Cherrywood news 3-9-2012

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5K team steps up and out

By John Everlove


Saturday morning, March 3, was warm and dewy. Just before dawn, at 6:30 in the morning, 11 of the 15 volunteers who signed up for the Marion County Kidney Foundation 5K fundraiser assembled at the Cherrywood Clubhouse.
Wearing the lime green T-shirts provided by and personally delivered by Foundation President Delores Pina to team captain Holly Bragdon; the bright group posed for photos. All agreed to dedicate their run to a much loved and respected neighbor, Skip Smith. Skip is in the hospital bravely fighting a life-threatening illness. Many held Skip’s picture for the group photo.
Soon the whole group had car pooled the 25 minutes to the Greenway Trailhead Park. Eager to begin their adventure, there was never a word of complaint from the team about the early morning hour; the walk; or the sacrifice of their Saturday morning relaxation.
All 11 of our walkers/runners assembled at the starting line with a few hundred other individuals. They took their place, stretched, and looked ahead. At 8:05 they were off.
While the teams walked, I talked with one of the lead volunteers for the Marion County Kidney Foundation, Debbie Schlosser. Debbie has a special interest in the Foundation because not only has she worked for the Ocala Kidney Group for the past 23 years, but her husband and sister-in-law are both coping with Kidney disease.
Debbie happily reported that this year’s 5K fund raiser was approximately 25 percent bigger than last year with more vendors and participants than ever before. She estimated that there were between 580 and 590 people taking part.
“All the funds raised go to patients and awareness programs in Marion County,” Debbie said adding that she loved to educate the young people about preventing kidney disease.
A brief stroll around the grounds listening to the live music and seeing many smiling faces at the numerous vendors’ tables was about all I had time to get in before heading to the finish line. Our walkers were getting close and I didn’t want to miss being there.
Sure enough, just less than an hour after starting, our team came strolling rapidly down the trail. With big grins on their faces and hands in the air they crossed the finish line to the applause of the many onlookers and volunteers who stood and cheered.
Looking as fresh as when they began, they all did a great job and not only finished the race but some even finished in second, third and fourth place for their age divisions. Richard Hurley was advised that he had come in second for his age group and smiling said, “I wasn’t even trying.”
Some of those who signed up were unable to take part because of other commitments and responsibilities, but their support is no less appreciated. Those contributors were Sandee Spencer, Marty Dean, Bill Mahar and a kidney cancer survivor, Arleen Mayberry. Thank you all for your contribution and we look forward to seeing you on the trail next year.
Our team, the “Cherrywood Cuties” (sorry guys) was made up of Marilyn Wood, Ruth Hurley, Donna James, Eve Houghtaling, Kathy Robson, Joan Siegel, Gerry Giovanniello, Mick James, Jenny Arturi, Rich Hurley and team captain, Holly Bragdon.
In many emails with coordinator, Kathy Cotto of the Kidney Foundation, I have been told how much it meant to have Cherrywood participate in this year’s 5K. I pass along their sincere “thank you” to all of you who supported and took part.
May I add my personal thanks to each of you? You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and commended for your dedication, hard work and sacrifice. You’ve made it possible to ease suffering; taken steps to help prevent a terrible illness and made the world a better place because you were there. Well done!

Garden Club
On March 21 at 11 a.m., the Garden Club will gather for another informative and interesting meeting. Bring along your old cuttings and clippings to learn how to rejuvenate and care for them. Learn more about this years planting season also.
Don’t forget the Master Gardner Plant Sale on March 10 & 11 at the Agriculture Center on Old Jacksonville Road. There will be lots of plants and information there to help you make 2012 your best year yet for gardening.
Say Cheese
There’s been a lot of interest expressed in starting a photo club. We have a prospective leader so all we have to do now is sign up people to become members and set a date and time to meet. We want to get this club going by April 1 so contact your humble correspondent by e-mail or Geri by phone to put your name on the list. This endeavor should be an informative, educational and artistically creative endeavor so everyone with a camera; a little creativity and a lot of curiosity is encouraged to join.

