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Cherrywood news 1-25-2013

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Kicking to fight kidney disease

By John Everlove

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Cherrywood is “Kicking” all right; on Saturday, March 2 at 8 a.m. Cherrywood residents will join with hundreds of other Marion County residents for the Kicking Kidney Disease 5K Run/Walk sponsored by the Marion County Kidney Foundation.
This will be the second year that we here at Cherrywood have supported this worthy cause and for the second time; Holly Bragdon has agreed to head up our efforts. Last year we had nearly a dozen walkers and this year we’re hoping to at least double that number.
Participants begin at Baseline Road Florida Greenway Trailhead. Everyone either walks or runs, depending on their individual preference the 5K course.
Registration is just $20 per person and you’ll find the atmosphere at the event is festive and bright.
KCountry radio will be on hand and many vendors booths will be giving away free gifts.
This is a 100 percent volunteer non-profit organization and all the proceeds go to helping local residents in their struggle with Kidney Disease.
Feel good about yourself and help others feel good too. Register and take part in this years 5K Kicking Kidney Disease event. You can reach Holly at 352-873-8223 for more information and to sign up. Lets all get behind this worthwhile cause.

Art class

On Jan. 11 Debbie Blackburn held an art class teaching her eager students how to turn a blank canvas into a colorful landscape in oils. This four-hour class was held on the 11th and everyone went home with a beautiful painting suitable for hanging.
Just like all of the classes Debbie teaches, she furnished all of the materials. Canvas, brushes, oil paints and a love of teaching is what Debbie brings to the classes.
All the students have to bring is their desire to learn.
Keep watching this column for the next scheduled art class and be sure to sign up when it comes to Cherrywood again soon.

Welcome new residents

Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. there will be a Welcome to Cherrywood Coffee Hour in the clubhouse. Coffee, tea and sweets will be served and a great deal of information will be given to our new residents.
Come out and meet some of the people who make Cherrywood an active adult community.
You’ll meet people from CERT; the Activities Committee: the Veterans Club; Camera Club; Physical Fitness participants to name just a few. In addition, you’ll get maps; tips on cool places; a list of services provided by Marion County and more.
If you are new to our neighborhood or if you’ve never attended one of these coffees please consider this your personal invitation. Just contact Geri to let us know you’re coming.
This is a great way to learn your way around town and the community; a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and a great chance to enjoy free refreshments.

Spring Sweetheart craft show

Once again the craft show is coming to the Cherrywood Clubhouse. On Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. you will find a wide variety of vendors who sell everything from wind chimes to painted gourds; from jewelry to flowers; from woodworking to specialty cards and everything in between.
This event is open to the public so even if you’re not a resident of Cherrywood, you can come in and shop; eat; and enjoy the multitude of goods available at the best craft show in the area.
Take advantage of the Songbirds bake sale or the Activities Committee luncheon and snacks. All items are very reasonably priced so even if you’re on a budget, you can enjoy the tasty meal or snack and still have some money left over to purchase all things spring from our vast array of booths.
If you’re a vendor with an interest in being a part of this excellent show, please contact Geri at 352-237-1675 for contract information.

Valentine’s dance
Romance abounds at Cherrywood and no where is it more evident than at our annual Valentine’s Day dance. From 7 until 10 p.m. enjoy finger foods; a beautifully decorated clubhouse; the warm music of Rich Becotte as he plays all your favorite tunes and dance the night away with your “Sweetie.” Feel free to bring your own beverages or take advantage of the free iced tea and lemonade.
Tickets are only $3 per person so see Geri and get your reservations. You won’t want to miss this night of love and romance.

Veterans Club
On Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. join the Veterans Club of Cherrywood for guest speaker John Deakins. John will be speaking about the progress being made at the Fisher House in Gainesville.
Fisher House is a privately sponsored facility that provides housing for the relatives of Veterans who are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the VA Medical Center.
 It is a known fact that having family nearby speeds the recovery process. Because of Fisher House, families can stay free as long as it takes for their loved one to heal.
In addition, there will be some discussion on plans for the upcoming year including the Widow’s Honor Tea; Spaghetti Dinner; projects and reports of officers.
These meetings, unless otherwise posted, are open to all Cherrywood residents so come out and see just what your Veterans Club is doing for not only our community but for the veterans around the state; country; and world.
Immediately following the meeting, please join us for free liquid refreshments on the patio. Your Cherrywood veterans; proudly they served and are still serving proudly.
On Feb. 19 at 2 p.m., the Cherrywood Veterans Club will honor the survivors of our deceased members. A special Tea will be held to recognize them for their service and devotion and to remind them that while their loved one may be gone, they are not forgotten.
This is an invitation only event so if you would like to be a volunteer or if you know someone who should be included on the guest list please contact Geri or any officer of the Veterans Club.

