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WHAT'S HAPPENING

(ran East edition)

Land O'Lakes Cheerleaders Participate in Clinic

The Land O' Lakes High School Cheerleaders with Coach Pennye Garcia recently traveled to the University of Central Florida to participate in a stunt clinic in preparation for competition season. UCF cheerleaders are ranked as one of the nation's top cheerleading squads. The UCF cheerleading coaches as well as about 35 cheerleaders were present to assist the high school cheerleaders and their coaches with new stunts.

The cheerleaders had a non-stop day of stunts. Coach Garcia said they were definitely challenged and brought home many new stunts to work on. The cheerleaders worked on basket tosses, transitional stunts, partner stunting and learned new techniques in stretching, following the examples of the UCF cheerleaders. The university coaches gave pointers throughout the day, which added a personal touch to the quality program offered by UCF.

Garcia expressed her great pride in the Land O' Lakes High School Cheerleaders, praising them for their dedication to this clinic on what could have been an otherwise leisurely Saturday.

The Land O' Lakes Cheerleaders will appear in their first competition Jan. 15 at the Best of Pasco event to be held at Mitchell High School, New Port Richey. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. The second competition will take place at Universal Hard Rock on January 28-30. The final competition will occur at the Florida State Fair on Feb. 19.

Anyone wanting more information about the Land O' Lakes High School Cheerleaders can call Coach Pennye Garcia at (813) 996-6274.

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Fourth annual Gingerbread House contest

Wesley Chapel High School students in Principles of Food Preparation class recently participated in the Fourth Annual Gingerbread House contest. The contest is a culmination of the skills learned throughout the semester and is graded as the class' final performance exam.

Following the guidance of teacher Adeline Brill, students are given a Wilton Gingerbread House kit and they must then design their house. They're judged on its overall appearance, creativity, originality, imaginative use of candy and ingredients for added decoration, and piping skills.

Best of show went to the PAWNS, an entry name derived from the first initial of the students in the group that planned and worked together on the house. Those students were Paul Malone, Ashley Hossman, Will Prynn, Natalie Negroe, and Smita Kothari. This team also won the award for Best Piping Skills.

First place was awarded to an entry called Gingerbread Mayhem, created by Megan Archer, Jessica Albritton, Anthony Bonilla, Gavin Perhot, and Alex Turner. Special features of this entry included a Snickers candy fireplace and a yellow brick road.

Second place went to Jessica Brandow, Marissa Coppin, Elizabeth Hernandez and Kelley Kinsey for their entry called Sweet Christmas House. Designed with a sliced almond roofline, the house featured a tiny Chicklets walkway.

Third-place winners were Trishia Rush, Rachael Hankins, Sarah Fatzinger, Kelsey Reis, and Shontiel Robinson. Candy Cabin, created by this group, featured a mini marshmallow igloo and a fondant sleigh.

Judges for the event were Mike Stepp, Wesley Chapel teacher; Robin Borick, media specialist; Joanne Amann, School Related Personnel of the Year at Wesley Chapel High; Gail Stout, FACS supervisor; and student judges, Erin Petersen and Kristy Patrick.

HIGH FIVES

Florida Cancer Institute employee receives degree

Florida Cancer Institute has announced that Desiree Weeks, patient scheduler at the institute since 1998, recently received an associate of arts degree form Pasco-Hernando Community College. The degree was awared to Weeks at the December graduation ceremony.

In making the announcement, Mary Capo, office manager for Florida Cancer Institute, Brooksville, congratulated Weeks for her commitment to her educational advancement, while never missing a beat on her job.

Florida Cancer Institute has five locations throughout Pasco and Hernando counties.

Payne to supervise Tournament of Roses Parade

Eddie Payne, owner of Marion Smith Florist in Zephyrhills, and president of the American Institute of Floral Designers has been selected once again to supervise the last-minute details of completing the floral arrangements used on the parade floats of the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Calif. This marks the 12th year Payne has assisted with the parade.

At the 2004 parade, Payne supervised the production of the parade's top award winning float. The "Sweepstakes" award was presented last year to the float sponsored by FTD, Florists Transworld Delivery.

The theme for this year's parade is "Celebrate Family," and parade floats are being designed with the timely theme in mind.

The mechanical construction of the floats has been going on all this past year, but only during the final few days are flowers and floral product added to the floats.

Commissioners commend Hope

The Pasco County Commission recently recognized Kenneth H. Hope as he retires from his career with Pasco County.

Hope began his career with Pasco County in January 1990, in the Central Permitting Department as a customer service specialist II and in December 1990, he began work in the Real Estate Division as a right of way agent and was then promoted to his current position of review appraiser.

