1. Hernando

Hernando County news briefs

News and notes from Hernando County


LifeSouth urges blood donations

In respect to Black History Month, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers wants to raise awareness and emphasize the need for a diverse blood supply, and the reasons why African-American blood donors are vitally important.

The majority of African Americans have type O or type B blood, which are consistently in high demand. Blood type, however, is not the only factor in matching a donor with a patient in need. Blood also contains special markers called antigens. Some African American patients treated for chronic medical conditions such as sickle cell disease require many blood transfusions throughout their lifetime. These patients need blood whose antigens closely match their own to reduce the risk of complications; these matches often are found in donors of the same ethnicity.

Those interested in donating blood must be at least 17 (or 16, with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is required.

The local LifeSouth Center is at 12395 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. Bloodmobile locations are set up throughout the county. For a list of locations or for further information, call (352) 596-2002 or visit


Vintage caravan to stop at Sertoma

The Tin Can Tourists, America's oldest trailer and motor coach club, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with events and rallies scheduled throughout the U.S. A Centennial Celebration Open House will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, south of Spring Lake.

The event will include a collection of vintage tow vehicles, luggage, camping items and more. There will be approximately 200 vintage trailers and coaches ranging in age from the 1920s to 1980s that will be available for touring during this one-day event. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the Sertoma Youth Ranch cafe. There will also be musical entertainment.

There is a $5 parking fee. For information, call (941) 302-2415, email to or visit

Hernando Beach

Swamp Fest returns to park

The 26th-annual Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 1 and 2, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3 at Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd.

The event features more than 100 vendors, arts and crafts, food court and more than 200 prize drawings. There will be a Swamp Monster contest with cash prizes at noon March 2. Live entertainment includes Brooke Sierra, John Hindman and the Mustang Mafia, Shadow Ridge, the Terry Cole Show and many others.

Free shuttle service will be available from remote parking. Admission is $5 adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and younger.

The event is organized by the Weeki Wachee Crime Watch, Weeki Wachee Area Club and the Hernando Environmental Land Protectors. Proceeds are distributed among the three organizations. For further details, visit or call (352) 597-9421 or (352) 597-4424.


Boating safety class offered

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Hudson Flotilla 11-7, will offer the state-mandated "About Boating Safely" class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23 at the auxiliary center, 9135 Denton Ave. Successful completion of the course earns the Florida Boating Safety Education Card.

The cost is $40 for the first family member (additional family members pay $20) and includes the class, digital library and processing. Advance registration is requested. Call (727) 697-8013 or email to

Shady Hills

Storybook forest to come to life

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando counties is hosting the 10th-annual Storybook Forest event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 2 at Crews Lake Wilderness Park, 18739 Crews Lake Drive. A ribbon cutting will precede the event at 10:30 a.m.

Storytellers will ignite visitors' imaginations as they bring children's stories to life. Visitors can meet and greet characters such as Daniel Tiger, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Emily Elizabeth, Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, Madeline, Elmo, Pete the Cat and many others. Pasco and Hernando educators will offer interactive displays based on children's books, where children will learn about the story through hands-on activities and create a related make-and-take project at each display.

All ages are invited. There will be no onsite parking at Crews Lake Park. Frequent shuttles will begin at 10:45 a.m. at Crews Lake Middle School at 15144 Shady Hills Road. For information, contact Bev Doucet at (727) 233-8291 or Visit the website at

Wine benefit to help Boys and Girls Club

A "Toast to their Future" fundraiser will be from 7 to 9 p.m. March 9 at Strong Tower Vineyard, 17810 Forge Drive.

The event is to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County. It will include wine and beer tasting, food and live music. Wine will also be available to purchase by the glass or bottle. There will be an auction and a 50/50 raffle.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Westside Unit Boys and Girls Club, 5404 Applegate Drive, Spring Hill. For information, call (352) 666-0068 or visit

Spring Hill

Flea market benefits basketball team

The Springstead High School Boys Basketball Team will host a flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Springstead Theater parking lot, 3300 Mariner Blvd.

Vendor spaces are available for $10, which includes two car spaces. Vendors must supply their own tables and chairs.

To sign up or for information, call Greg at (352) 683-3528.

Vendors wanted for Jewish fest

Non-food vendors are needed for the annual Jewish Food Festival, which will be from noon to 4 p.m. March 24 at Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St.

The cost for vendors is $30 per space. Reservations are required by March 20. For information, contact Linda at (561) 315-8704 or

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.