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County Line Road, just east of Mariner Boulevard

6:00 – 9:30p.m.

Skating for the entire family, music, fun, food and silent auction, raffle winners KIWANIS BENEFIT EVENT

For more information call: YMCA 352.688.9622

Rich Linkul 352.323.4580

Aktion Club of the Nature Coast BENEFITING Boys & Girls Club YMCA Aktion Club

352.263.3784

Boys & Girls Club of Hernando County 352.666.0068

10:00p.m. – 1:30a.m.

Skating for the teens and adults, raffle winners, fun, food, lively music dancing to the 50‘s and 60‘s, jitterbug contest, live auction at midnight

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Oak hill Hospital's

Community based

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Pediatricians

pictured above L to R: Fatan Jaafar, MD; William Acevedo, MD; Imad Jandali, MD; Rizwan Qureshi, MD; Cyril Wong, MD; Jennifer Ward, MD; Maria Doherty, MD; and Eid Guirguis, MD

Delivering Care That Meets The Unique Needs of Children SOARING TO GREATER HEIGHTS WITH OAK HILL HOSPITAL’S TEAM OF DEDICATED PEDIATRIC COMMUNITY PHYSICIANS

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CONTENTS

DECEMBER 2012

FEATURES

32

Healthy Giving Children are our future. Realizing that, there are local and statewide organizations that love, feed, teach, protect, and nurture children so they can enjoy a brighter tomorrow and a more fulfilling future.

35 ON THE COVER

concept: Steven J. Codraro photoshop: Josh Clark photo: courtesy of ShutterstockŠ

The Charity Register Because of the goodwill of charitable organizations throughout Citrus and Hernando counties, a homeless person has a roof over his head, a child can tap into their creative spirit, and unwanted animals can find their forever home. This season, open up your charitable heart and consider donating to one of these organizations so they can continue to operate and carry out their heartfelt acts of generosity.


CONTENTS DECEMBER 2012

IN EVERY ISSUE Publisher’s Corner

12

Community Matters

16

Healthy Business

20

Medical Mysteries

22

S’motherhood

24

Calendar

58

Heart of the Community

60

Healthy Views

64

22

Healthy Mind

43

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Healthy Body

43

Love will keep us together

47

Gray, gray, go away

44

Healing with an “attitude”

48

Tabata: The highintensity workout

46

Cost of making a fabulous first impression? Priceless!

Healthy Spirit 51

Mencouragement: Love picks the gift

52

Teaching children empathy

48

Healthy Finance 55

Student loans

56

Maintaining or rebuilding good credit in a challenging economy

55


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CONTRIBUTORS

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Rick Bosshardt, M.D.

Sean Cort

Rick Bosshardt, M.D., graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He founded Bosshardt & Marzek Plastic Surgery Associates, a full-time cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery service, in 1989.

Sean is an ordained minister, motivational speaker and author. He is an award-winning veteran with over 25 years of major-market radio, television, advertising, and marketing experience. His life-changing self-help book is titled The Power of Perspective. Sean and his wife Deborah have three children: Chanel, Christian, and Aaron.

Greg Frescoln

Fred Hilton

Greg Frescoln is native of Iowa, having graduated from Iowa State University in 1985 with degrees in history and international studies. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1990 with a master’s degree in education and in 2000 graduated with a specialist degree in K–12 education.

Fred Hilton spent 36 years as the chief public relations officer/spokesman for James Madison University in Virginia and 10 years prior as a reporter and editor for The Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Va. He is now happily retired with his interior designer wife Leta, their Cadillac Escalade golf cart, and their dog Paris. (Yes, that makes her Paris Hilton).

Tova Kreps

Jennifer Siem

Tova Kreps is a licensed clinical social worker and the president of Wellspring Counseling, Inc. in Miami, Florida. She has been practicing as a therapist with families, couples, individuals, and children for the past 20 years. She is a qualified counseling supervisor in the state of Florida, is a certified practitioner of EMDR, and is a certified trauma specialist.

Jennifer Siem is the Adult Member and Wellness Services Director for the Hernando Branch of the YMCA of the Suncoast. She has been a resident of Hernando County for 30 years and has more than 10 years’ experience in the fitness industry with a business background. She is a certified Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer with recognition including Instructor of the Year 2007–2009. Jennifer works to motivate others to reach their full potential and strengthen the community through her focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Wendy Lyn Phillips

Ellen Wilcox

Wendy Lyn Phillips is a beauty and image expert with over 25 years of experience. She has coached thousands on the value of sales, communication, and a compelling presence. She is a speaker and author of the best-selling book, Naked to Knockout; Beauty from the Inside Out. Visit www.WendyLynOnline.com to find out more.

Ellen B. Wilcox is a graduate estate planning consultant. Educated at Gettysburg College, the University of Maryland, Paris, France, and Arizona State University, Ms. Wilcox brings more than 33 years of experience to her clients. She is president and CEO of Wilcox Wealth Management, a full-service financial advisory company. Ms. Wilcox may be reached at 352.259.1547.

www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com


PUBLISHER’S CORNER

Wendell Husebo publisher wendell@amazing-mediagroup.com Lanny Husebo president lanny@amazing-mediagroup.com Lynn Van Meter marketing representative lynn@amazing-mediagroup.com

Cathy Holland marketing representative cathy@amazing-mediagroup.com

Tanya Hinebaugh accounting tanya@amazing-mediagroup.com

Oh yes, it is here — December in Florida. This is the month we celebrate Christmas with sunshine, Snowbirds, traditional gift-giving, and the occasional suntan. Children don’t even think of “snow days” here. And the last time I lifted a snow shovel or ice scraper was … well … never, and I’d like to keep it that way. A Florida winter looks like a palm tree on a sandy beach. That fact, my Healthy Living friends, makes me a happy man. Speaking of happy... I thought of another way to be happy. That way is by giving to others. My own experience dictates that when we give, we give for the beneficiary’s sake. That’s a good thing. But who ends up the true beneficiary?

Think about what you could do for our community and for those in need. All said and done, you will be the one who enjoys it the most. Perhaps the giver is the true beneficiary. Studies have shown that giving can positively affect or heal a negative health condition, or simply just relieve our stress. Other studies have shown that simply thinking of giving stimulates our mesolimbic pathway, the reward center in the brain that is responsible for dopamine–mediated euphoria. But the best part of giving is the natural, happy feeling

we receive when we give of ourselves. In this issue, we have highlighted some of the national and local charities in our community. You will be inspired by their causes. The people behind these causes are giving every day. The work they do is tremendous and of great benefit to others. However, they only thrive when others join them. By learning about these charities, we hope you will also be inspired to donate to them. If you can afford to give some of your hard-earned dollars, please do so, but if you can’t, maybe you can afford something else. We here at Healthy Living magazine challenge you to give of one of your most valuable resources — time. Instead of doing some of the extra holiday activities this month, why not allocate fifty percent of that time to a local charity? Think about what you could do for our community and for those in need. All said and done, you will be the one who enjoys it the most. Let’s give our full attention this month to the simple act of giving. Please read the following pages and think about being a giver, not a Scrooge. Quick! Do it before you see the Ghost of Christmas Future! Stay healthy my friends,

www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com

Doug Akers president doug@akersmediagroup.com Kendra Akers vice president kendra@akersmediagroup.com Jim Gibson executive editor jim@akersmediagroup.com

Jamie Ezra Mark chief creative director jamie@akersmediagroup.com

Tiffany Roach managing editor tiffany@akersmediagroup.com

Steven J Codraro associate creative director steve@akersmediagroup.com

James Combs staff writer james@akersmediagroup.com

Cierra Chappell production manager cierra@akersmediagroup.com

Shemir Wiles copy editor/writer shemir@akersmediagroup.com

Josh Clark senior graphic designer josh@akersmediagroup.com

contributing writers Rick Bosshardt, M.D. Sean Cort Greg Frescoln Fred Hilton Tova Kreps Jennifer Siem Wendy Lyn Phillips Ellen Wilcox

Tina Morrison administrative assistant tina@akersmediagroup.com

Anthony Casto graphic designer anthony@akersmediagroup.com Caleb Wayne Jensen graphic designer caleb@akersmediagroup.com Fred Lopez chief photographer fred@akersmediagroup.com Heather Tootle office manager heather@akersmediagroup.com

Wendell Husebo + publisher

Comments or questions for our publisher? Please email wendell@naturecoasthealthyliving.com Our goal is to provide you with the best quality publication, so your feedback is vital.

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AKERS MANAGEMENT GROUP

Phone: 352.430.4004 | Fax: 352.787.5510 P.O. Box 491320 | Leesburg, FL 34749 www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com All contents are copyright © 2012 by Amazing Media Group, LLC. Any reproduction or use of content without written persmission is strictly prohibited under penalty of law. The contents of the Nature Coast Healthy Living Magazine are for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be an alternative to professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting a new diet or exercise program. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Akers Media Group.


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NATURE COAST

ADVISORY BOARD GEORGE G. ANGELIADIS, ESQ., is a graduate of South Texas College of Law and has been an attorney in Hernando County since 1996. He is a partner with The Hogan Law Firm and practices in the areas of local government law, civil litigation, criminal defense, construction litigation, and personal injury. Angeliadis was previously appointed by the governor to serve on the Fifth Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee and donates his time to many local boards and organizations. Visit www.hoganlawfirm.com for more information

SCOTT GRIFFIN is Florida born, raised, and educated,

ANNE BLACK is the community relations coordinator for HPH Hospice in Citrus County. She has 30 years experience as a health educator and community relations expert. Anne and her husband, Jerry, moved to Citrus County from St. Petersburg in 1989. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Inverness and Florida Public Relations Association. She is also on the board of the Senior Foundation of Citrus County and is chairman of the School Health Advisory Committee.

MICHAEL D. HEARD is a partner of the Silverthorn

BONNIE CLARK is currently Associate Provost on the

LANNY HUSEBO is president and CEO of Husebo Advertising and Public Relations. Founded in 1962, the company is celebrating its 50th year in business. Lanny specializes in marketing and building medical practices through the use of traditional and social media. He is married with six children and four grandchildren. His son, Wendell, has joined the family business with a focus on Internet marketing.

SONDRA LLOYD CRANFORD is the health education director for Central Florida Institute (CFI). She has more than 12 years of experience in medical and dental career training and 20 years of experience in the fitness and weight-loss industry. Sondra has a Master of Education from National Louis University, a Bachelor of Occupation Education and an associate degree in veterinarian technology.

NATALIE LEIBENSPERGER, D.O., FACOOG is board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Her practice, “My Gynecologist,” is located on County Line Road in Spring Hill. In addition to the treatment of women’s health issues and obstetrics, Dr. Leibensperger is an advocate for the diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence through medication or minimally invasive surgeries. mygyn.net.

PATRICIA CROWLEY, IOM has been a resident of Hernando County for 23 years. With more than 30 years experience in sales and business management, she joined the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce in the spring of 2000 and was promoted to president/ CEO in 2004. Patricia serves on the Oak Hill HospitalBoard of Directors, the Suncoast Trail Advisory Group, the Career Central Workforce Transition Committee, and is president elect of the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville.

KATIE LUCAS, public information officer for Nature

Spring Hill campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC). Prior to her appointment to the Spring Hill campus in November 2009, Bonnie held positions at PHCC as Dean of Arts and Sciences, Associate Dean, and Assistant Dean of Student Development. She has a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Gannon University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mercyhurst College. She is currently completing her doctoral studies at University of South Florida.

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and draws from over a decade of experience in design and marketing. He is a graduate of the International Academy of Design & Technology Tampa and is currently director of marketing at Monster Transmission. Scott is an award-winning designer who has designed and marketed everything from environmental identities to community campaigns and digital experiences.

Country Club, LLC; president of the Florida Blueberry Festival, Inc.; director/ president of the Brooksville Vision Foundation; and the assistant ambassador of commerce and employment for the city of Brooksville. Prior to moving to Brooksville in 2001, Michael owned and operated the Island Print Company in Sanibel Island and Jerry Heard Enterprises, Inc., an industrial product importing company. She also represented Gilligan O’Malley Sleepwear, Inc., in New York as a national account manager.

Coast EMS, has lived in Citrus County more than 21 years. She is an active member in the community, working with several business and charitable organizations. Her background includes marketing, sales, public relations and graphic design, and she has worked in radio, television, and newspaper. Her duties at Nature Coast include working with other county emergency responders, dispersing public information, community outreach, and speaking engagements.

N


KATIE MEHL is the public relations coordinator for

DENNIS WILFONG founded Innovative Technology, Inc. He received the 1988 Business of the Year Award, the 1989 Free Enterprise Award, the 1992 Businessperson of the Year Award, the 1996 Environmental Safety Award, the 1996 Business of the Year Award from the Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, and the 1996 Governor’s Award. Dr. Wilfong has assisted the development of business locally and has chaired the Business Development section of the Hernando County Summit. He serves on various advisory boards for the county.