Shooting Straight
March 22 is the date of the Veterans Club shooting trip. Veterans and their significant others are urged to sign up early for this event as there are limited firing stations at the range and the shooting day is always sold out.
Shooters will meet at 9 a.m. at the Clubhouse and car pool to the Hernando County Sportsman’s Club. Only pistol caliber weapons are allowed on the range and shooters must provide their own eye and ear protection as well as ammunition.
Following the range time, everyone will gather for lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant in Crystal River for lunch and to compare notes. The food is great and the companionship is even better so set aside this date and $17 and then make your reservation with Geri for an excellent time.

Saint Patrick’s Day
CelebrationSaint Patrick is credited with bringing the Irish to Christianity. The shamrock, with its three petals were said to represent the Trinity and hence, the shamrock is often displayed on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It is on this day, a commemoration of Saint Patrick’s death, that everyone becomes at least a “wee” bit Irish.
You are encouraged to make plans to join with your friends and neighbors and celebrate this very special occasion. Richard Becotte has some good ole Irish tunes to mix in with the standards and pop music that everyone dances to and enjoys so much.
Tickets are only $3 for the party and that includes entertainment, finger food, coffee, lemonade and more. So bring your favorite beverage, family and friends to the clubhouse and join in the celebration of every thing Irish.
There may not be any leprechauns present but if you hit the fifty/fifty drawing, you might win a little ‘pot o gold’. Good luck of the Irish to ye.

Cherrywood Singles
Every Sunday at 4 p.m., the Cherrywood Singles meet at the cClubhouse and then head out for a delicious dinner and an evening of entertainment. This mixed social group improvises and varies their activities to insure that everyone has a good time.
Last week for example, after dinner at the Olive Garden, everyone returned to Bernice Hasinec’s home for an evening of innovative games and challenges. Gayle Huels won the stacking marshmallows competition and in another fun game, Maggie Pitzer attempted to pick up a nut with a coffee stirrer and pass it off to her partner, Jim Clark. The competition was hilarious and stiff between those two and their opponents, Marie Ustianowski and Pat McKenna.
Everyone had a great time and then shared dessert and coffee. Any Cherrywood resident who is single is welcome to come and spend time with this fun loving group. Where else can you have an excellent dinner and share an evening with equally excellent company?

Public Welcome
The second annual Cherrywood Estates Senior Health Fair will be held at the Cherrywood Clubhouse on April 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. This special event is open to the entire community.
This year’s guest speaker seminar topics are “How to Eat Healthier,” “Healthy Aging of your Muscles & Joints,” “Cancer Prevention, Nutrition & Exercise” and concludes with “Oh My Achy Back.”
Gold sponsors of the Health Fair are: dB Hearing solutions; Geril Therapy; Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services; Home Instead Senior Care; Integrity Home Health Care; Lifestyle Solutions Medical Spa; McKenney Chiropractic Center; Robert Boissoneault Oncology Inst; Thermo-Cool Air & Heating and Unique Lingerie.
Silver Sponsors participating are Premier Medical Center and Hospice of Marion County. Additional vendors are Florida Center for the Blind; Grace Unlimited Inc. - Bio Mat.
This promises to be a very informative and interesting Health Fair with many opportunities to learn about things that are important to you. Seating is limited to the guest speaker seminars so call Geri at 352-237-1675 for reservations.

Breakfast at Cherrywood
March 31 is the Veterans Club breakfast and it’s always a hit with everyone. From 9 until 10:30 a.m., you can get a real “G.I.” breakfast of ‘S.O.S.’ scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, juice, fruit cup and coffee.
Just $3.50 buys a ticket that goes to support the Veterans Club charities. These tickets sell out quickly so see Geri to reserve your place at the table. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enjoy a delicious breakfast and help out the Veterans too.

Fun in the Sun
Just a little later after the Veterans Club Breakfast, our Fun in the Sun games begin. This is an afternoon filled with fun and excitement as teams compete for trophies and bragging rights.
At 1 p.m., the teams get checked in and the competition begins. Bocce ball, horseshoes, putting and shuffleboard are the four events in the games. Four person teams compete and each team member must play in at least two of the four separate games.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are grilled to perfection by the members of the Social Committee and sodas and other goodies are for sale at a nominal fee. Everyone, players and spectators alike, have a good time either taking part or rooting for their friends and family members.
It’s only $10 per team, $2.50 per individual, so get your foursome together and contact Geri to enter the Cherrywood Fun in the Sun tournament.

