Make us your home page

Phyllis Day, Times Staff Writer

Phyllis Day

Phyllis Day started working at the Times in February 2000. She works for the Hernando Times regional edition, writing entertainment stories for the Hernando Things to Do page, and puts together various listings for clubs, events, government meetings and other happenings in Hernando County.

Phone: (352) 754-6101


  1. Pasco Events for Sept. 22


    22 Friday

    Havana Casino Night: Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce presents casino-style gaming to benefit Hurricane Irma victims. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Members pay $25 in advance, $30 at door; non-members pay $30 advance, $35 at door. White Room Bar and Lounge, 6472 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes. (813) 298-3232.

    23 Saturday

    Soap Box Derby: Race fans and motor heads are invited to watch this soap box derby and check out custom and antique motorcycles and cars. Includes vendors, DJ dancing and food for purchase. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. First United Methodist Church, 5901 Indiana Ave., New Port Richey. (727) 255-9042.

  2. New festival at SunWest Park will feature chairs, benefit CARES


    HUDSON — Visitors to SunWest Park enjoy not only the beach and the amenities, but also climbing into and taking photos on the "Big Chair," a colorful Adirondack near the parking lot.

    In fact, the chair served as the spark for a new charity event that will take place this weekend at SunWest — the CARES Beach Chair-ity Festival, which will be Saturday and Sunday.

    "We thought it would be iconic to base an event, a community project, around it," said Brenda Martyniak, communications director for Community Aging and Retirement Services Inc., or CARES....

    The Jimmy James ’70s Rock Show will perform classic hits at the festival on Saturday.
  3. Pasco Briefs for Sept. 15



    Volunteers sought for SHINE program

    Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders will provide volunteer orientation at 10 a.m. Sept. 21 at its office at the Area Agency on Aging, 4111 Land O'Lakes Blvd. Coffee and breakfast bars will be served. SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elders through which volunteers provide free, unbiased one-on-one insurance counseling and information about Medicare options and prescription drug assistance for elders and their families and caregivers. Volunteers are also sought to assist with the program. For information about volunteering, contact SHINE program manager Sue Samson at or (727) 570-9696, ext. 234. Volunteer applications are available at

  4. Pasco Events for Sept. 15-21


    16 Saturday

    Pancake breakfast: All the buttermilk pancakes you can eat, plus sausage or ham, coffee and juice. 8 to 10 a.m. $4 for adults; $1 for children. St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, 7922 State Road 52, Hudson. (727) 863-5646.

    Robert D. Sumner Memorial Golf Tournament: The tournament is a fundraiser for the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Florida's pioneer heritage. The tourney was named after Sumner, who was a trustee at the museum for many years and who served as a fundraising chairman for the museum. 8:30 a.m. $50 per player, includes golf and lunch. Silverado Golf and Country Club, 36841 Clubhouse Drive, Zephyrhills. (352) 567-0262, 206-8889....

  5. Pasco Briefs for Sept. 8



    Bus passes available at clerk's offices

    Pasco County Public Transportation is partnering with the Pasco County clerk and comptroller to sell bus passes, in an effort to make it easier for residents and tourists to utilize county buses. The Clerk and Comptroller's Office now offers several PCPT bus pass options. Reduced fares require a photo ID pass. All passes and IDs are available for purchase at the clerk's offices in the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey and the East Pasco Government Center in Dade City. For details, visit

  6. Pasco Events for Sept. 8-14


    8 Friday

    Used book bazaar: Buy used books, audio and video media, magazines and related materials. Hosted by Friends of Hugh Embry Library, with proceeds going toward programming at the library. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City. (352) 567-7449.

    9 Saturday

    'Creating a Hummingbird Haven': Participants in this workshop will learn about the plants, shrubs and trees, plus water and feeders, that are needed for a good haven for hummingbirds. Provided by the Pasco County Extension Service. 9 a.m. Free; registration requested. Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes. (352) 518-0156.

  7. Schools' theater students combine to present first escape rooms in Hernando


    BROOKSVILLE — Inspired by mysteries and movies, the popularity of escape rooms continues to grow. But local residents generally have to travel elsewhere for the experience.

    So when friends and colleagues Lori Erickson and Rebecca Pusta went to an escape room together over the summer, the two local high school theater teachers hatched a plan.

    "We really thought we could do this," said Erickson, theater teacher at Nature Coast Technical High School. "We thought this could seriously be a lot of fun for the community … and give our students a different kind of performing experience."...

    Springstead High School senior Caitlin Foster, left, and Nature Coast Technical High School junior Marie Reilly are characters in “The Gravedigger’s Dilemma” escape room.
  8. Pasco Events for Sept. 1-7


    1 Friday

    Battery giveaway: Those with hearing aids can receive free batteries in common sizes of 10, 13, 312 and 675 free while they last. 10 a.m. to noon. Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation, 6333 River Road, New Port Richey. (727) 312-3881.

