News briefs for Hernando and Pasco counties for Nov. 9

News and notes from the community
Published November 5 2018

Hernando County


Property appraiser offices close for trainingThe Hernando County Property Appraiser’s Office will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 14 for training.

Offices are on the third floor at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville; and at the Westside Government Center, 7525 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information, call 754-4190.

United Way campaign kicks off

United Way of Hernando County has launched its first "Change for Good: Dollar Campaign," which continues through the months of November, December and January.

The goal of the campaign is to collect $1 from each community member — adults and children. With more than 180,000 residents living in Hernando County, the local United Way could raise more than $180,000.

Donations may be made through PayPal, Venmo, credit card, cash or check. Checks are to be made payable to United Way of Hernando County and mailed to 4028 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606. Visit to pay online. For information, call (352) 688-2026.

Transit services offered on holidays

Beginning Nov. 23, Hernando County Transit will provide regular transit bus services and complementary service for disabled riders on the following holidays: the day after Thanksgiving, President's Day, Good Friday and Veteran's Day.

For further information, visit or call (352) 754-4444.


Participants wanted for Heritage Day Fest

The Hernando Historical Museum Association is seeking vendors, artists, crafters, storytellers, authors and reenactors to participate in the Heritage Day Festival on Feb. 16 at the 1885 Train Depot and One Room Schoolhouse museums, along the Good Neighbor Trail, at 66 and 70 Russell St.

Vendors intending to sell items pay $30 for a 10-foot by 10-foot space. Demonstrators intending to display, act out, enrich or teach attendees will not be charged.

For further details, contact Mary at (352) 515-3054 or [email protected]

Weight loss challenge planning meeting set

An organizational meeting for the Great Hernando Weight Loss Challenge will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 15 at Lykes Memorial Library, 238 Howell Ave. The meeting will include details on important changes to the challenge, dates, guidelines and registration paperwork.

The challenge is a community health initiative that challenges teams of 10 to work together to lose 10 pounds per person in 10 weeks. It will begin Jan. 19 at the Brooksville Mining Association Enrichment Center and will end March 27.

The cost to participate is $10 per person. There will be awards, recognition and cash prizes. For information, contact Ann-Gayl Ellis at (352) 540-6817 or [email protected], or Angie Bonfardino at (352) 688-2026 or [email protected]

Performers wanted for downtown Christmas

Brooksville Main Street is seeking groups of carolers for the 2018 "25 Days of Christmas" program.

Downtown Brooksville's annual Christmas tree lighting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Hernando County Courthouse, 20 Main St. In the days to follow, Brooksville Main Street program's vision is to keep the excitement and anticipation of Christmas continuing with seasonal music from area churches and other groups each evening from Dec. 1 through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Music organizations are encouraged to schedule a performance for up to an hour between 6 and 7 p.m. on an available evening, to be presented on the courthouse steps. After Dec. 6, the Christmas tree's synchronized music and light show will automatically start at 7 p.m. daily.

Other performances are welcome, such as caroling through the downtown area. For information, contact Stan Putnam at (727) 215-1222 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (text messages are preferred), or email to [email protected]


Workshops offered to creative writers

The East Hernando Creative Writers Workshop will meet at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 and again on Nov. 29 at the East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road.

The group provides constructive feedback and encouragement in support of writers' inspirations. The focus is on flash (short) fiction, but other genres are welcome. All skill levels are welcome.

Workshops are held every other week. For information, call Anne at (352) 583-2441.


Art, craft fair benefits rescue pets

A Paws and Claus Holiday Art and Craft Fair will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 24 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane.

This benefit and adoption event will feature more than 50 local artisans offering a diverse selection of handcrafted items. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., children can visit with Santa, have their faces painted and get a balloon.

The event will benefit Kathi's K9s and Paw Warriors. The nonprofit organization will have adoptable animals available. Donations of pet toys and food items will be collected.

The event is free. For information, call Linda at (352) 796-1414.

Gardens prepare for the holidays

The Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., will host the 11th annual "Holiday in the Gardens" event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1.

The party will include decorating trees and setting up angels for the Angels on High event, music, refreshments and free children's events. There will be a "Tree of Youth" to decorate, and participants are encouraged to bring a snowman for the new Snowman Village.