MARY JO PAIGE is part of the marketing team at Oak Hill Hospital and has more than 20 years experience in the advertising agency business working for Young and Rubicam, Bozell Worldwide and ultimately becoming a principal in Ellis and Paige Advertising in Tampa. She has a Master of Science in advertising from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science in business administration. She is a graduate of Leadership Hernando and Leadership Tampa Bay.

LYNN VAN METER is the owner and CEO of Fiddlehead Marketing Advertising Public Relations, located in Spring Hill. She holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in public relations. In addition to meeting the needs of her clients, Lynn is actively involved in several non-profit groups, which include the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of directors for the Florida Blueberry Festival and the Life Center.

JOANIE POCHIS is a registered nurse at Seven Rivers

VINCE VANNI has devoted more than 35 years to creatively marketing a variety of products, programs, and organizations. He has a reputation for creativity, efficiency, and above all, effectiveness. He enjoys a lucrative practice and is consultant to some of this area’s leading businesses, medical practices, and public officials. In 2005, Vince was the recipient of the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award and Chamber Service Award.

SAM SHRIEVES is the marketing president of

JOSH WOOTEN, a Florida native, has called Citrus

Citrus Memorial Health System. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in mass communications from the University of Central Florida. She is a member of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) and is acting president-elect for the Nature Coast Chapter of FPRA.

Regional Medical Center and a longtime resident of Citrus County. Joanie has more than 11 years experience in healthcare and currently serves as a member of the Quality/ Risk Services team and manages the Employee Health, Worker’s Compensation and Infection Prevention programs at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center. As a resident of the Nature Coast community, her enthusiasm and commitment is to promote excellence in healthcare for Citrus County.

Capital City Bank for Hernando/Pasco. He started his banking career in Hernando County in 1978. Sam attended Pasco-Hernando Community College, graduated from the University of Florida School of Banking in 1986 and from the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University in 1991. He serves on the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Hernando County, Oak Hill Hospital Community Advisory Council, and the Hernando County Education Foundation.

County home for more than 25 years. He became president/ CEO of the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce in March 2009. He served as county commissioner from 2000–04 and was a founder of Keep Citrus Beautiful. He served on the Citrus Memorial Health System Advisory Board and the Citrus County Stakeholder’s Advisory Group. As Chamber president, he is actively involved with the Citrus County Economic Development Council on a daily basis.

JENNIFER SIEM is the adult member services and wellness director for the Hernando branch of the YMCA of the Suncoast. Jennifer is a wife and mother of three teenagers, as well as a certified personal trainer, cycling instructor, and group fitness instructor. Motivating others to lead healthier lives is the fuel that drives her passion for health and wellness.

NATURE COAST Our board is made up of a unique cross-section of business professionals who offer an exclusive blend of diverse viewpoints. Their distinct perspectives allow us to attain a clear picture of how to best serve the residents of Citrus and Hernando counties. Their input helps us create the best magazine possible — a custom fit — just for you and your health needs.

www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com

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COMMUNITY MATTERS

NEW APPOINTMENT

PR Greatness!

The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) recently named Katie Mehl to its FRPA Rising Leader Class of 2012. The class consists of seven public relations professionals throughout the state. Mehl is the current president-elect for FPRA’s Nature Coast Chapter and the public relations coordinator of Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness. In addition, Mehl, who earned a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Central Florida, is an advisory board member of Nature Coast Healthy Living magazine. Members of the FPRA Rising Leader Class are eligible to win the Joe Curley Rising Leader Award, which honors up-and-coming individual FPRA members for demonstrating leadership traits along with dedicated, active involvement in FPRA activities, programs, functions, and events.

Making the GrAde Chastity Bishop satisfactorily completed all requirements for certification as a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA). Her certification was administered by the National Center for Competency Testing. Bishop serves as medical assistant and office manager to Mohammed Mohiuddin, M.D., whose practice is located in Spring Hill. The practice is part of Access Healthcare, LLC, a multiservice medical practice consisting of more than 95 healthcare providers and encompassing 50 locations throughout Florida.

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Robin Schneider has been appointed as marketing coordinator of Medical Center of Trinity. She enters her new role with more than 12 years experience in healthcare marketing, including a previous Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) hospital. Her responsibilities include managing social media and web initiatives as well as hospital special events and programs. “I am very excited to be able to work with Medical Center of Trinity’s exclusive programs such as Spirit of Women and also promoting health and wellness to our community,” she says. “It was wonderful to work for an organization that supports and recognizes the value of education and volunteering in our community.” Schneider currently serves as president of Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central and served on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society.

To the

point

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point earned the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline “Bronze Quality Achievement Award.” The award recognizes Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) patients. “Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is dedicated to world class cardiac care, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Shayne George, CEO. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.” Hospitals that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement Award have demonstrated for 90 consecutive days that at least 85 percent of eligible STEMI patients (without contraindications) are treated within specific time frames upon entering the hospital and discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.


HEALTHGRADES RECOGNIZES

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Year-End Giving Opportunity I would like to be an inspiration and make a positive difference in my community. My donation in the amount of $_________ is enclosed. Please bill my credit card for the amount of $_________________

VISA

MC

AMEX

DISCOVER

Card#_________________________________________ Exp. Date_____________ Signature______________________________________

Address_______________________________________City_____________________

State________________ Zip Code_____________Phone_________________________ Email_____________________________________

Thank you for making a positive difference. No gift is too small or too large. All gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowable by the law.

Please make check payable to Citrus Memorial Health System. Mail form to: Citrus Memorial Health System, Attn: Philanthropy Department. 502 W. Highland Blvd., Inverness, FL 34452 “A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATIONAND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISON OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY (REGISTRATION NUMBER CH17081) ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”


COMMUNITY MATTERS

Higher Education Ralph Taylor, assistant chief nursing officer of Oak Hill Hospital, received his master’s degree in healthcare administration from Walden University. Previously, he earned a Master of Science degree in nursing with a concentration in leadership and management. Because of his academic achievements, he can now use the credentials MHA (Master of Healthcare Administration), MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), and RN (registered nurse). Taylor was appointed to assistant chief nursing officer in January 2012. He came to Oak Hill Hospital from a Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) sister facility, Englewood Hospital, where he served as director of surgical services.

Taking the

fight to cancer

Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute (FCS) held groundbreaking ceremonies on the site of a new FCS cancer center, located on County Line Road near Spring Hill Regional Hospital. The $1 million facility is scheduled to open in December 2012. “This new location, coupled with the growth of our practice in Hernando County, is indicative of our commitment to set a new standard in cancer treatment and to demonstrate the true power of what community oncology can be,” says CEO Brad Prechtl. In January 2012, Florida Cancer Specialists merged with Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope, whose physicians have served Hernando County since the late 1980s. The merger has provided more comprehensive treatment for patients, including services in medical oncology, therapeutic radiation, and diagnostic radiology. 18 |

www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com

A happy pill to swallow

Duane Ashe, Pharm.D., has been promoted to clinical coordinator of Oak Hill Hospital. Dr. Ashe has been employed at the hospital since December 2009 and has been extremely involved in clinical pharmacy initiatives. That includes playing an instrumental role in guiding the antimicrobial stewardship program and working with key physicians in utilization of the program. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 2003.

SHOW SOME SUPPORT

The Citrus Memorial Diabetes Support Group provides diabetic patients, family members, and caregivers with an opportunity for sharing and learning valuable information to effectively manage diabetes. The group hosts a variety of guest speakers throughout the year, including dietitians, pharmacists, and physicians. A support group such as this is invaluable, especially considering that diabetes is one of the fastest-growing diseases in the United States and is a precursor to many other diseases. The meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month and are open to the public. An RSVP is necessary because refreshments are served. For more information, call 352.344.6568.


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HEALTHY BUSINESS

Our communities’ health A collection of framed adages and contemporary proverbs hangs on my office wall. The earliest contributions can be traced back to the sage advice of Grandma Ahlgrain. Although never formally educated, she was a master communicator. She shared wisdom by repeating adages passed on to instruct her grandchildren. George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, must have known my Grandma Ahlgrain, too. In one of the most memorable lines from the movie trilogy, Yoda admonishes Luke Skywalker by saying, “There is no try, only do.” A lesson straight out of Grandma’s rule book! Indeed, the desire to accomplish something is distinctly different, and even inconsequential, from the end result. There are many permutations of this wisdom. What we say is different from what we do. What we believe is diminished if not supported by how we act. Students do not get grades for trying, only for achieving proficiency — at least that’s how it used to be. The contrast between trying and doing or saying and acting can shed light on a community’s well-being and its prognosis for continued or improved health. There are two important questions we must explore: What do WE want to accomplish as a community and what are YOU willing to do about it? In Citrus and Hernando counties, many groups are focused on the important work of helping their fellow citizens through community services. Our local governments have strategic planning processes and monthly hearings that create a collective vision for our community based on the contributions of the individual citizens and the representatives they elect. Private efforts, chiefly through the collective efforts of individuals supporting not-for-profits, also carry a heavy load when it comes to community service. The common thread in this tapestry — you. In November of last year, Citrus and Hernando counties gave a strong indication of the health of our community when it went to the polls. 20 |

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Voting is a very important indicator that illustrates whether our neighbors are engaged in the important conversations that affect our lives. We can compare the registration and voting behaviors of similar counties to get some sense of civic engagement; in other words, the willingness to “do.” Based on population similarities, Indian River and Okaloosa counties were selected for comparison to Citrus and Hernando counties, respectively. The number of registered voters from among the 18 and older population was estimated to determine the “civic interest score” for each county. We can see below that Citrus County scores slightly higher than Indian River County but well below Hernando County. Hernando County also exhibits much higher civic potential than does Okaloosa County.

CIVIC INTEREST SCORE Citrus: 80.8 Indian River: 79.9 Hernando: 87.4 Okaloosa: 75.6 Since we know the numbers of citizens who indicated — or “said” — voting is important by taking the important step of registering, we can learn something by looking at actual voter turnout. Loosely put, this is what my grandmother may have called the percentage of “sayers not doers.” Below we see that Citrus County is considerably more action oriented than neighboring Hernando County but slightly less so than Indian River County. Hernando County also proves to be less apt to act than Okaloosa County.

SAYERS NOT DOERS Citrus County: 25.5% Indian River County: 24% Hernando County: 32.3% Okaloosa County: 26.7%

It would be fair to say the connection I’m making between voting and other civic engagement behaviors is hardly scientific. Nonetheless, we learn a lot about ourselves when we dig deeper into the connection between intention and action. Voting isn’t the only indicator we have of individual commitment to our communities. We can also look at philanthropic giving. We can say charity is important, but putting our money where our mouth is tells the real story. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Citrus County ranks 677th out of 3,115 counties nationwide in charitable giving with a median annual household contribution of $2,430, or 4.4 percent of annual income. Hernando County falls closely behind at the 681st position and a median annual household contribution of $1,928, or 3.8 percent of income. Again, we can compare this performance to Indian River and Okaloosa counties to see a considerable difference among similar counties. Indian River County, presented here as mirroring Citrus County’s population, ranked as far more giving at the 217th spot nationally with a median annual giving rate of $3,084, or 4.6 percent of income. Okaloosa County outperformed Hernando County as well with a median gift of $3,415, or 5.6 percent of income. A glance at data gives much needed context to determine a prognosis for our communities’ ability to navigate the uncertain economic future ahead. Heeding the words of my Grandma Ahlgrain, the resulting success of our collective efforts falls squarely on the shoulders of each and every citizen. What you say you want for Citrus and Hernando counties becomes far more meaningful when you are willing to act on it. For the future of Florida,

Dale A. Brill, Ph.D.

President, Florida Chamber Foundation


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MEDICAL MYSTERIES

Do carrots help me see better at night? PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ANTHONY CASTO

I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE to see very well at night. For that matter, I’ve never been able to see very well in the daytime either. I’ve worn glasses since the second grade and am pretty much legally blind without them. When I was taking my physical for the military, the eye examiner projected the traditional eye chart on the wall and asked me to read the lowest line I could. I told him I knew there was a big “E” on the top line, but I really couldn’t see it. He then projected a picture of an enormous black dot that covered more than half the wall. He asked, “Can you see the huge black dot?” “Yes,” I answered. “Congratulations,” he said, “you just passed the eye exam.” Maybe I should have eaten more carrots. Remember, as kids we were all told that eating carrots could make you see better —

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particularly at night? Sadly, the story about carrots and good sight falls by the wayside like so many delightful stories we heard as kids. The ultimate buzz-buster for folklore, Snopes.com, says flatly: “While carrots are a good source of vitamin A (which is important for healthy eyesight, skin, growth, and resisting infection), eating them won’t improve vision.” Patty Vision Centers agrees: “Ingesting large doses (of vitamin A) will not give you superhuman vision or allow you to get rid of your glasses.” The Aussies tested the carrots-helpyour-vision theory. In an experiment under the auspice of the University of New South Wales, Dr. Andrew Rochford ate more than thirty pounds of carrots over ten days. His eyes were tested before and after the carrot binge. There was no change in his vision.

