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HIGH FIVES

Community Aging and Retirement Services Inc. celebrated National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15 with a luncheon hosted by Carrabba's Italian Grill, Port Richey; and Dr.Rao Musunuru. This special day recognizes and pays tribute to the contributions of generous people. The luncheon attendees included retired U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, Commissioner Ann Hildebrand, Superintendent of Schools HeatherFiorentino, County Administrator John Gallagher, CARES top donors, CARES Board of Directors, community leaders, members of the Community Foundation of Pasco County Council and business associates. Bilirakis spoke about the value of CARES to the community while Hildebrand, a former caregiver, read some of the notes of appreciation CARES has received from caregivers here and out of state. Keith Dunn of the Community Foundation of Pasco County congratulated CARES and the Musunuru family on the establishment of the agency endowment. Donor funds within the foundation are now valued at more than $10-million and have generated nearly $700,000 in grants to 30 different non-profit organizations to benefit Pasco County residents. The Community Foundation can be reached at (727) 846-1921.

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Elder-law attorney David Hook and three staff members from the Hook Law Group attended the Second Annual National Conference of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association in Kansas City, Mo., in October. Joan Nelson Hook, founder of the Hook Law Group, said that the association is composed of about 35 law firms nationwide that are concerned with planning for all facets of later life, rather than focusing on estate planning, which concerns the disposition of assets following death.

Also attending the conference were public-benefits specialists and life-care planning coordinators Stacey Meece, Caroline Posey and paralegal Shannon Caraccia. Topics centered on veterans' aid, long-term and geriatric care, dealing with depression in the elderly, Medicare resources and recovering damages from financial-abuse of the elderly.

Founded in 1993 in New Port Richey, the Law Group specializes in elder law, all aspects of planning, counseling, educating and advocating for elderly clients and their families. This includes dealing with Medicaid, estate and long-term-care planning, probate, guardianship, special needs trusts, will and trust administration, and inter-generational issues, tax situations and nursing home injury, abuse or neglect. Further information about the conference can be had by calling (727) 842-1001.

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