Cherrywood news 3-2-2012

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Note to homeless vets: Welcome home

According to the latest statistics, there are more than 9,000 homeless veterans in Florida with the availability of only 750 transitional beds. Ritz House in Ocala will soon be open it doors, offering 50 more beds to that total.
Cherrywood opened its heart recently and along with the community, donated food for this facility to the point that extra shelving was necessary in the pantry. Not content with this, volunteers and the Cherrywood Veterans Club rolled up their sleeves and again opened their hearts by adopting a room in the Ritz. This is an on going commitment to the veterans of Marion County by the Veterans Club of Cherrywood.
Taking on this worthwhile task were the men and women of the Veterans Club who volunteered their time and talents to redecorate; clean and furnish a room. Some of these rooms had not been occupied for many years and the task was daunting.
Newly refurbished, every room has a small kitchen area with a microwave oven; hot plate; sink; small refrigerator and full set of dishes and flatware. Two rooms share a bath and that too was cleaned and brightened up by the volunteer crew.
Residents are referred to Ritz House by the Veterans Administration and given time to gain employment, save a few dollars and move on into the community. During their stay, other services will also be provided to help each individual transition back into society.
A bright and cheery room that offers privacy and comfort is a vital part of the recovery process for most of these men and women. Cherrywood Veterans Club through its volunteers has provided that pleasant and homey atmosphere.
Every room has used furniture and the volunteers went so far as to resurface and repair bed; dresser; armoire; chest of drawers; floors and even hang pictures and curtains. More than 180 hours of work went into preparing this room for its new resident.
After the Vietnam war, there were no welcome home parades or marching bands playing for the returning veterans. In recognition of this, Vietnam vets began greeting each other with the words, “Welcome home!” A majority of homeless veterans are of the Vietnam era so Cherrywood has said with pride and open arms to those men and women, “Welcome Home.”
Our volunteers who gave so much of their time and abilities are Sandra and Bill Brotherhood; Peggy Konar; Ruth Hurley; Ida and Bill Mahar. On behalf of the veterans of Cherrywood; the non-veterans of this community and veterans everywhere, we send you each, a heartfelt ‘Salute’ and a very sincere ‘Thank you’ for your contribution of time, talent and care.
“We don’t know what they’ve been through; but we know what we can do.” That “Can Do” spirit is alive and well at Cherrywood.

Still time
There’s still time to enter the 5K walk/run to benefit Marion County Kidney Foundation. Just be at the Cherrywood Clubhouse at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, to meet up with all your neighbors and friends who are taking part. All you need is your comfortable walking or running shoes, $20 and a willingness to enjoy helping a very worthy cause. With all the scheduled events and vendors, it promises to be a great time. Contact me, your humble reporter via email for more details. We’ll see you there.

Cherrywood bowlers
According to the Cherrywood Bowling League President Sandee Spencer, the Cherrywood bowlers are “crazy.” Now she did say that some of them are just a little “crazy” while others well… One thing for sure, they sure know how to have fun.
On my visit I saw a lot of laughter; heard many compliments when spares were picked up or a strike was thrown, and observed some extraordinary “body English” as bowlers tried to steer their ball with their gyrations. Yup, to the outside observer, I had to agree with Sandee but few groups have more genuine fun times than the bowlers.
Every Monday morning, more than 40 residents of Cherrywood assemble at AMF Galaxy West Lanes in Ocala. They sign in, pay their dues and begin to warm up. Fran Hall is the Treasurer/Secretary for the league and even she was having a good time in the usually stressful task of collecting money and assigning lanes.
Cherrywood is not a sanctioned league so the competition is light hearted and for bragging rights only. Most of the people come to enjoy the company and companionship of socializing with friends.
Eleven thirty until two is when the league gets together which might seem like an unusual time. When asked Fran explained, “…a lot of people don’t like to get up early and enjoy going to lunch after the games are over.” In addition, Galaxy Lanes has and excellent snack bar for food and a lounge if you should desire an adult beverage.
Always looking for more people from Cherrywood to join them, the league has two ways to play. The first of course, is to join and be assigned to a team or bring in a team of your own. The second, for those who don’t want to make a full time commitment is to sign up as a “substitute.” Substitute bowlers fill in for those that are already assigned to a regular team but for whatever reason, have to miss a Monday.
The cost to participate in the league is only $10.50 for regular bowlers and $9.10 for substitutes per week. Most agree that’s pretty inexpensive for so much entertainment and fun. If you think you might be interested, contact Fran Hall at Hall550@CFL.rr.com for more information. The league runs from September through April and is culminated by a great bowling banquet.

