Pasco County news briefs

News and notes from Pasco County
Published February 18
Updated February 21


'Big' mentors needed for youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientation for those interested in becoming mentors. 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. Upcoming sessions include:

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 26, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

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

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

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 26, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

Reservations are not needed. For information, contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at [email protected] or (813) 997-6881.

Volunteers needed for cleanup

Keep Pasco Beautiful will participate in the Great American Cleanup from 8 a.m. to noon March 2. Volunteers are needed throughout Pasco County to pick up litter and debris along roadways, waterways and public spaces.

Pasco County has been part of the national cleanup since 1992. In 2018, 625 volunteers picked up 28 tons of trash throughout the county.

High school students can earn community service hours. Participants can join one of the existing teams located throughout the county, or create their own group to focus on a specific area.

To register as a volunteer, call (7217) 856-7252 or email to Kristen King at [email protected] Visit

Tax office collecting for kids program

One Community Now's annual Hunger Walk is the featured charity in February at the offices of the Pasco County Tax Collector.

Donations are being accepted at all five tax office locations. The Hunger Walk funds the Pack-a-Sack 4 Kids Program, which is the keystone of the food relief efforts of One Community Now. Children in need receive backpacks full of healthy meals each Friday to ensure they have food to eat over the weekend. Students return the empty backpacks to their schools on Monday, which are refilled for the following weekend.

For information about the Pack-a-Sack 4 Kids Program, contact Patti Templeton at (727) 900-6280 or visit For information on the Pasco County Tax Collector's charitable giving programs, contact Greg Giordano at (727) 847-8179 or visit

AARP offers driver safety course

The AARP Driver Safety Program class will be offered at the following Pasco County locations in March. 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.

• March 8, New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills; call Bev Cogdill, (813) 907-3908.

• March 18, Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City; call Bev Cogdill, (813) 907-3908.

• March 18, Meadow Pointe I Community Center, 28245 County Line Road, Wesley Chapel; call Dennis Smith, (813) 994-9832.

• March 22, Zephyrhills Library, 5347 8th Ave., Zephyrhills; call Bev Cogdill, (813) 907-3908.

Elections office accepting scholarship applications

Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley is accepting applications for the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections Scholarship. The association will award three $1,200 scholarships statewide to a political science/public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications major.

Applicants must have finished two years of junior college or undergraduate work, be enrolled or accepted as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida, have been a Florida resident for at least two years and demonstrate a financial need. Two letters of recommendation, one from a college or university last attended or graduated from, and one from a personal reference, should accompany the application. Applicants must be Florida registered voters.

Applications can be accessed online at and are due back to the supervisor's office by March 29.Further details are available on the website.

Dade City

Free health screenings offered

AdventHealth Dade City will offer free "Heart Healthy" screenings from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at 13100 Fort King Road. Cholesterol and glucose screenings will be provided, as well as blood pressure checks.

The screenings will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, call (833) 300-2371.

Land O' Lakes

Casino event to benefit Sunrise shelter

Sponsorships and tickets are available for a Casino Night fundraiser for Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center on April 13 at 4G Ranch, 22501 State Road 52.

The event will feature casino games, as well as a bourbon bar, heavy appetizers, cigar rolling and more.

Tickets are $150. Sponsorships are available. Proceeds will benefit Sunrise of Pasco. For information, call (352) 521-3358 or email to [email protected]


Woman's Club to host flea market

The General Federation of Women's Clubs/Lutz-Land O' Lakes Woman's Club will host the annual Flea Market at the Old Lutz School from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1 and 2 at 18819 U.S. 41 N.

Donations for the sale will be accepted between 9 and 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 23. All items must be clean and in working order. Large furniture is acceptable, but large appliances, huge televisions and sleeper sofas cannot be accepted.

Funds raised will benefit scholarships and local charitable groups and nonprofits. For information, call Annette at (813) 482-8183.

New Port Richey

Teams wanted for Relay for Life

The Relay for Life of the Suncoast will be March 29-30 at JW Mitchell High School, 2323 Little Road. Teams and individuals can sign up to participate.

This is an all-night event that will include fundraising booths, teams that walk the track, a luminaria ceremony to honor those lost and those still fighting, games and fun contests throughout the night. The relay kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday and concludes at about noon on Saturday.

This is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. For information on the local Relay, contact Missy Muzzillo at [email protected] or call (727) 643-4715.

Show features female version of 'Odd Couple'

Neil Simon's comedy, The Odd Couple (Female Version) will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 22 and 23, and at 3 p.m. March 24, at St. Anne Byzantine Catholic Church parish center, 7120 Massachusetts Ave.