Comedy Night coming soon
Monday, March 4, Jim Moody, comedian and magician will be performing live in our clubhouse. This is free to all of our residents but tickets are required.
Be sure to see Geri as soon as possible because although there are two shows; one at 5:30 and the second at 7:30 p.m. they are nearly always sold out so don’t delay. Comedy Night is a blast.

Sports Sunday
See the bulletins posted in clubhouse concerning Sports Sunday, Feb. 3 from 5 p.m. until later. It promises to be a fun event with lots of excitement and good food. See Geri for details.

Movie Nights
Due to scheduling conflicts there will be no Movie Night in February or March but it will return in April with an exciting James Bond film.

Garden Club
After a successful field trip in January, the Garden Club is scheduled to discuss successes and failures in this planting season. Join the members on the patio of the clubhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. If you have any interest at all in flowers; lawns; shrubs; trees; decorations or anything gardening, please plan to attend this meeting. Not only will you find helpful hints and ideas, you’ll find a great group of people with a common interest.

Sharpen Your Mind
How does one sharpen their mind and still have fun? With trivia of course! Donna James, our quizmaster, is warming up for another Trivia Night classic at the clubhouse on Feb. 20.
The topic for this month is of course, Valentines, and Donna will have all the questions and answers for our contestants. The way this game is played is everyone gets divided into teams of three or four people. Each team is given an answer sheet and pen and then Donna flashes the questions on the big screen.
Each team comes up with the best answer they can and after 50 or so questions the answer sheets are graded. A small cash prize is awarded but most importantly, the winning team gets bragging rights for the next month; just ask last months winners, the Guppies.
The cost for playing is only $1 with all the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Fund. Naturally you can bring refreshments and drinks for yourself and others if you wish. There are always a lot of laughs and some really goofy answers so bring your sense of humor; your friends and your team mates and come on out for a seriously good time.
The game starts promptly at 6 p.m. so don’t be late.

Under Developed Camera Club
In recent months because of the holidays and our snowbirds being out of town, the Camera Club has kind of sputtered. Starting Friday, Feb. 1 we will start a new program that should be of interest to everyone who has a camera.
Each month we are going to have a photo contest and every other month we are going to have a field trip. For example, in March we are going to Dunnellon to get photos of the waterfall; birds; nature and the like. This low cost trip promises to be fun and offer ample opportunity for some really good photos.
In February, we’ll not only be planning the trip and deciding on the rules of the contest but we will be discussing digital camera/computer operations. We invite everyone to the clubhouse library at 10 a.m. for this reinvented and rejuvenated club.

Bocce Ball
Every Friday evening at 7, a fun group gathers at the Bocce court behind the clubhouse for a game or three and to socialize. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, everyone goes in the clubhouse and sits around the fireplace.
Grab your favorite drink and come out to play or to watch; to chat or to learn the game. What ever your motivation, you’ll enjoy the gang that plays Bocce.