Ping Pong
Did you know that Cherrywood has table tennis? Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 until 10, about half a dozen people come to the clubhouse to play and share in this exciting game.
The table is in great shape and so are the players. It takes energy and coordination to keep the ball in play and for those who are in moderate or better health; this game offers a pretty good work out.
Always looking for new players, you can come in as an individual or with a friend and play doubles. By playing two people per team, everyone gets a chance to enjoy the game with a little rest in between matches.
Players interviewed on Thursday were Herb Barnum; Ben Madella; Richard Miles; Lenny Becker and Dave Sutphin. All were eager to get the word out to both men and women about this fun sport. Each one agreed that if you don’t know anything about the game, they will be glad to show you how it’s played and if you’re an accomplished player, they will give you friendly competition.
Try out table tennis for your pleasure and your health; it’s a fast paced, fascinating and fun game.

Veterans ride the ‘range’
The Cherrywood Veterans Club members will be headed to the Hernando County Sportsman’s Club on March 22 for a morning of shooting. At 9 a.m., interested vets will meet at the Clubhouse and head out for a two-hour shoot.
The cost is only $17 plus a donation for drivers who take more than three people in the car pool. Shooters must supply their own ammunition; eye and ear protection. After the range, everyone will gather at the Boathouse Restaurant in Crystal River for a luncheon.
Veterans are welcome to bring along their ‘significant other’ to enjoy the day. Sign up early with Geri or contact Bill Mahar to make reservations. There are only 23 shooting stations and these slots fill up quickly so don’t delay. The range is equipped for pistol caliber weapons only.

Tennis, anyone?
Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, come out to the tennis court on the south side of the clubhouse at Cherrywood and you’ll see active adults engaged in the sport of Kings.
At 9 a.m. weather permitting, and it usually does, you will find men and women taking part in this exhilarating sport. Every age is represented from 55 to 85 and even older. Players volley the ball back and forth on the concrete court (called a Royal Court) and all kinds of shots can be seen. Lobs, slams, and the occasional “netter” that just barely creeps over the net after hitting the top of it; they’re all part of the game.
You can take part in this great sport. Just put on your shorts and tennis shoes, grab a racket and join the crew. If you don’t have a racket or need one restrung, you can contact Rudy Heilman, he does that kind of work. If you think you are too old for tennis, just ask Harold Hinchey; he’s only 86 and one of the better players.
Put your inhibitions aside and join Inge Heilman, Dave Beauschamp, Bill Thompson, Fran Mullen, ‘Guggy’ Guglielmi and others for a warm welcome, a fun time and a good game of tennis. You’ll enjoy yourself and maybe even leave the court feeling like a King.

Health Fair free to public
Cherrywood Estates will host a free Senior Health Fair on April 14. The lectures and programs begin at 10:00 AM with the topic, “How to Eat Healthier.” This will be followed by “Healthy Aging of your Muscles & Joints” at 11 a.m.; “Cancer Prevention, Nutrition & Exercise” at noon and ending with “Oh My Achy Back!” at 1 p.m. Other services offered at the seminar will be weight analysis; BMI (Body Mass Index) fat percentage evaluation; advanced planning for your final arrangements; free spinal Screenings; and information on Hospice of Marion County to name just a few.
Seating is limited so if you don’t want to miss out on these informative and helpful seminars, call Geri at the clubhouse, 352-237-1675 and make your reservations.
The Activities Team will be providing coffee and Danish in the morning and a light lunch for a small fee.
Vendors participating in the Senior Health Fair are: db Hearing Solutions; Geril Therapy; Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services; Home Instead Senior Care; Hospice of Marion County; Lifestyles Solutions Medical Spa; McKenney Chiropractic Care; Premier Medical Center; Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute and Thermo Cool Heat & Air.