    5 Tuesday

    Tuesday Tutorial: A complimentary lunch will be served. The topic will be "Obesity with Cardiovascular Disease," presented by Drs. Michael Harris and Pornchai Kittivarakarn. Both doctors are third-year residents in the Graduate Medical Education internal medicine program at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. 11:30 a.m. Free; seating is limited, and reservations are required. Rao Musunuru M.D. Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive, Hudson. RSVP to (727) 869-5498....

  9. Illness brings John Timpanelli's friends together for benefit show


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Local entertainer John Timpanelli has been singing as long as he can remember.

    He has been singing professionally for more than 40 years. When he was 17, he performed in Las Vegas with Buddy Hackett. He has performed with entertainers such as Shirley Jones, Carol Channing and Red Skelton, and spent more than 15 years headlining on cruise ships. He was once named Pasco's "hometown boy" because he performed at many community venues here and throughout Florida....

    Alfred Hitchcock's spy thriller, "The 39 Steps," opens Sept. 7 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. In back are Anthony Agnelli as Clown 1, Jeanene McLean as Pamela and Mark Burdette as Richard Hannay. On the floor is Kathy Capelle as Clown 2. [Photo by Carol Ballard]
  10. Wakeboarding is newest feature at SunWest Park


    HUDSON — Wakeboarding, a cross between water-skiing and surfing, is a popular and fast-growing sport for thrill-seekers of all ages.

    In recent years, cable wake parks have popped up across the country. But until recently, for those living in Pasco and Hernando counties, the nearest wakeboard park required a drive to either Tampa or Orlando.

    That all changed this summer when SunWest Park opened its newest attraction — a wake park with three cable systems, offering thrills for those wishing to learn how to wakeboard and also for expert boarders....

    George Malacos, 11, launches off the start dock of the full-size cable system at SunWest Park.
  11. Pasco Briefs for Aug. 25



    NAMI offers ongoing support groups

    The Pasco County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers two types of support group meetings each month:

    • The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a structured, closed group, open only to those with a mental illness diagnosis. This group is for individuals ages 18 and older who are interested in the recovery process, sharing coping skills and being with others who understand the challenges of living with a mental illness. It is facilitated by trained peers. Separate groups meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday and the first and third Thursdays of each month at WellCare in the Southgate Shopping Center, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey; from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel, and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Shoreline Cafe meeting room, 14000 Fivay Road, Hudson....

  12. Pasco Events for Aug. 25-31


    25 Friday

    Feeding Pasco's Elderly hosts inaugural Leadership Breakfast: The Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Division/Feeding Pasco's Elderly will host this east Pasco event to mirror the Ambassador's Breakfast fundraising event that has been held the past two years on the county's west side. County Commissioner Ron Oakley will be honored at the breakfast. Sponsorships are available from $500 to $2,500. 7:30 to 9 a.m. Free general admission; RSVP online. Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, 12900 Lake Jovita Blvd., Dade City. (727) 834-3340.

  13. Lots of food and talent galore on tap at Hernando's annual Food Truck Fiesta


    SPRING HILL — With kids back in school, and as summer's end nears, there's a celebration coming to Hernando County this weekend — one with lots of food and a showcase of some serious local talent.

    It will be a foodie's delight when nearly 20 gourmet food trucks come together for the fourth annual Food Truck Fiesta on Aug. 26 at Anderson Snow Park. And back by popular demand, the event will include the second annual Hernando's Got Talent show....

    Phil Vanderhider, the food truck organizer, is donating a $200 cash prize to the winning Hernando’s Got Talent act.
  14. Pasco Briefs for Aug. 18



    Free HIV, hepatitis testing available

    The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County will offers free rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing. Results are available in 20 minutes. Locations other than at the Department of Health will be through the department's mobile medical unit. Test dates and locations include:

    • 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 18, First Presbyterian Church, 7540 Ridge Road, Port Richey....

  15. Pasco Events for Aug. 18-24


    19 Saturday

    Eating Disorders Anonymous: This new group is for those wishing to recover from an eating disorder. Meetings are weekly. The contact is Pam Reitmeier at 10 a.m. No dues or fees. The A-Club, 18922 Titus Road, Hudson. (813) 731-3646.

    21 Monday

    Housing and Community Development Summit: The summit, presented by the Pasco County Community Development Department, will bring together local experts and hosts for panel discussions on topics such as home ownership, homelessness, rental housing and neighborhood redevelopment. Jaimie Ross, president and CEO of the Florida Housing Coalition, will present a statewide perspective on the Florida's affordable housing situation. Ross facilitated the creation of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act of 1992, which helped to ensure funding for Florida's housing programs. The Florida Housing Coalition is a nonprofit, statewide membership organization that brings together housing advocates and resources to ensure that all Floridians have a quality, affordable home and a suitable living environment. 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Free; a complimentary lunch will be served. CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, Elfers. (727) 847-1290. RSVP at