Community organizations, individuals and businesses can reserve a tree to decorate; the cost is $25. All funds raised will go to the nonprofit garden for maintenance.

For information, visit or call (352) 683-9933.

Disney quartet headlines concert

The Hernando Harmonizers mixed a capella chorus will present their annual concert at 2 p.m. Nov. 17 at Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

The theme is "Broadway to Hollywood," featuring chorus quartets and the chorus singing songs from Broadway and the movies in traditional barbershop harmony. Headlining will be Main Street, the gold medalist world champion quartet from Walt Disney World.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For information, contact Jay Gettig at (352) 684-5267 or (352) 428-9010, or [email protected]

Golf tourney benefit planned for Dec. 1

The annual Golf Charity Fundraiser for St. Theresa Catholic Church and St. Vincent de Paul Society will be Dec. 1 at Seven Hills Golfers Club, 10599 Fairchild Road. Check-in should be done by 9:15 a.m., and the shotgun start is at 10 a.m.

Hole sponsorships are $100 for corporate sponsorships, $50 individual. The cost to golf is $55 per golfer, which includes lunch (chicken cordon bleu, sides and salad). There will be separate costs for various contests, 50/50 raffle with prizes and mulligans. Those wishing to have lunch only pay $20.

For information, contact Mark Downing at (352) 678-8588, or Anthony Ciufo at (352) 650-1554.

Pets can have photos with Santa

A "Photos with Santa Paws" benefit will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2 at Rotary Centennial Park, 10375 Sandlor St.

The event is to benefit Operation Kindness for Hernando County Animal Services. Photos are $10 for a 4x6 inch print. There will be a 50/50 drawing, raffles and activities for pets, as well as food and Italian ices available. All pets must be leashed. Visit

Pasco County Briefs


Pasco County Public Transportation has partnered with The Volunteer Way to host "Stuff the Bus" Nov. 10 to help feed Pasco County families in need for the Thanksgiving holiday. The agencies will collect donations of frozen turkeys, hams and nonperishable foods, such as boxed stuffing, instant mashed potatoes and canned vegetables.

Buses will be stationed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at two Walmart Supercenter locations: 8745 State Road 54, New Port Richey; and 8701 U.S. 19, Port Richey.

The Volunteer Way is a nonprofit volunteer organization that serves Pasco County's homeless and low-income families.

Vets, military ride free on Veterans Day

Pasco County Public Transportation will offer free bus rides to active-duty military and veterans Nov. 12 in recognition of Veterans Day.

To take advantage of the free rides on all fixed-service transit routes, active-duty military and veterans can show one of the following forms of identification to the bus driver: military ID card; DD Form 2; a valid VA card; DD214 (honorable discharge status); or "V" on the driver's license. Visit the website at

Ministries opens holiday donation tents

Metropolitan Ministries expects to help about 20,000 families this holiday season with hot meals. A food donation tent is available at its Pasco campus at 3214 U.S. 19 N, Holiday.

Also, from Nov. 11 to Nov. 21, a Thanksgiving food donation tent will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, at Keystone Community Church, 21010 State Road 54, Lutz. Contact the church at (813) 948-4522.

Most needed items include frozen turkeys, cereal, rice, beans, potatoes, yams and stuffing. Other nonperishable staples for Thanksgiving dinner include canned or jellied cranberries, canned vegetables, cake, and bread or muffin mixes. The tent at the Holiday location also is taking donations of toys and gifts for infants and teens. Gift cards are needed to places such as Publix, Target, Walmart, Amazon and local movie theaters.

For further donation drop-off sites, ways to get involved and other information, visit

Tax collector taking donations for Animal Services

The Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office is collecting donations for Pasco Friends of Animal Services throughout November at all five tax offices in Dade City, Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes, New Port Richey and Gulf Harbors.

The nonprofit group is dedicated to enriching the lives of pets at the Pasco County Animal Shelter and improving the likelihood of adoption into loving homes. The primary focus of this campaign is to build up the medical fund that will help enhance the health, welfare and environment of the shelter animals.