The origin of the carrot myth is more fun than debunking it. In World War II, the British government wanted to increase the amount of domestically-grown food, and the military wanted to hide the new invention, radar, from the Nazis. The story was spread that eating carrots helped the RAF pilots see at night and dominate the German pilots. According to the World Carrot Museum (yes, there is such a thing), the idea took off. The Brits began growing more carrots (and other vegetables), and the Nazis were fooled. A few diehards, like The Sun in England, still cling to the old saw that eating enormous amount of carrots helps you see at night. Another believer is the noted American hunter Elmer Fudd, who has never had any nocturnal success at catching that carrot-munching “wascaly wabbit,” Bugs Bunny.

SOURCES: Snopes.com, “24 Carrot Eyesight”;http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/carrots.asp: Health & Wellbeing, “Can Eating Carrots Help You to See in the Dark?; http://health.ninemsn.com.au/whatsgoodforyou/theshow/694318/can-eatingcarrots-help-you-to-see-in-the-dark: World Carrot Museum, “Carrot History – Carrots in World War II”; http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history4.html: Natural News, “Carrots Really Do Help You See in the Dark”; http://www.naturalnews.com/020364. html: Patty Vision Centers, “Carrots Help You See at Night” http://www.pattyvisioncenters.com/index.php/myth_busters/myth/carrots_help_you_see_at night (Accessed July 3, 2012)

WRITTEN BY FRED HILTON.


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S’MOTHERHOOD

MVP FOR MANY FAMILIES, the holidays mean travel. And because neither the United States Postal Service, UPS, nor FedEx allow children to be boxed and sent to Grandma’s — even in boxes marked Fragile and not even with plenty of air holes punched in (okay, so I may have checked into it) — traveling can mean air travel. Flying with children is sort of like the Super Bowl for me. I train for our travel all year as I run my tiny team through the drills — taking shoes on and off for security, walking in formation while pulling suitcases, using the public restroom, and not playing in the feminine hygiene waste receptacle. As I enter the airport for the Big Game, I can feel my heart rate pick up and the adrenaline start flowing. Now, because my husband is a professional air traveler (also known as a pilot), for him traveling as a family during the holidays is an entirely different process. His usual experience with travel involves a small-wheeled bag and a cup of Starbucks. As he walks briskly to his gate in uniform, travelers eye him with admiration and importance. He gives professional, knowing nods to other passing pilots. And when he finishes his flying responsibilities, he wheels his bag out to the curb and is met by pre-arranged transportation, which will drop him at his hotel where he will kick up his feet and order room service. As I watch the man in jeans with a sixty-pound diaper bag, four car seats strapped to his body, and a look of terror in his eye, I realize traveling as a family is a whole different game for my husband and is pretty much equivalent to telling Peyton Manning 24 |

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he will be playing middle linebacker in the Super Bowl, and oh, by the way, he will play with four OompaLoompas strapped to his back. Needless to say, three escalators, two trams, one airport security line, thirteen bags of salty snacks, eight cups of apple juice, six trips to the airplane lavatory, five states, and zero cups of Starbucks later, my husband was certainly out of his traveling element. It’s also why when we found ourselves at baggage claim with four (very) hyper children under the age of four, one stroller, six suitcases, two backpacks, and four car seats we realized we had a problem. With all of my team drills and Big Game preparation, I had not prepared a game plan for exactly how we would maneuver all our children and gear to the rental car pick-up three miles down the road — and neither had my husband, who is accustomed to a life of luxury travel. We were left standing in the middle of the now empty baggage claim terminal with our mountain of family and stuff. The children were running around like the cracked-out lollipop guild. “How the heck are we going to get the rental car?” my husband asked. He appeared a little stressed. I was a little taken aback that he was deferring to me for “travel advice” as he was the professional. I thought through our options and brightened when I saw a pushcart kiosk over his shoulder. “Well, we could get a pushcart and load it up and push our stuff out to the curb. I’ll wait with the kids and our stuff while you go get the car and bring it around.” It was a brilliant idea

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK

WRITTEN BY TIFFANY ROACH

“As I watch the man in jeans with a sixty-pound diaper bag, four car seats strapped to his body and a look of terror in his eye, I realize traveling as a family is a whole different game for my husband…”


prised he was deferring to my judgment. Again, I was surprised at the lapse in his problem-solving skills. Mostly, I was surprised in this infrequent reversal of roles where I was the one operating as the rational adult. “Well, maybe we could try the card again?” I asked sweetly. “What! I don’t want to pay eight dollars!” he said, his voice raising an octave. I just stared at him. After a moment, he turned on his heel, huffed back to the cart kiosk, and returned with a pushcart and a look of irritation that ensured I kept my thoughts on the whole ordeal to myself. We packed up the pushcart and wheeled our caravan out to the curb. My husband rode the shuttle over and picked up our rental van while I kept the children from playing human Frogger in the traffic loading lanes. As I thought about the whole baggage claim ordeal, I wondered if I should be concerned that my husband was the type who would hesitate to shell out four, or even eight, dollars for the sake of our family. But when he pulled up in a minivan, installed four car seats and children, and loaded all our bags, I noticed his look of despondence was replaced with a look of triumph, and I knew he had paid a much greater price in pride and effort in the Big Game of family air travel. “You look happier now,” I commented as we drove our team away from the airport. “Yeah, I was able to call the kiosk company and get my four dollars refunded,” he said with the kind of grin I’d expect to see on the quarterback’s face after winning the Super Bowl. ILLUSTRATION © SHUTTERSTOCK

and in my mind, I gave myself a gold star sticker for thinking of it. I watched my husband consider the plan, and he walked over to the cart kiosk. He promptly returned without a cart and stood in front of me with a blank look on his face. “Well?” I asked, wondering why he had not returned with a cart. “We can’t get a cart,” he said looking more than a little harried. “Why not?” I asked, thinking maybe the cart kiosk was broken. “It costs four dollars,” he said matter-of-factly. I stared at him dumbfounded and wondered if he had suffered brain damage when he hit his head on the overhead compartment. “Okay …” I found myself speaking in an unfamiliar voice that was slow and rational. “The way I see it, we have two options: We can pay the four dollars and get a cart to move our stuff, or we can live here at baggage claim forever.” And then I watched as my husband stood in front of me and actually considered whether or not living in baggage claim forever was worth four dollars. During that time, I assessed our options since there was apparently a very good possibility we would, in fact, live in baggage claim forever. We could get food from the vending machines; we could each sleep on a rental car counter; there were bathrooms with plenty of feminine hygiene waste receptacles to keep the children occupied. It could work, I thought to myself. Finally, after a long period of deliberation, my husband turned and went to retrieve a pushcart. Relieved that it appeared we would not be living in baggage claim, I grabbed my toddler off the luggage conveyer belt just before she passed through the plastic streamers of the exit. My husband walked back up without a pushcart. By this point the bewilderment on my face asked the question. “I put in my credit card, and it didn’t dispense a pushcart,” was his explanation. And then he asked me what we should do. Again, I was sur-

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Child And a little

shall lead them WRITER: SHEMIR WILES

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Human suffering knows no boundaries.

Race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age… none of these matters when it comes to lack or illness or loneliness. But there is something about the anguish of a child that touches us like no other suffering. It is the innocence of the heart of a child... the child who has done no harm, uttered no ill word, harbored no grudge, or taken anything from the world who captures our heart when we witness their needless pain. It is all the children of the world, deserving of the chance to dream, to wish for all the beauty life has to offer, and yet finds none of that who reaches into the depth of us — and we hear that child’s cries, and we answer. Here are just a few of the places where you can give your time and money to help children in need.

Ronald McDonald House Nothing pains parents more than when their child falls ill with something over-the-counter medicine and a good night’s rest can’t fix. Sometimes the sickness requires families to travel for the best care possible, but between planning time-off, meeting with doctors, and battling stress, finding an affordable home away from home may fall by the wayside. That’s why Ronald McDonald House has been a trusted source of comfort and compassion for families worldwide for more than 38 years. As a recognized nonprofit that believes no children should receive medical treatment without their parents at their side, Ronald McDonald House provides housing at little or no cost to families so they can stay close to their hospitalized child. With one less thing to worry about, parents can focus on what’s most important: their child’s care. For more information on Ronald McDonald House, visit www.rmhc.org or call 630.623.7048.

Make-a-Wish Foundation In time of struggle and strife, the Make-a-Wish Foundation

makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening conditions. Founded in 1980 after a little boy realized his sincere wish to become a police officer, this recognized organization has granted more than 200,000 wishes to children across the world. Whether it’s an all-expensespaid trip to Disney World or meeting a famous athlete, Make-a-Wish makes sure children who may not have a cure for their illness still have something positive to look forward to. “Wishes” come from medical providers, families, and the children themselves. After confirming medical eligibility, the volunteers work tirelessly to give each child an experience that rekindles hope, joy, and most of all, faith. To learn more about the Make-a-Wish Foundation, visit www.wish.org or call 866.880.1382.

Toys for Tots The smile on the face of a child on Christmas morning is priceless, but for many less fortunate children, experiencing the joys of the holiday season may seem like an unlikely dream. Since 1947, Toys for Tots has worked to bring Christmas delight to every child in need by

collecting new, unwrapped toys and distributing them as Christmas gifts in communities where campaigns are organized. Instilling a message of hope, Toys for Tots has distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million needy children, a feat that has repeatedly garnered vast recognition for the organization that tries to make sure every disadvantaged child’s Christmas is a heartwarming experience. To participate in the Toys for Tots campaign for Lake County, call coordinator Dennis Faillo at 352.259.1563 for more information.

of Love provides high-quality, human hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada. These hairpieces not only restore self-esteem but help enable children with hair loss to face the world with their heads full of hair held high. If your hair is ten inches or longer, and you are interested in giving away some of your lengthy mane, visit www.locksoflove.org for a list of guidelines and instructions on how to donate.

Locks of Love

This special group, Canines for Disabled Kids (CDK), offers service dogs for children suffering from autism, hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and disabled children in the classroom. CDK was created in 1998 as an arm of the Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans program. CDK trains dogs to assist children in the normal activities of day-to-day living in an effort to enhance their quality of life. Initially the program trained dogs to work with the assistance of a parent but has recently discovered ways to train the dogs to work specifically with the child in need.

Hair. Whether it’s flowing down the middle of your back or cropped perfectly to frame your face, hair is part of our individuality, and when a medical condition strips us of that identity, it can be hard to cope. But imagine if you’re 6-years-old and an illness takes away your ability to wear your hair in ponytails on class picture day or brush your bangs before leaving for school in the morning. It can crush a child’s self-confidence and strip him or her of normalcy. To restore a sense of self to children suffering from longterm medical hair loss, Locks

Canines for Disabled Kids

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child, call their 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-8435678). Team HOPE is a volunteer peer-network of persons with family members who have been or are currently victims of abductions. Team HOPE offers volunteer support opportunities for those seeking to help others suffering the same fate. For Team HOPE volunteer information, call 866.305.4673.

National Center for Missing and of Dimes Exploited Children March The March of Dimes was

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was created in 1984, following a rash of child abductions, sexual assaults, and murders. The program provides information concerning missing and sexually exploited children to law enforcement and private agencies, parents, and the public. Due to this program’s efforts, more missing children are found safe following abductions and more is being done today to protect children than at any time in the nation’s history. The program, which began under President Ronald Reagan, now includes nineteen different Congressional mandates. Law enforcement is better trained, better prepared, and responds more swiftly and effectively than ever before to child exploitation cases, and parents are more alert and aware to possible dangers. Yet still, more than 2,000 children go missing every day. An estimated 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before age 18. Yet, only 1 in 3 will tell anyone. If you have information concerning a missing or exploited

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created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 to help fund research for a cure for polio. Through the success of that research, polio, which during this time period was one of the most dreaded diseases on Earth, went from several hundred thousand cases diagnosed per to year to less than one thousand today. Because the development of the polio vaccine has helped to greatly control the disease, the focus of the March of Dimes has shifted to that of improving the health of mothers and babies. The primary focus today is on preventing premature birth, birth defects, and promoting healthy pregnancies. Local and national organizations work to make sure children start life with the best possible health. Utilizing educational programs and fundraising events, these organizations create awareness, raise funds, and seek answers to the medical problems facing women and children today. For more information on volunteering or making a donation, call 914.997.4488 or visit www. marchofdimes.com.

It’s easier to build

CDK members visit schools, civic and religious groups, and businesses nationwide to create awareness of their program and to help educate the public concerning the need for service dogs for disabled children. For more information, call 978.422.5299 or visit www. caninesforkids.org where you can make donations online.

strong children than to repair broken men. — Frederick Douglass

Operation Heart F.E.L.T

When children have access to nutritious food, they not only stay healthier, but they also perform better in school. As the number of homeless children rise, Operation Heart F.E.L.T strives to “feed the empty little tummies” of Hernando County by providing backpacks filled with healthy meals to students and their siblings on weekends, holidays, and extended school breaks. With no overhead, 100 percent of all food and monetary donations go to feed the children, and those who volunteer with this charitable cause are able contribute to the physical and intellectual development of disadvantaged youth by shopping for food and packing and delivering the backpacks. To learn more, call 352.754.5463 or visit www. operationheartfelt.org.

