Pasco news briefs for Oct. 4

News and notes from Pasco County
Published Sept. 30, 2019


Vets, military ride free on county buses

Pasco County Public Transportation has launched a veterans program offering complimentary bus rides on all fixed-route transit to veterans and active-duty military, effective Oct. 1. The new benefit also extends to Pasco County employees.

To take advantage of the free rides, one of the following identifications must be presented: Military ID card, DD Form 2; a valid VA card; a "V" on the Driver’s License; or a county-issued employee ID. For further details, visit

Veterans Services to be closed Oct. 7-10

All Pasco County Veterans Services Division offices will be closed to the public Oct. 7-10 for annual team training. Offices include: 8620 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey; 4111 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes; and 37255 Florida Ave., Dade City.

All locations will resume normal business hours on Oct. 11. During the office closures, anyone who needs assistance can call Veterans Services at (727) 834-3282.

Tax office collecting for breast cancer

For the sixth-consecutive year, the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office is teaming up with the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation to be the featured charity in October. Donations are being accepted at all five tax office locations throughout the month.

The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation’s main objectives are to advocate on behalf of patients, educate the public on all aspects of breast cancer and to provide funds for research seeking new treatments and ultimately a cure for breast cancer.

Individuals who have automobile registration renewals coming due in October may choose to trade in their regular license plates for the “End Breast Cancer” specialty tag. Customers also may purchase the tag for newly registered vehicles. Additionally, customers may choose to use the voluntary check-off box on their registration form and donate directly to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. The tax offices also accept other cash donations on behalf of the foundation.

For information about the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, visit, or call Cathy Cruz, marketing communications manager, at (305) 631-2134. For information on the Pasco County Tax Collector’s charitable giving programs, contact Greg Giordano at (727) 847-8179 or visit

VFW accepting student essay entries

The Chester Mackay Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7987 is accepting entries for an essay contest open to Pasco County students in the sixth through 12th grades who attend public, charter, private, parochial and home schools.

The essay theme is “What Makes America Great.” The deadline is Oct. 31. Each entry should include the student’s name, school, grade and contact information.

Entries from local schools have a chance to win a prize. The contest includes grand prizes of $5,000, and $30,000 nationally. For information, contact the post at (727) 376-3502 and ask for Walter Jaworski or Mike Schrader.

Gulfside Hospice seeks volunteers

Gulfside Hospice is looking for individuals to join its team of volunteers and help in a variety of tasks.

Volunteer opportunities include patient care tasks, as well as other opportunities that do not require working directly with patients. Volunteers are encouraged to choose an area of interest to them, such as offering companionship to patients, singing or playing an instrument for patients, creating art projects, offering respite care, providing administrative assistance, making crafts and blankets that can be given to patients, joining the staff at the Gulfside thrift shops, helping with fundraising events and more.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer can complete the application online at For the safety of patients, all volunteers must successfully complete an interview, background check and various training based on the applicant’s choice of tasks. For information, contact Laura Wright at (727) 845-5707 or


Native American gathering is Oct. 19-20

The 16th-annual Silverhawk Native American Flute Gathering and Arts and Craft Show, will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20 at Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd. The gathering is hosted by Dock Green Silverhawk, a long-time resident of Plant City.

The event will include music of flute players, singers, storytellers and the “Sacred Thunder Drum." There will be plenty of native foods, such as Indian tacos, fry bread and buffalo burgers, plus hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, homemade ice cream, drinks and more.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Parking and admission are free. No alcohol allowed. Pets on leashes are welcome, but owners must clean up after them.

The park sits along the Withlacoochee River and has an authentic 1800 settlement with log cabins, a church, general store and school house. Camping is available; primitive camping is free, and RV camping is available for a fee.

For information, visit or call Dock Green Silverhawk at (813) 763-2118.


Church to host art, craft fair

An Arts and Crafts Fair will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16 at First United Methodist Church, 13123 U.S. 19.

Vendor tables are available for $35. Applications are available in the church office or online at For information, call (727) 868-6178.


Church opens pumpkin patch

The Pumpkin Patch at Harvester Community Church is open at 2432 Collier Parkway. The patch is open 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31.

The patch will host several events: A Playtime in the Patch from 10 to 11 a.m. Oct. 11 and 14. Toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy storytime, games, crafts, prizes and snacks. A Fall Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19. There is no cost for admission. For information, call (813) 948-2311.

