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MILITARY NEWS

Army Pvt. Cameron C. Carson recently completed basic combat training at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. Carson was a member of the 2nd Platoon Maddawgs. During his nine-week training session, he completed basic as well as field artillery training.

After his basic training graduation on Aug. 26, Carson was sent to Fort Rucker in Alabama for air traffic control training.

Carson is a 2004 graduate of Central High School. He is the son of Walter and Heidi Carson of Homosassa and the grandson of Christine and George Spachman of Brooksville, Harriet and Boyd Waller of Homosassa and Buddy and Cara Carson of Lake Panasoffkee.

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Marine Corps Pvt. Joshua M. Lasater, 18, recently completed 12 weeks of basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

In addition to the physical conditioning program, Lasater and fellow recruits spent time completing classroom and field assignments, which included learning first aid, uniform regulations, combat water survival, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and assorted weapons training. The recruits performed close-order drill and operated as a small infantry unit during field training.

Lasater and fellow recruits ended the training phase with the Crucible, a 54-hour team evolution culminating in a ceremony in which recruits were presented with the Marine Corps emblem and addressed as Marines for the first time.

Following infantry training in California, Lasater will be stationed in Pensacola for the next year. He is the son of Michael D. Lasater of Brooksville and Sherri L. Moe of Dayton, Minn.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

By JEAN HAYES

On Aug. 28, members of Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Council 11317, attended the annual awards dinner where Knight of the Year and Family of the Year honors were presented.

Harold "Obie" O'Brien, outgoing grand knight, with the help of Bill Koenig Jr., the new grand knight, announced Frank Mezzacapo as Knight of the Year.

"Frank endorses the principles and is a model for all knights," O'Brien said. "His willingness to participate in council activities is unsurpassed."

After joining the K of C in 1999, he quickly rose to become a fourth-degree knight.

Mezzacapo's is devoted to the church, O'Brien said. He has served on the pastoral council and has served as inside guard, warden and chancellor. He has been a committee member for the Tootsie Roll campaign, membership, Ethnic Festival and bowling league.

In addition to his service to the K of C, one of Mezzacapo's most noted attributes is his cleanliness.

"If it's not nailed down, Frank will pick it up and throw it away," said O'Brien. "He's almost too clean."

Another attribute of Mezzacapo's is loyalty, and it was his loyalty to the Knights of Columbus that earned him his award.

Barbara and Tony DelVecchio were presented with Family of the Year honors. The couple are known for their dedication to charity and serving the church and the council. The DelVecchios have been married for 37 years. They were active members of the Knights of Columbus in Parish, N.Y.

The two are always willing to participate in council events, and Tony DelVecchio has served as a trustee, as a member of the scholarship committee and as a volunteer in the kitchen. He has been co-chairman of fundraisers and helps on the ground crew.

Barbara DelVecchio has served as editor of the parish bulletin, assists with homebound parishioners, and has volunteered for other positions.

O'Brien and Koenig presented both Frank Mezzacapo and the DelVecchios with plaques to honor their contributions.

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The Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central recently reported that the Hernando County Commission had unanimously approved funding so construction of the new Rotary Centennial Park could begin soon. The park is being built to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in America.

Included in the park's overall plan is the first dog park in Hernando County. The project was spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central, which meets at noon every Thursday at the Wellington Community Center.

Club members appeared at a recent County Commission meeting when the park was on the agenda. After two public meetings, commissioners gave the green light to proceed with the project.

The Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central, headed by Andy Gutierrez, president, has already organized a fundraiser for the park. A new 2004 Ford Explorer will be awarded as the grand prize to one winner in a drawing Dec. 1 at Flammer Ford in Spring Hill. Proceeds from the sale of chances will go toward the project.

Also awarded will be a $1,000 prize for first place; two $500 awards for second place; and four $250 awards for third place. Tickets are $50 each, and the odds of winning are 1 in 125. The winner does not need to be present for the drawing.

The Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central has spearheaded many community projects in recent years and has supported several service-oriented agencies in the community, the Rotary district and internationally. Members look forward to making the park project a reality.

For information on Centennial Park, contact Josh Kelly at 684-0313, Andy Gutierrez at 686-8255 or e-mail Bill Newell at wnewelltampabay.rr.com.

NOTES OF THANKS

We would like to thank the crews who traveled to Florida to help with hurricane damage. Thanks to New River Electrical Corp. from Cloverdale, Va., for restoring our power after five days.

You were a godsend.

The Dodson Family

Masaryktown

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As many others who live in manufactured homes, we found it necessary to evacuate during hurricanes Charley and Frances. The two nights we spent overnight in a shelter were at Fox Chapel Middle School on Deltona Boulevard.

We want to thank principal David Schoelles, his kitchen committee, FEMA, the Red Cross and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. All, during both storms, were most courteous and helpful during these trying times.

Sylvia and George Pistorius

High Point

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I would just like to convey to the public a rare phone call (for most) that I received. Who would expect their insurance company to call and ask me if I had any problems from the hurricane even while the storm was still in the area? When told that I had two trees down, the woman informed me that they would be happy to remove them and to call back if I encountered any other problems.

I have had Amica Home and Auto Insurance for 19 years, and they have always been right there when there was a problem. It's a good feeling to know that one company really cares. Thanks, Amica, for always being there for us.

Joe Cevetello

Spring Hill

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On behalf of our board of directors, staff and, most of all, our clients, the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill for its generous donation.

The club had its first annual Music Festival on the Lake, with proceeds going to several local charities, including the Lighthouse.

We are extremely grateful for this community support, as it allows us to continue offering much-needed services to the visually impaired and blind of Hernando County, free of charge.

Thank you for making a difference.

Marian Robinson

Lighthouse director of operations

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We want to extend our thanks and commend the crews from Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative and Davey Tree Service for their efforts in helping to bring back our electric service.

They were working under the most adverse conditions during Hurricane Frances, up in the cherry pickers, despite the strong gales of wind and rain, cutting trees and reconnecting wires.

We had quite a bit of damage, with trees and live wires and the pool cage over our pool. We are very grateful.

Nancy and Edward Cortazzo

Spring Hill

Frank Mezzacapo was chosen as the Knight of the Year by Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Council 11317. From left are Harold "Obie" O'Brien, immediate past grand knight; Mezzacapo; and Bill Koenig Jr., new grand knight.

Barbara and Tony DelVecchio were chosen as the Family of the Year by Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Council 11317. From left are Bill Koenig Jr., new grand knight; Barbara and Tony DelVecchio; and Harold "Obie" O'Brien, immediate past grand knight.

Members of the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central congregated at Weeki Wachee Springs to launch their latest fundraiser to benefit the Rotary Centennial Park. Proceeds from the drawing to win a 2004 Ford Explorer will benefit the new park. From left are Elba Gutierrez, Bill Newell, Carol Newell, Gina Prespare, Andy Gutierrez, Maureen Soliman and Josh Kelly.

NEW KIWANIS MEMBER: The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville recently welcomed its newest member, Walter Roe, center. Roe, who is a FEMA inspector, was sponsored by member Carlos Marrero, left. Roe was presented with his official membership pin, a Kiwanis hat and plaque by Jim Carroll, right, membership chairman.

SKATEBOARD COMPETITOR: Chaz Corradini, 10, placed 11th in the street division of the Burning Across America tour's national skateboard competition. More than 3,000 participants competed. Chaz placed in the age category for 12-year-olds and under. He first qualified for the nationals in Ocala, then went on to the national championship at the Central Skatepark in Clearwater. Chaz is a fifth-grade student at Wider Horizons School. He is the son of Tammie Sue and Charlie Corradini of Hernando Beach.

Up next:OBITUARIES

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