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CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville inducted another new member at its weekly meeting Nov. 9. New member Steve Smith was sponsored by Darrel Oppedal and inducted by president Jimmy Kimbrough Jr.

Following the induction, Kimbrough turned the meeting over to the Hernando High School Key Club. Key Club president Jessica Kinner thanked the Kiwanis Club for its help and informed members of the numerous projects the Key Club has undertaken.

Also in attendance were Key Club members, including faculty sponsor Linda Clapsis and Kiwanis sponsor Mark Taylor.

The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville meets at 6 p.m. each Tuesday at the Brooksville Country Club at Majestic Oaks.

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Following the 10:30 a.m. Mass, Pastor Boris Dukeley blessed the Thanksgiving dinner at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Spring Hill to the delight of more than 100 in attendance.

There were 10 to a table, and each table had its own 18-pound turkey, along with all the fixings. Hot Ukrainian sweet buns were also served. Dinner was served up family style.

According to Mike Kupec, who carved the turkey at his table, leftovers were divided at each table, so everyone went home with plenty. Following the diner, pumpkin and apple pie and coffee were served.

VETERANS

On Dec. 16, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite presented 28 Hernando County veterans with medals from their military service during the Korean War. In addition to the 28 veterans receiving the Korean Defense Service Medal, other medals were presented.

The Korean Defense Service Medal is a new Department of Defense award to give special recognition for the sacrifices and contributions of those who have served or are serving in the Republic of Korea.

Receiving medals were Robert Baine, Bill Bellamy, Frank Bonanno, Richard Burke, Herman Calhoun, Kent Clark, Jon Cox, Paul Frye, Ernest Gould (received by his sister, Debi Gould-Avery) , Edward Hawley, David Johnson, Edward Jost, Robert LaGrange, Richard Lewis, Joseph Loretan, Leo McInnis, Paul Mercer, Dave Millendorf, Robert Miranda, James Monk, Gary Moore, Jon Perry, John Ross, Lee Rowlands, William Scanlon, Michael Schmitt, David Turner and James Watterson.

In addition to receiving the Korean Defense Service Medal, John Ross received the Good Conduct Medal, and Lee Rowlands received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Expert Badge with Rifle Bar and the Auto Rifle Bar.

Receiving the Korean War Service Medal were Robert Hoffmann and Samuel Lowe.

William Ritchie, on behalf of his late brothers, Frank Ritchie, Anthony Ritchie and Thomas Ritchie, accepted a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct honor, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign honor, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign honor, Combat Infantryman Badge, Honorable Service Lapel Button and the Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

The first team meeting of organizers for the 2005 Spring Hill Relay for Life was held Nov. 18 at Springstead High School. At the meeting, each team drew a fairy tale name out of an envelope to select the team's theme.

Each team will build a campsite around the theme selected, and prizes will be awarded to the best decorated campsite at the relay.

The 2005 relay will be April 22 and 23 at Springstead High School. The kickoff celebration was Oct. 18 at the Palace Grand, where the themes were announced, as well as the slogan: "Dreams do come true ... Imagine a world without cancer."

The kickoff celebration had a Cinderella theme, and many of the committee members came dressed in costumes.

The 2005 goal is 50 teams, and so far 38 paid teams have signed up. Organizers believe they are on track to win the Pace Setter Award, which is given to relay sites that have met certain criteria in a specified time frame.

The 2004 Spring Hill Relay for Life raised $115,000, and organizers expect to exceed to raise $130,000 this year.

To sign up a team for the 2005 relay, contact Gus Guadagnino at 799-5456. For sponsorship information, contact Diana Sanders at 796-7050. For general information, contact Debbie Cutlip, event chairwoman, at 684-9137.

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Members of the Spring Hill Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers had a recent fundraiser to boost the chapter's education fund and to assist a local charity.

The fundraiser was a success, and proceeds covered the grand prize _ a cruise for two to the Caribbean _ and a check for $250 was presented to Herando-Pasco Hospice.

At the group's monthly meeting Nov. 9 at Kally K's restaurant, a drawing was held. The winner was John Valentine of Hernando Pest Control. Other prizes were also awarded.

For information about joining the group, call 683-6275.

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The Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill welcomed Sue Rupe, director of the Hernando County Department of Tourism Development, as the speaker at the club's Nov. 23 meeting.

Rupe explained to members how the department encourages tourists from all parts of the world to visit and spend money in Hernando County, which in turn creates jobs and generates tax revenue.