Filter Youth Development

Crime prevention starts early with giving at-risk children the tools they need to thrive and become productive citizens. Believing that it truly takes a village to raise a child, Filter Youth Development gives the troubled youth of Citrus County the chance to develop good behavior and social skills. Anyone who participates in Filter will have the opportunity to participate in the National Youth Project Using Minibikes (NYPUM), a program that combines the enticement of riding minibikes with learning time management and healthy relationship development. For more information on the Filter Youth Development program, call 352.228.0914 or go to www.filteryouth.org.


the

A comprehensive list of area charities and nonprofit associations to help guide your healthy giving. COMPILED BY SHEMIR WILES AND TINA MORRISON

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CITRUS COUNTY Annie W. Johnson Senior & Family Service Center

A nonprofit organization that offers access to basic services such as a food pantry, utility assistance, rental/housing assistance, prescription assistance, clothing vouchers, and more. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Always looking for volunteers to assist in their food pantry and provide meals to the homeless and underprivileged families. CONTACT

Larry Cooper, Executive Director 1991 W. Test Court Dunnellon, FL 34430 352.489.8021 www.anniewjohnsonseniorfamilycenter.com

Blind Americans

A full-service agency that provides rehabilitation opportunities and vocational and social services for the blind and visually impaired. Founded in 1990, this organization assists in providing instruction in any area on an “as-requested” basis, such as help with mobility skills and independent living. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Blind Americans can always use volunteer instructors to teach various programs such as woodwork, Braille, arts and crafts, wicker, and much more. There is always a need for volunteer office and maintenance workers. CONTACT

Bob Krokker, President 6055 N. Carl G Rose Hwy. (S.R. 200) Hernando, FL 34442 352.637.1739 www.blindamericansinc.org

Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Pinellas County

Serving Citrus, Hernando, and Pinellas counties, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County’s mission is to provide children facing adversity with enduring, professionally supported one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Be a Big Brother or a Big Sister to a child in need of a mentor. Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. CONTACT

Susan Rolston, Chief Executive Officer

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701 White Blvd., Suite A Inverness, FL 34453 352.344.0400 SusanR@bbbspc.org www.bbbspc.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of Citrus County

The Clubs serve thousands of at-risk children by presenting a safe, positive, structured environment with programs that promote academic, emotional, physical, and social development. Through before- and after-school programs and full-day camps during school holidays and summer months, they offer daily access to a broad range of programs in five core program areas: Education and Career Development; Character and Leadership Development; Health and Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness, and Recreation. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Boys & Girls Clubs need volunteers for mentoring, tutoring, helping with afterschool activities, and teaching sports CONTACT

Terriann Stewart, Executive Director Boys & Girls Clubs of Citrus County P.O. Box 907 Lecanto, FL 34460 352.621.9225 www.citrusbgc.com

Citrus Abuse Shelter Association (CASA)

A domestic violence center that provides outreach and shelter services in Citrus County. Their goal is to help victims and survivors of domestic violence by providing housing, safety, intervention, and education, and to educate the community for social change. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can help with office work, fundraising, childcare, and maintenance. They can also teach arts and crafts and life skills such as budgeting and cooking, collect and organize donations, and help students with homework and school projects. CONTACT

Diana Finegan, Executive Director 352.344.8111 www.casafl.org

Citrus County Family Resource Center

A nonprofit center that offers resources for people in need such as support groups for parents, parent education classes on behavior management and communica-

tion, a lending library with materials about parenting, clothing and toy exchange, and much more.

Citrus Memorial Health System – Philanthropy

An organization specializing in food recovery and feeding hungry children on the weekends through their Blessings in a Backpack program. The Blessings program is in nine schools throughout Citrus County and serves more than 900 local children.

Citrus Memorial is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization serving the 140,000 residents of Citrus County. This year, CMHS has helped over 40,000 residents in Emergency Department visits and is home to Citrus County’s only comprehensive Heart & Vascular Center. Citrus Memorial is ranked through HealthGrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery and General Surgery. Donations have provided the hospital with the county’s only Pediatric Unit and funds for a soon-to-be-built Family Care Health & Education Center. Residents are encouraged to leave a Healthcare Legacy in their will. Citrus Memorial closed out a will this year that provides a quarter million dollars to offset expenses for families dealing with pediatric cancer.

MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

CONTACT

Proceeds from a 10K and 5K run on February 23rd will benefit the Blessings in a Backpack charity run by Citrus County Harvest.

Chris Pool, Director of Marketing & Philanthropy Citrus Memorial Health Foundation, Inc. 502 West Highland Boulevard Inverness, FL 34452 352-344-6560 www.cmhfoundation.com

MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Their yearly “Sponsor a Child for Christmas Project” provides gifts to children who are in need and under the protection of the state. CONTACT

Ginger West, Executive Director 2435 N. Florida Avenue Hernando, FL 34442 352.344.1001 admin@ccfrc.org www.ccfrc.org

Citrus County Harvest

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are always needed at Citrus County Blessings to assemble backpacks, make food deliveries and assistance during fundraisers with things such as registration. CONTACT

Debbie Latten 352.341.7707 info@citruscountyblessings.com www.citruscountyblessings.com

Citrus Hearing Impaired Program Services

Citrus United Basket (CUB) A nonprofit United Way organization that offers food, financial, and material assistance in emergency cases to the citizens of Citrus County. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Annual boat raffle with all proceeds going to Citrus United Basket .

A nonprofit United Way agency servicing deaf and hard of hearing individuals with a variety of services including interpreting, advocacy, information, referrals, sign language classes, and more.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Deborah Rossfeld 103 N. Mill Avenue Inverness, FL 34450 352.344.2242 cubexecdirector@embarqmail.com www.citrusunitedbasketonline.org

They are looking for support leaders that can help with developing fundraising events. Also, volunteers can help spread the word in schools and at youth organizations about Risky Ears, a program designed to educate children on hearing wellness. CONTACT

Maureen Tambasco, Executive Director 109 N.E. Crystal Street, Suite B Crystal River, FL 34428 352.795.5000 chips2@centurylink.net www.citrushearingimpaired.org

CUB has many opportunities for volunteers in the thrift shop, food pantry, and assisting with office duties. CONTACT

Covenant Children’s Home (CCH)

A safe, Christ-centered refuge for nondelinquent, school-age children who are in need of long-term shelter and a place to call home. The home is a professionally run operation responsive to the individual needs of each child in the residence by providing a continuum of care including physical,


Charity register

the

emotional, and spiritual nurturing. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Proceeds from a 5K run that will be held in February benefit CCH. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can help in many areas including, but not limited to, grounds maintenance, office work, assisting with the annual banquet, representing CCH at public events, and various aspects of fundraising. Volunteers can also act as relief house parents and tutors but must be screened, trained, and meet certain requirements. CONTACT

Pastor Martin Hoffman, Executive Director 11350 N. Covenant Path Suite 100 Dunnellon, FL 34434 352.489.2565 www.cchfl.org

Daystar Life Center

The Center offers a number of services such as food assistance, financial help, and clothing to needy people and families in Citrus County. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Daystar has many positions for volunteers from one to five days a week. Volunteers can interview clients to meet their needs or be a receptionist, data input technician, kitchen assistant, or delivery worker. In the thrift store, volunteers can sort donated items, stock shelves and clothes racks, assist customers, or learn to be a cashier. Volunteers are also used to maintain furniture and larger items located in the sheds or help customers with donated or bought goods. CONTACT

Denise Kennard, Executive Director 6751 W. Gulf to Lake Highway Crystal River, FL 34429 352.795.8668 Daystarlife1@tampabay.rr.com

Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast

A nonprofit agency focused on providing early childhood education. In addition, it is responsible for providing child care subsidy for children 6-12 years of age whose low income parents are working to become selfsufficient and who participate in the Child Care Executive Partnership Program (CCEP), an innovative public-private partnership that helps employers meet the child care needs of employees by expanding child care subsidies for low-income families. CONTACT

Sonya Bosanko, Executive Director 1564 N. Meadowcrest Blvd.

Crystal River, FL 34429 352.563.9939 sbosanko@elc-naturecoast.org www.elc-naturecoast.org

Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

A nonprofit citizen support corporation that supports the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park through membership and fundraising. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

The Celebration of Lights, which runs December 19-24. Donations are suggested for this event. Proceeds go directly to Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are more than 200 volunteers at the park. They help in all departments including administration, transportation, wildlife, maintenance and concessions. CONTACT

Susan Strawbridge 4150 U.S. 19 Homosassa, FL 34446 352.628.5343 www.friendshswp.org

Friends of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex

A proponent group that works to conserve and protect the fish and wildlife of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex, promote awareness and appreciation for conservation for the complex, and engage in education, scientific and civic activities to assist the refuges. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can join a committee and offer their time and skills to help with education and outreach, manatee watch, gift shop, public relations, special projects, and more. CONTACT

1502 S.E. Kings Bay Dr. Crystal River, FL 34429 352.563.2088 ext. 215 www.friendsofchazz.org

Friends of the Citrus County Library System (FOCCLS)

In 2001, three Friends of the Library groups (from Central Ridge, Coastal Region, and Lakes Region libraries) joined together to form this nonprofit organization that raises funds for the three libraries and the Citrus County Library System. Located at the Historic Hernando School, the group manages the Book House, where donated books are sorted, priced, and packed for its semiannual

book sales. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Revenue from the semiannual book sales assists county libraries and the library system in the purchase of new materials and services, which would not otherwise be possible in these budget-constrained times.

www.friendsofccas.org

Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County

A nonprofit, Christian housing organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing by building decent homes for families in need.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Volunteers must enjoy working with people and books and like to make lasting friendships and have fun. Individual membership in each Friends group is just $5 per year (other levels available).

Utilizes alternative fundraising

CONTACT

www.foccls.org

Friends of the Crystal River State Parks

A local citizen support group that works to preserve, raise funds, and promote awareness of the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historical State Park, and the Crystal River Preserve State Park. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Several openings include: museum guide and gift shop staff, visitor center docent and receptionist, general office support, a master certified captain for passenger river boat tours, a mate on the river boat as an interpreter on the upper river tours, maintenance assistant, publicity, and membership.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can help build a Habitat home, sort donations, stock shelves, or work the register at the home goods and building materials resale store, and help with office tasks and mailings, special events, or educational programs and family mentoring. Youth volunteers can help with plantings on a new home or yard clean-up on an older house. CONTACT

7800 W. Gulf to Lake Highway Crystal River, FL 34429 352.563.2744 hfhcc@earthlink.net www.habitatcc.org

Home at Last Pet Adoptions A small, all-volunteer charitable group devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and “rehoming� of homeless animals, mostly cats. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers foster and adopt out of their own homes.

CONTACT

CONTACT

3266 N. Sailboat Avenue Crystal River, FL 34428 352.563.0450 www.crystalriverstateparks.org

P.O. Box 4533 Homosassa, FL 34447 352.476.7444/352.476.6832 halpetadoptions@yahoo.com www.homeatlastpetadoptions.org

Friends of Citrus County Animal Services

A volunteer organization formed in 2010 to assist the Citrus County animal shelter in placing dogs and cats into permanent, loving homes and providing for medical care beyond the scope of shelter medicine. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There is always a need for volunteers who are willing to bathe, brush, and fulfill the most basic grooming requirements for the animals in the shelter. Also, volunteers have the opportunity to provide a continuity of socialization for the animals until their placement in a forever home. Dog walking is also essential to the emotional well-being of the dogs. CONTACT

P.O. Box 641 Inverness, FL 34451 352.201.8664 info@friendsofccas.com

Humane Society of Citrus County

An animal welfare organization dedicated to making sure there are no homeless, abused, or unwanted pets in Citrus County. The group runs a small no-kill shelter/sanctuary with more than thirty-five dogs and cats. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are always needed to help clean, walk the animals and foster them until they can find their forever homes. CONTACT

751 S. Smith Avenue Inverness FL 34451 352.341.2222 bonnie@humanesocietycitrus.com www.humanesocietycitrus.com

Humanitarians of Florida

An all-volunteer nonprofit, humane organization dedicated to helping animals in

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Citrus County through a series of direct-help programs. CONTACT

Maggie Hypes, President 1149 Conant Ave. Crystal River, FL 34429 352.563.2370 maggiehypes@mindspring.com www.hofspha.org

Isaiah Foundation

A nonprofit, Christian-based group that provides pivotal response therapy for children with autism ages twelve and under by working with children in their home along with their family; and caregivers who provide respite care for qualifying families with children who are developmentally disabled. CONTACT

Barbara Washburn, Executive Director 719 S. Otis Avenue Lecanto, FL 34461 352.527.0112 isaiahfoundation@ymail.com

Jessie’s Place

A children’s advocacy center located in Beverly Hills that functions as a central location to coordinate all needed services, such as law enforcement interviews and medical exams, for children who have been abused or neglected. Named in honor of Jessica Lundsford, a young Citrus County girl whose 2005 death drew nationwide attention and sympathy, the center provides a kid-focused approach to child abuse care through the coordination of professional and specialty agency services. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Every September, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office hosts the Beat the Sheriff 5K. All proceeds from the run benefit Jessie’s Place. CONTACT