Spotlight on Excellence
Each week we feature couples; individual residents or people who make our community a special place to live. Some of our subjects have an interesting past; a promising future or just make a difference in our quality of life. This week our featured couple is Edna and John Fazio.
Edna you’ll recognize from her many endeavors here at Cherrywood including .the Songbirds where she’s been a member for seven years; our Craft Shows where she displays her beautifully made jewelry and the Crochet Club.
Her activities have included, in addition to being an expert jeweler; she’s handled publicity for the Crochet Club. Edna was instrumental in getting Devereux Kids to be a beneficiary of the club who donate stuffed animals; clothing; Afghans and other knitted and crocheted items to the project for underprivileged children.
Most mornings at 9 a.m., John will be in the pool room of the clubhouse. He plays on the Cherrywood Men’s Pool League and is a fixture at the tables, practicing. An avid musician and singer, you can hear him on Karaoke Nights as well. He also is a pretty fair poker player and can be found with our card players on Wednesday afternoons.
Edna and John have been married for 15 years. They met on a blind date when introduced by Edna’s sister Eileen. Eileen’s husband was John’s boss, so you might say it was a bit of a conspiracy. They all went to an Italian restaurant, enjoyed a good meal and a good time and then, for six months John and Edna didn’t talk.
Then, in September, John called and he and Edna went out to another restaurant; this time they went by themselves. The following January, they were married. (Apparently the food was better at the second eatery).
Times were not always good for John and Edna. Both were born in Pennsylvania and went to school there. John and school didn’t mix too well and at 17, he left.
Returning home, he was informed by his father that if he wasn’t going to school, he wasn’t living at home. Within the week, John had enlisted in the U.S. Air Force with his parents’ consent. For the next 10 years, John served as a jet engine mechanic and advanced to the grade of Technical Sergeant. His assignments included Salinas, Kansas; Minot AFB, North Dakota and Kincheloe AFB in Michigan, among others.
On the flight line at Salinas he watched as a B-47 bomber was taking off one night. The plane roared down the runway and partially through the take off procedure, the plane blew a tire. Apparently the pilot was unaware that it was a blown tire and thought there had been an explosion. In an attempt to abort the take off, the plane went off the runway and burst into flames. John has never forgotten that horrendous sight.
After high school Edna began working with General Electric. Impressively she worked with five engineers in the Missile and Space Vehicle Division of that corporation. She held a “Secret” security clearance and was a key person in that department.
Edna and John both have children from their previous marriages. Edna has two daughters; Sharon who lives in Virginia and Beth Ann living in Chicago. Beth Ann is Director in Charge of Young Adult Library Services Association. A son, Rick, passed away.
After her children were older, Edna returned to work as an ophthalmic assistant. She worked in a large office for three doctors until her marriage to John.
John has a son and a daughter; Ray and Lisa. Both still live in Pennsylvania where Ray is self employed and Lisa is a stay at home mom.
A life long fan of country music, one day 12-year-old John was sitting on the fence playing the air guitar and singing cowboy songs. (Actually it wasn’t just air he was playing; it was a wooden ruler.) His father obviously recognized his talent (or felt sorry for him) and bought him his first guitar; a Stella.
John took lessons, but admits to skipping quite a few of them to spend the two dollars at the local arcade. Between the lessons and constant practice he became so good that he entered a talent contest through a local radio station after leaving the Air Force.
Curley Herman, a popular DJ announced that he had plans for starting a new band. Following the audition, along with some others, John was selected to be a part of the group and went on tour. The band was good enough to open for such acts as Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams Jr. That’s one reason that he is one of the favorites on Karaoke Night here in Cherrywood.
The life on tour was very rugged and finally came to an end when Curly died. Later John would continue his musical career by joining a group called the Silver Strings. They played locally for senior citizen centers; VFW posts; disabled veterans and a host of other venues. He left the group when he and Edna moved to Florida but he still keeps in touch with them.
Being sick of the cold and snow of their home state, Edna and John decided to move south. Edna was instrumental in getting the pair to Ocala. She researched some of the best places to retire and found Aiken S.C., and Ocala. After stopping in South Carolina, they came to Cherrywood and found a custom built home.
Unlike the other houses in Cherrywood, the one they looked at had been specially constructed specifically to the needs and designs of the owner who was in the construction business. Once they saw it, they both knew that this was exactly what they were looking for and made an offer. It was accepted and the rest, as they say, is history.
They have never looked back and enjoy the people; the activities and opportunities that this community has to offer. Edna is an Elder at Countryside Presbyterian Church.
A bit over two years ago, a new addition came into their lives. His name is Granger and admittedly, more people know the Wire Haired Terrier/Schnauzer mix than know John. Everyone loves Granger and Granger, a rescue, loves every body. “He’s the best dog in the world,” to quote his “Mom”.
Together Edna and John share 10 grand children who they love; enjoy and are immensely proud of. They are a perfect blend of families. The love they share with family, friends and the joy of Granger make their beautiful house a warm and welcoming ‘home’.
We are fortunate to have such talented; loving; intelligent and giving people in the community but then that’s what makes Cherrywood such a great place to live.

From Your Reporter
“He’s smiling more; he’s laughing more…” that’s how the mother of Dalton Dingus described her son recently. You probably didn’t know Dalton but he was a young boy, just 9 years old who had a dream.
Dalton suffered from Cystic Fibrosis and this past Christmas, he wanted to be in the Guinness Book of Records for receiving the most Christmas cards ever. A neighbor put his wish on Facebook, and it was picked up by the local media. Soon, the national and international media outlets had the story and it went viral.
The young lad received more than 800,000 cards before it was done. Cards came in from all over the world in languages that the boy couldn’t speak and from countries he likely had never heard of.
Cards filled his home and brightened his days; filled rooms at volunteers houses and in storage areas; and finally, when his casket was carried into the church; hundreds of cards were there too. Little Dalton died one day short of his 10th birthday in Salyersville, Kentucky.
Dalton’s story and life touched a lot of people as he fought courageously and pursued his dream. I must admit to being one of the 800,000 who sent the boy a card; it was a cheap price to pay to be a part of his wish and to be inspired by his life.
The authorities at Guinness are in touch with Dalton’s parents but whether he gets the record or not matters little. What does matter is that this little man could touch the hearts of so many people. Dalton is now in a far better place than the one he left behind; and the place he left behind, is far better because he was here. Thank you, Dalton.
If you have comments, suggestions or ideas for items you would like to see in this column please contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com. I’m always happy to hear from you, the readers.