Advertisement
  1. Archive

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

The Homosassa Flotilla 15-04 of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is looking for new members. People who enjoy boats and being on the water, but who don't have a boat can still join as a member of a boat crew. They will participate in surface patrols, search and rescue operations and interesting training missions with the USCG, as well as patroling for oil spills and other hazardous material and dangers to our waterways.

Other positions with the flotilla include courtesy vessel examiner, who provides a valuable service to recreational boaters and commercial vessels. Or take to the air as a well-trained air observer, flying air and environmental patrols, and search and rescue missions. Licensed aircraft pilots or owners and their aircraft are welcome.

Also needed are instructors, public affairs officers and communications specialists. For membership information, contact Brent Utter at 382-1925 or by e-mail at utterbhitter.net.

The Flying Tigers Plastic Model Club is looking for adults who are interested in building plastic models of military aircraft, armor and warships. Currently the group meets at various times and locations in Brooksville to share expertise and insights with others. All skill levels are welcome. Call (352) 592-5959.

The Citrus County Art League sixth annual Shakespeare in the Hills will present As You Like It and Othello for three weekends: July 27-29, Aug. 3-5 and Aug. 10-12. Single show tickets are $8 for advance, $9 at the door. Both shows are $12 in advance, $13 at the door. Tickets are available at the CCAL box office or by calling 746-7606.

The newly organized Adventure Club of Ocala offers a wide variety of both outdoor and other activities for both singles and couples.

The group offers a calendar of events each month that allows members to pick and choose events in which to participate. Adventure Club of Ocala takes care of all the details, such as rental equipment, instructions, directions and guides if necessary. The next outdoor adventure will be with Adventure Outpost Guided Tours. The group will participate in a river tour of the Lower Ocklawaha Dam River Tour beginning at 9 a.m. July 29. The cost is $25.

Other events might include rock climbing, kayaking or spending an hour in a combat flight simulator. On the calmer side, activities include such things as socials, wine tasting, festivals, concerts, museum visits and theater events.

For more information on the group and its activities, call Kimmie at 351-3606 or visit the Web site at http://www.acocala.com.

HOPE Wildlife Rehabilitation Inc. will hold a free volunteer orientation session from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the west branch of the Hernando County Library at 6335 Blackbird Ave., Brooksville.

H.O.P.E. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Florida's native wildlife. The organization has served Citrus and Hernando counties since 1999 and is solely dependent on volunteers and public donations to care for the animals.

Questions about volunteer opportunities will be answered at the orientation. The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. Friday. Call 628-9464.

Dorothy Hahn and Joyce Shiver of the Nature Coast Branch of the National League of American Pen Women recently presented a check from the group's scholarship fund to the Boys and Girls Club of Citrus County to sponsor a child for its summer program.

The local branch of the National League of American Pen Women tries to raise enough money through their "Penny Fund" to do this each summer. The pennies are collected at each branch meeting throughout the year.

CITRUS KIDS

Runners-up

The Crystal River Blue Jays brought home second place trophies recently from the Highlands 2001 Rookie Tournament in Ocala. In the front row are, from left, Trey Carey, Brad Kidd, Troy Curry, Brian Carrico, Davey Caldwell, Gunnar Hampton. In the second row are Jay Curry, Alvin Harris, Kyle Cooprider, Tyler Humphries, Tyler Swanson, Kyle Buchmaier. In the back row are assistant coaches Mike Carrico, David Caldwell, Bob Humphreys and Mike Curry, and team manager Dr. Rick Swanson.

TAKE A LOOK

Back by popular demand, the Citrus County Library System presents puppeteer Nancy Kenton, who will perform from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Citrus County Auditorium, U.S. 41 S, Inverness. The program includes music, magic, string puppets and several large, furry characters.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Central Ridge, Coastal, Lakes Region, Homosassa, and Floral City libraries. Admission in free.

The Lakes Region Library in Inverness will be a noisy place from Saturday through July 27 as the shelves in the main area are moved to make room for new shelves that were donated by the Friends of the Library. Because of the disorganization, it will not be possible to browse sections of the collection. This can be an opportunity to visit the libraries in Beverly Hills, Crystal River, Floral City and Homosassa.

