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. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24


    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]