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Donovan Foster, seventh-grader at Citrus Springs Middle School, was selected to represent Citrus County at the 51st Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The fair is April 19-21.

Foster's project was titled "Will Shark Skin Save The Boat You're In?" A study of the characteristics of eight marine paints to retard the growth of organisms on a simulated boat's or ship's hull were used in an effort to find an effective, as well as an environmentally safe, marine paint to rid our waterways of the toxic heavy metals frequently used in marine paint.

Donovan's research occurred over a nine-week period. His custom blended paint containing discarded lemon shark flesh that retarded the growth of marine organisms nearly as effectively as a copper additive, which is highly detrimental to our environment. Donovan plans to continue his research, isolating the chemical compound in lemon shark flesh in his efforts to save our waters.

During the Citrus Regional Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony on Feb. 4, Donovan also received numerous other awards and gifts. He also was nominated as a Discovery Channel Young Scientist with the opportunity to win over $20,000 at the DCYS Challenge in Washington, D.C., next fall.

Donovan said he is grateful to the sponsors of the Citrus Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and to Capt. Ky Lewis who supported his project.


The January meeting of the Citrus County Audubon Society featured a discussion of bats with show and tell by Cindi Marks from the Florida Bat Center. Thanks to a donation by Lowe's, Bob Silvia of Crystal River and Leonard Saunders of Citrus Springs now have a bird feeder and bat house to encourage more wildlife to hang out in their yards.

This month's meeting is Monday at 7 p.m. in the Jerome Multipurpose Room at the Lecanto campus of Central Florida Community College, 3800 S Lecanto Highway (County Road 491). The focus will be herons and egrets, two of the most beautiful and recognizable bird species in the state.

Ann Paul from Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries will introduce participants to these birds and share details concerning their biology, behavior, population status, and the conservation initiatives to protect them. The listed heron species: Snowy egret, little blue heron, tricolor heron, and reddish egret will be highlighted.

In addition to the program, there will be a report on a bird and bird-friendly plant of the month as well as a raffle. The group welcomes all who are interested in the environment in general or birds in particular. For information on programs and group's bird walks, call Ginger Privat at 249-4495.


You can see this sort of thing on TV, but wouldn't you like to get a real, insider's look at how your community hospital works? Five members of the first-ever Citrus Memorial Health College Intern Program recently did just that.

Citrus Memorial Health System developed its Health College Intern Program to provide local business leaders an opportunity to get a daylong, behind-the-scenes view of Citrus County's largest health care provider.

The experience proved enlightening and informative for participants in this first class, who included Bob Collins, Gene Davis, Susan Gill, Rocky Hensley and Gerry Jones. They started in the surgery department and rotated through emergency, the heart center, diagnostic imaging, OB, laboratory services, home health, and other areas.

The Citrus Memorial Health College Intern Program will occurs six times a year. Interested business leaders should call Development Director Chris Pool at 344-6560. Citrus Memorial Health Foundation Development Office Advisory Council members will participate in selecting candidates for the sessions.



Your local Habitat for Humanity affiliate is excited to announce the kickoff of our first Women Build in Citrus County. In partnership with Lowe's, Habitat for Humanity - Women Build has built 350 homes throughout the United States using primarily female volunteer labor for this effort.

In Citrus County, over the past 12 years, Habitat for Humanity has been blessed in this very generous community with people reaching into their hearts and pockets, donating building materials, cash, real estate properties, and volunteering endless hours of their time to support our mission of building affordable housing for God's people in need.

We thank the women of The American Business Woman's Association, Citrus Chapter, Kim Dillon and Cinnamon Sticks Restaurant, Citrus Memorial Hospital, Jane Boone-Wright's Dynabody 8:30 a.m. Water Aerobics Class, Exit Realty, Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, and Unity Church of Citrus County for volunteering for our Women Build Project.

At this time, committees are forming to help with fundraising, volunteer coordination, public relations and hands-on building. Training will be available, so don't feel intimidated by the sound of all this. Come out and learn while you work alongside women and open doors of opportunity discovering your capacity to build homes and help solve social issues. Become empowered!

Won't you consider involving your women's group in committing themselves to this special opportunity to empower women to take action and move children out of poverty, into simple decent affordable housing in our community?

