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Cherrywood news 12-27-2013

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Christmas open house held

By John Everlove

 This past Saturday evening, everyone in Cherrywood was invited to a Christmas open house. More than 120 residents accepted the invitation and were treated to a wonderful evening of food; laughter; games; music and fellowship in the beautifully decorated clubhouse.

 Rich Becotte supplied the background music of Christmas songs as people went to the over flowing refreshment table. Cakes; candies; shrimp; crackers; cheese; and a hundred different desserts were brought by the guests and of course there was an excellent punch and eggnog for all to enjoy.

 In the first hour, the ugly tie and ugly sweater contest was held. Joannie Siegel and I were privileged to act as judges for the 20 or more entrants. Everyone who entered the contest did an excellent job of getting into spirit of the contest and from the appearance of some of the outfits; it looked like some spirits got into the contestants as well.

 While it was difficult to pick winners, four people received $25 gift certificates as prizes. There was no order; just four of the more outrageous costumes were selected. Winners were Dave Bragdon; Connie Neubaur; Fred Groschopp and Terry Torrusio a.k.a. “T.T.”.

 Shortly after that contest, it was time for the Chinese Auction officiated by Holly Bragdon and T.T. What a hoot it was as more than 50 guests participated. Presents were opened and exchanged with grins and laughter as people were stuck with, shall we say, less desirable gifts. Most popular was a case of beer that traveled to at least 10 people before finally being claimed. Least popular was a gift Bill Brotherhood got; it was so unpopular in fact that he tried to pay people to take it. Good laughs.

 Door prizes donated by the Social Committee were drawn and two wine baskets and two beautiful Poinsettia flowers went to the lucky winners.

 The last drawing of the evening was the 50/50. Two prizes were given and as luck would have it; Mick James won both. We probably won’t invite him to the next party.

 Chris and Mario Zacco sponsored the evening and Geri was our hostess acting on behalf of Cherrywood Property Management. We are grateful to Geri, Chris and Mario for their moral and financial support and for providing such a grand party.

 The Social Committee would like to recognize the following volunteers who worked so hard to make the evening a success. A great big thank you goes out to Janice and Ken McLeod; Holly and David Bragdon; Donna and Mick James; Monica and Rich Becotte; Marti and Marty Duesel; Jay and Fred O’Hern and a special shout out to Fred our maintenance crew member.

 These people worked tirelessly and their efforts paid off magnificently. The atmosphere was relaxed and fun; much the same as going to a friend’s home who has a huge living room. It was a terrific way to celebrate and share Christmas with loved ones.

 Judging from the turn out and the super time had by all who attended, this will become one of our annual events. The Cherrywood Christmas Open House will be yet another reason to look forward in cheerful anticipation to Christmas next year.

 

 

Toys for Tots says “Thank you”

 

 The generous residents of Cherrywood donated three full bins of toys towards the Toys for Tots campaign sponsored by the U.S. Marines. A certificate will be presented to Geri on behalf of the organization as a token of gratitude for all those who gave so much this year.

 Geri and I would like to express our appreciation to each of you who donated so freely and so generously to improve Christmas for the little ones in our community. You made a huge difference in the lives of many and for that we commend you and sincerely thank you.

 

 

New Year’s Eve party

 

 Get your tickets today for the New Years Eve party. Celebrate the arrival of 2014 with your friends and neighbors with light snacks; Champagne; party favors and special music provided by Rainbow Connection.

 Rainbow Connection is a Cherrywood favorite. They have been here several times in the past providing a wide repertoire of dance music and easy listening tunes for the entertainment and enjoyment of guests.

 Finger foods will be served so there will be plenty of good things to taste throughout the evening as people enjoy their milk and sodas; or maybe something a bit stronger. Everyone is welcome to bring their beverage of choice of course.

 Noise makers, hats and party favors will be at every place setting; hence when the band begins its famous countdown to midnight, there will be no shortage of rowdiness to ring in the New Year.

 All this celebrating is provided for only $10 per person. Tickets are required so be sure to see Geri immediately and make sure you have a place at the party. New Year’s Eve parties have long been one of the most fun times at Cherrywood and this year’s celebration will be no different. Come out and enjoy welcoming in 2014 starting at 9 on Dec. 31.

