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HIGH FIVES

Betty Ryan of Spring Hill, along with her two sisters-in-law, Anna Ryan of Spring Hill and Joan McCann of Parkland, recently walked in the first Pancreatic Cancer Walk in Coral Springs.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to focusing national attention on the need to find a cure for pancreatic cancer; it provides public and professional education about the for more research, effective treatments, prevention programs and early detection methods.

Betty Ryan's husband, Tom, died of pancreatic cancer in October 2002. She is working with the network to help find a cure for the disease.

Ryan is interested in organizing a walk in Spring Hill in November. She is also interested in finding out how many Hernando County residents have lost their loved ones to this disease. Individuals interested in joining her for the walk may contact her at 799-3186.

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Girl Scout troops from the Spring Mermaids Service Unit recently participated in a cleanup of the unit's local campsite, Camp Indian Echo, which was heavily damaged by the summer hurricanes.

Members of the service unit arrived at the cleanup with shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and saws. A total of 54 girls from nine troops, along with 14 parent volunteers and troop leaders, descended on the campsite in Hudson, to clean up fallen trees and broken tree limbs and branches. They also raked piles of leaves.

After three hours of work, ranger Deb D'Elia, the park's on-site ranger, treated the girls to Popsicles.

The following troops from the Spring Mermaids Service Unit participated: Brownie Troops 534, 575, and 704; Junior Troops 154, 617, 998 and 1359, and Cadette Troops 989 and 1206.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill's Key Club at Springstead High School collected food items and made 10 baskets to feed the needy for Thanksgiving. The Kiwanis Club rewarded the Key Club members for their work by giving them gift certificates for either a turkey or ham to place in the holiday baskets.

The extra food supplies collected were donated to the St. Vincent de Paul's food bin. St. Vincent de Paul, at Kass Circle in Spring Hill, determined the 10 needy families for the club and delivered the food baskets prior to Thanksgiving.

The Key Club members learned how to work together as a team and the value of helping those less fortunate in the community.

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Sheriff Richard Nugent presented the Hernando County Sheriff's Office third quarter 2004 employee and citizens awards during a ceremony on Dec. 3.

Deputy of the Quarter was awarded to James T. Powers Jr., coordinator of the the community/personnel services divisions. Powers oversees training and community programs and supervises the agency's honor guard. He joined the Sheriff's Office in 1985 and has a reputation for his overall knowledge of the agency and his excellent working relationship with employees and citizens.

The Employee of the Quarter award went to Tiffany Christie, telecommunicator. She was hired in 2001 and since then has taken on the duties of a supervisor when called upon and adjusted her work schedule to accommodate the needs of the communications center.

Deputy Debra Miles was awarded a ribbon of commendation. She is the school resource officer at Central High School and served as a counselor during the sheriff's summer day camp at Westside Elementary School. One afternoon, a young girl at camp began choking on a piece of candy that had lodged in her throat. Miles performed the Heimlich maneuver on the child, and the object was dislodged.

Certificates of commendation were presented to: Sgt. Doug Campbell and Detectives Carlos Douglas, Jim Boylan, Steve Bishop, Shawn Terry, Tom Banks, Christopher Vascellaro, Dane Jenkins, Lance Origon and Tom Valdez.

Certificates of appreciation were presented to Teresa Harrell, crime analysis supervisor; Gary Kimble, forensics supervisor, and Alison Austin, forensics technician.

Employees receiving the commendations and certificates were instrumental in the investigation of a double homicide and apprehension of three suspects on Aug. 13. They processed the crime scene and tracked down the suspects while other employees were preparing their homes for one of the summer hurricanes.

Other certificates of appreciation were presented to: Trisha Miller, Joan Harrison, Roberta Restifo, Marie Shepard, Pat Johnson and Richard Johnson. Miller is the District 3 clerk and provides administrative support for the patrol division. Miller excelled during the 2004 hurricane season and also covered for another employee who was out for an extended period of time.

Harrison, Restifo, Shepard, Pat Johnson and Richard Johnson are care line clerks who provided contact 365 days a year with more than 60 people who are elderly, disabled or who live alone.

Citizens receiving certificates of appreciation were: Jim Grassini of Sports Zone 2 in Dade City for donating the use of his hockey rink and staff to help the Hill 'n Dale Crime Watch raise more than $300. On another occasion, he helped deputies organize a fundraiser for the seriously ill child of an employee of the Sheriff's Office.

Precision Grading was recognized for providing diesel fuel to power the refrigerator trucks while deputies helped distribute ice and water at the county's Wal-Mart stores after Hurricane Frances.

Margaret "Tizzy" Schoelles, principal of Nature Coast Technical High School, was honored for her personal efforts in cooking meals for her staff and 20 Sheriff's Office deputies while her school was used as a shelter during Hurricane Frances.

Powell Middle School student Jonathan Jones was congratulated for doing the right thing at his school when he found and turned in $45 in cash.

Billy Cusumano, Callie Puleo and Amanda Gianakas, students at Central High School, helped bring five people to safety at Pine Island. The three students were stranded on a sand bar, along with two adults and three very young children. As everyone started going to shore, the small children panicked, causing the adults to struggle to stay afloat. Billy, Callie, Amanda and an off-duty firefighter worked as a team to pull everyone to safety.

Receiving longevity awards were: Deputy Robert Ramsey Jr. and forensics technician Cynthia Stockton, 15 years of service.

Sheriff Richard Nugent; Detective Richard Swain; Sue Owens, records manager; Gary Kimble, forensics supervisor, and Rick Baker, communications system specialist, 20 years of service.

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Kay Winter, a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Spring Hill Service League, recently displayed a hospital gown she made for the club's latest project, "Operation Smile."

The gown, and many others the club is making, will be sent to Third World countries to be used by children born with cleft lips or palates.

The club will show a film at 10 a.m. today in the fellowship hall of the First United Methodist Church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, that will explain Operation Smile.

All women are invited to attend. The club is asking for donations of one yard of poly-cotton material suitable for a child's hospital gown. Refreshments will be served.

Anna Ryan, left, and Betty Ryan, both of Spring Hill, and Joan McCann of Parkland participated in the first Pancreatic Cancer Walk in Coral Springs.

Nine Girl Scout troops from the Spring Mermaids Service Unit recently spent a day cleaning up Camp Indian Echo in Hudson.

PEARL HARBOR VETERANS HONORED: Pearl Harbor survivors were recognized by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 Ladies Auxiliary during a recent ceremony. Survivors, standing from left, include Bob Everling, Donald Ewing, Allen Hartshorne, William Hartman, Lynn Roy and Phillip Larizzo. Veteran Gerald Elliott was unable to attend the ceremony.

HELKS LADIES HOST FASHION SHOW: Ladies of the Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 recently had a luncheon and fashion show. Several members of the group modeled casual and formal fashions by Denise's Clothes Corner in Estero. Models, from left, were Agnes Putz, Lita Joslin, Kathleen Seifield, Inge Malone, Joann Gardiner and Carol McQueen.

Members attending the New York State Club's December meeting and dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Spring Hill also celebrated member Bill Hamm's 90th birthday. Hamm, right, was presented with a birthday hat with a candle by activities chairwoman Gloria Cardone, as Santa Claus (Jim Hawkins) and other club members looked on.

At a recent meeting of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Spring Hill Service League, Kay Winter displayed a child's hospital gown she had made for Operation Smile, the club's latest project.

Up next:OBITUARIES

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