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HIGH FIVES

Terry Loschke of Timber Pines won best of show and a blue ribbon at the Florida State Fair for her porcelain doll named Joy. In addition, she received a blue ribbon for another porcelain doll named Chyna.

For a baby afghan made in the style of Swedish weaving, or huck weaving, she won a blue ribbon. In addition, Loschke entered two Italian-style trapunto pillows. One pillow earned her a blue ribbon; another won an honorable mention.

Loschke takes porcelain doll classes in Hudson with Cherrilyn Pearson. The dolls are made entirely by Loschke, including the arms, feet and heads. She then paints the faces, in stages, to produce real-life skin tones. Even the dolls' clothes are made by Loschke.

Creating the porcelain dolls is something Loschke has enjoyed doing for many years. She is working to complete a doll for each of her grandchildren.

At the Manatee Wee Daycare, a program of the Hernando County Family YMCA before- and after-school day care, space was the theme for January. Sue Hampton, prekindergarten coordinating director, said the staff decorated the bulletin board with the children's projects _ planets, astronauts, spaceships and stars.

The children, along with teacher Gina Oliva, built a spaceship out of cardboard and aluminum foil, and the children played in it every day. The spaceship was even equipped with a liftoff sound provided by a Sit-N-Spin toy on top.

After the bulletin board was decorated, one of the children noticed that the board had the same number of astronauts as the space shuttle. And the children were happy about that.

On Feb. 3, after the disaster involving the space shuttle Columbia was reported, the students observed a moment of silence during their "circle time." Later, the bulletin board was turned into a memorial for the seven astronauts.

According to Oliva, the children didn't fully understand what had happened. One student, Emily Kane, said that she still wanted to be an astronaut and travel to space.

"Everyone agreed that these astronauts are our heroes," said Oliva.

NOTES OF THANKS

What a great, memorable day. I have rarely had an experience to match today's Hernando Symphony Orchestra program. I am not able to understand how such a relatively small community can produce such a great musical group. My guess is that Spring Hill, a quality community, attracts quality people.

Listening to this marvelously talented orchestra, I felt that civilization is alive, but I am concerned that it may not be completely well. That is because of the politics of our times, not because of the musical organization.

Some of the music I recognized, such as the Strauss composition, the Emperor Waltz. This was marvelously orchestrated, conducted and played. Other compositions were not familiar to me but were nevertheless skillfully played. Perhaps some where chosen for their difficulty, which tested the talents of the orchestra members. All tests were passed with apparent ease.

For me, the highlight was the closing number, which was a salute to our armed forces and the veterans of past wars.

That closing number ended with a Sousa march. I am very partial to Sousa marches, and this orchestra played it with all its complexities in such a grand manner that, I believe, that no orchestra in the world could surpass its excellent rendition.

I am blessed that I had the good fortune to be present to enjoy this great treat. Thank you.

Charles Derer

Hudson

On behalf of the 23rd annual Brooksville Raid Festival, held Jan. 18-19, the committee would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the volunteers who helped make it the best festival we have ever had.

There were more than 3,000 re-enactors and about 25,000 spectators, and all had a wonderful time.

It takes all year to plan this event, and everyone did their job well, which made my job so much easier.

Again, there is no way I can thank everyone, so please let it be known that the Hernando Historical Museum Association and the North Pinellas County Scout Sertoma Club can rest easier for another year of donations, and we are already planning next year's raid, which will be Jan. 17-18.

Jan Knowles

Event chairwoman

The Hernando Computer Club's motto, "Helping Each Other," is truly a motto of action. The club recently donated personal support and technology equipment to Habitat for Humanity. The donation has enabled Habitat's office to become even more productive.

Volunteers and staff use the computers and printers to compile thank-you letters and to maintain the database. We wish to acknowledge our appreciation to the club president, John Lubertowicz, who initiated the donation of equipment and programs, and the members who gave of their time to make sure everything operated correctly.

Barbara Sweinberg

AmeriCorps Vista volunteer

On Nov. 7, at about 8 p.m., Sammi, Derek (my children) and I were in a collision on U.S. 19 just south of GlenLakes. The driver of the other vehicle crossed the median at a high rate of speed and hit us head-on.

We flipped and rolled at least two times. My vehicle was destroyed. Thankfully, my daughter Heather wasn't with us.

Sammi and I were flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, and Derek was taken to Oak Hill Hospital. We all were released by 4 a.m. the next day. Although we will be emotionally and physically scarred for life, what matters is that we are alive. We had our seatbelts on.

My family and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone at the scene who stopped to help. A sincere thank-you to Charlie McKinney, a friend who was one of the first on the scene. Charlie let us know help was on the way and that everything would be okay. He kept us calm and assured us we were not alone. Charlie, you will be remembered in our hearts forever.