 

 

Trivia ends year

 

 Our Trivia group that meets on the third Wednesday of each month held its first Christmas party on Dec 18. Everyone brought food and drinks to enjoy just prior to the game and there was an abundance of good treats for all.

 After everyone had filled themselves with the goodies, Donna James began a challenging and interesting game by flashing the questions on the big screen. The Christmas holiday was naturally the major topic for this game and it’s amazing how many things about Christmas we don’t know.

 Donna always makes the game not only fun but educational as well. Being a former teacher she enjoys stumping people and then educating them. We always have a good time when she’s the quiz master.

 A new team won bragging rights but until February there will be no Trivia next month. Victor Ogreen; Bev and Richard Idone and yours truly took first place. We graciously, if somewhat sarcastically, offered to give Trivia lessons to the other players but all of them vehemently and might I add; rather rudely, declined our offer. I can’t understand it.

 Over the year, our Trivia players have donated over $400 to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. It only costs a dollar to play and we all have a great evening of fun entertainment. On Feb 19 at 7 p.m. Trivia will return to the clubhouse so plan to come join us. Everyone is welcome.

 

 

Movie Night

 

 “The Lone Ranger” is our feature presentation on Tuesday Jan 7 for Movie Night in the clubhouse. Come join your friends as they relax in the comfortable chairs and watch a first rate movie on the big screen.

 Movie Nights are free including free popcorn and drinks. Of course you are more than welcome to bring your own refreshments with you if you wish. It’s just a nice; inexpensive and relaxing way to spend an evening.

 This month will be a bit different. I will be there to take an unofficial survey of the guests to see what they thought of the movie. The results will be published in a subsequent edition of the Citizen in the Cherrywood section. Don’t worry, your names will not be mentioned unless you give permission.

 Come out and see this flick that provides fast action; cool special effects and some comedic drama too. See you at the movies.

 

 

Sports Party

 

 On Feb. 2 around 5 in the afternoon some people are going to gather at the clubhouse to watch sports on the big screen. Golf; swimming; Curling; and other sports will be televised including, rumor has it, a football game that’s of some importance.

 Expect to see many of your friends as they enjoy door prizes; raffles; 50/50 drawings; and food. Sloppy Joes; hot dogs; chili dogs and chips will be among the many eats on hand for this exciting and fun evening of sports entertainment. See Geri to get signed up for this special event. Just $2 gets you access to the party and the food.

 Check out your January Chirp for further details about this fun party.

 

 

Patriot Dog sponsors needed

 

 For the past few months your Veterans Club has raised money to purchase and train a service dog for a disabled veteran. Thanks to the support of our residents and others in the community, we were able to raise not only the $2,500 required for the dog; but enough to start a fund to supply a second service animal.

 We will accept and continue to accept donations of any amount from any and all that are willing to contribute to this worthy goal. Tax exempt checks and money orders can be made out to the Cherrywood Veterans Club with the word, “dog” in the memo portion of the document. These can be dropped off or mailed to the office at 6253 SW 100 Loop; Ocala, Fl 34476.

 Now we are faced with another opportunity for our residents to take an active part in preparing a dog for its career of helping a disabled hero. We need people to take one of these special animals for alternate weekends to socialize them in all aspects of every day life. Here’s how it works.

 On Fridays, the dog will be dropped off at your home to spend the week end. If you are going to church; a party; grocery shopping; a movie; or any place else, take the dog with you. This will get the animal used to be in every kind of environment and expose it to as many people as possible. Food and medical care is provided so there is no out of pocket expense to you.

 This is an ideal situation for couples or singles that used to have a pet and want one around the house part time. If you have a place in your heart to share your life with a devoted and loyal companion, this is a program for you.

 You can get all the details on this project from Beverly Carver on the Marion County SPCA. Bev can be reached at 352-873-6787. Be a hero; help train a hero dog to assist one of our American heroes. The reward for your work will be more than you can imagine.

 

 

Painting class

 

 Debbie Blackburn will be in our clubhouse on Jan. 10 to present her class on oil painting. Debbie is an accomplished artist and superb instructor bringing out the talents and abilities of her students with patience and expertise. Just to give you an idea of the kind of person Debbie is; she donated all of the proceeds of her November class to Toys for Tots.

 You can see the painting that she will be doing with this next class near the office in the clubhouse. The class begins at 8:30 in the morning and lasts until 11:30. Everything needed is provided including canvas; brushes and paints so all you need to do is sign up, bring paper towels and show up.

