How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
I've lived in Hernando County since 1989. I was born and raised in Kentucky. I moved to Hernando from Chicago because of its geographic location, and it allowed me to continue to raise my children in a rural setting as well as being close to metropolitan areas.
Who are the members of your family?
I'm married to a wonderful man, John. We have two wonderful daughters. John's daughter, Chelsea, died in 2000. Danielle, 27, graduated from Central High School and now resides in Manhattan, N.Y., where she is a financial analyst. Megan, 22, graduated from Nature Coast Technical High School and resides in Spring Hill. She is a licensed massage therapist and the office manager of Custom Discount Blinds.
Tell us about your career.
I am currently the director of the Enrichment Centers/H2U. We are a 501c3 charitable organization that offers activities and services for seniors. We have two locations in Hernando County. Our Brooksville location is at 670 Brook Plaza, and our Spring Hill location is on the grounds of Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd. We have two part-time employees and more than 100 volunteers.
The Enrichment Centers offer a full comprehensive program, which includes health education, recreation and the promotion of ongoing personal growth. We serve as a focal point for health information and community services, and also offer a means for the individual to socialize and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Last year we had more than 112,000 visits to our centers. The centers actively participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, American Heart Association's Heart Walk, RSVP's toy drive and the Thanksgiving food basket drive. We donate old cell phones to the Sheriff's Office to be used for 911 calls. We donate electric blankets through our Blankets of Love program and help seniors pay for their prescription medicine if they can't afford it.
We support our troops every Friday by wearing red T-shirts, and we fed more than 500 people this year during our Older American's Month picnic, thanks to Frank and Peggy McDowell and their monster grill.
I was a First Hernando Youth Soccer League board member and coached soccer for many years. In 1993, I coached the first all-girls competitive soccer team in Hernando County and won the Florida Sunshine Cup in 1994. I've coached Little League softball at the Hernando County Family YMCA, was a Screaming Eagles board member and coached Little League Cheerleading.
I was past president of the school advisory committee at both Pine Grove Elementary School and West Hernando Middle School. I've been a member of the Hernando County superintendent search committee and sat on the countywide disciplinary committee from 1996 to 2000.
I have chaired the Relay for Life event and donated time to the American Heart Association's Heart Ball, as well as the Dawn Center. I received the HCA Frist Humanitarian Award as well as the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award.
I am blessed to be a resident of Hernando County, where so many good people do good things.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I am a member of the Hernando Operating Unit of the American Cancer Society. We are currently working on the 2009 Cattle Baron's Ball. I'm in charge of getting the tickets sold. Individuals interested in attending can contact me at (352) 597-6331.
Through our fundraising efforts, we enable the American Cancer Society to expand critically important advocacy, research, education and patient service programs, and continue the search for cancer treatments.
I am also the president of the Senior Rx Assistance Charitable Trust program in Hernando County. The mission of the program is to work in conjunction with local area nonprofits and government agencies to assist Hernando County seniors who are 60-plus and need assistance in purchasing their prescription medications.
Do you have any special hobbies?
My family is my hobby, but I also love the water and going to the beach here in Hernando County. I also enjoy the world of politics. I believe that everyone's opinion counts and should be heard.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
Hernando County is the best place to live. I believe you only get back from your community what you give to it. Volunteers make the world go around, and we have wonderful volunteers here in Hernando County!
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
Most people don't know that I am a major Kentucky Wildcats fan. I cannot wait until football season has ended because shortly after that, basketball seasons starts.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at [email protected] or (352) 848-1438.