4465 N. Lecanto Highway Beverly Hills, FL 34465 352.270.8814 jessiesplacecitrus@yahoo.com www.jessiesplacecitrus.org

Key Training Center

A private nonprofit Florida organization dedicated to serving adults with developmental disabilities. The Key Training Center is the only facility of its kind in Citrus County and the surrounding areas providing community-based services to more than 300 developmentally disabled adults. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Run for the Money is an annual event that celebrates more than 30 years of heighten-

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ing public awareness about the challenges faced by adults with mental retardation and raises funds for ongoing support services. This fundraiser takes place each July and consists of many exciting community events. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can work in numerous capacities. Some include: recreation aides, merchandisers, workshop aides, trip escorts, special event coordinators, day training coaches, lunch buddies, and much more. CONTACT

Chester V. Cole, Executive Director 5399 W. Gulf to Lake Highway Lecanto, FL 34461 352.795.5541 info@keytrainingcenter.org www.keytrainingcenter.org

Mission in Citrus

An organization for the homeless that operates the largest shelter system in Citrus County. The shelters are run solely by the homeless with no paid staff.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can help with disaster response whether it is using facilities as a collection and distribution site, shelter, or an information center; vehicles, trailers, and trucks to transport volunteers and vital supplies and equipment to ground zero; or other skills such as fundraising or public relations. CONTACT

Rev. Gilbert and Evelyn Abrueo, Founders 801 N. Florida Ave. Hernando, FL 34442 352.418.1146 crisishelp@nightrunners.net www.nightrunners.net

The Path of Citrus County

A nonprofit, Christian-based operation that has provided transitional housing for more than 1,000 homeless or displaced men, women, and children since 2001. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are needed for driving residents to work, school, and medical appointments, helping to prepare meals and teach residents how to cook,

Volunteers can help with food drives and grocery collections, the annual banquet, the Christmas angels program, and newsletter stuffing. More specialized opportunities are also available such as volunteer coordinators, administrative volunteers, bargain store sorters, and much more.

CONTACT

CONTACT

James Sleighter, Executive Director 2472 N. Pennsylvania Avenue. Crystal River, FL 34428 352.794.3825 mission@tampabay.rr.com www.missionincitrus.com

DuWayne Sipper, Executive Director 21 S. Melbourne Street Beverly Hills, FL 34465 352.527.6500 info@pathofcitrus.org www.pathofcitrus.org

Nature Coast Ministries

The Salvation Army of Citrus County

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A faith-based, stand-alone organization that provides food and other services to those in need in Citrus County. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Openings include food pantry workers, transportation for clients, office help, and medical and dental services. CONTACT

Tom Slagle, Executive Director 999 Gulf to Lake Highway Crystal River, FL 34429 352.795.3367 www.myncm.com

Night Runners Mobile Crisis Services

A faith-based, non-denominational, non-church-affiliated outreach agency that operates community outreach and crisis intervention in high-crime communities, as well as assisting with disaster relief in devastated areas.

An international religious and charitable movement that provides assistance in times of need and during natural disasters and offers court-ordered supervision, counseling, and testing. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

The annual Red Kettle campaign raises millions of dollars each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless in keeping with the spirit of the season. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The annual Red Kettle campaign is always seeking volunteers to assist at multiple locations in helping to raise money for families during the holiday season. CONTACT

Lieutenant Vanessa Miller, Corps Officer 3975 W. Grover Cleveland Blvd. Homosassa, FL 34446 352.621.5532

Sanctuary Mission and Grace House

A Christian homeless shelter and drug rehabilitation center, which offers a positive peer-oriented environment designed to promote spiritual and personal growth. The Sanctuary therapeutic community model utilizes cognitive restructuring nurtured by Christian principals and precepts. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Proceeds from the annual banquet held in March go to benefit the operation of the Sanctuary Mission and Grace House. CONTACT

Mike Awe, Executive Director 463 W. Grover Cleveland Blvd. Homosassa, FL 34446 352.621.3277 sanctuarymission@gmail.com www.sanctuarymission.webs.com

United Way of Citrus County

The organization’s mission is to assess and target the critical human needs of Citrus County and provide leadership to meet those needs. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

The year-round annual campaign raises money for services provided by the organization and its member agencies for Citrus residents. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The possibilities are endless. Volunteer at one of the United Way’s special events, read to children, mentor, or fix buildings. CONTACT

Amy Meek, Executive Director 205 N.E. 5th Street, Suite A Crystal River, FL 34429 352.795.5483 www.citrusunitedway.org

YMCA of the Suncoast – Citrus County Branch

A charitable, nonprofit health and human service organization with programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for men, women, and children in Citrus County. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Utilizes alternative funding VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can participate in various ways such as raising funds to ensure the Y is accessible to all members of the community; coaching sports teams and teaching classes; motivating and supporting youth in building character strengths, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health,


“give It’s not how much we

but how much

love

we put into giving — Mother Teresa

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smarter life choices, and the pursuit of higher education and goals; and extending a hand to adults who want to do more, be more, or live healthier lives. CONTACT

Joanna Castle, Executive Director 3909 N. Lecanto Highway Beverly Hills, FL 34465 352.637.0132 www.ymcasuncoast.org

HERNANDO COUNTY Boys & Girls Club of Hernando County

The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Hernando County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Throughout the year, the Boys & Girls club allows for donations of toys to be wrapped and given to needy children who would otherwise not receive anything for the holiday season. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

As a volunteer, you can assist with youth programs and activities in sports, education, character and leadership, the arts, and career development; help with homework and computer skills; teach a new language or skill; serve as a positive role model; and many other possibilities. CONTACT

Joshua Kelly, Executive Director 5404 Applegate Dr. Spring Hill, FL 34606 352.666.0068

Children’s Advocacy Center of Hernando County

A center dedicated to reducing trauma to victims of child abuse and their families through intervention, prevention, and education. Their multidisciplinary team is the heart of the CAC’s response to effectively and efficiently coordinate services that promote hope and healing to child victims and their families. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

CAC is always looking for volunteers to complete training and become a Guardian Ad Litem. This person acts as an advocate for children who have been victims of abuse. CONTACT

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880 Kennedy Boulevard Brooksville, FL 34601 352.754.8809 jhammett@mfcs.us.com www.mfcs.us.com

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Service of Florida

The organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality of services and programs to promote empowerment, equal access, education, independence, and integrity to the deaf, hard of hearing, and speechimpaired communities of Hernando and Pasco counties. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are always needed for office work, teaching classes, helping with fundraising, and other everyday activities. CONTACT

Jeff Thomas, Executive Director 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd. Port Richey, FL 34668 727.853.1010 info@deafhhsfla.org www.deafhhsfla.org

Friends of the Library of Hernando County

The Friends of the Library of Hernando County are dedicated to advocacy and fundraising for the library system. Their used bookstore, operated by volunteers, combined with membership fees and community gifts enable them to provide major monetary contributions for library services and special programs. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are used in every aspect of the Friends of the Library — from coming in to assist with stocking books and gathering all book donated from the community to answering phones and filing. CONTACT

238 Howell Avenue Brooksville, FL 34601 352.684.0660

Habitat for Humanity of Hernando County

A nonprofit, Christian housing organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing by building decent homes for families in need. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can volunteers on a number of committees, construction crews, in the administrative office, and at the thrift store.

CONTACT

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

19450 Cortez Blvd. Brooksville, FL 34601 352.754.1159 mail@habitathernando.org www.habitathernando.org

As a volunteer orchestra, they are always in need of volunteers for specific events or on-going positions. They are currently in need of ushers.

Hernando County AntiDrug Community Coalition

An organization dedicated to successfully prevent, significantly reduce, and effectively manage substance abuse issues in Hernando County. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Several opportunities are available throughout the organization including serving on committees, working events, and helping with legislation. CONTACT

Tresa Watson, Executive Director 6193 Deltona Blvd. Spring Hill, FL 34606 352.596.8000 tresa@cenaps.com www.hernandoantidrug.org

Hernando Historical Museum Association

A volunteer group interested in promoting Hernando County heritage through active participation by maintaining two museums: the May-Stringer House and the 1885 Train Depot. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Utilizes alternative funding VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are always needed at the museum and train depot. Volunteer areas are as follows: docent (with training provided), working benefit events, research, filing, yard work, special projects, maintenance, and carpentry CONTACT

Ron Daniel, President 601 Museum Court Brooksville FL 34601 info@hernandohistoricaimuseumassoc.com www.hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com

Hernando Symphony Orchestra

Formed in 1982, the orchestra has planned programs aimed at presenting musical enjoyment for all. It has grown to more than fifty-five musicians, and the concert series of three performances is presented between the months of November and April. Ticket sales and contributions help support the orchestra.

CONTACT

Mark Mathews, President P.O. Box 6775 Spring Hill, FL 34611 352.597.9555 hernandosymphony@yahoo.com www.hernandosymphony.com

Hernando Youth Orchestra

A nonprofit corporation that aims to meet the needs of the community by providing an orchestra for young people and helping find music scholarships for youth who cannot afford an instrument and/or lessons to participate. The orchestra is funded by grants, community organizations, and individual sponsors. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

In need of volunteers willing to teach percussion. CONTACT

Rosemarie Grubba, Executive Director P.O. Box 623 Brooksville, FL 34605 352.544.8105 rosemarieg@hernandoyouthorchestra.org www.hernandoyouthorchestra.org

HPH Hospice

A nonprofit community-based healthcare organization providing innovative, skilled medical care to patients with life-limiting illness and compassionate support to their family members. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Utilizes alternative funding VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Hospice encourages volunteers to come in and visit with patients. Reading, sitting with them, and keeping them company. CONTACT

West Hernando 12260 Cortez Blvd. Brooksville, FL 34613 352.597.1882 East Hernando 698 S. Broad Street Brooksville, FL 34601 352.796-2611 www.hph-hospice.org

Humane Society of the Nature Coast

A safe haven for homeless, neglected, and


Charity register

the

“start now

How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can

, start slowly changing the world! — Anne Frank

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Charity register

the

abused animals while promoting pet welfare and sterilization to achieve a no-kill society. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Donations are accepted year round — funds collected from the community go to provide food, shelter, and care for the animals until they can be placed in their forever homes. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are needed for dog walking, animal caretaking, community outreach, and office support. People can also provide foster homes for pets and be humane education presenters or TLC providers.

People Helping People in Hernando County

An interfaith community established to provide food, clothing, and other basic necessities to those individuals in Hernando County who are hungry or struggling in today’s difficult economic environment.

CONTACT

MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Edie Jo Norman, President 7224 Mobley Road Brooksville, FL 34601 352.796.2711 www.naturecoasthumanesociety.org

Donations are accepted throughout the year of food, clothes, and toiletries to assist families who are going through hard times.

Jericho Road Ministries

A Christian-based rescue mission that provides temporary shelter, an in-house drug and alcohol recovery program, and spiritual development to men, women, and families. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The mission has many opportunities for people to come and volunteer. They are always looking for godly, dependable volunteers to help out in the various thrift store locations, as well as at the shelters. CONTACT

The Rev. Bruce W. Gimbel, Founder & Ministry Chaplain 1163 Howell Avenue Brooksville, FL 34601 352.799.2912 ext. 110 jministries99@tampabay.rr.com www.jericho-road.net

Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind

A nonprofit organization that has been providing vision rehabilitation since 1983. The Lighthouse provides vision habilitation and rehabilitation and adjustment to blindness services to people of all ages who have experienced vision impairment. An estimated 20,000 persons have received some type of service since its incorporation. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

Utilizes alternative funding VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The following positions need to filled: manufacturing project manager assistant, cleaners, drivers, event helpers, gardeners, phone fundraisers, photographer/videographer, and public awareness assistant. CONTACT

Sylvia Perez, Executive Director

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6492 California St. Brooksville, FL 34604 352.754.1132 lighthouse@lvib.org www.lvib.org

www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers are needed to serve meals to patrons, assist in meal preparation, pick up donated food and deliver to the meal site, fundraising, advertising and publicity, and community relations. CONTACT

Ron Van Matre, Executive Director P.O. Box 6182 Spring Hill, FL 34611 352.686.4466 mailbox@phpinhc.org www.phpinhc.org

Stir Up The Gift

A nonprofit organization that aims to help people of all ages tap into their true potential and develop the ability to express themselves through their talent, spirit, and heart. Stir Up The Gift provides lessons in acting, singing, music, modeling, and much more. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers can help with fundraising, advertising and publicity, community outreach, and instruction. CONTACT

Melinda Crandle, Founder 6175 Deltona Blvd., Suite 104 Spring Hill, FL 34606 352.200.2142 info@stirupmygift.org www.stirupmygift.org

The Arc Nature Coast

The Arc Nature Coast’s mission is to provide individually tailored support and advocacy for persons with disabilities and their families to promote their self-determination and inclusion in community life. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

There are several opportunities available for fundraising with The Arc including one-time donations, planned giving, sponsorships, and

memberships. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are multiple opportunities available to people who want to volunteer. CONTACT

