Cherrywood news 01-15-2016

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Veterans helping veterans

By John Everlove

Members of the Veterans Helping Veterans were the guest speakers at this month’s Cherrywood Veterans Club. They are doing exciting things for the veterans of Marion County including the establishment of a Veterans Service Center; assisting vets with financing their homes and other financial services and teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to repair and build homes for qualifying veterans here.

 John Deakins, a familiar visitor here at the Veterans Club, introduced Veterans Helping Veterans Executive Director Hank Whittier. He was followed by Brad Nimmo, who has extensive experience with the Habitat for Humanity program and has agreed to serve on the board. Jinky Diaz, and that’s not a misprint; her name really is Jinky; is the financial adviser for the group. She assists veterans getting home loans; provides financial advice to Vet’s and is a terrific resource person for putting our service persons back on their feet.

 All the speakers were given a souvenir coffee mug and pen by Club President, Bill Mahar as a token of appreciation for their presentation. The nearly 45 members and guests of the club gave them a warm round of applause at the end of the program.

 Other exciting news from our Veterans Club meeting included the upcoming election of officers. Nominations will be taken at the next two meetings on Feb. 4 and March 3. We are hoping that some of our newer members will step up and help us take advantage of the opportunities to serve our veterans in the coming year.

 In addition, a day at the shooting range has been arranged for members on March 29. We all go to the range in Hernando County in the morning then gather at a local restaurant for a meal. For details or to sign up please contact Fred O’Hern. First time shooters are encouraged to come out and learn as there will be range officers on site to ensure your safety and help guide you. Please know this is for Cherrywood residents only.

 New shirts are now on hand. These handsome golf shirts are navy blue with the Cherrywood Veterans Club logo over the left chest area. The cost is just $25 each while supplies last. See any club officer for details.

 Also, at the next meeting we will discuss which charities to donate to. This will be after the Veterans Appreciation Dinner on Jan. 16 and we know better how much we have to give. Please plan to attend the next meeting at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse; Feb. 4.

 Lastly, the Veterans Club members expressed their appreciation to Jane Kauffman for providing the beautiful flowers near our flagpole and monument. They look terrific and we are grateful for her hard work.



Trivia Night

 Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Jan. 20 when our trivia group will be gathering in the Clubhouse. We start at 7 p.m. but you should come a bit early to register and be assigned to a team. The cost is only a buck per player so it’s a cheap evening of fun and enlightenment.

 Fred O’Hern will be putting the questions on the big screen as our quiz master. He always has interesting questions and throws in some humor to boot. This week his topics will be sports; history; geography; current events and probably some off the wall things too.

 Bring your snacks; your knowledge and your smile. You’ll find everyone friendly and ready to offer you a warm welcome as we team up for some congenial competition.



Cribbage Club Tournament

 Monday, Jan. 25, the Cribbage Club will be holding its first ever James Beckman Memorial Cribbage Tournament. You can register with Jennifer or Sarah Blair to take part in this friendly tournament to see who will win the trophy and all important bragging rights for the entire year.

 An entry fee of $1 will be charged for each player to cover the cost of the trophy and ribbons for 2nd and 3rd place. In addition, many people bring snacks to pass so feel free to do that also. You’ll find the cribbage club people are fun and lively so be sure to bring your sense of humor along.

 This tournament is in loving memory of Jim Beckman who was a devoted member of our club. Unfortunately, Jim passed away earlier this year but while he is gone; he is not forgotten.



Super Bowl

 Every year we football fans gather in the clubhouse for the biggest game of the year; Super Bowl. This year, Super Bowl 50 will be on Sunday, Feb. 7 which means the Clubhouse doors will open at 6 p.m., and the fun will begin.

 Everyone will have great seats as we put the game on our big screen. Food will include hot dogs; chili dogs; nachos; iced tea and lemonade. Of course everyone is welcome to bring their own favorite beverages too.

 In addition to the game and the delicious food, there will be games; raffles; drawings and other excitement. Don’t miss being a part of this great evening. Tickets are only $2 from Jennifer so get them early; no tickets will be sold at the door.




