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Published Sep. 16, 2009

The Humane Society of the Nature Coastreceived the $10,000 award (fourth place) in the Zootoo Million Dollar Makeover contest (see photo, top right of facing page). The funds will be used to install a central heat and air system in the cat cottage at the care center, said executive director Joanne Schoch.

The building has a window air conditioner and one wall unit for heat. While not only inadequate, the outdated units lack the efficiency to keep utility costs under control. The respiratory systems of the felines are delicate, and proper air exchange is critical for good health.

The first check, for $5,000, was awarded when the Humane Society of the Nature Coast made it into the top 20. It received the second check, also for $5,000, when it was announced they were in the top 10.

"Not only did we get the $10,000 award because of all the awareness this contest brought - today we have more volunteers than ever," said Schoch.

A plaque will be created and hung in the cat cottage to recognize the Zootoo supporters, whose dedication and commitment made the improvements possible.

For information, call Joanne Schoch at (352) 232-3032.

Recreation and Sports

Cheerleaders from Hernando High School's varsity and junior varsity teams attended the Universal Cheerleaders Association Cheerleading Camp in Clearwater from July 27-29 (see photo, top left).

During the three-day event, the athletes were evaluated for an Xtreme Routine dance routine and cheer, both of which were taught at camp. They were also judged on Game Day material, and home dance performance. They earned superior ribbons, both for evaluation and final evaluation, in Xtreme Routine, Cheer and Game Day material. Superior was the highest rating possible.

Hernando's team won a third place trophy for Cheer, and a Superior Overall trophy for the camp. The cheerleaders also won the Leadership Award, an award given to the team that made the camp experience special. The award was voted on by fellow campers and earned the squad a Gatorade cooler and a year's supply of Gatorade and cups. The team also won the Heroes Rally for the most spirited and creative costumes.

Three members were judged to be UCA All Americans including varsity members Alyson Buggle and Ashley Spradlin, and junior varsity member Taressa Caraway. The Hernando High cheerleaders are coached by Chris Clifford, Sarah Schaefer, Austin Batchelder and Terri Sellers.