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Cherrywood news 3-23-2012

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Erin Go Bragh! St. Patrick's Day event was a success

By John Everlove

The Saint Patrick’s Day Dance was a huge success this year thanks to the hard work of the volunteers and the enthusiastic participation of the residents of Cherrywood.
Rich Becotte was the deejay, playing a mixture of old favorites and Irish melodies from the stage of the brightly decorated Clubhouse. He took requests and kept the music going for the more than 70 residents who glided across the dance floor.
Finger foods, desserts, and snacks covered the food table and were enjoyed by all. Some people brought their own food to share with others and everyone brought their own libations.
“We’ve got an excellent turnout and everyone is having fun,” Eve Houghtaling said to me as we gathered the Activities Committee volunteers together for the group photo. She was right. Smiles and laughter were in abundance but then we all know what happens, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
Raffles and door prizes were awarded with Ida Mahar winning the big prize of $25 and two others winning $20 each. The door prize; an herb garden was won by Marguerite Fiorenza. The proceeds of the dance will replenish the supplies of the Clubhouse for future projects.
All in all, there were no losers except maybe those who didn’t take advantage of this night of fun and friendship. Cherrywood’s Activities Committee volunteers always put together a great time for everyone to come out and enjoy themselves. If you are a new comer to Cherrywood, I urge you to take advantage of the many opportunities offered throughout the year.
Congratulations to Eve and her committee for another great night of entertainment.

Veterans Club Meeting

Two major happenings will take place on Thursday, April 5 at 2 p.m. at the Cherrywood Veterans Club meeting. The first is final nominations and election of officers. This is a chance for you to let your voice be heard and to volunteer if you’d like to serve in this vital part of our community.
The second is the guest speaker. Steve Jacobs from the Marion County Veterans Service Office will be at the meeting to answer questions; provide information about vets’ benefits and discuss issues important to the veteran community.
For those who are new to Cherrywood, please accept this open invitation to join the Veterans Club. It costs a whopping one ($l) whole dollar for membership that lasts for as long as you live in Cherrywood.

Ladies St Patty’s Luncheon
In keeping with the season, our ladies celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at the monthly luncheon with great food; great music and great company on Wednesday, March 14.
Rich Becotte played traditional Irish favorites for the ladies as they dined on a wide variety of home made Irish and American dishes that the ladies brought. After lunch the ladies ate an Irish Blessings Cake provided by Zoe Milnes.
The door prize, a glittering green gift bag, was won by Joyce Stacer. Sophia Monchil and Geri Permyn shared in the 50/50 winnings while joining in the fun was birthday lady Ann Bardak who had a lot of help celebrating her special day.
A reading of Irish poetry was done by six of the ladies followed by Dick Richards on his accordion for a good old fashioned sing-a-long. All in all the ladies had a wonderful time with the wide range of entertainment, fun and excellent food.
The next Ladies Luncheon will be on April 11 with two special features going on. First, it’s the Easter celebration so the tables will be decorated in a friendly competition among the ladies. Prizes will be awarded for the best looking table.
Second, Roy Mitchell from SECO will be the guest speaker. He will address concerns for the upcoming storm season and how to protect yourself and your home from these sometimes destructive forces of nature.
The time is noon and every lady in Cherrywood is encouraged to attend. Just bring a table setting and a favorite recipe to share. You can bring a drink of your choosing or have coffee or lemonade at the Clubhouse. It’s quick and easy and frankly; a super time.

S.O.S.
No, it’s not a distress call, its breakfast time at Cherrywood. On March 31 from 9 to 10:30 a.m., the Veterans Club will be serving a time honored G.I. breakfast of S.O.S. scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, juice, fruit cup and coffee or tea.
All you need is $3.50 for a ticket and a healthy appetite to enjoy this great time and great food. Hurry and buy your tickets from Geri because this event is always a sell out. You can’t beat the price; the food; or the fellowship.
Fun in the Sun
On March 31, why not make a day of it by going to the Veterans Club breakfast and then stick around for the Fun in the Sun Games. This is a terrific event for participants and for folks who just like to watch, laugh, socialize and cheer.
What is the Fun in the Sun games? It’s one of the social highlights of the season for Cherrywood residents. Teams of four sign up and pay a $10 registration fee, (That’s just $2.50 per player) and then they compete in four separate events. Those events are putting; horseshoes; bocce ball and shuffleboard. Each team member must compete in at least two of the four games.
Hot Dogs and beverages will be available throughout the games. This year, Cherrywood Management has donated 240 hot dogs. As always, you can bring a beverage of your own choosing. (Note: Previously I reported that hamburgers were going to be served but I was wrong. Just hot dogs this time around but they’ll be good.)
At the end of the games, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the first, second and third place teams. The medals are donated by Chris Zacco and also cash prizes!
Our new residents are especially encouraged to come out on Saturday, March 31 from 1 until 4 p.m. to experience a fantastic time and to meet your neighbors. For our residents who have been here for a while, there’s no need to tell you what a good time the Fun in the Sun games are.
So, gather a team, see Geri, Fred O’Hern or Rich Hurley and pay the ten bucks entry fee. If you don’t want to compete, just come on out, enjoy the festivities and root for your friends.