The show is presented by St. Thomas Aquinas Council 11497 and Father Felix Council 5869 Knights of Columbus. Tickets are $20. Call Steven Wolfe at (614) 843-5193 or email [email protected]

Golf outing to benefit cancer fund

The ninth-annual Drive Away Cancer Golf Outing to benefit the JK Cancer Fund will be March 24 at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd.

Registration begins at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner, awards and raffles follow the tourney.

Sponsorships are available between $50 and $5,000. Golf is $150 per golfer, which includes dinner and a gift bag. Non-golfers pay $50 for dinner.

For sponsorship details or to sign up a team or as an individual, contact Sue Millian at (727) 809-1695 or [email protected] Visit


Lawn lecture, film at the park

Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources will host part two of its Lectures on the Lawn series, with a screening of The Florida Wildlife Corridor's The Forgotten Coast from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Starkey Ranch District Park, 118800 Lake Blanche Drive.

The event will include a presentation with Mallory Dimmitt, a seventh-generation Floridian and expedition team member who is working to raise awareness for statewide conservation. The Forgotten Coast is a documentary film showcasing Florida's wildlife corridor, stretching from the Everglades to the northernmost part of the Florida Gulf Coast.

The event will also include live music. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and a picnic. A food truck will be on site, as well as local brewery offerings. Visit or call (813) 929-2760.

Port Richey

Roller derby to benefit hospice pet program

Revolution Roller Derby, a flat-track roller derby league, will host a battle between its Mom & Pop's Militia vs. Antique Roll Show, Southeast Chapter, featuring skaters older than 40, at 5:45 p.m. March 3 at SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St.

The event will include a benefit for Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care's Pet Peace of Mind program, which helps provide basic pet care in order to keep hospice patients and their pets together. The program needs volunteers and monetary donations. Beenie babies will be sold at the event, with funds to benefit the program.

Admission to the event is $12 at the door. Those who make a donation to the Pet Peace of Mind program will receive $2 off admission. Guests can bring chairs for closer seating. Refreshments will be sold in the skating center's cafe.

There will be a tailgate party in the parking lot. For information, visit or email to [email protected]

Senior fitness program to begin

Galen Wilson Senior Center, 8600 Galen Wilson Blvd., is partnering with the YMCA of the Suncoast to offer a free, 16-week senior fitness program. Classes will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting March 4, at the senior center.

These are Enhance Fitness classes, geared for adults 55 and older. Classes include cardiovascular, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises and foster social relationships between participants. Those with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, can participate. Chairs can be used for support, if needed, and participants increase the weight they use for strength training at their own pace.

To reserve a spot, call the Galen Wilson Senior Center at (727) 834-3317.

St. Leo

Students compete in bridge-breaking

Young children and their families are invited to watch the annual Bridge-Breaking Competition held by Saint Leo University's Department of Mathematics and Science at 6 p.m. March 4 in Selby Auditorium in Lewis Hall on the Saint Leo campus, 33701 State Road 52.

The competitors are teams of Saint Leo students who construct model bridges from lightweight wooden sticks and glue. Strict rules about materials and dimensions apply. Once the competition opens, the audience votes on which bridge is most attractive. Then faculty members test each bridge to see which one can hold the most weight before breaking. The sturdiest bridge is the winner.

There is no cost to attend. Guests do not have to stay for the entire contest. Those who wish to attend may have preferred seating by calling in advance; contact Leo Ondrovic at [email protected] or (352) 588-7408.

Wesley Chapel

'Spotlight on Talent' finalists to compete

The 36th annual Spotlight on Talent contest finales will be held in two shows on March 9 at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road. A matinee featuring young solos and groups will be at noon; an evening show featuring older solos and groups will be at 7 p.m.

The annual competition is for school-age youth. More than 220 students auditioned on Feb. 27, with 166 contestants to perform in the finals. Performances include all styles of piano, vocals, guitar and steel drum band music, all types of dance and acrobatics. Judging will be done by panels of paid professional judges.

Cash prizes, trophies and ribbons of more than $4,000 will be awarded. A $1,000 "Pasco Heritage Scholarship" will be awarded to a Pasco County graduating senior.

Tickets will be sold at the door. The cost is $12 per show or $20 for both; students in kindergarten through high school pay $6 per show or $10 for both; ages 4 and younger admitted free.

The event is produced by the Heritage Arts Center Association. For information, contact Barbara Friedman at [email protected] or (352) 567-1720. Visit the webiste at


Senior community hosts bazaar

The Betmar Acres Hobby Club will hold its first All Seasons Bazaar from 8 to 11 a.m. March 2 in the Annex of #2, 37137 Lakewood Drive.

The bazaar will include a variety of items, such as handmade jewelry, wood card holders, and crocheted towels and scrubbies. Items for all the holidays throughout the year will be available, and there will be a bake sale.

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