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HIGH FIVES

The American Cancer Society has appointed David Milliman to the Florida Division board of directors for 2009-10. He began serving his term in September. Milliman lives in Hernando Oaks, has been a cancer society volunteer since 2003 and is a cancer survivor. The retired Verizon executive is currently vice chairman of the Hernando Unit of the cancer society.

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October has been declared Rett Syndrome Awareness month by the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, and Spring Hill residents Larry and Pat Calderazzi currently serve as the grandparent representatives of the foundation for the state of Florida. Their 5-year-old granddaughter, who lives in Virginia, was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome two years ago.

Gov. Charlie Crist recently sent the Calderazzis a letter, thanking the foundation for its commitment to research for a cure for Rett Syndrome and the Calderazzis for providing family support.

Rett Syndrome is a developmental disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost exclusively in girls. It is often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy or nonspecific development delay. Rett Syndrome is caused by mutations on the X chromosome on a gene called MECP2.

There is no cure for Rett Syndrome, but the Calderazzis hope education will one day lead to a cure. To learn more about Rett Syndrome, visit www.rettsyndrome.org online. To contact the Calderazzis, send e-mail to lcalderazzi@tampabay.rr.com.

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Clubs and Organizations

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties Inc. has announced a partnership with Target in recognition of the coalition's effort in hosting Jump Start to Early Learning for preschool-age children.

The coalition recently received a $3,000 Early Childhood Reading Grant from Target to help with the costs associated with running all three Jump Start to Early Learning events.

The second annual Jump Start to Early Learning school supply giveaways for the children from birth to 5 years old were recently held in Brooksville, Dade City and Port Richey. Coalition staff members distributed nearly 500 backpacks displaying the coalition's logo. Backpacks were filled with essential school supplies.

Target was not the only retail store to give the coalition a helping hand. Kohl's Department Store sent seven sales associates to volunteer at the events. The associates participated in the Port Richey event by distributing backpacks and balloons, greeting families and painting faces. In addition, Kohl's donated $500 to Jump Start to Early Learning.

For information, contact Nicole Gonzalez at (727) 233-8291.

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HPH Hospice has received a Golden Image Judge's Award from the Florida Public Relations Association for its new Web site. Award recipients were announced at the association's state conference in mid August in Boca Raton.

The award is given for an outstanding entry that achieves maximum results for a minimum amount of money. Winners are determined by a panel of public relations professionals from around the state.

Web site construction was an internal project of hospice's community relations department, led by Robin Kocher, communications director, and team members Jane Freeman, Deborah McCabe and Patrick Lewis. The department is responsible for the site's content and maintenance. The Web site's address is www.hph-hospice.org.

HPH Hospice is a nonprofit organization that serves Hernando, Pasco and Citrus county residents who are affected by a life-limiting illness regardless of their ability to pay.

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