Photo Club focusing in
There’s been a great deal of interest expressed in the Photo Club. We plan to start meeting in April so if you have any interest in learning about cameras; taking excellent pictures; expressing yourself through this medium or any other aspect of photography, I encourage you to write urperssec@yahoo.com or contact Geri with your name and number. This should be an informative and interesting club for all shutterbugs.


Accordions and more
On Wednesday, March 28 in the Clubhouse, the Accordion Club will again meet from 5:30 until 9 p.m. As previously reported in the Citizen, this is more entertainment than you would ever expect. You can hear professionals and novices; students and intermediate level players at their best. Other instruments join in and the music is really terrific. If you’ve never been to this event, give it a try and be totally surprised at the quality and quantity of music styles.


Yard sale

Cherrywood will hold its community wide yard sale on April 21 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. This is a great opportunity for all of Marion County to come and shop for great bargains and in addition, meet some of the friendly folks who make up Cherrywood Estates. Cruise the neatly kept streets and neighborhoods, purchase a few “treasures” and enjoy the quiet, calm atmosphere of Cherrywood.
Residents: Please put your items out on the morning of the sale. It’s a little early but well worth the effort. We’re expecting a lot of guests.


Public Welcome to Health Fair
Everyone in the community is invited to attend Cherrywood’s second annual Health Fair. You must have reservations because of limited seating but if you act now, you should be able to secure a place in this informative, interesting and perhaps life saving seminar.
The date of this program is April 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Topics held every hour beginning at 10 are; “How to Eat Healthier;” “Healthy Aging of your Muscles and Joints;” “Cancer prevention: Nutrition and Exercise;” and concludes with “Oh My Achy Back.”
There will also be many vendors at the fair to answer your questions and provide you with information.
Our Gold sponsors are dB Hearing Solutions; Geril Thearapy; Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services; Home Instead Senior Care; Integrity Home Health Care; Lifestyle Solutions Mecical Spa; McKenney Chiropractic Center; Robert Boissoneault Oncology Inst; Unique Lingerie; Thermo-Cool Air and Heating and ECO Water of Central Florida.
Silver Sponsors participating are Premier Medical Center and Hospice of Marion County. Additional vendors are Florida Center for the Blind; Grace Unlimited/Bio Mat.
This is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about their health. Call Geri at 352-237-1675 and reserve your place today.


AARP Sponsors Class
Want to save money on your car insurance? Here’s a great chance to do just that. The AARP is sponsoring a Senior Drivers Class from 9 a.m. to noon on March 24 and March 26 in the Cherrywood Clubhouse.
After completing this informative class, the students are given certificates that they can take or send to their insurance companies for reduced rates on their insurance. More importantly, the information given during these classes might well save yours or another person’s life.
This is a no lose situation to improve your skills and knowledge while at the same time, saving you some money. Contact Geri right away to save your place in class.


Have a Bocce Ball
Just a friendly reminder that every Saturday at 7 p.m., our residents gather at the Bocce Ball courts behind the Clubhouse for a night of fun and socializing. Recently I made it a point to return to Bocce Ball night and it was a great time. The competition is friendly; the jokes plentiful and the conversation interesting and fun. So grab your favorite liquid refreshment and stop by for a good time with some really good people.


Cruise raffle
The Veterans Club is selling its Bahamas Cruise raffle tickets. This three day trip on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines can be yours for just $10 for one ticket or triple your chances by getting three tickets for $20.
Not only will the winner get the cruise for two including port fees; taxes and gratuities, but there will be a $100 spending money thrown in. You don’t have to be present to win on Memorial Day when the drawing will be held and you don’t even have to be a Cherrywood resident to enter this exciting raffle. The winner will have up to one year from the date of the drawing to take their trip
Get tickets from Geri at the Clubhouse or from Bill Mahar or Rich Hurley. For those outside of Cherrywood, if you’d like tickets contact me by e-mail. Proceeds go to Veterans Club charities.


Movie Night at Cherrywood
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, come to the Clubhouse and watch “Tower Heart” on the big screen. As always on Movie Night, the popcorn and lemonade are free, but you can bring your own snacks and beverages. Sit in the comfortable and friendly surroundings of our clubhouse and enjoy an evening of first rate entertainment with your friends and neighbors. Oh, did I mention that it’s free?


