Pasco County news briefs for March 15

Published March 7, 2019


Donors get discount to Renaissance fest

Those who donate to Goodwill Industries-Suncoast during March can receive a discount for $4.45 off regular adult gate admission to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa, which runs weekends through March 31.

A coupon with promo code will be given to each person who drops off a donation at a Goodwill-Suncoast store or donation site in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Hilslborough counties.

The discount applies to tickets purchased online at The coupon is good for up to four discounted admissions. Shoppers who round up their purchases to the nearest dollar also will get a coupon. For information and other locations, visit

SHINE offers Medicare presentations

The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program will offer Medicare counseling at the following locations:

• 10 a.m. March 16, Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway; call (813) 929-1214.

• 10 a.m. March 19, Centennial Park Library, 5740 Moog Road, Holiday; call (727) 834-3204.

• 1 p.m. March 19, Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson; call (727) 861-3040.

• 10 a.m. March 21, New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel; call (813) 788-6375.

For individual appointments at locations throughout Pasco County, visit

SHINE is a program through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs that provides free, unbiased, one-on-one insurance counseling and information on Medicare options and prescription drug assistance for elders and their families and caregivers. Volunteers are wanted to assist with the program. For information on volunteering, contact Sue Samson at or call (727) 570-9696, ext. 234. For a volunteer application, visit

Hospice shops host sale

Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppes will hold a "Pot of Gold Sale" March 15 and 16 at all store locations in Dade City, Zephyrhills, Lutz, New Port Richey and Hudson.

Shoppers can pick a mystery gold coin from the store's pot of gold to reveal their discount, which can be up to 50 percent off storewide. During the sale, shoppers can earn double punches on loyalty cards, as well as "thrift bucks" to spend on later purchases. For information, visit or call 800-561-4883.

Dade City

ServSafe class and exam offered

The UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service will offer a ServSafe Manager Certification class and exam session March 26 at the One Stop Shop/Stallings Building, 15029 14th St., Dade City. The class will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the exam will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Participants will have two hours to complete the exam. The class is free, but participants must purchase the exam and book materials. To RSVP, visit For information, call (352) 518-0156.


Seminar helps quit tobacco

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and the Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center have partnered to offer a free seminar to help tobacco users quit. "Tools to Quit" will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. March 20 in the hospital's cafeteria/private dining room, 14000 Fivay Road.

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This is a single-session program to provide the tools to quit tobacco, including: how to prepare a plan that works, specific ways to deal with cravings, what physical and emotional symptoms to expect and how to cope with them effectively. Participants can also receive four free weeks of patches, gum or lozenges while supplies last.

The program is sponsored by Tobacco Free Florida. It will be conducted by Sheena Thompson, a certified tobacco treatment specialist. For information, call the Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center (813) 929-1000 or toll-free at 877-848-6696, or visit

Land O' Lakes

Golf tourney benefits Special Olympics

The Groves Community will host its first Charity Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics Florida-Pasco County on March 22 at the Groves Golf and Country Club, 7924 Melogold Circle. The format is a four-person scramble, with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Registration and check-in is at 8 a.m.

The cost is $50 per player, which includes golf, luncheon, awards and prizes. The event will feature four hole-in-one contests, including a chance to win $10,000. Sponsorships are available, starting at $100. Proceeds will help send athletes with Special Olympics Florida-Pasco County to county, area and state competitions. For information about sponsorships or registration, contact Richard Moore at (813) 996-0161 or

New Port Richey

Festival focuses on loquats and poetry

The annual Florida Loquat Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 at Frances Avenue Park, 6156 Louisiana Ave. From 1 to 2 p.m. will be the Loquat Literary Festival.

The festival celebrates the sweet–tart Florida fruit, offering samplings, preserves, trees and other loquat products for sale. There will be readings of loquat–related poetry and short prose, with cash prizes for top poems.

Admission is free. Volunteers are needed for the fest, as well as for the loquat harvest. For information, call (727) 849–1626.

Talk to discuss refugees

People Places will host the next Talk About Town discussion at 6 p.m. March 18 at 5742 Main St. The topic is "Refugees Explained," presented by Christine Mendonca.

Mendonca will talk about who refugees are, what an asylum-seeker is, what's happening with them, and why growing up in New Port Richey inspired her to found her company, Humans on the Move. The company is an intermediary that connects those with resources to the challenges facing communities responding to forced displacement.

The presentation will be 30 to 45 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session. There is no cost to participate. For information, call (727) 385-5375.

Tickets, sponsorships available for Chasco ball

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind will host the 34th annual Coronation Ball at 6 p.m. March 29 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. Dinner will be at 7 p.m.

This formal gala is the official kickoff to Chasco Fiesta and recognizes local philanthropists for their dedication and commitment to the community. It includes a celebration of nominees with a Royal Coronation to crown the newest King Pithla and Queen Chasco.

The ball also serves as a fundraiser for the Lighthouse, with proceeds to benefit early intervention, children's and teens' programs. Tickets are $125 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For reservations and sponsorship details, visit, email to or call (727) 642-8041.

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.