Informational brochures were handed out showing how the department promotes and advertises the county and its resources. Club members found the presentation enlightening.

The Hernando County Welcome Center is at 30305 Cortez Blvd, just west of Interstate 75, in Ridge Manor West. For information, call 754-4405.

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On Veterans Day, 14 members of the Hernando Quilt Guild met for five hours at Christ Lutheran Church in Brooksville to piece together 20 quilt tops for Operation Homefront Quilts.

Members were specifically asked to piece the tops with the Department of the Army logo. The project was started by Jessica Porter, a young woman who lives in Hudson. To date, Porter has shipped more than 700 quilts to the families of soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the Hernando Quilt Guild were proud to participate in this charity, and many individual members make quilts for the cause. However, this was the group's first marathon. Another marathon is planned early this year.

NOTES OF THANKS

DayStar Life Center wishes to thank everyone who gave so generously to help the less fortunate of Hernando County.

Because of your generosity, we were able to help 145 families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, for a total of 290 families. Also, at Christmas, 237 children received presents that had been donated.

Many businesses and organizations contributed both money and goods to aid us in helping the needy of Hernando County.

May God bless you in the new tear.

A.D. Eichers, director

DayStar Life Center,

Brooksville

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As we all prepared to gather with family and friends to enjoy the holiday weekend and count our many blessings, the family of Humane Society of the Nature Coast also gathered to count our blessings. Holiday spirit manifests itself in many ways, and the compassion for others is by far one of the most fundamental, regardless of your religious beliefs.

The residents of our community have again shown their love and compassion for all of the orphaned and abused pets who have no voice.

We are grateful beyond words to serve in a community of businesses and citizens that look beyond their own interests and concerns to those in need. We are but one of many nonprofit organizations that have been supported and adopted by those we serve. This truly is a wonderful place to live and work.

While we are working hard to send acknowledgements for the support and donations we have received, we wanted to publicly acknowledge our community, both businesses and individuals alike, who have made it possible for us to continue the care and services that we strive to provide every day of the year.

Know that each and every one of you are in our hearts, and we hope you find the joy in your homes that you have helped to put into ours. We are blessed to live and serve in Hernando County.

Joanne Schoch, executive director,

Humane Society of the Nature Coast

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Publix Supermarket at Seven Hills Plaza would like to thank Roxanne DeAngelis' art class at Suncoast Elementary School and Sharon McCabe's art club at Deltona Elementary School for their time and effort in painting our store's front windows for the community during the holidays.

Joe Corwin, store manager

Elisa Mendia, assistant common area manager

Publix at Seven Hills Plaza

Steve Smith, right, is the newest member of the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville. His club sponsor is Darrel Oppedal, left.

At St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Mike Kupec, standing on left, carved the turkey at the table he was seated at on Thanksgiving day.

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite presented 28 local veterans with Korean Defense Service medals and Korean War Service medals.

CELEBRATING REMISSION: Oak Hill Hospital recently recognized cancer survivors in the community with an annual Celebration of Life luncheon. Those who have survived for six months to 50 years were honored. About 60 survivors attended. Elizabeth Prosser, center, a former Oak Hill Hospital volunteer and a 50-year survivor, was given special recognition. From left are Pam Waterman, Oak Hill staff member; Prosser; and Robin Kelly, Oak Hill staff member.

Al Johnson, right, program chairman for the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill, welcomed Sue Rupe, Hernando County tourist development director, who spoke to the club.

Members of the Hernando Quilt Guild displayed a quilt the group completed for Operation Homefront Quilts. Standing from left are: Gene Chamberlin, Annabelle Romero, Sherry Bell, Elaine Metz, Joyce Volpe, Phyllis Clark, Jackie Dean, Marie Hauer, Bonnie Giustuzzi, Irene Barese, Carol McCarthy, Joyce Engelbrecht and Judy Williams, guild president. Shirley Williams was missing from the photo.

NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED: Members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186 recently initiated seven new members. Following a candlelight ceremony, refreshments were served and a "getting to know you" session was held. The new members _ Eileen Kreck, left, Nancy Achilles, Diane D'Amico, Celeste Kasabian, Lois Culver, Mary Elmer and Diane Durham _ will join the membership for meetings at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month. For information about the unit, call 797-0099.

Students painted holiday scenes on the front windows of Publix Supermarket at Seven Hills Plaza recently.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: On Dec. 16, Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center resident Filomena Cerra celebrated her 100th birthday. Cerra loves bingo and joking around with the other residents and the staff. The White House sent a personal birthday greeting signed by President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

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