Bingo!
Thursdays at 7 p.m., meet at the Clubhouse and play Bingo. Win some money; have some fun and enjoy a great night of inexpensive entertainment. Bring a refreshment of your choosing; purchase a few cards and settle in for the game. Everyone has a good time; especially the people that win.


Dingus Day celebration
For those of you who like me, were unaware of “Dingus Day,” let me bring you up to speed. Dingus Day is a Polish holiday celebrated on the Monday following Easter to celebrate the end of the sacrifices of the Lenten season.
Traditionally, it brings men and women together for flirtatious fun and to get to know each other. The men sprinkle or douse the women with water and tap them gently with pussy willow branches.
I don’t know about you, but that would mean a “divorce” in my house.
On the following day, Tuesday, as tradition would have it, the women get their revenge by throwing crockery at the men. Again, it doesn’t sound like a “Dr. Phil” moment of courting bliss to me but apparently it works in Poland.
Anyway, it is a fun holiday that is celebrated by Polish people around the world (especially in Buffalo N.Y.) and here at Cherrywood. I doubt that there will be much of the “playful violence” that’s a part of the celebration but I do know that it will be a great time had by all who attend. Music, a few polkas, some libations and laughter are all part of this celebration, so reserve April 9 from 7 until 10 p.m. Check next week’s Citizen for more details and how to get tickets for this super holiday event.


Tampa Bay Downs

We’re going to Tampa Bay Downs on April 4 for a fun day at the track. We will be leaving the Cherrywood Clubhouse promptly at 8:45 a.m., so please be on time. As usual, we are close to selling out this exciting trip; there are only four seats left so be sure to contact Nancy Archer at 352-861-1432 ASAP if you’d like to go. Hope to see you there.


Spotlight on Excellence
Each week we bring you a glimpse of someone in our community who has an interesting past; a promising future; or just makes Cherrywood a nicer place to live. This week the spotlight is on the president of our Veterans Club, William (Bill) Mahar.
Bill has lived in Cherrywood for the past five years. He’s served on the Social Committee and on the board of the Veterans Club for nearly that entire time. Last year he became president and has worked tirelessly to serve all the veterans of not only Cherrywood, but of Marion County also.
Born in Oswego, N.Y. Bill was active in all of the sports at his high school. He played football, hockey and basketball until his senior year when a debilitating hip disease kept him bedridden for nearly a year. Several surgeries later he was visited by the principal who advised him that while he had completed the course work for graduation at home, his lack of attendance would keep him from graduating with his class. A year later, he walked the aisle and received his diploma.
Bill was drafted and at the “draft” physical, he was rejected because of his past medical condition; three times in fact. Persistent as Draft Boards can be, he was called back repeatedly and after talking with the Army Surgeon, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. It was a good choice for the Army because Bill served for 22 years, retiring in 1976 at the rank of Sergeant First Class.
He served in Vietnam; Germany; and at Fort Carson, Colorado, among several other assignments, some of which were and still are, classified. Bill began his military career in the infantry but moved to computers where he served in many challenging roles as the Army updated its logistical and command and control systems.
Following his military career, Bill took a job with the Department of Defense at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. He supervised the transition to computerization for the various divisions. For example, the Infantry needed different software than the Engineers and Bill was on the front line of transitioning various units to the latest updates.
While working for D.O.D. for over 20 years, Bill also was Regional Governor of the Sertoma club in Colorado Springs. These 12 clubs provided assistance to the hearing impaired; gave scholarships to deserving high school students and helped repair houses for the poor. He was proud of his accomplishments with that organization
Throughout his careers, Bill has been blessed with the companionship and support of his beautiful wife Ida. They met at a party when Bill was on a “Pass” and then didn’t see each other for several months. When reunited, they dated, got engaged and then married. That was 56 years ago.
Ida and Bill have three children; a daughter and two sons. Daughter Shannon Scott and son Bill (not a junior) live in Colorado and son Patrick resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two enjoy visiting their children; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren as often as possible with trips back to Colorado Springs and Vegas.
He laughing describes how he left Colorado Springs to come to Florida. He had to dislodge his motor home from chest deep snow banks. After changing the batteries in the vehicle, he was able to start it and free it from the ice. He and Ida headed for Florida and never looked back.
Bill loves his work with the Veterans Club. “Bringing in speakers that address the needs of Veterans through Veterans Benefits and Veterans Services is a priority.” Bill said when we spoke. He also enjoys the “shooting trips” and working on all of the other projects and activities of the Veterans Club.
Plans are under way to bring in more members to the Veterans Club and Bill is leading that effort. Keep your eye on the Veterans Club in the coming months for innovative and improved services to our community.


From Your Reporter
If you have ideas for articles you would like to see in the Cherrywood section of the Citizen; people of interest; comments; suggestions or any other information that you feel would be helpful, please contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com.