The Chinsegut Nature Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road (Hernando County Road 476), Brooksville, will sponsor a natural history walk to search for reptiles and amphibians making an appearance after the current rains. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. Participants will look for snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs along Chinsegut's trails. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Bring insect repellent. For information or directions, call (352) 754-6722.

HOMETOWN HEROS

By all appearances Geraldine Walker, 47, is a quiet, unassuming woman. But then most Hometown Heroes are.

To her sons Travis, 28, and Demetrius, 21, and daughter Jamesha, 5, she's probably just "Mom."

But to 10-year-old Charlie Walling, Walker, a special education aide at Rock Crusher Elementary School, is "Queen Geraldine."

And Queen Geraldine rules the hearts of her special flock, the group of studentsshe shepherds through the school year and even into summer school.

Special education teacher Leonora Williams teaches the Exceptional Student Education class in which Walker worked last school year. The class includes children who are autistic, have Down's syndrome, are wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy and have severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"We each have a very different kind of relationship with the children," said Williams. "Some days can be very trying. It takes a lot of love to be effective, but the kids can be real adept at finding weaknesses. She loves them to death.

"She's like a nice, calming rock," Williams added. "How many times I've gone on the couch and said "Im not going to make it,' and Geraldine will tell me, "Oh, yes you will.'

"She never yells, and she takes it all in stride."

"All" can be as simple as hugging a child when he or she arrives in the morning or as involved as teaching a child to feed himself, changing a diaper, explaining to a child why he or she is in "time out" and regularly keeping track of and dispensing medications to the children who need them and riding the school bus in case a child has a seizure. She also works on their reading and math skills.

"It takes patience," admits Walker, who has been with these children during the four years since kindergarten. "I often wonder where I get the energy from."

Her daughter Jamesha provides one source of rejuvenation.

"She's my little angel. She's sweet, loveable ... she's my life," said Walker. "My job can be draining, but it doesn't stop me from spending time with her."

During the summer break, Walker plans to "enjoy my daughter" and spend time with her 8-month-old granddaughter. But her special education charges are never far from her thoughts.

Asked if she misses the children, she promptly replied, "Yes, I do. I already called Charlie (Walling) this morning. He calls me Queen Geraldine, and he's my Prince Charles."

Walker returned to the classroom for the extended school year which ran half days through Thursday.

To prepare for her job, Walker has attended several workshops and has plans to do more in the future.

Not content with just loving her special education charges, Walker has another vision.

"My goal is to have a center for young people," said Walker. "There's not much here for kids to do. That means they can get out and get into trouble. They want to experiment.

"You can get a lot out of kids that age. But they need someplace to go and somebody to talk to."

She also envisions running a home for the elderly who are living on fixed incomes where they would live for no charge.

Wherever the future takes her, Walker is content with her present.

"I know that I'm needed," said Walker, adding that "these children are teachable. It just takes longer ... they learn at their own pace. It's like teaching your own children, but you have to have more patience.

"We never give up," Walker said firmly.

NOTE OF THANKS

Editor:

I was at Winn-Dixie in Homosassa on June 30. It was a Saturday and was raining. The manager Billy was out in the rain with an umbrella helping customers in and out, even taking them to their cars.

I would like to take time to thank him on a job well done above and beyond.

Brenda Lester

Homosassa

Sara Berg of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 15-4, Homosassa, is shown manning the radio during a recent watch at the flotilla's communications trailer on the Homosassa River. From this vantage point, Berg and other flotilla members can communicate with the auxiliary's air and surface patrols and mobile patrols, as well as the Yankeetown Coast Guard Station and other flotillas along the coast.

Runners-up

The Crystal River Blue Jays brought home second place trophies recently from the Highlands 2001 Rookie Tournament in Ocala. In the front row are, from left, Trey Carey, Brad Kidd, Troy Curry, Brian Carrico, Davey Caldwell, Gunnar Hampton. In the second row are Jay Curry, Alvin Harris, Kyle Cooprider, Tyler Humphries, Tyler Swanson, Kyle Buchmaier. In the back row are assistant coaches Mike Carrico, David Caldwell, Bob Humphreys and Mike Curry, and team manager Dr. Rick Swanson.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement