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Be a ‘Big’: Big Brothers, Big Sisters needs mentors

Pasco County news briefs


Pasco youth need ‘Big’ mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientation for those interested in becoming mentors to youth in Pasco County. The orientations 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. Big Brothers and Big Sisters can spend four to eight hours a month as a mentor. Upcoming sessions include:

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 29, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd. Another orientation will be offered at this location on Nov. 19.

• 10:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 2, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 11, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

No reservations needed. For information, contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at or (813) 997-6881.

SHINE volunteers needed for Medicare education

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas is seeking individuals to become volunteers with the SHINE program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders). SHINE is a statewide volunteer program offering seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers free, unbiased counseling on Medicare and health insurance. SHINE volunteers are not affiliated with any insurance company and do not sell insurance.

Bilingual volunteers are needed. To learn more, call (727) 570-9696, ext. 234, or visit to complete an application.

AARP offers driving course for seniors

The AARP Smart Driver Course will be offered at the following locations in November and December. The course is open to drivers 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. Unless otherwise noted, contact Bev Cogdill at (813) 907-3908 for class times and to register.

• Nov. 1 and Dec. 13 at Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes.

• Nov. 5 and Dec. 20, at Zephyrhills Library, 5347 Eighth Ave., Zephyrhills.

• Nov. 18 and Dec. 16, at Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City.

• Dec. 4, at Sun Toyota, 3001 U.S. 19, Holiday. Contact the dealership at (727) 310-3070.

Tax office has online system for transient rental tax

As of Oct. 1, the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office began accepting registrations from those required to collect the 4 percent tourist development tax on transient rentals. Beginning Nov. 1, the tourist development tax must be reported and remitted to the Tax Collector’s Office online through the Tourist Express system at, or by mail only.

For detailed information regarding the tax, documents that must be filed and for questions regarding the tax, visit, call (352) 518-5097 or email to

Gulfside to offer bereavement workshops

For those who are dealing with loss and grief, the holidays can be a time of hardship and heartache. To help, Gulfside Hospice’s Bereavement Services team will offer its annual holiday grief workshops this November. Together, families and counselors will create conversations and activities to honor their loved ones during the holiday season.

Workshops will be offered at the following locations:

• 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Gulfside’s Bereavement and Community Outreach Center, 6230 Lafayette St., New Port Richey.

• 3 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Rucki Center for Hospice Care, 5760 Dean Dair Road, Zephyrhills.

The workshops are free, but have limited seating. To attend either session, contact Jan Double at (727) 845-5707.

Gulfside also offers other bereavement services, including individual and family counseling for families of Gulfside patients, community memorial services and other programs. For details, call 800-561-4883 or visit

VFW accepting student essays

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.


Art council to offer classes

The Pasco Fine Arts Council is accepting registration for a variety of classes that will begin Nov. 5 at the West Pasco Fine Art Gallery, 4145 Fairford Drive.

Featured classes will be water media and a Saturday art class for teenagers. For details and registration, or to see what other art classes will be offered, visit Call the Fine Arts Center at (727) 845-7322 or stop by between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.