Pasco Briefs for Feb. 2

Published Jan. 29, 2018


Big Brothers Big Sisters needs mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientations for those interested in becoming mentors. The organization has more than 50 children in Pasco County on its waiting list for a big brother or big sister. The orientation will provide prospective adult mentors with information on the children the organization serves, the requirements to become a "big," volunteer commitments and expectations, how to handle cultural differences and the variety of programs offered through the organization. Upcoming orientation sessions include:

• 10:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 3, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

• 10:30 a.m. to noon March 3, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 12, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

For a complete list of orientation dates and locations, visit and follow the "volunteer" links. Contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at (813) 997-6881 or

Gulfside Hospice hosts annual poker run

Gulfside Regional Hospice will host its sixth-annual Hittin' the Road for Hospice benefit on Feb. 24. The event will start with check-in and registration at 9 a.m. at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, 5817 State Road 54. The last bike out is at 10 a.m. Along the route, riders will stop at various locations throughout the county to collect poker cards. The rider with the best hand will win a prize. The last stop will be the post-run celebration, which begins at 1 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3752 at 4149 New River Road in Zephyrhills.

The party will include entertainment, cash prizes, an auction, vendors and more. Also, the club or group that raises the most money for the event will be awarded the Wings & Wheels Fundraising Award. Early registration is $25 per driver and $15 per passenger, and includes an event T-shirt. Registration on the day of the event will be $30 for drivers and $20 for passengers. All proceeds will benefit hospice patients. Various levels of sponsorships are available. For sponsorship details, contact Christina Miller at (727) 845-5707. For event information, visit

Book drive starts for childhood literacy

Goodwill Industries has kicked off its annual book drive for its BookWorks childhood literacy program. The drive, which is from Feb. 1 through March 15 throughout the Tampa Bay area, seeks donations of children's books in good condition or monetary donations to purchase books for the program. The goal of the program is to promote literacy by putting books into the hands of children from low-income families. Goodwill volunteers read to children at Head Start centers and other locations, then present each child with a personalized book to take home.

Last year BookWorks volunteers presented books to more than 38,000 children from low-income families in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Sumter, Marion or Highlands counties, including more than 2,100 children in Pasco County alone. For information on BookWorks, visit To donate books, attach a note indicating they are "For BookWorks" and drop them off at any Goodwill-Suncoast store or donation site. For donation locations, visit or call toll-free 1-888-279-1988. To make a monetary donation, visit To volunteer for BookWorks, call the number above and ask for BookWorks, or email

AARP offers its driver safety for seniors

The AARP Driver Safety Program class will be offered at several Pasco County locations during February. The course is open to drivers ages 50 and older who, upon completion, may receive a discount on their auto insurance premiums. The certificate is valid for three years. The cost for the course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. Space is limited; preregistration is required. For class times, contact the instructor.

• Feb. 7, Sun Toyota, 3001 U.S. 19, Holiday; contact Sun Toyota, toll-free 1-800-759-8007.

• Feb. 13, New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills; contact Bev Cogdill, (813) 907-3908.

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• Feb. 16, Zephyrhills Library, 5347 8th Ave., Zephyrhills; contact Bev Cogdill, (813) 907-3908.

• Feb. 27, Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes; contact Eugene Pool, (813) 949-8585.

• Another class will be scheduled at Bayfront Health Dade City, 13100 Ft. King Road, Dade City. For date and time, contact Jack Martin, (352) 588-2802


Valentine's marriage ceremony planned

Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller Paula S. O'Neil will conduct her office's annual Valentine's Day marriage ceremony at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 outside the historic courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave. Couples may register for the ceremony when applying for a marriage license no later than Feb. 9. An official certified marriage certificate will be mailed to participating couples the day after the ceremony. Couples should arrive at the courthouse by 1 p.m. with their marriage license and identification. The Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller's Office has united nearly 180 couples since the inaugural group celebration in 2009. Spectators are welcome. For information, call the clerk's Dade City office at (352) 521-4408 or the New Port Richey office at (727) 847-8086, or visit

Kiwanis to start evening meetings

In an effort to reach out to community members who cannot make morning meetings, the Dade City Chapter of the Kiwanis Club will begin offering evening meetings on the first Tuesday of the month. The first meeting will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Dade City American Legion Hall, 37745 Church Ave. The meeting will include refreshments, a speaker and the swearing-in of a new member. A commemorative plaque will also be unveiled. For further information, call chapter president, Joe Kennard, at (813) 469-3344.


Crab & Shrimp Fest returns to SunWest

The annual Crab and Shrimp Festival will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 25 at Sunwest Park, 17362 Old Dixie Highway. The event features plenty of seafood, as well as live bands, stone crab claw-eating contest, carnival rides, crab races and free bounce houses for the children. A concert with The Petty Hearts, a Tom Petty tribute band, will be on Feb. 24. The Tobacco Road Band will perform Feb. 25. Admission is free on Feb. 23, $5 on Feb. 24 and 25. Parking is $5 each day; one free entry pass is provided with paid parking. Call (727) 674-1464.


Chasco Coronation Ball seeks sponsors

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind will host its 33rd annual Chasco Coronation Ball at 6 p.m. March 9 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. The annual event, which is the kickoff to the Chasco Fiesta, is a fundraiser to support the Lighthouse for its blind babies, children and teen programs. It also is to recognize local philanthropists for their dedication and commitment to the community. It will include a celebration of the nominees and the crowning of the new King Pithla and Queen Chasco. Reservations and sponsorships are now being accepted. Tickets to the event are $125 per person. For further details, sponsorship opportunities and reservations, visit the website at or contact Jamie Mick at or (727) 642-8041.

Guild accepting bird paintings for exhibit

The West Pasco Art Guild will accept paintings for its "For the Birds" exhibit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 5 at the gallery, 6206 Jefferson St. The cost is $5 per painting for members, $10 each for nonmembers. The exhibit will open with an English Afternoon Tea reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 10. The exhibit will continue throughout the month. Regular exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday evenings, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. Call (727) 841-7732, visit or the guild's Facebook page.


Show will feature trains and toys

Regal Railways will host a Toy, Train, Collectible and Hobby Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the New Lake Civic Association, 8330 Civic Drive. Vendors will sell model trains, hobbies and collectibles, as well as die-cast cars, antiques and more. There will be a running train layout on display. Admission is $5, with children 12 and younger admitted free. To be a vendor, or for further details, contact Joe at (727) 244-1341 or visit