Sail Away
Don’t forget your tickets for the Bahamas Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. The raffle will be held on Memorial Day and you not only don’t have to be present to win, you don’t even have to be a resident of Cherrywood.
Tickets are available from Geri or most Veteran Club members. They’re only $10 each or three for $20 and the proceeds go to support the Veterans Club Charities. Winning ticket include cruise for two; gratuities; port fees and taxes, and $100 in spending money. Take a chance to get away for three beautiful days in the Bahamas.

Donations Needed
The Cherrywood Knitting and Crochet Club is in need of supplies so it can continue the good works it is known for. If you know of anyone or you personally have any knitting supplies available that you would like to give to a worthy cause, please consider our knitters. Wool, yarns, and any other material that you might have available will be gratefully accepted.
Our Knitting Club members will take these donations and provide artistic and useful hand crafted items that will be used for charities such as Devereaux Kids; Hospice; Kimberly’s Cottage and the Marion County Sheriffs Department.
If you are in a thrift store or similar shop, maybe you could pick up some things for a few dollars and drop them off at the office. Our knitters would be very grateful and so will the people they support.

Ladies Luncheon
All Cherrywood ladies are invited on Wednesday, March 14 to the Clubhouse at noon to enjoy the monthly Ladies Luncheon. We will have some wonderful Irish music played by Dick Richards on his accordion. So bring your favorite recipe and your own plate and flatware. Of course coffee is provided but if you’d enjoy something else, you’re welcome to bring that also.
Every month there is a different program or guest speaker and great fellowship so take advantage of this opportunity to get out and mingle with the wonderful ladies of Cherrywood.


Veterans Club
On Thursday, March 1, the Cherrywood Veterans were treated to a guest speaker on firearms safety and the qualifications for various licenses. Paul “Mac” McIntyre, owner of The Right Training firearms school and Cherrywood’s own, Ramberto “Rambo” Rodriguez, an NRA Instructor, spoke about a special day of instruction and shooting available to Cherrywood Residents.
On March 10 and March 27, classes will be offered at discount prices that qualify individuals to receive their Concealed Weapons Permit and how to handle, safely store and competently operate firearms.
There are even special classes for Women Only if some of the ladies are a little bit shy about showing off their firearms skills in front of the men. The class was informative and the offer excellent. Contact “Mac” at 352-350-2855 to sign up or get more info.
Just a footnote for the Veterans; next month is election of officers so get your nominations in to Bill Mahar, club president.

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 a familiar face to many of us who take part in the activities in our neighborhood, Fred O’Hern.
Fred is retired from the U.S. Air Force where he served for 28 years, earning the rank of Command Chief Master Sergeant. He served most of those years in Explosives, Ordnance and Demolition (EOD). His areas of assignment varied from Laos, to Iran, with Italy, Thailand, Germany and his favorite, England also part of his 22 years of overseas service.
One of the reasons he enjoyed England so much is that he met his wife Marion there. They have been married 36 years and have one son, Patrick who lives with his wife in Washington. He also has two grandsons, Jacob and Corey. Corey is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan and Jacob will soon report to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Fred speaks with pride of his grandsons and his eyes light up when he talks about his great-granddaughter Tatyem.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Fred took a position as the postmaster of Coventry England. He served there for 10 years before retiring. Fred and Marion then moved to Florida and the Cherrywood Estates in 1999. Since that time his energy has been spent on veterans projects, social activities and charities connected with the community.
Ever energetic and eager to serve, Fred is a charter member and was president of the Veterans Club for eight years. He is active on the Social Committee which his brother Jay chairs, and is co-emcee of Trivia Nights. He also heads up Bocce Ball on Saturday nights.
The Social Committee holds several events through out the year such as Dingus Day; Fun in the Sun; 100 Days of Summer and many more, all of which Fred helps promote and carry out.
Fred describes himself as a natural extrovert who enjoys people and making Cherrywood a united and fun community. We would have to say that after his many years of service to this cause, he has been extremely successful in reaching his goal. The affection he holds for his friends and neighbors is obvious in everything he does so when you see Fred, give him a warm handshake and say “Thank you.” It is people like him that make Cherrywood a great place to live.

From Your Reporter
Your comments and suggestions for stories are always welcome so please feel free to contact me at urperssec@yahoo.com.