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Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 recently had its 2002-03 installation of officers ceremony. The installing officer was Tom Koulan, judge advocate.

The new officers and board members include: Ed Noll, commander; Geoff Adams, senior vice commander; Bonnie Reilly, junior vice commander; Harry Gowans, quartermaster; Thomas Koulan, judge advocate;

George Drobina, chaplain; Jeff Johnston, surgeon; Bonnie Reilly, adjutant; Mike Callaghan, officer of the day and captain of the honor guard; Larry "Itch" Edwardson, one-year trustee; Peter Puentes, two-year trustee; Don Griffin, three-year trustee;

Ken Wrinkle, county service officer; Paul Marker, number two service officer; Peter Puentes, number three service officer; Charles Greb, guard; Skip Larimore, newsletter editor; Iggy Fortino, associate editor; and Stan Henniger, house committee.

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 Ladies Auxiliary installed officers for 2002-03 recently.

The new officers include: Elena Cannizzaro, president; Elenora Gowans, senior vice president; Sophie Callaghan, junior vice president; Andrea Hennessey, treasurer; Cynthia Callaghan, secretary; Marie Morrell, chaplain;

Jackie Menker, conductress; Diane Capo, guard; Peggy Koulan, trustee 1; Avis McCarthy, trustee 2; Marge Nicoloro, trustee 3; Christine Hovis, historian; Sharon Puentes, patriotic instructor; and Eleanor Gowans, soloist.

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Members of Marine Corps League Spring Hill Detachment 708 attended the Department of Florida State Convention June 14-16 in Venice. The department gave awards to the following Spring Hill Detachment 708 members, including Vic Voltaggio, commander, who was honored as Marine of the Year 2001.

Distinguished service silver awards were presented to: Les Homan, junior vice commander, Department of Florida; Terry Burcaw, trustee, Detachment 708; Don Pendlebury, adjutant, Detachment 708; Harry Smith, trustee, Detachment 708; and Eugene "Chick" Concklin, Detachment 708.

State elections were held, and the following were elected: Dr. Harry Smith, judge advocate, and Les Homan, junior vice commandant.

Other new officers include: John Camara, district vice commandant, 4th district; Sal Barone, police dog for the Military Order of Devil Dogs, Pack of Florida; and Don Pendlebury, adjutant, Department of Florida.

The following Marines graduated from the Department of Florida leadership school: William Backes, Sal Barone, John Camara, C.J. Daigle, Charles Haggert, Les Homan, Hank Kessler, Manny Miller, Jim Osborne, Don Pendlebury, Gene Podraza and Dr. Harry Smith.


Michael Hardin, Sam Shrieves and Karen Phillips were among those honored at the United Way of Hernando County's annual installation of officers and awards ceremony at Oak Hill Hospital.

Hardin, manager of the Publix store at Lakewood Plaza in Spring Hill, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated service to the Hernando United Way for 10 years. He has served as president and chairman of the campaign and is credited with much of the success of the Publix United Way campaigns. Publix employees in Hernando and the corporation raised $220,000 during past year.

Shrieves, of SunTrust Bank, has served as president of the board and treasurer for the past 10 years. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award. Shrieves has been the driving force behind the successful United Way campaigns at SunTrust.

Phillips, Brooksville city clerk, was also recognized for giving distinguished service to Hernando County. She has played an active role in the United Way campaign by spearheading the city of Brooksville employee campaign and has served as secretary of the board of directors for the past two years.

Leadership givers, individuals recognized for giving more than $500 last year, were from the following corporations: Bank of America, Albertson's, Humana Health Care, state of Florida, Brooksville Regional Hospital, Brooksville Cardiology, Hernando County government, Youth and Family Alternatives, Hernando County schools, Florida Power, Publix, Oak Hill Hospital, U.S. Postal Service, Sparton Electronics, United Parcel Service, St. Petersburg Times, BellSouth, SunTrust Bank, Wal-Mart distribution and transportation centers, Target and AmSouth Bank. Several retired individuals also participated at the leadership level.

Leadership corporations, recognized for giving $5,000 or more in combined individual and corporate donations, were: Target, Florida Power, Bank of America, AmSouth Bank, BellSouth, Hernando County government, U.S. Postal Service, SunTrust Bank, United Parcel Service, Oak Hill Hospital, Oak Hill Hospital volunteers, Oak Hill Senior Friends, Oliver & Co., Hernando County schools, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Publix and the St. Petersburg Times.

The United Way designated one of its 24 agencies as the Star Agency for 2001-02.

The Arc Nature Coast was chosen for its exceptional services in the community. The Arc participated in every event sponsored by the United Way during the past year.

At the end of the awards ceremony, Sheriff Richard Nugent installed the new officers, including: Burt Harres, president; Kevin Watson, vice president; Karen Phillips, secretary, and Sam Shrieves, treasurer.