Mark W. Barry, Executive Director 5283 Neff Lake Road Brooksville, FL 3460 352.544.2322 ext.111 info@thearc-naturecoast.org www.thearc-naturecoast.org

The Dawn Center

The mission of this organization is to create community awareness and assist individuals who are faced with the dilemma of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It is their goal to assist these individuals with safety planning, crisis intervention, shelter, and provide and/or coordinate the necessary support systems in regard to: education, referrals to other social service agencies, housing, and employment opportunities as well as ongoing support through advocacy. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteers may help with administrative needs, special events, adult and children’s programs, legal advocacy, the community action team, and much more. CONTACT

Shannon Sokolowski, Executive Director 352.684.7191 www.thedawncenter.com

United Way of Hernando County

The organization’s mission is to assess and target the critical human needs of Hernando County and provide leadership to meet those needs. MAIN FUNDRAISING EVENT

The year-round annual campaign raises money for services provided by the organization and its member agencies for Hernando residents. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteer Hernando is a new program of United Way of Hernando County founded for the express purpose of matching volunteers with organizations that need volunteers. Volunteer Hernando is centered on bringing people and community needs together through a range of programs and services. CONTACT

Kathy Jones, Executive Director 4030 Commercial Way Spring Hill, Florida 34606 352.688.2026 uwhernando@tampabay.rr.com www.unitedwayhernando.org


HEALTHY MIND

Love will keep us together

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

WRITTEN BY SEAN CORT

These partial lyrics are from one of the most recognizable love songs in music history. The husband and wife duo called The Captain and Tennille used these catchy and addictive lyrics to hypnotize the hearts, necks, shoulders, and fingertips of lovers and lovers of music across seven continents back in 1975. As if it were the precursor to We Are the World, everyone would assume their solo position to that famed vamp in the song that says, “When others are turnin’ you off, who will be turnin’ you on, I will, I will, I will, I- w-il-l.” The thought of that alone will have you humming it the rest of the day. The Captain and Tennille were on to something with this song title. Researchers the world over have discovered in myriad studies that love has, and will always, keep an individual together. Although science proves that music stimulates the brain functions in developing fetuses and has a restorative nature in braininjured patients, nothing motivates an individual to get out of bed and take a bath and put on makeup like the rhythm of the emotion called love. We bounce around the house and take sweet delight in almost everything we do because of those four magical letters. Although the romantic effects of love are often synonymous with flowers, fragrance, and poetic greeting cards, there is no greater stimuli for pheromones — our body’s hormonal jet stream — like the melody and lyrics of a love song. The moment you hear that familiar chord or harmony, your senses leap to attention as your fingers rush through the hallways of your brain pulling files of their face, smile, and familiar ways. Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, John Mayer’s Your Body is a Wonderland, or Boyz II

Men’s I’ll Make Love to You can bring the lives of the stay-at-home mom, corporate CEO, and bustling surgeon to a complete stop. The effects of those lyrics make you want to drop what you are doing and relive your life at its best. Even if that relationship didn’t turn out for the best, you still secretly reminisce on when it was new and innocent. We think back to the effect love had on the way we thought and behaved. Love makes us want to be better people. There is something about that word that summons the common good in all of us. The Christmas season seems to stir that same gift of giving love that we all miraculously share. There is the love of finding that personal and spiritual fulfillment in a higher being. There is the love of landing your dream job or accomplishing a highly pursued personal goal. There is the feeling of love we feel with getting a new pet or a new physical possession like a car or home. But few things in life stir our emotions (as the Stylistics would say, “Betcha by golly wow”) and motivate us to pursue higher and greater than the feeling we get when someone captures our heart. We want to look better in the way we dress and smell. We keep our home and offices cleaner if we know they will be around. We treat people nicer because we are more fulfilled within. When we are in love we actually feel stronger and want to live better and longer. Medical science has proven that patients in the most critical condition heal faster and more consistently when there is someone waiting for them at home. Love makes us eat better and lose weight. Love will make us visit the doctor more and even treat our co-workers better. Love will make us take our personal faith more

seriously. Love will even give us super human strength to do the seemingly impossible like learn another language, pick up cars, or even finally put down grudges and drop resentment. Love agrees with Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes in that “Love will lift us up where we belong.” We are not made to self-destruct but to self-heal through seeking the best in others. Love agrees with Anita Baker; Sweet Love never changes. Love captures the imagination of the most indifferent soul to pursue its greatest good. You and I both have seen love diminish the biggest “giants” to starryeyed children while that same love will make the most slight-hearted 90-pound weakling into the hero that saves the day. Even if that day is just one more day in the battle of their life fighting an enemy within. Love classically transcends race, gender, age, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, your height, your depth, your girth, or even your state of mind. Love always wins. Love is kind, patient, understanding, giving, unconditional, and most importantly — love is free. If you overdose, it will never hurt you. Love is like truth: it merits no reward, nor does it dignify a response. Love is sovereign; therefore, it stands by itself. Love will keep us together.

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HEALTHY MIND

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HEALTHY MIND

Healing with an “attitude”

WRITTEN BY RICHARD T. BOSSHARDT, MD, FACS

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

— Charles Swindoll WE HEAR IT ALL THE TIME. A person will refer to someone in some context as having a bad attitude or a good attitude. The implication is that this factor will have some bearing on the outcome of whatever situation is being discussed. We take this fact for granted. Does attitude make a difference in medicine? Will a good attitude improve your chances of recovering uneventfully from surgery, of having therapy cure your cancer, or of maintaining your health? While the answer is debated, it appears to be a qualified “yes.” Everyone has heard of the placebo effect. This refers to real therapeutic benefits as a result of giving a treatment, which clearly should not have any effect at all. The classic placebo example is the sugar pill given in place of real medicine but still seems to have an effect. Placebos may come in the form of pills, creams, injections, and even surgery. I have seen an injection of water provide the same benefit in relieving pain as a shot of morphine. The placebo effect is so real and so prevalent that when evaluating new medicines and treatments, the outcomes must be shown successful in more than 20 percent of patients in order to discount the placebo effect. One of the common denominators in the placebo effect appears to be belief, which is another way of saying our attitude. If a patient believes a treatment will work, it is more likely to do just that. In one study reported in April

2011 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, patients who expected to have pain relief after neck surgery were more likely to get relief than those who expected to have some pain after surgery. The difference was their attitude. Studies such as this confirm what physicians have known intuitively for generations: patients with a good attitude tend to do better than those without. This may be a good attitude regarding the treatment in question or just life in general. Behind this is what is referred to as the “mind-body” connection. We know things that affect our physical bodies can affect our minds, e.g., our mood, affect, and emotions. Conversely, things that affect our minds can cause real, physical illnesses. We know depression, loneliness, and stress are associated with a higher risk of things like heart disease and cancer. We should never underestimate the power of attitude and belief in the healing process, even though these are hard to measure and quantify. Only in the recent past have we begun to apply scientific principles and methods to studying these. For eons, people of faith have prayed over the sick. Critics would opine that this amounts to little more than irrational, superstitious nonsense. A very interesting study was done in 2005 involving almost 750 patients who were undergoing a cardiac cath-

eterization for blockage of arteries in their hearts. Researchers asked a dozen congregations from different faiths — Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian — to pray for half of the patients. The patients did not know who was being prayed for and who was not. The specifics of how the prayers were done, how often they prayed, and for how long were left up to the congregations. While results were not conclusive, there were some intriguing indications of benefit to the group that received prayer. This study, while not definitive in showing a measurable benefit of prayer, was one of the first attempts to apply scientific methods to what is, by its nature, an issue not felt to be subject to scientific scrutiny. Future studies may shed more light on this fascinating issue. While our attitudes and beliefs are important, they are clearly not sufficient in and of themselves to explain why some people do well and others do poorly with the same condition and medical care. One cannot discount the therapeutic effects of a treatment program, the skill of the physician, and a variety of factors too numerous to list — all of which can affect the outcome of treatment. Even though belief and attitude may influence the outcome, many forms of therapy are very effective regardless of whether the patient believes in them or not.

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Cost of making a fabulous first impression? WRITTEN BY WENDY LYN PHILLIPS

Want to avoid making mistakes that could cost you both professionally and socially? Then pay a little attention to the power of first impressions. The return on investment is huge when you learn how to present your best assets to others in a non-manipulative way. This both increases your personal confidence and sends an inviting message so they want to get to know you better. Appearance says much about you and sends subliminal messages to others long before you have a chance to open your mouth. We know opinions are often formed solely based on appearance. This doesn’t mean necessarily that only the most attractive persons get better treatment, but it does mean that if you look like you deserve the best, the best will often come to you. An attitude of positive expectancy is one of the best attitudes when making a good impression is on the line. During an important interview, your general appearance, manners, body language, and communication skills are going to be assessed to see if you’re the right “fit” for the position. Chemistry may create a connection, but usually it’s “image” that sparks initial interest. There are often more qualified people that do not get the job because they lack the necessary image.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 46 |

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priceless!

You will increase your chances for a better job at a higher salary when you learn how to use clothing as a business tool. You can be sure that most interviewers can spot the difference between a $100 and a $1,000 suit. While a suit valued at $100 may be fine to wear on the job, a more expensive suit will be a good investment for helping you get the job. Use the following checklist to help make a great impression at your next big appointment: • Smile, smile, and smile. • Suit yourself: 95 percent of the time you can’t go wrong wearing a suit. Everyone should own at least one good one. (I am not suggesting you need a $1,000 suit to make a great interview impression. The price doesn’t necessarily matter; the quality does.) • Convey confidence and sincerity by looking right eye to right eye. • Make sure your bangs do not hang in or hide your face. Most people will not trust you if they cannot see your eyes, so to avoid being thought of as a shady character, get a new hairdo or simply wear it up. • Shoes should be free of any scuffs and in good condition. • Groomed nails and white, clean teeth are essential as these are very visible… enough said. • (For gals) A stretch wool fabric suit is seasonless and doesn’t easily wrinkle. A dark charcoal minipinstripe is good on almost all body shapes because it adds height, and you can pair it with a variety of shells. The pencil skirt is the style you will want, coupled with a solid-button front blouse or a flattering color of scoop neck shell. • (For guys) A very conservative dark solid blue suit is probably your best option. Pair this with a classic white shirt and traditional tie. You may skimp in other areas but not with your tie. Your tie is your most important status symbol, and it should fall just at your belt buckle.

• Always match socks to pants, and make sure the socks never slouch. Coordinate your belt color to your shoe in black. Blending together all the tips for dressing for success and embracing your appearance as a tool to serve others makes you someone people want to follow! So does integrity, work ethic, fortitude, moral character, personality, dependability, and zeal. The challenge is having the chance to prove your inner character by passing the test of first impressions. Initial connections with people are invaluable. Strengthening them takes effort. Whether on a date, at work, in the car pool line, at the grocery store, networking, teaching, or at speaking events, you will always get better results by acknowledging the message you are sending physically. Since you never have a second chance to make a first impression, make it GREAT!


HEALTHY BODY Gray, Gray

Go Away? WRITTEN BY KEVIN BOZADJIAN

Gentlemen, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. You know the one I’m talking about: the gray one that creeps quietly into our lives as we start families and careers, and face adult stresses and triumphs. The silvery strands of age that often make us feel like our youth is in the rearview mirror. As a certified master colorist, I love what powerful hues can bring to a cut or style. A jolt of color can energize any look. However, gray is a color like any other in the palette. Does gray hair have to signal a bad storm brewing like an ominous gray cloud? After all, gray hair is a natural occurrence that happens to all of us—you can put it on the list of life’s certainties somewhere below death and taxes. Melanin production at the hair follicle gives hair its natural color. As we get older there are less pigment cells to maintain our hair’s color. In some instances a natural buildup of hydrogen peroxide or a deficiency of vitamin B-12 can cause premature graying, but, whether you’re 15 or 50, gray hair will one day emerge. So, if it happens to everybody eventually, is there any reason to hide it? Journalist Anderson “Silver Fox” Cooper has been wearing closecropped gray for years — and he

hasn’t yet reached his 44th birthday. Few of George Clooney’s fans have much to complain about when it comes to the salt in the dashing leading man’s pepper. Even Brad Pitt is letting the silver shine through his scruff. Gray can be a welcome and stylish option for your hair. In fact, it can make you appear sophisticated, wise, natural, and mature. Men working in professions where experience is highly valued often request gray coloring at salons. Lowlights and color-blending can help create a dapper, salt-andpepper look; or maybe you want to lighten your dull gray to a more radiant silver. The approach you take depends on your hair color and the percentage of gray. A professional stylist can work through some options and help create your desired look. Deciding how much gray you want in your hair is — and should be — a personal choice. How you wear your hair is a reflection of you. Great style is defined by how comfortable and confident you feel, and by how much of your personality shines through. There’s nothing wrong with dyeing your hair for a more youthful appearance. Just remember that gray is a color too, and gray can be just as brilliant and bold as any other color in the palette.

