Cherrywood news 2-8-2013

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Kicking to fight kidney disease

By John Everlove


Nearly 25 people have signed up so far for the Marion County Kidney Foundation annual 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 2. Holly Bragdon has agreed to lead our team of participants in honor of Skip Smith; a member of the Veterans Club and long time resident (see Spotlight on Excellence in this column).
This annual event takes place at Baseline Road Florida Greenway Trailhead located at 4225 S.E. 58th Ave. in Ocala. The runners begin at 8 a.m. and five minutes later, the walkers take to the course.
For the second year in row our residents are taking part in this fun, fund raising event that benefits the citizens of Marion County. Vendors will be present giving away free gifts as well as musicians playing for the crowd and the participants. Kids’ activities and refreshments are also available so this is a really cool family friendly event.
The all volunteer foundation is a non-profit organization that provides services and education throughout the county. There’s still time to sign up and there’s always time to make a pledge. Contact Holly at 352-873-8223 to register or make a pledge for this great charity. Remember, you don’t have to be a Cherrywood resident to take part. Let’s make this year the biggest and best ever for our friend Skip; for our neighbors and for our fellow citizens.

Craft show this weekend
Get to the clubhouse early for the Cherrywood Estates Spring Sweetheart Craft Show on Saturday, Feb. 9. The doors open at 9 a.m. and this show is open to the public. If you live in Southwest Marion County, our clubhouse is very easy to find.
When you arrive, you will find all kinds of crafts and goodies in the friendly atmosphere of the clubhouse. See and purchase items as diverse as painted gourds; jewelry; note cards; hand woven baskets; handmade purses; wood crafts and a lot more. All of these items are expertly hand crafted and available at reasonable prices.
In addition to all the art and unique items available, there will be raffles and a bake sale. The Cherrywood Songbirds will be selling tasty treats at their bake sale and our Activities Team will provide a delicious and very affordable lunch menu
You won’t want to miss out on this event where you can find expertly crafted specialty items; enjoy a scrumptious lunch and polish it off with a delicious pastry.
Admission is free and the show is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. You’ll find the clubhouse by turning off 62nd Avenue on to 102nd Street Road in beautiful Cherrywood Estates.

Valentine’s Dance
Tickets are going fast for the romantic event of the year here at Cherrywood; the annual Valentines Dance. Saturday, Feb. 16, everyone is invited to come to the beautifully decorated clubhouse for an evening of dancing and romancing.
For only three dollars per person you can come out and enjoy the music of Richard Becotte as he plays your favorite tunes from his library of nearly 5,000 titles. Taste the delicious finger foods provided by the Activities Team and spend time with your neighbors and friends as we celebrate an evening of love. As a special treat Lentz Henderson will be taking photos of couples from 7 to 9 p.m. and he will do the group photos from 9 p.m. until he is done. He will be charging just $2 for a photo. These photos are the ones we have on the “Brag Wall” in the Clubhouse.
Be sure to see Geri and get your reservation and your tickets. You won’t find a better entertainment bang for your buck or a more romantic setting than the Valentines Day Dance.
Newcomers welcome
On Feb. 16 at 10 in the morning, your Welcoming C    ommittee will hold a Meet and Greet Coffee for those who are new to our community. If you’ve moved into Cherrywood within the past several months and not attended one of these informative and friendly sessions, contact Geri in the office and make your reservation.
In addition to enjoying coffee and pastries, newbie’s get a chance to learn about Marion County; its facilities and services. This session will include representatives of the Veterans Club; Activities Team; Entertainment Committee; CERT; and many others.
One of the bonuses of attending is receiving the specially prepared welcome packet that has maps; addresses of hospitals and county buildings; civic organizations and much more.
In short, you won’t want to miss out on this special event and you’ll be especially happy you attended when you find out all of this helpful information.

Donna James, our quizmaster for Trivia, is all prepared to pose some funny; obscure; little known and down right difficult questions to everyone on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the clubhouse.
Trivia Night is a fun evening where everyone divides into teams of three or four people and then they try to answer the questions Donna puts up on the big screen. The winner gets a small cash prize and bragging rights for a month while the losers, well, they get a good time and the right to say, “Wait until next month.”
It only costs a dollar per player for the evening with all the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. To date there has been over $200 given to this worthy cause. Bring your friends and neighbors along with some liquid refreshments and snacks and come on down to the clubhouse for an evening of laughter and challenging excitement. The game starts promptly at 6 p.m. so don’t be late. See you there for a great time.

Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the card room of the clubhouse, beginners and experienced players get together for an afternoon of Cribbage. If you play, you are welcome to come and enjoy the head to head competition and if you are just learning or have never played before, you are welcome to come and learn this fun card game.
Players both beginner and experienced are needed to bring a challenge to some and a helping hand to others. Don’t pass up this opportunity to learn Cribbage.
Ladies billiards
Our Ladies Traveling Billiard Team beat Ocala Palms last week in their tournament. Both teams were in top form and the ladies of Cherrywood were lucky enough to pull out a 14 to 13 win over the Royals.
Shooting pool is a favorite sport here at Cherrywood and if you have any interest at all, you should make yourself available to learn; practice and perfect your game. Ladies, contact Ruth Hurley at 352-873-7208 while men can contact Rich Hurley at the same number.
Newcomers who would like to get a feel for the game and get to know some of the guys that play, just come to clubhouse most days at 9 a.m. You’ll find a good group who are friendly, helpful and who will welcome you.
Billiards is a great sport and it’s getting bigger every day. Whether you’re a guy or a gal, come out and see for yourself how much fun it can be.

Veterans Club
will honor survivors
Since its founding, the Veterans Club, 23 of its members have passed away.
As is our custom, every year we honor the family members of those who have gone before.
This year our Recognition Tea will be held on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. in the clubhouse.
This is an invitation only event so we are asking all of the guests to please contact Eve Houghtaling at 352-861-6151 or Ruth Hurley at 352-873-7208.
This Tea is organized to pay our respects to our survivors for their devotion and commitment as well as showing them that neither they nor their late loved ones are forgotten. Light refreshments and a special presentation will highlight the observance.
Please note, this is not a luncheon as was previously reported.

Accordion Club
For those of you who read Spotlight on Excellence you will remember our feature on Dick Richards a couple of weeks ago. Dick is a world class accordionist who has spent his life entertaining people as a band leader and as a single act.
Now he is at Cherrywood and leads the way for our Accordion Club and more. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, he will again bring his many friends and their instruments to our clubhouse for an evening of pure musical delight.
Those of you who have already seen Dick and the others perform; you know what I’m talking about. A wide variety of instruments and music comes forth for the audiences listening and dancing pleasure.
If you haven’t been to one of these informal jam sessions you have to try it out. There’s a wide variety of talent on display from beginners to professional and an even wider variety of styles. You’ll hear blues; jazz; pop; polkas; waltzes and more.
The doors open at 5:30 so bring your favorite beverages and snacks and plan on an evening of great musical entertainment.

Sports Night
When asked, “Who won the big game?” the people of Cherrywood can honestly say, “The Wounded Warriors Fund.” Thanks to the generous support of Chris Zacco of Cherrywood Property Management and the expert planning of our Social Committee, over $330 was raised for this worthy charity.
Sports Night brought out more than 80 people enjoy sloppy joes; hot dogs and other goodies. Through raffles and door prizes, and from donations for the food, the Social Committee under the leadership of Fred and Jay O’Hern was able to set a fundraising record for a single night’s event.
Thanks to all who took part; the volunteers who served and helped out; and thanks to you, the residents of Cherrywood for your generosity. A good time was had by all and everyone who attended is looking forward to next year.
By the way, the game wasn’t bad either as evidenced by the loud cheers of avid fans.

Garden Club
Open to the entire community, our Garden Club will be meeting on the patio of the clubhouse on Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. With the spring planting season just around the corner, this is an ideal time to meet with others and discuss ways to make your lawn and garden thrive.
You are invited to bring along some plants or cuttings to get advice on and suggestions for maximum success. If you are interested in any aspect of gardening from water features to lawn maintenance and everything in between, you should be at this meeting.
This is a chance to learn how to have a green thumb; spruce up your landscaping and meet with some really fun and knowledgeable people. It’s also free so you can’t beat a deal like this.

