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Egg hunt tops Oldsmar Easter celebration

There will be 3,000 Easter eggs to hunt at R. E. Olds Park in Oldsmar on Saturday.

The plastic eggs, each filled with candy, will be part of the ninth annual Easter celebration sponsored by the Oldsmar Parks and Recreation Department.

Becky Governale, secretary for the department, says the hunt is for infants and children up to 11 years of age. The hunt will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the park on Shore Drive.

The children will be separated into four age categories, and separate areas will be set aside for each group: infants through age 2, ages 3 to 5, ages 6 to 8 and ages 9 to 11. There will be prizes of Easter baskets in each age group for children who find eggs with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 in them.

Willie the Clown from the Oldsmar Fire Department will entertain, and the Easter bunny will hand out candy and pose for photos.

Parks and Recreation Director Craig Reed plans to lead a group of department employees out early that morning to hide the eggs in the park.

Dancer going to New York

A member of the West Florida Youth Ballet in Oldsmar has been accepted into the summer session of the Alvin Ailey Dance program in New York.

She is Hilary Glade, 15, daughter of Jacqueline Glade and Roger Glade, both of Tampa. She will attend the school in July and August.

"Alvin Ailey is a world-renowned ballet school," says Suzanne Griffith, publicity director for the West Florida Ballet. "Only about 150 students worldwide are accepted into each summer program."

Hilary has been dancing ballet since she was 3 years old. She was in the recent production of The Wizard of Oz by the West Florida Youth Ballet. She also played Clara when the ballet performed The Nutcracker last December in Clearwater and Tampa.

Hilary is a ninth-grader in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, specializing in dance. Academically, she has a 3.3 grade point average and is on the school's honor role. She auditioned at Gibbs last month for the Alvin Ailey program and is the only member of the West Florida Youth Ballet to be accepted.

Ms. Griffith says the summer instruction and training program at Alvin Ailey is "intensive."

"I'm really excited," says Hilary, but concedes she is "kind of scared" to be going to New York, a place she has never visited. But going to such a school "is something I've always wanted to do."

Club has new owner

The East Lake Woodlands Country Club has a new owner, but short of the decor, not much should change.

"It will remain private," said Jack Morrison, the new director of operations, acknowledging what was the big concern among the club's 550 members.

Cobblestone Golf Group, with headquarters near San Diego, bought the country club last month. The golf management company outbid groups that included members of the East Lake Woodlands club. The club's seller, MBL Life Assurance Corp. of New Jersey, developed the sprawling community at East Lake and Tampa roads beginning in the 1970s.

The country club includes two 18-hole golf courses, more than a dozen tennis courts, two swimming pools and a 500-seat restaurant. Morrison said the clubhouse and golf courses will receive more than $1-million in improvements in the next year.

Cobblestone owns 22 other properties, clustered around San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas and Austin, Texas. East Lake Woodlands is the company's first club in the Southeast.

Take a run in the woods

For $300, you get your name in big letters at the top of the T-shirt. For $200, your name is in smaller letters in the middle. And for $100 you get your name in even smaller letters at the bottom of the shirt.

That's the lineup for sponsors who sign up for the second annual Run in the Woods on May 10 at the Brooker Creek Preserve, the only run in Pinellas County that is entirely on ground and not on any pavement.

The run is sponsored by the Friends of the Brooker Creek Preserve. It features 10K and 5K runs and a 1-mile fun run or walk. Last year in the inaugural event, there were 382 runners, but race director Barbara Hoffman of Tarpon Springs expects more than 500 this year.

Mrs. Hoffman says that in addition to getting their names on the official T-shirt, $300 gold sponsors also get to hang a banner at the race. If they don't have one, the Friends of the Brooker Creek Preserve will make them one. Gold sponsors also will get two free entries in the race.

Silver $200 sponsors also get to hang banners, but they're out of luck if they don't have one. But they do get two free race entries. Bronze $100 sponsors can also hang banners, but get only one free entry each.

Entry fees are $10 for runners who sign up by April 21 and $12 after that. After the race, runners get free T-shirts, lots of food and beverages and a race packet with free samples of various products.

Mrs. Hoffman says the Run in the Woods "is a great way to start the Mother's Day weekend with a family event like this."

To be a sponsor or to obtain information, call Mrs. Hoffman at 937-6592.

Laugh for a good cause

A benefit to help get a vintage fire engine for the East Lake Fire Department will be a laughing matter.

The Mallinckrodt Chemical Co. of Allentown, Pa., has offered an antique truck to the East Lake Department for $1. Now the department is trying to raise about $2,000 to pay the costs of transporting the 1957 GMC American/LaFrance fire truck from Allentown to East Lake.

Danny Logue, who lives in Lansbrook in East Lake, has scheduled a special fund-raising comedy night Friday at his Bourbon Street Nightclub at 2471 McMullen-Booth Road in the Oakbrook Shopping Center.

Logue says he normally has an $8 coverage charge, but he's reducing that to $5 for Friday night and is donating all of that income to the fire truck fund. Plus he is providing a free buffet for the evening's patrons.

Three comedians will perform, including Logue's partner, Robbie Gawel of Palm Harbor. The other two, called the Bad Girls of Comedy, are Amy Dingler and Rene Bray, both of Orlando.

Logue said he got interested in the effort to raise funds to get the fire engine to East Lake because he is a friend of Tom May, a district chief of the East Lake department, and because their children play together.

Pat Imperato, an East Lake activist, started the campaign to collect money to pay for the truck's transportation costs. District Fire Chief Jeff Malzone says the 40-year-old truck would be an attention-getter in parades and in fire prevention efforts.

To get tickets in advance, call the East Lake Fire Department at 784-8668 and talk to May, Scott Hanney or Loretta Rosende. Tickets also are available at the door of the nightclub Friday night.

_ Times staff writer Donald Finley contributed to this report.