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HEALTHY BODY

THE HIGH-INTENSITY WORKOUT WRITTEN BY JENNIFER SIEM

Bite off only as much as you can chew to beat the holiday pounds this year with a workout that fits into your schedule! “Tabata” training is a form of high-intensity interval training. A traditional Tabata interval is four minutes long — twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest for eight rounds. The idea is to work as hard as you can for twenty seconds to reap the benefits of cardio exercise. In this workout, you can choose any four exercises that challenge you and insert them into the plan. Sample 48 |

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exercises have been provided as an option in addition to options for fifteen, thirty, forty-five, or sixty minutes of total workout time. The great news is all exercises use only your own body weight as resistance and can be performed anywhere! Get a head start on 2013, and keep your healthy habits throughout this holiday season! Smartphones offer applications for free Tabata timers. This is a great tool to keep your workout on track! You will need a mat or another soft surface, and hand

weights may be added to increase the intensity of the workout. Tabata four-minute interval: Twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest for eight rounds. Complete the following four exercises in order two times to complete four minutes. Two sets of exercises are provided as options. All exercises can be modified to your ability as shown in parenthesis for less impact.


HEALTHY BODY

pushups Place hands on floor slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart. Spread fingers slightly. Rise up onto your toes. Engage your abdominals to support your lower back and maintain a straight line from head to toe keeping your hips in line with your spine. Bend elbows to 90 degrees and lower your chest toward the floor. Push away from the floor and return to starting position. Using Tabata method, work intensely for twenty seconds and rest for ten seconds between intervals. (Beginners: Put your weight on your hands and knees instead of hands and toes. Rest knees and toes on floor simultaneously.)

squat jumps Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press your hips back and bend your knees. Keep your weight back on your heels. Your knees should stay behind your toes. Do not bend at the lower back and keep the spine in a neutral position. Continue lowering until your knees are at a ninety-degree bend then jump up as high as you can, reaching for the ceiling. Keep your knees soft on the landing, lower your body back into the squat position and repeat. Use Tabata intervals. (Beginners: Squat only, and do not jump)

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HEALTHY BODY

renegade rows

Get in a pushup position with feet shoulder-width apart. Perform a pushup and at the top of the pushup lift one arm up to your armpit. Repeat and pull up the other arm. Stay as rigid as possible, squeeze your butt hard, do not twist your hips and move as quickly as possible while maintaining good form. Use Tabata intervals. (Beginners: Use hands and knees as in beginner pushup)

power jacks

Stand up straight with your arms at your sides and knees slightly bent. Jump out separating your legs and land in a wider than shoulder width squat with your knees bent to absorb the landing. Be sure your knees are pointed in the direction of your toes. Simultaneously swing your arms up and out to the side and over your head as you jump, touching your hands together while bringing your legs immediately back together. Repeat this movement continuously. Use tabata intervals. (Beginners: step out and in with no jumping.)

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HEALTHY SPIRIT Mencouragement:

PHOTOS © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Love picks the gift I THINK I NOTICED something wasn’t quite right when I heard my wife loudly tell our daughter the gift she was opening was from her dad. It might have slid by if she had only told her once, but when I heard her saying it for the third time, it hit home. It was so rare that I actually went out and bought a gift that it had to be pointed out specifically this one was from dad. You would think she had received a solid gold tiara instead of a small doll she would drag around for years, which she immediately named “Kiki.” I have always left gift-buying up to my wife. For one thing, I hate shopping. I hate the word hate, but when it comes to shopping, I mean I hate it. I am the guy you see sitting on the bench in Wal-Mart reading the real estate guide cover to cover (and I really strongly

dislike the real estate guide) while my wife shops for gifts for her family, my family, and our family. It isn’t just the walking and looking that annoys me; it is having to actually figure out what to buy for each person. Then I noticed that women have a knack for picking out just the right gift no matter how many people they are shopping for. I kept wondering how they could do that and remain sane. So I did what any man does when he wants to know something deep such as the meaning of life or where his blue socks are (you know, the thin ones that don’t make my shoes feel too small): I asked my wife. Her answer surprised me. She smiled and said, “If you love the person you’re shopping for it’s easy.” The answer amazed me. Not in its complex-

ity but in its simplicity and truth. As a man, sometimes I step back and take a look at how women perceive the world. It is so different from how I see it. They see the small things. Sometimes — most times — the things that really matter. They listen to others when they talk. If a friend says to them, “I love your blue sweater,” a woman files that away in their heart, and when the time comes to shop for that friend, they know just what to look for. They listen and they love — and in listening, they love. And that is the answer. Learn to pay attention to others needs. Learn to love. It will make a difference in how you see the world around you, and it will definitely make a difference when it comes to Christmas shopping.

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HEALTHY SPIRIT

Teaching Children Empathy WRITTEN BY TOVA J. KREPS, LCSW

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HEALTHY SPIRIT

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Why is it important? When is the right time to start? What are some real-life methods for doing so? Empathy is the ability is read and relate to others. This basic talent for rapport and cooperation develops families, communities, and society. A world expert on emotions and our ability to read and respond to them in others, Paul Ekman states that there are three different ways to sense another person’s feelings. First, there is “cognitive empathy,” which is simply knowing what the other person is thinking and feeling. This ability to see something from the perspective of another can be helpful in everything from sales, management, nursing, and parenting to anticipating a lover’s needs. But sociopaths and criminals may also have the ability to know another’s feelings without having any actual sympathy toward their victims. “Emotional empathy,” however, is a different kind of empathy. It is when a person has emotional feelings that match the other person’s feelings as though the feelings were contagious. Neuroscience tells us that emotional empathy is due in large part to the mirror neuron system, which entails our brains to literally copy the actions and expressions of others. Smile and the world smiles back. Emotional empathy includes a physical response of understanding for another human being. A third type of empathy is called “compassionate empathy” or “empathic concern.” With this kind of empathy we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with the individual, but we are spontaneously moved to help, if needed. (Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence). Bonding and attachment between parents and a baby are the bedrock for developing empathy. During infancy, eye contact, human touch, and responsiveness to needs (such as hunger, sleep, or feeling pain) are the precursors of the ability for humans to respond to others. In contrast, a lack of cause-and-effect between human responsiveness in the first two

years of life can lead to becoming a sociopath. Parents who are attentive to their children, compassionate, and communicative have already begun to develop empathic children for the next generation. In addition to developing empathy in our children through healthy bonding during infancy, empathy is a learnable emotional skill. Here are several suggestions for directly influencing your child’s ability to read and relate to the emotions of others.

PROVIDE CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIENCES. “Cross-cultural” for our children can mean anyone who is different. This includes opposite genders, ages, social groups, ethnicities, socio-economic classes, cultures, and nationalities. Connecting with people who are different from us is a wonderful process for experiencing our shared humanity. It reduces fears and prejudices and increases empathy. It helps us change stereotypes into individuals with whom we can empathize.

EMPATHIZE WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Often when our children have strong emotions about something (they are angry, sad, or frustrated), we seek to help them come to a more “balanced” state in their wide emotional swing. We must be careful in our helpfulness, though, as to not negate what our child is feeling. Empathizing with your child is actually the fastest route to helping your child regain his or her emotional balance. When he feels understood, he has the freedom to then choose what to do next to handle the situation. Note that understanding and empathizing with a child does not necessarily mean agreeing with him or giving him his way; it is simply to understand the feelings he has for an issue. By parents doing this well and often, children will begin to empathize with others instead of trying to persuade others to change. Point out and ask about the thoughts and feelings of others. “I wonder what that child was feeling while she and her mother were homeless?” “I bet your teacher was happy that you thought to make her a special gift.” “Did your friends enjoy playing with you today?” Help your children try to see their friends’ and teachers’ perspectives during conflicts. Asking about what other people may think or feel not only helps your child to attend to such things, but demonstrates that you value and respect other people, too.

MAKE IT REAL THROUGH SENSORY MATERIAL. We really “get” only what we experience. A youth pastor once hosted a world hunger awareness fundraising banquet for his youth. Only one-fourth of the students actually got a meal at the banquet. Some received only rice and beans, and others were served only water. The experience was a much more powerful teacher than a speaker could ever have been. “Walking in another’s moccasins” is still the best way to empathize with others. We need to taste, see, smell, hear, and feel the lives of others to empathize well with them. Turn off the TV, and experience something different with your children. WATCH OUT FOR DESENSITIZING MEDIA AND MATERIAL. Regular exposure to powerful human experiences without opportunities to personally interact with them can desensitize us to those experiences. Normal responses to violence, sex, injustice, pain, death, and even beauty are diminished with constant nonpersonal exposure. Although in a time of crisis we may need to act for our children, not cry along with them, empathy in the process or afterward may be as healing as the safety we provide. Most of all, talk often to your children about all aspects of their lives and the world in which they live.

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Sources: Private Education Loans; www.finaid.org/loans/privateloan.phtml: Federal Student Aid; www.studentaid.ed.gov (Accessed October 29, 2012)

HEALTHY FINANCE

student loans WRITTEN BY GEORGE E. MATHIS

WITH THE CURRENT STATE of the economy and the rising cost of tuition and books, many people rely on student loans to fulfill their college goals. Most people fail to plan properly for investing in either their own or their children’s plans for education because they do not understand the nuances of student loans, deferment options, and repayment responsibilities. It’s always a good idea to first know if you qualify for federal financial aid or grants before applying for private student loans. It is equally important to understand the different types of student loans. The two primary types of student loans are the federal student loans and private student loans. Typically those offered through government programs are much more favorable for students than private lending. The federal student loan program was designed to meet the needs of specific students, such as Stafford loans and Perkins loans. These loans usually have low fixed interest rates and do not require credit checks or collateral. However, these loans may have limits and can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Often students combine subsidized and unsubsidized loans to borrow the maximum amount each year. Private education loans can help bridge the gap between the actual cost of education and the limitations of federal student loan programs. According to Fin. Aid.Org, published by Mark Kantrowitz, “Private education loans tend to cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt… Since federal education loans are less expensive and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal

student loans before resorting to private student loans.” Repaying student loans after graduation can be challenging with the current state of unemployment or if family issues arise; therefore, understanding deferment options is important. There are five main types of student loan deferment programs: education, economic, disability, family related, and public service. If you believe you qualify for a deferment program, then you should contact your lending agent for more information on the exact qualifying rules. Specific information about qualifying for these deferments and other important

information about the types of federally funded student loan programs can be found at the federal government’s student financial aid website: http://studentaid.ed.gov. The federal student loans program is one of the most beneficial and easy programs to access on the government’s website. While these programs have many benefits, they also can present a challenge once repayment begins. Understanding the repayment responsibilities and deferment plan of each type of student loan is vital. Speaking with a financial planner can help you plan for future educational expenses to reduce the need for you or your children to incur student loan debt. www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com

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HEALTHY FINANCE

Maintaining or rebuilding good credit in a challenging economy The national average credit score is currently at 692. Currently, many lenders are looking for scores of 725 and higher, especially for mortgages.

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In today’s world of economic uncertainty, high unemployment, and Wall Street volatility, maintaining a great credit score can be challenging. However, because our modern lives demand it, personal credit is mandatory. We all need to develop and maintain our own credit score in the best possible way. Driving down a local highway the other day, I came upon a billboard for a familiar banking institution. It read in part, “We have money to lend…” My mind finished the sentence with, “Yes, but only to those with a credit score of 750 or more!” In a tough economic environment, it’s more important than ever to protect credit scores. Here are some basic rules for maintaining good credit: • Pay bills on time. Late payments can wreck a credit score fast. • Whenever possible, pay bills in full. • If making partial payments, pay more than the minimum required. Even a few extra dollars will reduce the balance faster. Overpayments create “brownie points,” which may come in handy later. (See next point!) • When it’s simply impossible to pay any amount due, communicate with the lender, bank, or financial institution. (Call in those brownie points!) • If a lender agrees to an alternative payment plan, be super responsible by adhering to the plan set forth. Get the agreed-upon terms in writing. • Consult a qualified debt counselor. Approach with caution those who charge a fee for services. Many free services are available through local agencies. • Make it a point to pay down debt, and be determined to avoid taking on new debt.

