Diane Fintel acknowledges that Nobleton is "way out here in the boondocks," but she also wants people to know that there's a lot going on these days in the northeast Hernando hamlet.
Fintel is co-chairwoman of a garage sale taking place today and Saturday in the community along the banks of the Withlacoochee River, where Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties converge.
The purpose: to raise operating funds for the facility that's at the center of all the recent hubbub in Nobleton.
What formed about a year ago as the nonprofit Tri-County Community Association has refurbished the former firehouse in Nobleton and turned it into the Tri-County Community Center, where all sorts of events are now being held.
The all-volunteer group, many of them formerly affiliated with the fire company, hopes to raise $1,200 to $1,300 over the next two days to pay for insurance for the coming year, said Fintel, who lives in nearby Istachatta.
The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Donated items include: "loads of glassware," including figurines, cups and plates; kitchenware; linens; Christmas decor; wall art; sets of dishes; electronics; a few tools; and "tons of clothes," Fintel said.
A silent auction will feature higher-ticket items such as golf clubs, new Princess House wares, Pampered Chef items and some furniture.
Property and liability insurance are necessary to occupy and stage public gatherings at the community center.
The association's list of events has grown over the past six months to include: Teen Time for 13- to 18-year-olds and a scrapbooking class on Mondays; Young Guns for 8- to 12-year-olds on Tuesdays; a morning coffee social for men and women and a computer class on Wednesdays; a morning quilting class, an after-school musical instrument class and math tutor/study and evening bingo on Thursdays; and afternoon board games and family night movies with popcorn on Fridays.
Special festivities coming up include an ice cream social and hoedown in November and a Christmas party with treats and gifts for some 100 children in December.
The center also offers a free book and video lending library, computer user space, an activity room with a pool/ping-pong table and a check-out station for borrowing equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and emergency medical care items.
All programs and use of the center are free.
"When people come in for an activity, they usually put some money in a collection jar," said board president Dorrie Lewis of Nobleton.
The association has established its budget for the year at $8,000 — "what we figure it will cost to run it," Lewis said.
As for the boonies, Fintel noted that the closest community to Nobleton is Istachatta — neither much more than a curve in the road.
"I'm laughing," she explained, "because there's nothing (in Istachatta) but the post office and library.
"Oh, there's an antique and ice cream shop and a couple of good restaurants."
But she's hoping residents from around the area will venture out today and Saturday to see what the area has to offer.
Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]