Karaoke Night
On Feb. 23, Karaoke Night returns to the clubhouse. Bill LaVertue has a brand new sound system he will be using that allows the singers to face the audience instead of the big screen. In addition, this new system is independently controlled so the microphones will be coordinated with the music levels.
This promises to be a great improvement over last month’s session that was dominated by technical problems. Bill even promises to make your humble correspondent sound acceptable. We’ll see how that works out.
If you were at last month’s Karaoke and felt a little disappointed, give it another shot and come out at 7 p.m. Bring your friends; beverages and snacks for a good time of listening; singing and dancing.
Admission is free; the entertainment is, well, very entertaining; in fact sometimes it’s down right humorous. Don’t get me wrong, we have some really talented singers whom you’ll enjoy hearing as well. This is a fun night for everyone so come out and give it a try.

Comedy Night
Cherrywood’s Spring Comedy Fest is coming March 4. This event is free to our residents thanks to the generosity of Cherrywood Property Management, Chris and Mario Zacco and the planning of our Social Committee. Tickets and reservations are available from Geri in the office so stop by soon as this is a sell out event.
Comic Jim Moody will be our featured performer. Known as the “Crowd Teaser,” his combination of jokes; magic and interaction with the audience will have you in stitches. Jim describes his show as “Out of the sleeve magic with off the cuff comedy.” He has performed at conventions; on board ship; and any place in between where large groups of people gather.
Two shows are available; one at 5:30 and the other at 7:30. Light snacks; iced tea and lemonade will be served. A door prize will be awarded at each show.
Jim is an experienced performer with polish and pizzazz who will entertain and delight on Cherrywood Comedy Night.

Hospice honors Cherrywood resident
Thanks to a good friend of Hospice of Marion County, a $1,000 check was just received from a wonderful fundraising cruise that sailed Nov. 11 to Nov. 18, 2012 with Laura Kane Travel. The bad news is the good friend who planned the fundraising venture was not able to sail away.
Nancy Archer, whose husband Frank passed at Legacy Hospice House on March 28, 2010 is always hard at work trying to help Hospice of Marion County. Nancy worked with Laura Kane of Laura Kane Travel to set up a cruise that would be a fun vacation while raising money for Hospice. Unfortunately Nancy was not able to cruise with the group. Laura Kane and the group still sailed and Laura donated $1,000 to Hospice thanks to the many people who joined the cruise.
Hospice of Marion County is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Since 1983, it has served the citizens of Marion County and been a leader in assisting with end-of-life issues. It is efforts like this cruise and people like Nancy Archer and Laura Kane that have allowed this non-profit to continue to grow.
(Article by Karen Haven)

Last call for Biloxi
Time is running out to get in on the Feb. 17 through the 20th trip to the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi. For one low package rate you’ll receive three nights accommodations at the luxurious IP Casino; Deluxe Motor Coach transportation with a professional driver and $25 in free slot play. In addition, you’ll receive $24 in food coupons.
Not enough bargain for your bucks? What if we through in a visit to the Palace Casino and Hard Rock Casino and provide $15 in free slot play at both venues? Of course you want to enjoy a wonderful getaway surrounded by great food; entertainment and shopping. Call Natalie today at 352-854-4561 and book your reservation.

