blaise Drive, Brooksville. Participants will learn to reduce dependence on irrigation and provide water to plant beds and vegetable gardens by adding rain barrels to their landscape. The cost for the class is $55 per person, which includes a rain barrel. Customers of Hernando County Utilities Department will receive a $25 credit on their water bill. Space is limited. Preregistration is requested to ensure availability of a rain barrel. To register, contact Sylvia Durell at (352) 754-4433 or at [email protected]
DONATE FOR VFW AUCTION: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 is seeking donations of furniture, artwork, collectibles, tools, working appliances and other items for its annual auction, 1 p.m. April 27 at the post, 14736 Edward R. Noll Drive, Spring Hill. Donations may be dropped off at the post; no clothing or broken items. For information, call (352) 796-0398.
BOATS TO BE BLESSED: The Hernando Beach Yacht Club hosts the 34th annual Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday. Ceremonies begin at 3 p.m. at the yacht club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. A land-based ceremony will include the raising of flags and brief speeches by dignitaries. Boaters wishing to participate are asked to gather in the channel behind the yacht club (Snapper 1 canal) between 3 and 3:30 p.m. The Coast Guard Auxiliary will lead vessels past a priest for blessing. All participating boats will receive a certificate.
Vessels can then follow the auxiliary boat to Marker 86, in front of the Hernando Beach Club, for a brief wreath-laying ceremony to honor departed mariners and those serving or who have served in the military.
Boaters and nonboaters will be invited to a social hour and dinner that will follow at the yacht club. The social hour will begin at 5 p.m., with a baked stuffed pork chop dinner served at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets are $12. Due to limited seating, reservations for the dinner are required. For information or reservations, call Jack at (352) 200-5763 or email to [email protected]
LEARN TO BECOME A CLOWN: God's Clods of Homosassa First United Methodist Church and the clowns of Spring Hill First United Methodist Church will host a day of training with J.T. Sikes from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 27 at the Spring Hill church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive.
Participants will learn a variety of techniques, such as how to put on a funny clown face in five minutes or less, how to design one's face for maximum expression, and how to work with balloons, puppets, music, singing, face painting and storytelling while clowning.
Registration is open to clowns and people wanting to become clowns. Class size is limited. The cost is $25; checks should be made payable to Clown Ministry, First UMC, Homosassa.
To register, send your name, address, phone number, email and a check to First United Methodist Church of Homosassa (Attn: Theresa), 8831 W Bradshaw St., Homosassa, FL 34448.
ROARING '20S BENEFIT: The Arc Nature Coast hosts its Flapper Dapper Hurricane Hoopla from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Arc's Education Center and Regional Evacuation Center, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.
The event will include a cash bar, a band, roaming entertainment and food. There will be a raffle with a number of prizes to be awarded, including a one-week "hideaway" in a mountain-view chalet in North Carolina.
Tickets are $35 each. For information, contact Nancy Stubbs at (352) 544-2322, ext. 109; thearc-naturecoast.org.
GATHERING OF ARTISTS: An Artists in the Gardens event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11 at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill.
The event will feature at least 20 artists who will set up stations along the garden trails to display their talent, perform demonstrations and answer questions.
There will also be a fancy hat contest, where participants compete in three categories: most elegant, funniest and most creative. Those attending may vote for their favorites for $1 per vote. Prizes will be awarded.
Workshops to create hats will be offered on the following dates:
• 10 a.m. April 23 at Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Hosted by the craft group of the Hernando Computer Club. The cost is $2. Call (352) 684-7171.
• 11 a.m. May 4 at the botanical gardens. Call (352) 610-4643.
Participants in the workshops need to bring their hat and decorating supplies. Donations of supplies are appreciated.
For information, call (352) 683-2898 or visit naturecoastgardens.com.
KIDCARE APPLICATION SITES: The United Way of Hernando County has announced that partner sites for the Florida KidCare program are now available. People may obtain applications and assistance at the following locations: Head Start-Mid Florida Community Service offices, all branches of the Hernando County Public Library System, A New Generation center and Mid-Florida Community Services. Local partners have been trained and certified to assist residents with applying for the state's health insurance for uninsured Florida children ages 18 and younger, including MediKids for children ages 1 to 4, Healthy Kids for ages 5 to 18, Children's Medical Services Network for ages birth through 18 with ongoing medical needs or special health care or emotional needs, and Medicaid for children from birth through age 18. For information, call 211 or visit 211connects.org.
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS LOGO CONTEST: Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson has announced a contest to design a new logo for the elections office. The contest is open to Hernando County students in grades 8 to 12 — public, private or homeschooled. The logo will be used in materials produced by the elections office, as well as on the website and other social media. The winning entry will receive a gift packet provided by local businesses. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. May 17. The winner will be announced May 24. The application and complete set of rules is available on the elections website at hernandovotes.com. For information, call (352) 754-4125.
DISCO DANCE: The Spring Hill Community Association will host "Disco Night — A Donna Summer Tribute" from 7 to 10 p.m. April 27 at the Lake House, 1202 Kenlake Ave., Spring Hill. The indoor event will feature music by DJ Marty the One-Man Party. There will be a contest for best disco attire, raffles and prizes. Snacks will be served, and beer and wine available for purchase. Tickets are $10 each. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. Call (352) 666-4746. Visit the website at springhilllakehouse.com.
CELEBRATING ARBOR DAY: The city of Brooksville's Beautification Board and the City Council will host an Arbor Day celebration at 10 a.m. April 26 at Russell Street Park, 70 Russell St., Brooksville.
The celebration will include City Council members, Beautification Board members, city staffers and Hernando High School students and faculty. The students will display posters on what Arbor Day means to them. County forester Justin Draft from the Florida Forest Service will provide insight on choosing proper trees for the area and how to maintain them.
The celebration will conclude with students and city staffer planting a tree donated by Stewart's Tree Service.
For information, contact Kim Harsin at (352) 540-3810 or [email protected]
BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL INFORMATION: The Florida Blueberry Festival committee invites the community to attend its meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 24 at the Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place, off Darby Lane, Brooksville.
Residents and business owners will be provided with information about the festival, including road closures. There will be an opportunity to ask questions. For information, call (352) 754-4173.
LEARN CPR: A CPR/automated external defibrillator class will be offered at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Brooksville Enrichment Center, Suite 120, in the Medical Arts Building at Brooksville Regional Hospital, 17222 Hospital Blvd., west of Brooksville. The class will also be offered May 2. The course meets the guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. It is designed for professional health care providers, but anyone may participate. The cost is $20. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a two-year certification card. Seating is limited; reservations are required. Call Bob Kanner at (352) 597-8875.
MINISTRY TO OFFER LUNCH FOR THE NEEDY: Second Chance Restoration Ministries will host a free hot lunch for the homeless and needy at noon April 27 at 19235 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. For information, call (352) 585-6881 or (352) 585-6083.