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The month of May was busy for members of Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520. On May 1, past exalted ruler John Nedjelo, on behalf of the lodge, presented four Hudson High School seniors with $500 scholarships: Christopher Hurtado, David Leduc, Brian Odell and Robert Petrucci.

Martha Severns, president of the ladies auxiliary, presented four seniors with $500 scholarships: Kelly Aguis, Amanda Paulo, Hillery Caron and Jacilyn Law.

The lodge honored mothers with a Mother's Day memorial service held in conjunction with Ladies' and Men's Appreciation Night, followed by dinner and dancing.

On May 27, a memorial service was sponsored by the Suncoast Veterans Affiliated Council and the Aripeka Elks at Wellwood Funeral Home in Hudson. Past exalted ruler Philip Franz was instrumental in promoting the service within the lodge, and nearly 200 individuals attended the service, followed by lunch provided by the Aripeka Elks.

During May, the lodge donated $1,500 to the Lou Gehrig's Disease Foundation with the help of the lodge's bingo charities.

At the 96th Florida Elks State Convention in Kissimmee, members of the lodge won the trophy for Best Opening and Closing for the Central District. And due to the hard work and interest of past exalted ruler Mary Ford, the lodge won first place for indoctrination.

Aripeka Elks also won first place in miles traveled for visitations, lodge activities and gain in membership.

In addition, the lodge won first place for its veterans services, thanks to chairwoman Lorrie Fisher. Out of 40 lodge scrapbook entries throughout the state, Aripeka Elks, thanks to the efforts of Lucille Marino, won first place. Joan Phillips was presented with a national foundation pin for the sales of Elks National Foundation certificates.

On May 30, Fisher, with the assistance of members Gloria Ross and past exalted ruler Mary Ann Steffes, hosted an ice cream and pie social for veterans at the Baldomero Lopez Veterans Nursing Home in Land O'Lakes. Approximately 80 were served.

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Members of the Gulf Coast Homing Pigeon Club of Spring Hill recently presented six high school graduates, four from Hernando County and two from Pasco County, with scholarships. Renne Sacino and Matthew Citarella, both of Springstead High School, and Sherri O'Connor and Jane McDonald, both of Central High School, were presented with checks for $500 at their schools' end-of-the-year awards ceremonies.

Melissa Merchant and Leslie Acreman, both of Hudson High School, were the Pasco County recipients.

This is the third year that the club, a local pigeon racing organization, has presented area high schools with academic scholarships to help further students' educations. Club members Michael Rivera and Pat Kness presented the scholarships to the students.

Gulf Coast Homing Pigeon Club of Spring Hill has more than 160 members who enjoy racing homing pigeons as a hobby.

Individuals interested in the hobby can view the video Marathon in the Sky at local libraries, narrated by the late Michael Landon.


The Temple Beth David Jewish Center of Spring Hill recently had its Ad Journal Dinner Dance at Heritage Pines Country Club. More than 130 individuals attended to honor Carla Becker, Roger Becker, Leon Kreisler and Marlene Praglor.

The four honorees are known for their compassion, devotion and leadership, according to Sheila Schwartzman, chairwoman of the event. Peter Schwartzman, Marty Reinman and Dick Satz assisted the chairwoman.

Jimmy Ferraro was emcee for the evening. Music was provided by the Bob Thomas Orchestra.

New officers of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 in Spring Hill were installed recently.

New officers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 Ladies Auxiliary in Spring Hill are ready to serve.

Burt Harres, left, was recently installed as president of the United Way of Hernando County. Standing in for Kevin Watson, vice president, was Barbara Dupre. Karen Phillips is secretary, and Sam Shrieves is treasurer.

The United Way of Hernando County recently installed officers. Outgoing president Barbara Dupre, left, and the 2001-02 campaign co-chairman, Chris Kingsley, right, were honored during this year's ceremony. Nancy Kaminski, campaign co-chairwoman, was not present for the picture.

Gloria Ross, left, Lorrie Fisher and past exalted ruler Mary Ann Steffes, members of Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520, recently visited veterans at the Baldomero Lopez Veterans Nursing Home in Land O'Lakes.

Renne Sacino, left, and Matthew Citarella, recent graduates of Springstead High School, each received $500 scholarships from the Gulf Coast Homing Pigeon Club of Spring Hill.

Sherri O'Connor, left, and Jane McDonald, recent graduates of Central High School, each received a $500 scholarship from the Gulf Coast Homing Pigeon Club of Spring Hill.

Promoting awareness

The Hernando County Commission proclaimed May as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Month. Commission Chairwoman Nancy Robinson, right, presented the proclamation to Mary Benedett, senior community health nurse at the Hernando County Health Department.

Marlene Praglor, president of the Temple Beth David Jewish Center and one of four honored at the Ad Journal Dinner Dance, was accompanied by her husband, Phil.