Sail away
Take a chance and win a trip to the Bahamas aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Spend three days of fun and relaxation with port fees; taxes and gratuities all included plus an extra hundred dollars in spending money.
The Veterans Club of Cherrywood is sponsoring this raffle that will be held at the Memorial Day observance. Tickets are only $10 for one or three for $20 and are available from Geri at the office, or Bill Mahar or Rich Hurley. You don’t have to be present to win and you don’t even have to be a Cherrywood resident to win. Good luck.

Spotlight on Excellence
There are many people in Cherrywood who have a unique talent; an interesting past or a promising future or are significant to the Cherrywood Community. This week’s featured individual is an energetic, vivacious young lady who head’s up our Activities Committee, Eve Houghtaling.
Eve and her husband of 47 years, Jim, are originally from Michigan. They have a son who lives in North Carolina and a daughter in Indiana and two grandchildren. In 1999, they moved to Cherrywood and immediately became active in their new community.
As Social Director for the 2000 member parish of Saint John’s Church, Eve was responsible for putting on dinners and parties and programs that enhanced the mission of the church. This was no small order for a congregation as large as Saint John’s especially when it came to things like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.
Specializing in the education of youngsters, Eve was a pre-school teacher and taught pre-school courses at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. From her teaching and work at the parish she learned her expert administrative skills. These became evident in her other work in the community.
During her service in Michigan she ran and assisted in such projects as a shelter for abused women; foster care for the young; and was a Religious Services Director. This fit in with her life long desire to do ‘random acts of kindness’ and to make the world a better place.
When Eve and Jim retired and came to Florida, Eve’s philosophy did not change nor did her desire to help people. Since coming to Cherrywood in 1999, Eve has served the Vet Club; Entertainment Committee; Activities Committee and been a part of many other programs.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a little over a year and a half ago, Eve has never slowed down. She is treating her affliction with holistic medical procedures and a dogged determination that will no doubt help her triumph over this medical problem.
You’ve seen Eve if you’ve ever been to an event sponsored by the Activities Committee; bowling; painting or pool aerobics classes. She also enjoys gardening and long walks with her friends. As if that weren’t enough, one day a week she volunteers at the VFW in the kitchen.
When asked why she did so much for the Cherrywood Community, Eve smiled warmly and answered, “I love the people. We support each other and there’s no ‘class system’ here. Everything is open to everyone.”
If you’ve been in the Clubhouse lately you will notice that the tables are decorated for St. Patty’s Day with beautiful flowers. Eve who feel’s that “flowers make the place feel homey” is responsible for that.
Next time you see Eve, thank her for all she does and give her a Cherrywood hug. She sure deserves it.

Saint Patty’s Day at Cherrywood
On March 17, put on your Kelly Green attire and join your friends and neighbors for a night of celebration. St. Patrick’s Day is when everyone becomes Irish for a day to enjoy the myths and merriment of Celtic culture.
Tickets are available from Geri for this night of music and entertainment by Rich Becotte and others. Bring your liquid refreshment of choice and come join the Colleen’s and ‘Harps’ (Irish for Gal’s and Guys) for an evening of fun and dance.
Only $3 admission per person provides party goers with music; finger foods, and coffee or lemonade.

Vets Breakfast:
Did you know that “S.O.S.” is not just a distress call? It is also the abbreviation for a military breakfast dish. You can learn all about and taste this delicious breakfast meal on Saturday, March 31, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Club breakfast. Also included are scrambled eggs, sausage, juice, fruit and juice, plus coffee and tea of course.
The breakfast coincides with the first Fun in the Sun Games sponsored by the Social Committee, which starts at 1 p.m. on the same date. Breakfast is only $3.50 and proceeds go to sponsor the many worthwhile Veterans Club charities.
Make a date to get your tickets early because this event is always a sell out. See Geri or contact Bill Mahar for tickets.

From your reporter
If you have an idea for a story; an opinion about this column or a question, please feel free to contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com. Your comments are always welcome.