SPRING HILL -- Every once in a while, a long-standing sponsor of a successful event opts out, for any number of reasons.
Thus, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce recently decided to move on from its annual Rockin' Thru the Ages fundraising event to add a new endeavor to its programming.
In stepped the newly organized Kiwanis Club of the Nature Coast to host the fundraising dinner and show to benefit children's charities. This year's event will be on March 6 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Palace Grand on U.S. 19.
Music designated by decades since the 1950s will be provided by players from the local John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts, Out of Control Band of St. Petersburg, and True Oldies Radio 106.3 FM of Pasco County.
For the costume contest, organizers are asking people to dress in attire of their favorite musical era, competing for prizes of restaurant coupons valued at about $40 each.
The buffet dinner will feature cold appetizers, hot entree selections of chicken and red meats, plus sides and desserts. "Everybody who has gone to the Palace Grand knows the food is good," said Kiwanis president Dana Cutlip.
Event proceeds from sponsorships and various other opportunities will go to the Kiwanians' mission of aid to children, secretary Debbie Cutlip said.
Tickets are $38.50, a lower price than in previous years in hopes of attracting more people, she said. Reservations and sponsorships for Rockin' Thru the Ages are available by calling the Cutlips at (352) 684-9137 by Wednesday.
Raffle tickets will be on sale for items donated by area businesses and restaurants.
Local groups to benefit from the event include the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County; Reading Is Fundamental, a national effort carried out in the local school district that puts volunteer readers in classrooms and books-to-own in the hands of students; and other charities that benefit children from birth to age 5.
"We're hoping to help our kids in school," Dana Cutlip added.
The new Kiwanis group aims to expand the building of K Clubs in elementary and middle schools, Key Clubs in high schools, and Circle Ks in colleges, all of which are focused "to train kids to serve others, dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time," he said.
The club, among five Kiwanis chapters in Hernando, earned its charter in July, achieving the criteria of at least 25 members. While other clubs meet for breakfast or lunch, Dana Cutlip said, "We felt there was a need for a night meeting … that meets (members') schedules."
The Kiwanis Club of the Nature Coast meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of the month at Boston Cooker, 5375 Spring Hill Drive.
Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]