Although the Hernando County Family YMCA already offered many programs in its before- and after-school day care, the children begged for more.
"We asked them what else they wanted, and they said cheerleading," said Tammy Brinker, quality assurance director at the YMCA.
So, cheerleading they got.
After-school cheerleading is being offered at Westside Elementary and Spring Hill Elementary schools; a program is just starting at Pine Grove Elementary School. Eventually, the Y would like to expand the program to all of the elementary schools.
Brittney Munsell is the coach at all three schools. She teaches Mondays and Wednesdays at Westside Elementary, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Spring Hill Elementary, and Fridays at Pine Grove.
Cheerleading directors include Cindy Perretti at Westside Elementary, Michele Hann at Spring Hill Elementary and Sue Bowman at Pine Grove Elementary.
Since the cheerleaders don't have sports teams to cheer for, they have begun performing in the community, at events such as club meetings and fundraisers. Anyone interested in booking the cheerleaders may contact Tammy Brinker at 686-9622.
Now that the cheerleading is going over so well, students are asking for sports teams like football, as well as chess and checkers teams.
"We're thinking that down the road it would be great to have a football team and their own cheerleaders at all of the elementary schools," said Brinker.
"Promoting family values, with hopes that parents will get involved, is what the YMCA is all about," said Brinker.
A side benefit, she said, will be increased school spirit and pride among students.
On Feb. 1, members of the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill made their regular monthly visit to the Little Lighthouse playground at the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind playground to do some maintenance work.
Participating were: Stan Antonoff, Rich Boothby, Don Creedman, Bruce Gresh, Kurt Hornung, Ken Kral, Norm Pallot, Beverly Reso, Dave Speltz and Mike Vassay.
The club broke ground on the playground in May 2001 and presented the $10,000 playground in August of that year. The playground is designed for visually impaired children who cannot learn play skills from watching others play. It is a tool used to help the children become more independent.
Club members had fundraisers to gather the money to build the playground, and all of the members helped in its construction. To follow up, members visit the playground each month to ensure that it is maintained properly.
The playground is at 6492 California St., southwest of Brooksville.
Oak Hill Hospital gave an appreciation luncheon on Feb. 2 for its volunteers and their guests at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill. In attendance were the hospital's department heads, 369 volunteers and guests.
Among those in attendance were Jamie Wesolowski, Oak Hill's outgoing chief executive officer; Damond Boatwright, Oak Hill's administrative assistant; Bruce McElroy, president of volunteers, and Lois Kavalunas, vice president of volunteers.
Awards were given for the total number of hours the volunteers have worked, from 100 hours to the high of 16,000 hours.
On Feb. 13, members of the Cloverleaf Classy Ladies Chapter of the Red Hat Society, the newest chapter in Hernando County, met for their first outing. The group had lunch at the historic Cafe Masaryktown and then toured the the May-Stringer Heritage Museum in Brooksville.
Chapter members of used cans of paint to spray their hats red and then decorated them to suit themselves. Some were beautiful, some classy and others downright funky.
Marty Sullivan serves as queen mom (the person who started the group), and Barbara Langworthy is the princess, or queen's helper. The group does not yet have anyone to serve as the duchess of the monies, or treasurer.
For the second year, the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill is sponsoring the Brought Up Grades program, also called the BUG, at Spring Hill Elementary School. Students in the program must bring up at least one grade while keeping all other grades the same from the previous grading period.
In January, three assemblies were held, and awards were presented to 108 students.
Each student received a certificate, a pencil, a button and a bumper sticker.
The program will continue for the third- and fourth-quarter grading periods.
Additionally, special awards will be given to the most improved student from each grade at a ceremony at the end of the school year.
MEET THE WESTSIDE TIGERS: The Westside Tiger Cheerleaders practice Mondays and Wednesdays at Westside Elementary School. Their coach, Brittney Munsell, and cheerleader director Cindy Perretti are standing in the back.
MEET THE SPRING HILL PANTHERS The Spring Hill Panther Cheerleaders practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at Spring Hill Elementary School. Their coach, Brittney Munsell, and cheerleader director Michele Hann are standing in the back.
Bruce McElroy, left, Damond Boatwright, Lois Kavalunas and Jamie Wesolowski of Oak Hill Hospital attended the volunteer appreciation luncheon.
Members of the Cloverleaf Classy Ladies Chapter of the Red Hat Society met recently for their first outing. Standing in the back row, from left, are: Shaon McNally, Mimi Petrilli, Irene Henderson and Mary A. Staib. In the middle row are: Marilyn Washburn, Ruth Stillo, Kay Bigelow and Shirley Spaulding. Standing in front are: Ruth Cassis, Nan Smith, Margaret Albrecht, Joan Gloden and Fran Washburn. Missing from photo were: Marty Sullivan, Juanita Osborne, Barbara Langworthy, Geneva Pinkham, Pearl Stippich, Alice Sharrar and Eileen Mayer.
Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill members visited the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind to do maintenance on the Little Lighthouse playground. Standing, from left, are: Don Creedman, Kurt Hornung, Dave Speltz, Rich Boothby, Ken Kral and Bruce Gresh. In front, from left, are: Mike Vassay, Norm Pallot, Beverly Reso and Stan Antonoff.