Make us your home page

Spring Into Music at Lake House to boost Special Olympics

SPRING HILL — Two years ago, the Special Olympics program in Hernando County was in trouble. After operating for 18 months without a coordinator, the fledgling organization had lost most of its volunteers. Bocce was the only sport local athletes were offered.

When Christine Hogan took over as the local coordinator in September 2012, she promised to revitalize the group. And she has.

With 15 volunteers, the organization now offers six sports to 75 athletes. The group also recently celebrated the grand opening of its office in Glen Lakes Plaza, north of Weeki Wachee.

It all was made possible with the help of volunteers, community support and donations.

To keep the momentum going, Special Olympics will host its first Spring into Music benefit Saturday at the Lake House in Spring Hill. It will include eight hours of musical entertainment, food and family activities.

A lineup of entertainers that includes the Uptown Peckers, Bad Boy Elroy and Razin Jane will offer blues, Southern rock, country and original music. Drive, the Tampa Bay Music Network's 2013 Band of the Year, is the headliner. The emcees will be former Tampa Bay radio icon Russ Albums and Eddie McConnell.

"It will be a great day of music," Hogan said, "and we will have local talent popping in as well."

The outdoor event will also feature a variety of food, such as ribs, barbecued chicken, Cuban sandwiches and hot dogs, as well as arts and crafts, raffles and auctions. Additional vendors can still participate, Hogan said.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition for people 8 and older with intellectual disabilities. The event will help with the costs of providing activities to the local athletes.

"All the money that is raised stays in Hernando County," Hogan said. "It helps the athletes here and helps grow our program."

Local athletes recently finished competing in track and field and are gearing up for the swimming program in June. Other sports in the year-round program include basketball, softball, bowling and bocce. Soccer and volleyball are expected to be added next year.

"We have some great coaches who dedicate their time," Hogan said. "And we have a great team out there."

There is always a need for more volunteers and coaches. New athletes are also welcome. Hogan said she hopes to double athlete participation by next year.

"We're trying to bring awareness to our community and to let them know we're here and here to stay," she said.

. If you go

Spring Into Music

When: 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Lake House, 1202 Kenlake Ave., Spring Hill

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the gate

Contact: Call Debbie Santasania at (352) 442-1570, email or visit

Lineup of bands

2 p.m. Uptown Peckers

3:30 p.m. Justin Theory

5 p.m. Razin Jane

6:30 p.m. Bad Boy Elroy

8 p.m. Drive

Local entertainers Tammy Sue, Fred George, Josh & Rod and Dan & Dave will also perform.

Spring Into Music at Lake House to boost Special Olympics 04/22/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando Events for May 26-June 1



    26 Friday

    Free Zika training: Presented by the Hernando Computer Club, the training is for those who wish to assist in the effort to find a cure for the Zika virus. Club members are volunteers for World Community Grid and are donating their devices' spare computing power to …

  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 24


    Damien Escobar: The acclaimed hip-hop violinist who has played for presidents tours in support of the album Boundless. 7:30 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$45. (727) 791-7400.

    HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 03:  Recording artist Damien Escobar performs onstage during the BET Presents Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Lakewood Church on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET)
  3. The new 'Baywatch' movie is basically about hot people in swimsuits


    Baywatch is a running gag in slow motion, a thong-in-cheek TV retread swapping wholesome jiggles for dirty giggles. There are places for such humor but beaches don't have gutters.

    Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker, Alexandra Daddario as Summer, Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden, Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon, Zac Efron as Matt Brody and Jon Bass as Ronnie in the film, "Baywatch."
  4. Think we're loco? The most unlikely Phil Collins soundtrack hit of the '80s


    Phil Collins was on the level of Kenny Loggins for soundtrack supremacy, but Collins wasn't content to stay in the background as he jumped back into acting with the movie Buster that spawned a solid soundtrack that included hidden gems like Loco In Acapulco by the Four Tops.

  5. Wine of the Week: Mark West Black Pinot Noir Monterey County 2015

    Bars & Spirits

    Mark West Pinot Noir, with its cheerful yellow label and thrifty price point, has long been a favorite of folks looking for a reliably drinkable, well-priced red.