Commissioners recently approved a resolution commending Hope. Here's what it said:

Throughout his career, Hope has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to his department by his display of loyalty, expert knowledge of departmental operations and procedures, and his knowledge of the history of west Pasco. Throughout the years, Hope has exhibited his skills and expertise to his department and Pasco County residents by solving any problems that may have arisen on any given day in a polite, courteous, and efficient manner.

Hope will always be remembered for his archaeological expertise, willingness to assist whenever needed, and courtesy in answering questions for the public and staff.

REACHING OUT

Success for East Pasco Toys for Tots

Bob Loring, co-chairman of Toys for Tots of East Pasco, happily announced that all families needing help during the holiday season had their needs met through the effective efforts of many volunteers and many caring, giving individuals in the central and east Pasco areas.

The Sgt. Major Michael Curtin Marine Corps League Detachment 1124 began the toy drive in late November with the toy drop boxes in many cooperating businesses and other productive locations throughout the area. On the first Saturday in December, the U.S. Postal Service Letter Carriers collected thousands of toys. Members of the Pasco Fire and Rescue helped Marines collect and store toys. Chrome Express, a Dade City trucking company, once again, donated two oversized trailer trucks in which the toys were stored until needed.

Many residents and businesses assisted by organizing toy collection parties and events. Innovative ways allowed multiple toys to be provided for an estimated 4,000 children.

On Dec. 18th, crews started distribution. Aside from toys, each participating family was offered a food box supplied by Food for Tots. At some locations, families were offered school supplies, collected by the Land O'Lakes Interact Club, trinkets for teens from Girl Scouts, socks and underwear from the Rotary Club, children's shoes. From Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills, each family received a new school dictionary.

A large crew of "Merry Volunteer Elves" with the motto "Elves Have All the Fun" registered and assisted 1,020 families in selecting toys for 2,855 tots. The program effectively employed Pasco High School students, Pasco Hernando Community College students, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies. Further assistance came from the Interact Club of Land O'Lakes High School, National Guard members and the Zephyrhills Police Explorers.

"We ran out of folks needing help well before we ran out of toys. This allowed us to donate our surplus toys to many worthy charities and other organizations in need," Loring said.

He attributed the tremendous Toys for Tots success to all the caring friends living throughout east and central Pasco. Loring said, "I did not witness one participant or elf helper that was not touched by the importance of our worthy endeavor. Each in his own way received a satisfying dose of "Christmas Spirit" for their effort."

The Marines stayed on duty with the program through Christmas Eve in an attempt to assist needy families that missed the toy distribution.

Land O' Lakes High School cheerleaders who recently attended a stunt clinic at University of Central Florida, from left, bottom row, are Ashlea Steinbacher, Nicky Newman, Erynn Perkins and Kristin Wright. In second row, from left, are Coach Pennye Garcia, Kaley Campbell, Cassandra Carver, Laura Eberhard, Jessica Ruddock, Kendra Carpenter, Caitlin Costa and Jackie Croteau. In the third row, from left, are Aubrey Teston, Danette Boger, Kristi Garcia, Rachel Robinson, Christina Pettit, Ann Marie Priest, Danielle Crowley and UCF Coach Linda Gooch.

Taking Best of Show in the Wesley Chapel High School Gingerbread House contest, from left, were Paul Malone, Will Prynn and Smita Kothari. Also in the group, but not present for the photo, were Ashley Hossman and Natalie Negroe.

Wesley Chapel High School students, Megan Archer, sitting, and standing from left, Jessica Albritton, Anthony Bonilla, Gavin Perhot and Alex Turner, created Gingerbread Mayhem and took first place in the recent Gingerbread Contest.

Wesley Chapel High School students, from left, Trishia Rush, Rachael Hankins, Sarah Fatzinger, Kelsey Reis and Shontiel Robinson, captured third place in the gingerbread house contest with their creation, Candy Cabin.

Sweet Christmas House, a gingerbread creation by, from left, Jessica Brandow, Marissa Coppin, Elizabeth Hernandez, and Kelley Kinsey, took second place in the recent contest at Wesley Chapel High School

READY FOR A SNACK: A visit to the Lutz/Land O' Lakes Woman's Club Arts and Craft Show held recently at Lake Park, was a treat for Michael Alicea, 6, holding 15-week-old Kasper, and John Alicea, 9. The brothers waited patiently as their mom bought kettle corn. Michael and John are the sons of Lisa and John Alicea Sr. The annual Arts and Craft Show is a major fundraiser for the Woman's Club that supports many community causes and awards numerous scholarships each year.

Up next:WEDDINGS

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