Call Terry Steele, Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County's executive director, at 563-2744 for information about the Women Build Project.

Thank you.

Bonnie Peterson

Women Build PR/Marketing Co-Chair

Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County

Photo courtesy of Donna Foster

SCIENCE PROJECT WITH TEETH: Donovan Foster, a seventh-grader at Citrus Springs Middle School, shows off his County Science Fair project, "Will Shark Skin Save The Boat You're In?" Foster was selected to represent the county at the 51st Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida in April at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Photo courtesy of Ginger Privat

VISITOR FROM BAT CENTER: During the January meeting of the Citrus County Audubon Society, Cindi Marks from the Florida Bat Center took time to introduce members of the McAvoy family to one of her bat friends.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Diestler

DONATION FOR SCIENCE CLUB'S MUSEUM EXHIBIT: Sophia Diaz-Fonseca and her daughter Renee Fonseca recently made a donation of $500 to the Citrus County Historical Society for an exhibit being created by Inverness Middle School science club students under the direction of seventh-grade science teacher Greg Biance. From left are: Kathy Turner Thompson, Diaz-Fonseca, Biance, and Renee. The students hope to create an interactive component to augment the Pre-history Gallery in the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum. In 2005, the science club created the Paleo Wall now on display in the Pre-history Gallery of the museum.

Photo courtesy of June Hunte

LIVE OAK PLANTING: A live oak tree was planted on Florida Arbor Day, Jan. 21, on the Beverly Hills Recreation grounds. It was donated by the Beverly Hills Garden Club. Ralph Kelly, member of the Board of Beverly Hills Recreation Center, holds the tree for Pete Peterson, president of the board, as he frees its roots before placing into the hole. These trees live 300 to 450 years and provide abundant shade. BHGC members looking on are Darlene Drafts, Rudy Scholz, who holds MaeBelle, and Jane Maiwald.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Minear

A PLAQUE OF THANKS: At the Jan. 12 meeting of the Riverhaven Garden Club, Home Tour Chairperson Marlene Bishop, center, and Club President Judy O'Gorman, right, presented member Elaine Moore with a plaque thanking her for her special efforts this year and for the past several years with the scholarship fundraising projects, one of them was the December holiday Homes Tour. The club thanks all those who supported the tour. This scholarship fundraiser enables the club to award two college scholarships and support two Florida Federation of Garden Club summer student programs.

Photo courtesy of Richard L. Hanel

100 MILES AND JUST GETTING STARTED: Irene Johnson, center, recently received a certificate from Citrus Springs Community Center staff members, Kurt Heermann, left, and Tom Restivo. Johnson walked 100 miles the past several weeks at the center. The indoor walking program consists of walking 17 laps to equal a mile. Staff members keep a record of the walking program on their computer. For information about the walking program and other activities, call 465-7007.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Martin

BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT CITRUS MEMORIAL: First group to be a part of the Citrus Memorial Health College Intern Program are from left: Bob Collins, Gerry Jones, Susan Gill, Rocky Hensley and Gene Davis.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Grazio

PILOT CLUB GUEST SPEAKER: Frank Kenny, center, donor relations officer for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Inc., was the guest speaker at the January business meeting of the Pilot Club of Crystal River. Pictured here are: Marge Copley, left, Pilot Club president-elect, Kenny and B.J. Lesbirel, Pilot Club president. Kenny spoke about the various camp programs and how they teach campers about team building skills, conflict resolution skills, and living in a healthy environment. Sheriff's deputies volunteer at the camp because they know the importance of interacting with kids on positive ground.

Photo courtesy of Curt Ebitz

DONATION FOR CFCC FOUNDATION: On behalf of the CFCC Foundation, board members Susan Gill and Avis Craig recently accepted a $500 check for the Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart Endowed Scholarship. From left are: Senior Vice Commander J.B. Haskins, Craig, Gill and Junior Vice Commander Donald Guard.

Photo courtesy of Curt Ebitz

BOOKMARKS FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES: Commander Curt Ebitz, right, on behalf of the members of Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart, presented 3,500 laminated bookmarks containing a history of the Purple Heart to Sandra "Sam" Himmel, superintendent of schools. The bookmarks will be distributed in the district's middle and high school libraries to commemorate the birth of Gen. George Washington, who originated the Purple Heart medal.