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If and when credit is damaged, for whatever reason, repairing the damage as soon as possible is vital. The omnipresent FICO score is generally the most important measure of credit worthiness accepted by lenders in all areas of the credit world. This being so, it’s important to know just how that score is determined, how it can be damaged, and how to resuscitate it when it falls below a lender’s acceptable level. FICO is an acronym from its originator, the Fair Isaac Corporation. Although FICO uses an undisclosed formula for calculating scores, which range from 300 to 850, it considers payment history to be 35 percent of its score. Late payments, even occasionally, stand out. The length of that payment history comprises another 15 percent, so keeping one credit card a long time is a good thing. The national average credit score is currently at 692. Currently, many lenders are looking for scores of 725 and higher, especially for mortgages. For information, FICO taps each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Each agency has its own method and format for reporting, but the three are amazingly similar. I recently pulled my own credit reports online in less than 10 minutes from all three agencies and found somewhat different formats but otherwise, not a single discrepancy among the three. For a FREE report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or telephone toll-free 877.322.8228. Each agency makes a free report available once per year, so don’t bother signing on for the Internetadvertised variety with a significant price tag attached. A major myth regarding credit scores is that having a lot of credit cards lowers the score. The reporting agencies and

many lenders do not support this theory; however, there is some truth that the FICO score does consider the amount of indebtedness as a ratio to the amount of available credit. Ideal is 7-10 percent debt to available credit. Debt representing more than 30 percent of available credit will not support a high FICO score. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to get rid of unused or seldom used credit cards, especially if the cards carry an annual fee. Best bet is to keep only those with a long and (hopefully) strong credit history. Author’s note: Using one or two cards rather than many also helps track spending more easily. Apply for a new card seldom and only when there is a good reason to do so. Also, an account marked “closed by customer” may remain on the credit report for up to seven years! Beware of balance transfer promos that flood the mailbox! Issuers of credit cards are masters at marketing. Those offers of low-cost balance transfers are often tempting, but transferring balances is considered by many lenders to be a sign of overextension of debt. For the antithesis, please note that I often encourage my clients to transfer balances to a card with a lower interest rate in order to affect an earlier payoff. So it’s not the balance transfer per se but the repetitive pattern of transferring balances frequently that is the FICO trigger! The same can be said for opening new accounts too often. (See previous paragraph!) When credit has been damaged, there are several things that can help the repair process. First and most important is to acknowledge the issue(s) and communicate any extenuating circumstances to the lender(s). Negotiate with the lender, who doesn’t want you to default either! Call in those “brownie points” chalked up by having

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

WRITTEN BY ELLEN B. WILCOX


HEALTHY FINANCE

previously honored your commitment. Did you know the three credit reporting agencies allow “notes” on your credit report? YES! Contact the agencies and request that circumstances be noted. Death in the family, divorce, medical emergencies, job loss all qualify for such notations! When all else fails to resolve debt issues, many resort to filing bankruptcy. This action should always be considered a last resort. There are several types of bankruptcy filings, and each has its own parameters. An attorney is almost always needed, adding both to the cost and the frustration of the basic process. From the standpoint of those filing, the consequences are significant and can be very long lasting — generally seven long years! Re-establishing credit after filing bankruptcy can be a long and laborious, not to mention costly, process. Professional assistance is often needed, and there are many “credit repair” companies available to help. Each has a substantial price tag, which varies depending on the severity of the initial circumstances. Credit repair companies typically promise not only to repair credit history

but also to establish new credit. Some promise noticeable results in 30–90 days. (An experienced local attorney disputes that time frame, stating two to five years is more likely!) Getting a new credit card after filing for bankruptcy is usually the first step in re-establishing credit. Many financial institutions such as banks and credit unions have a program to facilitate this generally centered on what is called a ”secured card,” which requires an applicant to pay a deposit up front to acquire the card. The deposit generally ranges from $50 for a credit limit of around $200 to $1,000 for a credit limit of around $3,000. If the terms of the agreement are met, the deposit may be refunded after a specified time period. Some card issuers will permit the deposit to be auto-charged to the card. If so, beware of the interest accruing immediately. Also, one needs to pay close attention to the rate of interest charge for both purchases and cash advances, which can be higher than 20 percent. (I found one such secured card with an interest rate of only 7.9 percent compared to another at 21.9 percent… a big spread!) Another special note to those attempt-

ing to re-establish credit after bankruptcy is to be sure any financial institution granting new credit is actually reporting to the three agencies tabulating reports. Ask to have new credit history and payment history reported, so that new credit history will actually be accumulating. One note of interest from the bankruptcy attorney I interviewed is that those in bankruptcy filing situations often ignore mail or do not open it at all. This is at least foolish and, at worst, hampering to the entire process of filing and re-establishing credit afterward. Bankruptcy is a courtdetermined privilege for which we all pay. It is not granted easily, and it is not to be undertaken without carefully thinking through both the initial process and the aftermath. Where personal bankruptcies are concerned, they are nearly always the result of poor financial planning and grossly irresponsible spending… often for luxuries, not necessities. It is far better to exercise prudence beforehand rather than to need reparation later.

Ellen B Wilcox is a Registered Principal with, and offers securities through, LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Ms Wilcox is President and CEO of Wilcox Wealth Management, which is not affiliated with LPL. She may be reached at Ellen@ellenwilcox.com or www.ellenwilcox.com. The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your Financial Advisor prior to investing. All performance data reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not ensure against market risk. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

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6012 352.794.

Calendar DECEMBER 2012 Holiday in the Gardens (December 1)

Take a peaceful stroll along the walkways lined with trees decorated by local groups and civic organizations at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens and Nursery, one of Hernando County’s best kept secret. This festive event will last through early January. Call 352.683.9933 or visit www.naturecoastgardens.com for more information.

Crystal River Christmas Parade (December 1)

Join in the holiday spirit as the City of Crystal River and the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Crystal River Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is “A Postcard Christmas.” Expect to hear jolly holiday music and see dozens of decorated floats, marching bands, and festive lights. The parade begins at 6p.m. in downtown Crystal River.

Christmas in the Hills Parade (December 1)

Experience the magic of Christmas in Beverly Hills. The parade begins 10a.m. on Beverly Hills Boulevard. The day also includes an outdoor holiday arts and crafts fair from 11a.m.–3p.m. and a classic car show from 9a.m.–3p.m. A children’s fun zone will be open from 10a.m.–3p.m. Additional information at www.citruscountyparks.com.

24th Annual Performing Arts Series

(December 2)

Watch the Golden Dragon Acrobats perform at Lecanto High School’s Curtis Peterson Auditorium as part of the 2012-2013 College of Central Florida Performing Arts Series. The acrobats’ highly skilled performance is rooted in a 2,500 year tradition of acrobatics, dance, costumes, and ancient as well as contemporary music. Call 352.746.6721 for more info.

Winter Waterland (December 7–8)

Enjoy this underwater Christmas spectacular at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Includes a live nativity scene, Santa’s Express train for children, storytelling, and photo opportunities with the Mermaid elves. For more information, call 352.592.5656.

38th Annual Brooksville Christmas Parade (December 8)

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SALES REPRESENTATIVE Nature Coast Healthy Living is looking for an Advertising Sales Representative. This position requires a self-motivated person with outstanding work ethic. Previous advertising sales experience preferred. Please email resumés to wendell@naturecoasthealthyliving.com

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Celebrate Christmas and salute a veteran during this annual event. The parade route begins at 10 a.m. at Oakwood Drive, proceeds down Howell Avenue to Main Street, crosses Jefferson and Broad streets going north on Broad to Bell Avenue, and ends at Jefferson and Bell. Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville, this year’s theme will be “I’ll Be Home for Christmas – A Salute to Veterans.” There will be marching bands, shriners, floats, clowns, horses, and Santa!

5K Jingle Bell Run (December 8)

Before settling down for the annual Christmas parade in Inverness, lace up your running shoes for this annual 5K race through downtown. The run begins at 10:30a.m. at Wallace Brooks Park and wraps up at 2p.m. Call 352.637.2475.


Inverness Christmas Parade (December 8)

Santa pays a special visit to the City of Inverness during this annual parade through downtown. With some help from the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, the parade will feature dozens of floats created by several local organizations, marching bands from local schools, and lots of holiday dazzle in the form of lights and Christmas music. Call 352.795.3149.

Holiday Tour of Historic Homes (December 9)

Three historic homes and the Brooksville Woman’s Club in beautiful downtown Brooksville will be decorated for the holidays and open for the public’s enjoyment. Tour times: 1p.m., 2p.m., or 3p.m. Refreshments will be available after the torus at the Brooksville Woman’s Club, 131 S. Main Street, Brooksville. Tickets: $12, available at the woman’s club or by calling 352.796.6026 or 352.848.7988.

Victorian Christmas Candlelight Tour (December 10)

Gaze at the elegantly decorated Christmas trees in each room of the Hernando Historical Musuem located at 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. 7–10p.m. Admission is $5. 352.799.0129 or www.hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com.

wwjb.com | 352.796.7469

Light Up Ridge Manor Christmas Festival (December 13)

Have the children meet Santa and pose for a photo with him at this fifth annual event held at the Sunrise Plaza (Winn-Dixie Plaza) on Cortez Boulevard. There will be food, a cake walk, a manger scene, a raffle for children’ prizes and a 50/50 for the “adult kids”. Shop for gifts from holiday craft vendors and enjoy the evening with family and friends. 6:30– 8:30p.m. For more information, call 352.796.9486 or 352.540.4521.

Annual Poinsettia Planting (December 15)

Residents are invited to bring poinsettias in memory of a loved one and planting tools to participate. The tradition began in 1988, when Don Kubiak, a past president of the Spring Hill Garden Club, planted poinsettias in memory of his parents. Participants are asked to gather at 9a.m. at the Spring Hill water fountain located at the entrance to Spring Hill Drive off U.S. 19. Call 352.683.9933 or visit www.naturecoastgardens.com.

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade (December 17)

View a parade of decorated lighted boats that will leisurely cruise down the Weeki Wachee River to Bayport Park and back. The boats can be seen from either Rogers Park or Bayport Park. The event begins at 6:30p.m. and is free, but a new toy or cash donation for the Dawn Center will be appreciated. For more information, call 352.596.2852.

The Legends of Doo Wop (December 31)

Ring in the New Year with Tommy Mara as you watch the ball drop on the big screen. Featuring Tony Passa of The Fascinators, Steve Horn of The Five Sharks, Frank Mancuso of The Imaginations, and DJ Cadillac Kid. Tickets are $79.95 (includes hors d’oeuvres, buffet, party favors, champagne toast, and continental breakfast). For reservations, call 727.863.7949 or visit www.palacegrand.com.

Tune in for Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Todd Schnitt and many more!

www.wxjbfm.com 352.796.7469

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HEART OF THE COMMUNITY

Halloween Patient’s Thank You Party PHOTOS BY WENDELL HUSEBO

10/23/12

A pirates theme was played out for the party of Dr. Pablo Figueroa’s patients. Barbeque chicken and sides were served under the tent on a beautiful October day. There was live music and dancing as the drinks flowed and the good times rolled.

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Virginia Wood, Maureen A. McCoy, and Allison Torres Allison Torres, Tina Renwick, and Kyrstal Fultz Josephine Henry, Sarah Bright, Julia Williams, Allison Torres, and Sonia Haviland Carmen M. Walker, George and Sonia Ruwisch, and Allison Torres Doris and Mary Townsend with James Stephens Beeki Childs and Colleen Millard

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HEART OF THE COMMUNITY

“Movember” of Citrus County PHOTOS BY WENDELL HUSEBO

10/30/12

On November 1st, Men’s Prostate Awarness Month called “Movember” kicked off. Men gathered together in Citrus County to publicly shave off all their facial hair. They will then all grow their facial hair back for one month. This activity will bring awareness to deadly prostate cancer.

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Ryan Downs and Matt Avery Carol Condiff and Brian Brown Dave Douluks Dorothy Pernu and Theressa Foster Bill Scheiterle Dale McClellan

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Man Manatee Festival Florida 2013

www.FLORIDAMANATEEFESTIVAL.com

Make plans now to attend the Florida Manatee Festival in beautiful downtown Crystal River! Come on down to the 26th annual Florida Manatee Festival on January 19th and 20th as we celebrate our beloved manatees. We offer fine arts, a craft fair, childrens’ activities, boat tours, a beer garden, and entertainment. Park FREE at the Crystal River Mall, roundtrip shuttle to festival is $1

DATE: January 19 and 20

(Saturday and Sunday) TIME: Saturday 9a.m.–5p.m. and Sunday 9a.m.–4p.m. COST: Donation of $3 per person, children 12 and under FREE.


HEALTHY VIEWS

Date: 11/17/2012 Time: 10:56p.m. Exposure Program: Manual Shutter: 2 F-Stop: f/108 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 35mm

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FRED LOPEZ CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER www.naturecoasthealthyliving.com


Just in time to save lives. “Live every day to the fullest!” – Austin Sievers, 19 When the car 19–year-old Austin Sievers was riding in crashed into a tree at 50 MPH on January 23, 2012 near Spring Hill, he was shaken, but felt fine and was walking around at the scene. After some coaxing by the paramedics he was transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. After being admitted to the Trauma Center, he was monitored for signs of internal bleeding. It turned out he needed surgery the very next morning. Trauma surgeons repaired two abdominal tears and applied a wound vac to help with healing. Austin wasn’t out of the woods just yet. Two days later he needed a second surgery. After a week in the ICU, he was admitted to the Trauma Stepdown unit and was discharged a day later. Thanks to his healthy lifestyle, fighting spirit, and skilled trauma surgeons, Austin was able to make a full recovery. Today, he’s back in training gymnastics, competitive cheerleading, and modeling.

Austin Sievers pictured here with the 2011 USACF World Championship Gold Medal and USA Junior Olympic Medals

Watch our latest trauma network video online at RMCHealth.com | 727-819-2929


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The December 2012 issue of Nature Coast Healthy Living  

The December 2012 issue of Nature Coast Healthy Living