 If you’ve ever had a desire to create a great work of art and thought you didn’t have the talent, come to this class and realize your dream. See Geri in the office to enroll and get your name on the list. The class size is limited so see her as soon as possible.

 

 

Cribbage Club

 

 Every Monday at 12:30 a friendly group of Cribbage players gathers in the card room of the clubhouse for a few good games of Cribbage and some good natured fun. All are welcome even if you don’t know the first thing about Cribbage. Our members will be glad to teach you and if you are an experienced player; they will be happy to challenge your skills.

 Last Monday was highlighted with a Christmas party and it was a great time. Delectable treats and food were in abundance and the competition reflected the spirit of the season with a minimum of teasing; kibitzing and joking around. Well, there was a lot of great food anyway.

 If you are free on Mondays and want to have some fun playing cards, stop by and see Sarah Blair. You’ll see why our membership is growing.

 

 

Cherrywood Travel

 

 January 26 through the 29 enjoy an excursion to Biloxi for a relaxing getaway at one of the premiere gambling venues in the south. Imperial Place Resort is the destination for this deluxe motor coach trip.

 Plenty of perks will help you enjoy the world class restaurants; the posh resort and spa facilities; the shopping and of course, the gaming tables. This is a great way to relax after the hectic holiday season.

 Contact Natalie at 352-854-4561 for details and to make your reservations for this beautiful and exciting trip.

 

 

Garden Club

 

 On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Garden Club will be meeting on the patio behind the clubhouse at 10 in the morning. All of our residents are welcome to come and share their knowledge and interests in all types of gardening.

 This club is dedicated to all things green that grow. Enjoy field trips; guest speakers; give and get ideas. You can discuss everything needed for beautiful landscape while learning about shrubs and flowers; lawns; water features and vegetables among many other topics.

 There is a wealth of knowledge to be had by attending these informal and friendly meetings.

 

 

From your reporter

 

 This week I would beg your indulgence while I pay tribute to a very special lady. She is not famous by any standard; not degreed or wealthy; not on the cover of any tabloid magazine but she is a wonderful person of many accomplishments.

 She brought two lovely children into the world and supported them on a waitress’s salary. They never lacked for anything but they never had what we would call “the finer things in life;” unless one considers a devoted, loving Mother one of the finer things in life. As a result of her care and guidance; both are college educated with fine careers.

 At the Hilton where she worked, she brought smiles and laughter to the point where people would ask to be seated in her station. On one memorable summer day she innocently asked a group of visitors from Great Britain how they celebrated the 4 of July. Amazed at the question one of them dryly answered; “It’s not a very big holiday in our country.”

 When her Mom passed away, she was there and a few years ago, when her father was taken ill, this woman packed up her belongings and gave up her love of warm weather to return to Michigan.

 While her daughter attended nursing school, the Grandmother in her took over and she babysat for the two long years it took until graduation. When her son graduated from Navy boot camp; she was there and when he graduated from college she was also there.

 A little more than a year ago, her daughter Kim was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident. This woman who fears traveling alone flew to her daughter’s side. For two weeks she held Kim’s hand until she was out of danger.

 She works tirelessly helping out a doggie rescue group by making beds for the rescued puppies. Her love of animals is evident in the care she takes with her own two Shi Tzu’s.

 In addition she enjoys knitting and needlepoint where she blends talent with love by fashioning hand made gifts for friends and family.

 There are countless ways she brings a sense of joy and humor into every situation she finds herself. Whether it’s bumping into fellow students at line dancing class or practicing Tai Chi at home which brings strange looks from her dogs; she is always fun to be around.

 This gift of loving is extended to her friends here in Cherrywood. Wherever she goes you will hear loud laughter; mostly hers, and see smiles on the people around her. In spite of any inner pain or sorrow, outwardly she will always be ready with a quick grin and an open heart.

 The woman I’m speaking of is Suzi Everlove; my wife of 35 years this month. Except for a questionable taste in men, she has no faults and she is the joy of my life. I just wanted to thank her for giving us a strong and loving family; for her devotion and patience; her grace and her charm. Happy Anniversary Mrs. E from the luckiest man in the world.

 If you have suggestions or comments about the Cherrywood section of your Citizen Newspaper please contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com. It is always a pleasure to hear from you; the reader.