To the wonderful lady who gave Sammi her red sweater to keep her warm, thank you. We washed it, and we still have it and would like to meet you to return it and say thank you in person.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the many members of the Florida Highway Patrol and Hernando County Fire Rescue for their immediate response and exceptional care. Your immediate treatment and direction to the proper facilities was definitely needed and appreciated.

To the crew of Bayflite, what an awesome ride for Sammi and I. All emergency teams worked together to see that we had the best possible care in the shortest amount of time. We want everyone to know what a fine community we live in and what an exceptional emergency response team we have.

Words alone cannot express the appreciation to Dr. Gaurav Malhotra and his staff for the many office visits and treatments. It's been a long road since the accident; Dr. Malhotra, you're one in a million.

To the driver of the other vehicle, we have not been informed of your injuries, if any, and we hope that you and your passenger are well.

Dun-Romin Wrecker Service cleaned up the scene and was able to salvage and locate much-needed personal items that were in our vehicle.

To family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and all of the caring, loving people, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. As always, the Lord has proven to be on our side.

Dora Martinez

The Heather

I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the wonderful turnout that we had at our Heritage Day Festival on Feb. 15. Our entertainment was great, thanks to Sally McDonough, who organizes that portion of the event every year. Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to make this a great festival.

The Talaka Indians from Kissimmee performed three times throughout the day. They have been participating for the past 20 years at our Heritage Day Festival. We had some new entertainment this year, and lots of arts and craft booths.

Two car clubs displayed their cars for everyone to enjoy. In the evening in downtown Brooksville, there was an antique car show with 22 cars participating. I hope everyone got to see that. The car shows will be held every third Saturday of the month in downtown Brooksville from 6 to 10 p.m.

We have a terrific event lined up for everyone next year to celebrate Hernando County's birthday. The event is free to the public, and everyone seems to enjoy it.

Jan Knowles and Virginia Jackson

Hernando Historical

Museum Association

Hernando County has recently lost, at an early age, one of the kindest and biggest volunteers, Floyd Young.

Floyd not only volunteered at Brooksville Elementary School, but also was the president of the Brooksville Elementary PTA and an advocate for all children.

I had the pleasure of attending a PTA convention with Floyd last year. Not only was this the first time a member of the Brooksville Elementary PTA attended a convention, but he enjoyed learning so much that he drove back and forth to Daytona Beach for three days.

He was amazed at how many people were there to show support for children. We need more people like Floyd to be involved with our future adults _ our children of today. Floyd believed in the national PTA slogan: "Every Child, One Voice."

Barbara Renczkowski, president

Hernando County Council PTA

RECREATION AND SPORTS

The West Hernando Athletic Club Seniors is a softball league for individuals over 55 years old. The 60-game schedule runs through April. The playoffs are in May.

This year's teams include: the American Legion, Northcliffe Medical Associates, Moose Lodge 521, the Elks, Poteet Motors and Dorrell Financial. The commissioner is Sal Ficarro.

On Feb. 3, Dorrell Financial defeated Poteet Motors in the first game of the day, 12-11. In the second game, the Elks beat the American Legion, 26-21.

On Feb. 5, the American Legion won the first game over Northcliffe Medical Associates, 16-15. In the second game, Moose Lodge 521 beat Poteet Motors, 7-0. Moose team member Bob Noble's triple play helped seal the win.

On Feb. 12, Northcliffe Medical Associates won the first game over the Elks by a score of 16-15. In the second game, American Legion beat Moose Lodge 521, 5-4.

On Feb. 14, the American Legion won the first game over Poteet Motors, 19-11. In the second game, Dorrell Financial beat the Elks, 14-8.

On Feb. 19, Dorrell Financial pounded Poteet Motors by a score of 13-1. In the second game, Moose Lodge 521 beat Northcliffe Medical Associates, 19-12.

On Feb. 21, the American Legion won the first game over Northcliffe Medical Associates, 16-9. In the second game, the Elks toppled Poteet Motors, 20-8.

Games are at 9 and 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Veterans Memorial Park in Spring Hill. For information, contact Lloyd Rogers, league secretary, at 596-7412.

_ Hometown Hernando welcomes reports on recreational and sports activities, both youth and adult, that do not normally run on the Sports pages. Send news and results to: Jean Hayes, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613.

Students at the Manatee Wee Daycare honored the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia on their bulletin board. Standing in front of the board, from left, are: Kellie Kennedy, Nathaniel Leon, Alyssa Mastandrea, Zachery Ivey, Emily Kane, Matthew Badonsky and Breanna Moon. Not pictured: Samuel Deangelis, Molly Botts, Breanna Taylor and Michelle Braithwaite.

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