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FREE TRAINING FOR FUTURE FOSTER PARENTS

The Harbor Behavioral Health Institute offers a free training program for people interested in becoming foster parents. The next orientation is at 6 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Harbor, 7074 Grove Road. A five-week session will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 13 at the Harbor.

The Harbor was awarded a contract from Kids Central Inc., a nonprofit agency funded by the Florida Department of Children and Families, to provide licensing for foster care homes in Hernando County for children in state care who need temporary placement.

Foster parents must be at least 21, married or single, and must have a stable source of income and sufficient space in the home. They must also clear a criminal background check and complete home inspections for health and sanitation, fire, radon and, if there is a pool or spa, water safety.

A foster parent cannot have more than five children at a time, including biological children. For information, call the Harbor at 344-2933.

BROOKRIDGE

Synd'Cats to play the Rat Pack way

Brookridge Entertainment will present a Christmas show with the Synd'Cats on Thursday at the clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and show time is at 7.

Tickets are $15. Call Barb at 597-4620.

HERNANDO COUNTY

AARP seeks volunteers to help file tax returns

AARP Tax-Aide, Hernando County District, is seeking volunteers to learn how to prepare tax returns for elderly and low- and middle-income taxpayers.

Volunteers will attend a free, weeklong training in January, sponsored by AARP and the IRS. Volunteers must pass a written exam and commit to work a minimum of four hours a week from Feb. 1 through April 15 at one of the county's tax assistance sites.

Volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to apply. Volunteers are especially needed to assist with electronic filing.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday. For information, call Joseph Centineo, district coordinator, at 683-3769.

SPRING HILL

Sponsor a brick and help VFW Post 10209

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 invites service personnel, businesses and individuals to sponsor a brick for a memorial pond and freedom walk that will be built at the post's new property.

Bricks cost $50, which includes engraving. The memorial will include the brick memorial wall, a flag walkway, fountains, railings, bushes and floodlights. The idea came from post member "Wild" Bill Taylor.

The post, 15166 Spring Hill Drive, recently sold its site. Plans are under way for a new, 12,600-square-foot home off Anderson Snow Road.

To purchase a brick, or for information, call the post at 796-0398.

BROOKSVILLE

Garden club offers a taste of Brooksville

The Brooksville Garden Club recently published its first cookbook, The Taste of Brooksville.

The recipes were collected from members of the community, restaurant owners and garden club members.

The book includes more than 400 recipes, including appetizers, main dishes, desserts and others. It includes tips for cooking, basics and advanced material.

The cookbooks are $15. To purchase, call Nicole at 397-9500 or visit the Web at www.brooksvillegardenclub.com.

SPRING HILL

Hospice Tree of Life awaiting donations

Hernando-Pasco Hospice's Tree of Life will be on display through Dec. 26 at two locations: Sears, 13085 Cortez Blvd., and Hernando Hospice House, 12254 Cortez Blvd.

For a donation ranging from $1 to $1,000, one can hang or have an ornament placed on a tree with a tag bearing a name; names can be for someone living or in someone's memory.

Ornaments include red bows, candy canes, vintage glass candles, large silver or gold bows, porcelain snowflakes or angels, and shining stars.

To guarantee that an ornament is placed on a tree of their choice, donors are encouraged to make their contribution by Friday. However, the hospice will accept donations thereafter.

Donations can be made by credit card, check or cash and can be done at either of the Trees of Life or by calling the hospice toll-free at 1-800-486-8784.

SPRING HILL

Western theme ball aids Cancer Society

Tickets are available to the Cattle Barons' Ball 2007 to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane.

The theme will be a western party featuring entertainment, competitive games, food, and silent and live auctions.

Tickets are $100. A campfire table host sponsorship, which includes a table seating 10, is $1,000 and entitles the host to amenities such as preferred seating for guests, a number of complimentary beverages and society partnering opportunities.

For information, sponsorships and tickets, contact Vivian Bogul toll-free at 1-800-940-1969, ext. 101, or at vivian.bogul@cancer.org; or Mel Toran at ext. 113 or mel.toran@cancer.org.

SPRING HILL

Angels you will see on high until Dec. 16

The Spring Hill Community Association will host its fifth annual Angels on High today through Dec. 16 on the Lake House grounds, 1202 Kenlake Ave.

The event is an exhibit of angel figures made by individuals, organizations, clubs and businesses using 4-by-4 sheets of plywood. The angels are suspended in the trees along a lighted path.

The event, which will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each day, will include holiday music, refreshments and live entertainment.

Complete angel kits (except paint) with directions are available at the Lake House for $38. The angels will be judged in several categories. Winners are determined by votes from visitors to the Angels on High event.

For information, call the community association office at 666-4746 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

SPRING HILL

Civil Air Patrol seeks to train new members

The Hernando County Civil Air Patrol is recruiting new members to train in emergency services, counterdrug operations, homeland defense, cadet programs, air search and rescue, and aerospace education.

The patrol is the official auxiliary of the Air Force and is open to those 18 and older. Both air and ground team members are needed, and training is ongoing. The patrol also offers a cadet program for those ages 12 to 18.

The local squadron meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at 3151 Air Commerce Blvd., in the Airport Industrial Park off Spring Hill Drive.

For information, call Lt. James Angelo, deputy commander, at 688-5214..

BROOKSVILLE

Church center offers free genealogy help

The Brooksville Family History Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers free genealogy research.

Research assistance is provided at the church, 21043 Yontz Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to noon Fridays.

For information, call 796-7403 or 683-7944.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Fair Association will award scholarships

The Hernando County Fair Association will award $2,000 in scholarships for the 2006-07 school year.

Applications are available at all Hernando County high schools, as well as on the fairgrounds Web site at www. hernandocountyfair.com.

Applicants must be Hernando County high school seniors or college students with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Preference will be given to applicants who have been active in the Hernando County Fair within the past five years.

The application deadline is April 2. For information, call 796-4552.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Gardening calendar is now available

The Hernando County Gardening Calendar for 2007 is available at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 19490 Oliver St.

The calendar includes month-by-month expert advice on Central Florida landscaping. The cost is $3, with proceeds benefiting the Hernando County Master Gardeners.

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Call 754-4433.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Electric blankets and toys being collected

Oak Hill Hospital's Enrichment Centers/H2U and county Commissioner Diane Rowden are conducting an electric blanket drive for seniors on limited incomes.

Donations of new electric blankets are being accepted at the Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. (behind Oak Hill Hospital), and at the Brooksville Enrichment Center, 670 Broad St. The blankets first will be distributed to homebound seniors who receive Meals on Wheels.

The centers also will be drop-off locations for Santa's Toy Drive for Hernando County children. The drive is sponsored by Daystar, the Hernando Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Brooksville Rotary Club. Donated toys must be new.

For information, call 597-6331.

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