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ARC NATURE COAST POSSE RIDERS SPARKLE IN SPECIAL OLYMPIC EVENTS

In April, customers of the Arc Nature Coast POSSE (Promoting Opportunities and Skills with Special Equestrians) program participated in the Special Olympics Area Games at the Bakas Equestrian Center in Tampa. The Arc team included 15 athletes, five horses and one mule. Seven of the 15 qualified for the state games.

Results included:

Georgie Volkman, fourth place in showmanship; Sam Seymour, second place in showmanship; John Holiday, third place in showmanship and barrel racing; Angela Click, second place in showmanship and fourth place in equitation; Aaron Selke, third place in showmanship and first place in barrel racing; Susan Vagn, second place in trails and first place in equitation; Cindy Ritchie, third place in trails and first place in equitation; Guy Barnard, second place in equitation; Ian Mischloney, second place in trails and third place in equitation; Doreen Lyons, fourth place in trails and second place in showmanship; Shawn Fegan, second place in trails and third place in equitation; Clifford Nehr, third place in trails and first place in equitation; Gina Stockton, third place in trails and fourth place in equitation; Wade Graves, first place in trails and third place in equitation, and Tracy Parnell, second place in showmanship and equitation.

On May 4, the seven qualifying athletes traveled to the Florida State Fairgrounds to compete in the Special Olympics State Games. Results include: Selke, fourth place in barrel racing and first place in showmanship; Parnell, third place in showmanship and first place in equitation; Mischloney, first place in trails and third place in equitation; Nehr, second place in trails and first place in equitation; Vagn, third place in trails and equitation; Ritchie, third place in trails and in first place equitation; and Graves, first place in trails and equitation.

POSSE staff members include: Solanda Schiller, Theresa Smith, Nicole Comisky and Trisha Maeder. Volunteers include: Ed and Barb Kennedy, Patty Graves, Matt Romain and Ronnie Calub. The Hernando County Special Olympics coordinator is Karen O'Dell. POSSE sponsors include the Ranch Hand Feed Depot, Tractor Supply and Pure Paso Federation.

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Military News

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Harrell recently reported for duty with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Marine Aircraft Group 36, in Okinawa, Japan. Harrell is a 1997 graduate of Hudson High School and the son of Deborah A. Barker and stepson of Gregory Barker of Spring Hill.

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Marine Corps Pfc. Xavier J. Perez recently completed the Marine aviation maintenance administration course. During the course, with Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron One, Marine Aviation Support Training Support Group 21, in Meridian, Miss., Perez received training on security of classified information, aeronautic technical publications and the Navy airlift maintenance program. Perez is a 2011 graduate of Springstead High School and joined the Marine Corps in October 2011. He is the son of Angel L. Perez of Spring Hill and Cameron R. Dutcher of Milwaukee, Wis.

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High five

The Pasco-Hernando Community College Foundation named Gus Guadagnino of Brooksville as chairman of the foundation board of directors at its recent quarterly meeting. Frank Rygiel of Wesley Chapel was named vice chairman. The foundation is governed by a volunteer board from Pasco and Hernando counties.

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Hurricane Hoopla has tribal theme

The Arc Nature Coast hosted its first Hurricane Hoopla on April 28. This year's theme was "Freaky Tiki" and included a tribal vibe.

The event was at the Arc's new education center and regional evacuation shelter in Spring Hill. About 250 attended. Decorations were provided by Elegant Events by Jackson Rents, A Special Occasion, Luann Lamber and the Glidden family.

The tropical fare was prepared by teacher Michael Bainum and Hernando High School Culinary Arts students, and dessert was provided by Hope Tinsely. Entertainment by Breezin' Entertainment included stilt walkers, a tribal band, a buffet and fire dancers.

Presenting sponsors (CAT 5-Lion) included the Harper Family Foundation and the Tampa Bay Times. The Cat 4 (Tiger) sponsor was Funky Doodle Studio. Cat 3 (Jaguar) sponsors included the Day Law Office, Dex Imaging, Irma McGovney and Heritage Pines Friends. Cat 2 (Bobcat) sponsors included the Aktion Club, Brooksville Regional and Spring Hill Regional hospitals, Community Resource Council, Micro-Matic, Neat-Niks Consulting and Spherion.

Cat 1 (Panther) sponsors included the Ehrhardt Elder Law Office, Florida Traditions Bank, Hernando County Chamber Young Professionals, Insurance Office of America, Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill, Lassiter Ware Insurance, Law Offices of Sean Hengesbach, LRE Ground Services, Nature Coast Law Offices of Gregory G. Gay, dentists Brian O'Sullivan and James DeLuca, Powell Road Partners, ServPro, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, Suncoast CPA Group, State Farm/Scott Barnwell, Suncoast Plumbing & Electric, Tommie Dawson Realty, Universal Ground Services and Ryan Green Allstate.

Joanne Landry was the winner of the seven-night stay in the Dominican Republic, donated by World Club Vacations; Debra Peterson won a week's vacation in a log home in the Carolinas, donated by Michele Poole.

The Arc thanked the dedication of the committee members and volunteers.

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We need your news!

Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it's snapshots from your family reunion or a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Call Hometown Hernando news coordinator Jean Hayes at (352) 848-1438, fax (352) 754-6133, or jhayes@tampabay.com.

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