Native plant sale Oct. 19 at park

The Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will have a Native Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.

There will be a large selection of nursery-grown plants; each plant will have a plant profile to help buyers put their plants in the right spots. There will also be native plant books for sale, carts available for plant transportation and a Master Gardener information table for those with gardening questions. For information, visit or


Commissioner holds town hall meeting

Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey will host a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 20735 Leonard Road. There will be presentations from 6:30 to 8 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session from 8 to 8:30 p.m.

Starkey and several Pasco County team members will present information and answer questions on the following topics: Transportation/State Road 54 update; paving assessments, code enforcement, long range planning (upcoming projects in the area), and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. For further details, visit


Church hosts dinner, breakfast events

Queen of Peace Church will host the following events at the church, 5340 High St.:

• Chicken marsala dinner, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Includes potatoes, gravy, vegetables, Caesar salad, roll and dessert. Includes drinks. The cost is $10 adults, $7 children.

• All-you-can-east breakfast buffet, 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 20. Includes drinks. The cost is $8 adults, $5 children.

For information or to RSVP, call (727) 849-7521.

Ambassador’s breakfast to support elderly

Feeding Pasco’s Elderly will host the fifth-annual Ambassador’s Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Oct. 9 at the Verizon Event Center, 8718 Trouble Creek Road. The event is to support Pasco County Senior Services Division’s senior nutrition program.

All donations will be matched, up to a total of $220,000. For further information, visit To make a donation, visit To contact the Pasco County Senior Services Division, visit or call (727) 834-3340

Legislative delegation hosts annual meeting

The Pasco County legislative delegation will host its annual public meeting from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, Performing Arts Center, 10230 Ridge Road.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow residents, elected officials, cities and local government, as well as other civic organizations, to address the delegation before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. Decisions on local legislation for the 2020 session will be made at the meeting, and all proposals for local bills are to be presented at the meeting.

Proposals are to be submitted to Rep. Amber Mariano’s office no later than noon Oct. 4 at 10730 U.S. 19 N, Suite 23, Port Richey, FL 34668. Those who would like to be placed on the printed agenda should contact Mariano’s office by by noon Oct. 4, at or (727) 861-4806. After that date, those interested in speaking can complete a speaker’s form on the day of the meeting, and will be afforded time to speak in the order in which the request was received. Speakers must bring or submit seven copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution.

For further information, contact Alexander Alt at (727) 861-4806.

Orchestra and chorus announces new season

The Richey Community Orchestra and Chorus announced the 2019-20 schedule of events.

The season will open Nov. 17 with “Rodgers and Hammerstein,” at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road. The concert will feature the Richey Community Chorus in selections from shows The King and I, Carousel, Cinderella and The Sound of Music. The orchestra will play highlights from Oklahoma, South Pacific, Victory at Sea and State Fair. The show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18.

Other shows include:

• Holiday Pops, Dec. 8, at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. Special guests include entertainers John and Mary K. Wilson. A cash bar will open at 1 p.m., dinner at 1:30 p.m., and the show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $45. Tables of 10 may be reserved. Reservations are required.

• Music from the Movies: A Celebration of John Williams, Feb. 9, at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. This will be a celebration of the composer’s 88th birthday. A highlight of the show will be the music from Schindler’s List. Other selections will be from Star Wars, Superman, Jurassic Park and more. The show is at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18. Advance purchase is suggested.

• Frank and Ella, March 15, at Spartan Manor, showcasing Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Guest soloists include Katt Heffner and Tom Tiratto. A cash bar will open at 1 p.m., dinner at 1:30 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $45. Tables of 10 may be reserved. Reservations are required.

• The Roaring ’20s, April 19 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The Richey Community Chorus will perform. Highlighting numbers from Tin Pan Alley artists Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin. There will also be a guest soloist, Martin Preston, an award-winning pianist. The show is at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18. Advance purchase suggested.

• “Ballads, Blues and Broadway” Mother’s Day Dinner Concert, May 12, at Spartan Manor. Broadway veterans Jimmy Ferraro and Dee Etta Rowe will sing. A cash bar will open at 1 p.m., dinner at 1:30 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $45. Tables of 10 may be reserved. Reservations are required.