Spotlight on Excellence
Each week we feature a person or couple who have an interesting past; a promising future or who has made a contribution to the quality of life in our community. This week the spotlight shines on two of our favorite residents, Trude and Skip Smith.
Their story begins back when they were in kindergarten together in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Skip boasts that they have photos of the two of them in class pictures. Skip confesses that at that time in his life he was more interested in the Graham crackers and milk than in Trude. A sense of humor is one of the qualities that have kept these two together all these years.
Time marched on and Skip’s interests changed. He invited Trude to the Junior Prom and from that evening on, they have been a couple. After their graduation from Jonathan Dayton Regional High School, Trude took a job with an appraisal company and Skip joined the U.S. Navy.
It was the troubling days of the Vietnam War and Skip was not content serving on board a ship; he wanted to see the action. He volunteered for the Brown Water Navy; those were sailors who operated in the rivers and tributaries of Vietnam on Swift Boats.
After receiving specialized weapons training at Camp Pendleton, California, going to survival school at Widby Island and SEAL school in Coronado, California, Skip was ready to take his place in the elite special operations forces of Vietnam.
During this time period, Trude flew to California and married her lifelong sweetheart, Skip. Not including their children, this was the first of three “Best decisions of our lives” according to both of them.
In Skip’s absence, Trude would endure the loneliness and separation of a Navy wife. She would also have the first of their three sons, Steven.
During his service in Vietnam, Skip earned the respect and admiration of his fellow sailors and Marines. He also earned many awards and medals including the Vietnam Service Medal. He is modest about his accomplishments but does acknowledge he was recognized by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine several years after the fact when New Jersey recognized those who had volunteered and served in Vietnam.
Trude maintained their home in National City, California, during Skip’s tour of duty. When he left the Navy the two of them returned to New Jersey. They found a home in Piscataway and Skip immediately began his apprenticeship to become an electrician.
Two more sons would be born into the family; Andy and Kevin. Trude was and is a proud Mom who brags about her many hours spent taking the boys to sports activities and school events. She laughingly recalls the days of watching the kids playing T-Ball; being a soccer mom; bringing treats to the games and shuttling the boys and their teammates around.
Skip managed to get promoted in his career as he became a manager. A proud member of the union, Skip talks about keeping his union card and being a manager as well. He states, “I always worked well with my crews. I can’t remember ever losing my temper on the job”.
Aside from being a full time wife and mother, Trude was self employed in the field of tax accounting; typing and general administrative duties. She also managed a profitable family owned investment business.
For 35 years, Skip worked for Schoonover Electrical and upon the successful completion of a six and a half million dollar project he was offered an early retirement. Since their children were grown and they were sick of winters, this brought about the second best decision of the couples lives. They decided to escape the cold; snow; sleet and other miseries of living up north and move to Florida.
This brought about the third of their good decisions; they moved into Cherrywood. In this community they found everything they had been looking for; a safe and friendly place to live; good friends and good weather.
Skip and Trude blended right in becoming active in the Veterans Club and other organizations. Skip was always there when needed for Ritz House or Memorial Day or any other occasion where volunteers were needed.
Neither ever failed to answer a call for help from a neighbor whether it was with an electrical problem; a handyman project; or something personal where some one needed help. Their giving ways were greatly appreciated.
Not long after their move here, they began to care for their parents. Within a short two year span, both of Skip’s parents and Trude’s dad passed away. In spite of these hardships, the two remained cheerful and upbeat, never ceasing in their efforts to help others.
Fortunately, Trude’s mom is still alive and lives in a near by assisted living facility because there are other issues that Trude and Skip have been facing. If it were possible they would have her mother living in their own home.
One of the lasting effects of Vietnam on many who served there is the results of exposure to Agent Orange. Skip has received a 90 percent disability from the Veterans Administration and has undergone some serious health issues throughout the years since he served. Currently he is on dialysis.
Because Trude and Skip are held in such high esteem here in the community, they enjoy the support and affection of many dedicated friends. These friends are teaming up in honor of Skip by taking part in the 5K run/walk for the Marion County Kidney Foundation. (See article in this column) The team is calling themselves “Skip-ings” in his honor.
Skip suffered a near fatal attack and was hospitalized for several months. After returning home confined to a wheelchair, he was wheeled into the clubhouse by Trude where one of our events was taking place. When they entered, everyone stopped what they were doing and rose to give them a standing ovation. Such is the affection this community has for these two.
Through out all of the adversity they have faced, Trude and Skip maintain a keen sense of humor; a deep love for family and friends and an abiding devotion to each other.
Trude and Skip are long time members and supporters of the Veterans Club. Trude is a member of the Feathered Friends Society; the Social Committee; and exercise class. Skip enjoys membership in the DAV; VFW and Vietnam Veterans Association. He is a life member of all of those organizations.
You will see both Skip and Trude at most of our social functions. They will be the ones with the beautiful smiles; surrounded by friends. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself or you’ll be missing something special.

From Your Reporter
Our team is gathering steam for the Marion County Kidney Foundation 5K Run/Walk; the Wounded Warriors are getting a healthy check to support their work. The Veterans Club is hosting a Tea Hour to honor the widows of our organization; all this and more in just a few short weeks of the New Year. Where else could a person be surrounded by so many people who are willing to do good things just to help out their community? No place but Cherrywood. Congratulations my neighbors; be proud of yourselves.
If you have an idea or suggestion for the Cherrywood section of the Citizen, please feel free to contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com. It is always a pleasure to hear from you; our readers.