 Each Thursday you will find a warm and friendly group of people playing the ever favorite game of Bingo. While the game begins at 7, you’ll want to be there in time to purchase your cards; fill your glass with the complimentary soft drinks and get some free popcorn for your table. Naturally you can bring your own goodies to enjoy if you would like.

 Our snow birds are back in town so the crowd is really good. This of course means good prizes and many of your friends and neighbors will be there. Last Thursday we had a fantastic time although I wasn’t a winner. With luck that will change next Thursday. Come join us for the fun.



Bocce Ball

 Remember on Saturday nights at 7 our Bocce Ball gang gathers at the Bocce court behind the Clubhouse. This ancient game is exciting and challenging but not to exerting so it attracts players of various physical fitness. If you’ve never played, you have missed a really fun experience so come out and learn.

 Many other people come out on Bocce night to root for their favorite teams or to just sit around and socialize. Usually there is an assortment of beverages and snacks. When you combine that with the interesting conversation and jokes, you have the makings for a really good party. Whether you play; watch or just sit and chat; you’ll enjoy yourself on Bocce Night.



Co-ed Tai Chi

 Join our physical training expert Debbie Rivera every Monday at 4:30 in the Clubhouse for Tai Chi. Debbie is an excellent instructor who demonstrates the many forms of this ancient method of self-improvement. You’ll find that you will feel more relaxed; have better balance; a clearer mind and generally speaking; just have an improved outlook on life.

 If you are new to the community don’t be shy. Men and women will be warmly welcomed, and remember; everyone in the class was new at one time or another.



Valentine’s Dance

 Romance will be in the air on Saturday, Feb. 13 as we observe Valentine’s Day with a dance. One of our favorite DJ’s, Dusty Roe, will be on hand with hundreds of songs that will bring you to your feet on the dance floor. He’s a terrific entertainer and he welcomes requests. So don’t hesitate to let him know what your favorite tune is.

 Tickets are just $2 and can be bought from Jennifer in the office. In addition, everyone is asked to bring a dish to share. These can be anything you like from appetizers to desserts. If you have a favorite recipe; fix it and bring it along and share it with your friends and neighbors.

 There will be the usual soft drinks on hand but feel free to bring your favorite adult beverage with you. The evening will be enhanced with drawings and other bits of excitement so don’t miss the chance to come out and enjoy the warmth of our Cherrywood people.



From the reporter

 Many of our residents have expressed concern in this election year over their second amendment rights. Personally I don’t get it. Like me, all of my friends wear short sleeve shirts; sun dresses; and novelty tees. In spite of that, no one has ever challenged our right to bare arms. Oh well, perhaps I’m a bit misled.

 As a member of the press however, I do have serious concerns about the first amendment. freedom of speech and of the press that are essential to a free society. Now we find ourselves in a time that doesn’t seek the free expression of ideas or beliefs but rather tries to stifle them. I never thought I would live long enough to see such an erosion of liberties in this great nation of ours.

 We cannot speak freely for fear that we might offend some one. We seem to have forgotten that offensive speech is what needs to be protected. If everyone talks nice and doesn’t say anything controversial; why have a first amendment at all?

 Granted, my generation made jokes about everything and anything. We teased each other and called each other names that would burn the sensitive ears of the younger generations. We were raised with the adage, “Sticks and stones…” but somehow we survived. We didn’t kill each other and we didn’t throw rocks because they could actually break your bones.

 In this stage of our history, we have taken religion; politics; race; ethnicity; sexual orientation and many other topics off the table and thus we have censored ourselves. We have given up a precious right that our heroes have fought and died for. That to me is frightening.

 These are just thoughts to consider when you get upset because the rap music is too loud; a letter to the editor boils your blood; someone tells a dirty joke; a person expresses a different political position than yours or you get teased about whatever. Don’t be offended; be grateful that you live in a place where we can say what we feel and not be arrested; or at least not yet.

 At the risk of offending some of you, I close with a wish for God to bless America. Wouldn’t it be horrible if we could no longer say that because we might offend some one?

If you have suggestions or comments about this column, please feel free to contact me at ssg6jae@gmail.com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.