Maestro Stephen P. Brown is the conductor of the 50-piece orchestra, which includes professional and amateur musicians. All tickets are on sale and may be purchased in person or by mail at the Richey Community Orchestra box office, 6827 Amberjack Lane, Hudson, FL 34667. Tickets are also available online at For a free brochure on the new season, call Denise Isaacson at (727) 919-3866 or visit the website.

Walk to fight suicide

The Pasco County Out of the Darkness Walk will be Oct. 26 at Sims Park, 6341 Bank St. Check-in and registration will be at 9:30 a.m. The program starts at 10:30 a.m. and the walk will be from 11 a.m. to noon.

This is a walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Walkers are welcome to bring their pets. Those who raise at least $150 for the organization will receive a T-shirt.

To register, visit For further information, contact Marie Kelley at (205) 370-3908 or


Alzheimer’s walk set for Oct. 19

The Alzheimer’s Association invites Pasco County residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which will be Oct. 19 at Starkey Ranch District Park, 11880 Lake Blanche Drive. Registration is at 8 a.m., the ceremony will be at 9 a.m.

On Walk day, participants will honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease with “promise flowers" during a Promise Garden Ceremony.

Participants can join a team or register to walk as an individual at For further details, contact Michele Olsen at (727) 270-9902.


Roller derby to benefit Sunrise of Pasco

Revolution Roller Derby, a flat-track, co-ed roller derby league, will host a battle between their Valkyries against the Ocala Roller Derby League Oct. 13 at SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Those attending are encouraged to bring folding chairs. The cafe will be open for snacks and refreshments; beer will be available in the parking lot at half-time and at the after party.

The event will be a fundraiser for Sunrise of Pasco Domestic and Sexual Violence Center. A list of items needed at the shelter is available at Admission is $12; those who bring a donation to the door will receive $2 off the admission fee.

For information, call (727) 280-7981, email or visit


Week-long aquaponics training offered

An aquaponics training program will be offered Oct. 14-18 at Holy Name Monastery, 12138 Wichers Road.

The classes are taught by Phil Reasons, an expert in the field. Aquaponics is the integration of animal and plant culture in an aquatic media. Water-rich nutrients from the fish flows to vegetable roots set in grow beds.

The Benedictine Sisters of Florida began an aquaponics system in 2014, raising tilapia fish and fresh vegetables. It is a state-of-the-art farming system that uses less than 3 percent of the water used by traditional farming methods.

The one-week workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and includes course materials, room with a private bath, meals, snacks and refreshments. The cost is $900 per person. For further information, contact Sister Miriam at Holy Name Monastery at, (352) 588-8320 or (352) 588-8443.

American Legion hosts cornhole tourney

American Legion Post 147 will host the annual Cornhole Tournament Nov. 9 at the post, 17383 Gunn Highway. Registration will be from 2 to 2:40 p.m., with games starting at 3 p.m.

There will be separate competitions for adults and children. There will be adult singles and doubles, with winners receiving 25 percent of the draw, second place receiving 15 percent and third place receiving 10 percent. Children’s competitions will be singles, ages 6-10 and 11-14; prizes will be awarded to first- and second-place winners.

The cost for the adult competition is $10 in advance, $15 at the event. The fee for children is $2 per child.

There will be free face painting for the children. Burgers, hot dogs, sausage, fries and cold beverages will be available for purchase. The bar will be open. For information or to register, call or text Bill at (813) 767-9447 or Bruce at (813) 810-5988.


Solar co-op introduced

The Pasco Unit of the Hillsborough League of Women Voters, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sierra Club Adventure Coast and Suncoast Chapter have partnered with Solar United Neighbors to launch a Solar Co-Op in Pasco County. An informational meeting will be offered at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at Alice Hall, 38116 Fifth Ave.

The solar co-op is free to join, and joining is not a commitment to purchase solar panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Homeowners and small businesses in Pasco County interested in joining the co-op can sign up at

Art club hosts demonstration

The Zephyrhills Art Club will host a watercolor demonstration from 7 to 9 pm.. Oct. 14 at the Elks Lodge, 6851 Wire Road.

The demonstration will be given by Roxanne Tobaison, a local artist inspired by area floral and fauna, landmarks and Tampa Bay scenery. Anyone interested is welcome. For information, email to Jo Ann at