For information about Pasco Friends of Animal Services, visit the website at, or call Michael Cox at (727) 815-3010. For information about the tax collector’s charitable giving program, contact Greg Giordano, assistant tax collector, at (727) 847-8179 or [email protected], or visit

Hospice to offer grief workshops

Gulfside Hospice's bereavement support team will offer four "The Season of Family" holiday grief workshops at the following locations:

• 3 and 6 p.m. Nov. 13, Gulfside Center for Hospice Care, 5760 Dean Dairy Road, Zephyrhills.

• 3 and 6 p.m. Nov. 15, Gulfside's Bereavement and Community Outreach Center, 6230 Lafayette St., New Port Richey.

The workshops will provide ideas and inspiration for families to celebrate loved ones, those present and those who have passed, by creating conversations and activities. To attend a workshop, reserve a spot by calling (727) 845-5707. There is no cost and the public is welcome.


Free grief, depression classes offered

Classes to learn about grief and get help for depression or post traumatic stress disorder will be offered at 1 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at Faith Lutheran Church, 5443 Sunset Road.

There is no cost to attend and classes are confidential. For information, contact Connie, a certified counselor, at (727) 359-9997.

Concert to celebrate Webber's music

Richey Community Orchestra will kick off its 2018-19 season with "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road.

The concert will feature guest soloist Victoria Riggs, as well as the Richey Community Chorus.

Webber is known for Broadway blockbusters such as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Riggs will be featured in Whistle Down the Wind, Unexpected Song and Love Changes Everything. The Richey Community Chorus will be featured in a medley from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Love Never Dies, Don't Cry for Me Argentina, Already Home and Phantom of the Opera. The Orchestra will play music from Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats.

Tickets are $15. For information or tickets, visit the website at or call (727) 919-3866.

Arts council hosts Christmas sale

The Pasco Fine Arts Council's Christmas Sale opens Nov. 14 at the center, 4145 Fairford Drive. The sale includes works by local artists.

The center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays and Saturdays. The center will be closed the week of Thanksgiving.

For information, visti or call (727) 845-7322.

Upcycle & Art fest returns to Sims Park

The fourth-annual Pasco Upcycle & Art Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Sims Park, 6341 Bank St.

The free event is held in conjunction with America Recycles Day, which is aimed to reduce waste by creative reuse, transforming unwanted waste into new material or products. It will include a variety of upcycle vendors and artists selling items such as jewelry made from spoons, and repurposed furniture and decor made from pallets. There will be farmer's market vendors, food trucks and craft beer available.

Entertainment will include Americana bands Oak Ramble, Mountain Holler and Rebekah Pulley & the Reluctant Prophets. An Art of Recycling show, featuring art from local high school students, will be on display at Peace Hall.

For information, call (727) 856-7252 or email [email protected]


Festival of Trees set for Nov. 16

The ninth-annual Good Samaritan Festival of Trees Winter Wonderland and Auction will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Columbian Event Center, 5850 Farrell Way (formerly KofC Drive).

Guests will have an opportunity to bid on more than 30 fully-decorated trees and wreaths ready to take home. There will be baskets and holiday crafts available. There will be a live auction, silent auction, hors d'oeuvres, pictures with Santa, and vendors for holiday shopping.

Tickets are $30 per person or two for $50, and will be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco County, a nonprofit organization that provides medical and dental services, including prescriptions, at no cost to eligible Pasco County adults who are uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid. For information, call the clinic at (727) 848-7789, ext. 242, email to [email protected] or visit the website at


Safety Town hosts yard sale

A fundraiser yard sale will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16-18 at Pasco Safety Town, 15362 Alric Pottberg Road, off State Road 52.

Safety Town is a nonprofit community project that offers an ongoing education program aimed at reducing accidental injuries and deaths of children. The "classroom" is a realistic, child-sized town offering hands-on safety education. Volunteers and financial donations are always needed.

For information, call (813) 929-1203.


Community sale needs vendors

The Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring will host a parking lot sale from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 17 at 38135 Market Square.

Vendor spaces are $25 for a 15-foot by 20-foot space; bring your own tables, chairs and tents.

The Foundation of Caring is a nonprofit organization that offers mentorship, scholarship, sponsorship, awards and service opportunities. For information, visit or call (813) 406-4499.

Contact Phyllis Day at [email protected] or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.