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Gilchrist County AARP
invites people to join
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2019 at 9:19 a.m.
GILCHRIST COUNTY – For $10 a year, any person aged 50 years or older can be a member of Gilchrist County AARP Chapter #2133.
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AARP Chapter President Sheila Smith said she wants more people to join this local chapter, which really has a focus on serving the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
Each local chapter of the AARP is its own entity, Smith said, and each of the sets of members are autonomous. Each local AARP chapter has its own agenda, she added. While some people have said they disagree with some aspect of what they see as the AARP national entity, the local chapters are comprised of people from this very community – especially Gilchrist County.
Gilchrist County AARP Chapter #2133, like any other chapter is unique, as is reflected by its monthly meetings.
This group meets once a month on the third Tuesday morning.
The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. in the ForVets Lodge House at Otter Springs Park and Campground, 6470 S.W. 80th Ave., Trenton.
Often there are guest speakers. At other times, there is entertainment as the focus of the month.
Past speakers have included Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz, Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools Rob Rankin and Eighth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Stacy Scott.
At the Sept. 17 meeting, SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Area Coordinator Cheryl Harris is scheduled to be the guest speaker. The topic will be Medicare Scams. After that monthly meeting SHINE intends to help this AARP Chapter’s members know more at the October meeting about Open Enrollment for annual Medicare benefits.
As for entertainment at meetings, the Don Thomas Band has performed, and at Christmastime, the chapter has a themed meeting that includes singing, President Smith said.
Monthly meetings of AARP Chapter #2133 (Gilchrist County) provide an opportunity for any visitor aged 50 or older to visit once for free. Sample the meeting and if this might be something to enjoy.
The first meeting is where people can enjoy fellowship and freely dine with this AARP Chapters as a guest.
In these meetings, people receive valuable information as to what is happening in the local area. They are informed about many local volunteer options, as AARP Member Joseph Blitch regularly notes in the advance notice for these meetings.
Each month, there is a great lunch and door prizes, President Smith said.
As for lunch, Smith added, the club provides the meats – like ham at Easter time, or hotdogs and hamburgers at a summer monthly meeting. Chapter members bring side dishes and desserts. The lunches are rather amazing and are included as part of the $10 annual membership fee.
The menu for the Sept. 17 lunch shows it will be a "Casserole Luncheon.” Everyone is invited to bring a favorite casserole, salads, drinks and/or desserts to be shared by all.
Nowadays, President Smith said, there are between 30 to 50 people who show up for this monthly AARP chapter meeting in Gilchrist County. There is room for more people to join and to visit with each other, learn useful information and have a fine lunch – and potentially win door prizes.
This AARP chapter is among the local organizations in the Tri-County Area where caring and sharing are among the foundations – the cornerstones. This is a time and a place each month where several people gather to help one another, and to enjoy the day from 10:30 a.m. through lunchtime.
Each month, too, at these meetings there is health information that is relevant to senior citizens, provided for free (no co-payment for this free information). And there are opportunities to have blood pressure checked at the meetings – for free.
At the meetings of this local chapter of the AARP, Julie Waldman, attorney, shares important senior legal issues.
Members and guests are requested to please remember "Can In Hand," which is interpreted as “Please bring a non-perishable and-or hygiene items for the local food bank.”
The proverbial bottom line for the Gilchrist County AARP Chapter is that the return on investment is significant. Becoming a member of this chapter, President Smith said, provides value for the member by being part of this local group.
For more information regarding the agenda for the monthly meetings of the AARP Chapter in Gilchrist County, call Program Chair Janice Rogers at 352-463-1889.
Two views each of a couple of the wooden eagles being sold for $60 each to help the Junior Class of Bronson High School fund prom are seen on the streets of the Levy County seat on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 7).
Eagles are the team name for Bronson Middle High School. (The Eagles Varsity Football Team, by the way, won its football game on Friday (Sept. 6) with a score of 54-19, as shown in the ongoing list of Tri-County scores on the LEISURE PAGE.) The top sparkly eagle with big eyelashes is seen outside Chantilly Place, 310 Main Ave.
The bottom eagle is in front of County Seat Barber Shop, 318 E Hathaway Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27).
Both wooden eagles started as blank wooden shapes and they were individually decorated by the two sets of prom-supporting local business owners and-or their eagle-decorating teams.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 8, 2019 at 7:09 a.m.
Bearded Outdoors cuts ribbon
Seen here at the moment of snipping, and holding the scissors are Bearded Outdoors owners Reese and Amber Richards and their 2-year-old son Jase Richards, who helped cut the ribbon as seen in the video below. On either side of the family are barbers (bear masters) Lindsay Westberry and Drew Hernandez.
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 5, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
CHIEFLAND -- A new retail outlet for hunting supplies, as well as a place for haircuts and beard-trimming celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday (Sept. 4) in downtown Chiefland.
In this video, the ribbon is cut at Bearded Outdoors. The person providing the countdown to cut is Chiefland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joy Parker. She also brought the ribbon and scissors from the Chamber office, a few blocks south of this location.
Bearded Outdoors located at 26 N. Main St., which is across the street from the Tri-County Community Resource Center, is owned by Reese and Amber Richards.
It is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lindsay Westberry and Drew Hernandez are the barbers (beard masters). Westberry is available during business hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Hernandez is there on Saturdays . Haircuts cost $18 and beard-trimming costs $5.
(from left) Drew Hernandez and Lindsay Westberry, barbers (beard masters), and Amber Richards and Reese Richards stand on either side of archery targets. This is at the indoor seven-yard long range, in the store, where Reese Richards tests bows he has repaired.
Reese Richards said he has been involved with archery since he was hunting at about the age of 12 years old. He is 29 now. He is the archery tech in the shop, and can help anyone with bow repairs.
In the back of the store is an indoor seven-yard long range, where he tests every bow before it is returned to the owner after it has been repaired.
Bearded Outdoors is a Lancaster Archery Dealer, and in that capacity, he said, this is the shop to obtain almost anything related to archery or hunting.
Beyond hunting gear, the shop is also a place to buy local barbecue sauce (Kickin’ Cowboy) and local honey (Natural Bridge). Nature’s Paint – which is hunting face paint, is available at the store, too, as is Scent Assassin (a no scent formula for hunters to use).
Hunter’s Blend Coffee (Coffee by Hunters for Hunters) is another item to be found at Bearded Outdoors. By the way, Richard said that on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., or until the coffee runs out, visitors to the store can enjoy some free coffee that has been freshly brewed.
Bearded Outdoors includes 110 men and women in 35 states, Richards said, and it is less than two years old. The couple started with an idea to have a faith-based outdoor camping retail outlet and it has grown since they started it.
This opening of the store in downtown Chiefland happened ahead of plan.
“This shop was supposed to be part of our five to 10-year plan,” he said.
The couple prayed about it, and then chose to open it within a month after making that final decision.
All of the products that are sold there, he said, have been tried and tested by him for a least a year. They buy from smaller companies. All of the business decisions happen, he said, after they pray about it. If they are not moved by the Spirit, then they don’t move forward with a business idea.
“We put Jesus first,” he said.
Here is a picture of some of the many refreshments available for visitors during the open house on Wednesday evening
As for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Wednesday, it was well-attended. Supported by the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce, which provided the ribbon and scissors and notified the media, the event included refreshments for visitors as a gift from Bearded Outdoors.
Among the many Chiefland Chamber leaders were President Rissa Mainwaring, Chiefland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joy Parker and directors Dale Bowen, Denny George, Kathryn Lancaster and Krystle Skelly. Representing the city was Vice Mayor Tim West. Chiefland Postmaster Tammy Gomez, who led the Post Office to become a Chiefland Chamber member, was among the many other Chamber members also at the event.
Cedar Key School earns top state title
seventh time since 2004-05 school year;
CKS is one of only eight high schools
in Florida to win 2018-19 top award
Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director George D. Tomyn presents the plaque to 2018-19 CKS Athletic Director Kim Bishop.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 29, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
CEDAR KEY – Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director George D. Tomyn presented a statewide award to Cedar Key School Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 28), heralding the seventh year that CKS earned this significant distinction for good sportsmanship since the 2004-05 school year.
Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director George D. Tomyn holds the $2,500 check as 2018-19 CKS Athletic Director Kim Bishop holds the plaque.
Pausing for a photo opportunity before the plaque and check presentation are (from left) 2019-20 CKS Athletic Director Marissa Haldeman DeHaven, Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director George D. Tomyn, 2018-19 CKS Athletic Director Kim Bishop and CKS Principal Kathy Lawrence. All of the individuals in this photo modeled good sportsmanship, tolerating repeated requests to pose.
Accepting the FHSAA Class 1A 2018-19 Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award was 2018-19 CKS Athletic Director Kim Bishop. The school also accepted the $2,500 check for its athletic department.
Last year, there were nine FHSAA classes of schools based on size, FHSAA Communication Specialist Danielle Hogle said. She is the communication specialist tasked with this aspect of that statewide high school athletics organization. The Florida Legislature recognizes only one such organization – the FHSAA.
While there were nine FHSAA classes in 2018-19, and there was the addition of middle school as a class, there were only eight high schools awarded the top prize, because one entire classification of high school size failed to have a winner in good sportsmanship, according to FHSAA records.
The entire list of FHSAA Class 1A 2018-19 Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award winners and runners-up follows:
1A - Cedar Key, winner, and Hilliard, runner-up
2A - Aucilla Christian (Monticello), winner, and Lakeside Christian (Clearwater), runner-up
3A - Southwest Florida Christian (Fort Myers), winner, and FAU (Boca Raton), runner-up
4A - Calvary Christian (Clearwater), winner, and NO runner-up
5A - Key West, winner and Episcopal (Jacksonville), runner-up
6A - Ridgeview (Orange Park), winner, and Dunedin, runner-up
7A - Escambia (Pensacola), winner, and Jensen Beach, runner-up
8A - NO winner, and NO runner-up
9A - Apopka, winner, and Lake Nona (Orlando), runner-up
Middle School - Yulee, winner, and Marianna, runner-up
This school year 2019-20, the FHSAA reduced the classes from nine to seven, she said. Also last year, she said, there was the Middle School Category added, which meant there were 10 possible presentations that could have been given for the FHSAA Class 1A 2018-19 Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award, as well as 10 runners-up in the field of good sportsmanship that could have been given.
Not only did CKS earn this title for the 2018-19 school year, according to 2019-20 CKS Athletic Director Marissa Haldeman DeHaven, but Cedar Key School also was the champion in FHSAA Class 1A in sportsmanship for six previous school years before its most recent championship in good sportsmanship – 2004-05, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Director DeHaven said she hopes CKS earns the award this school year too.
The Cedar Key Shark poses for the press upon request (reflecting good mascot sportsmanship) just before the start of the award and check presentation, and the pep rally on Wednesday (Aug. 28).
The FHSAA website provides a biographical view of Rozelle, which helps explain why cash and plaques were presented to schools for good sportsmanship recognition, and why runners-up accepted smaller plaques and shared an amount of cash from the 2018-19 school year.
Fred E. Rozelle is a native of Florida, born and reared in Lake City and Columbia County. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1945. After serving in the United States Navy, he earned both his bachelor’s and master's degrees at the University of Florida.
In the fall of 1954, he became head football coach and athletic director at St. Petersburg Senior High School. As a member of the Western Conference, his teams finished in the first division all but one year through 1961. He held the office of vice-president of FACA in 1961.
In 1962, Rozelle was appointed Supervisor of Physical Education and Athletics for Pinellas County, and during the winter of 1965 was appointed principal of Azalea Junior High School in St. Petersburg, serving until 1970. In 1971, he was appointed principal of Seminole High School.
Rozelle was elected to the FHSAA Board of Directors in 1974, and in 1977 he was appointed to the Executive Committee. In 1978 he was elected vice-president and in 1979, elected to the office of president of FHSAA.
He held the position of Area II Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools for the school year 1979-1980.
He joined the staff of the Florida High School Activities Association on July 1, 1980, and became the Executive Secretary in September 1980, following Floyd E. Lay’s retirement.
The FHSAA Board of Directors honored him by the naming of the Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award.
Rozelle married Charlotte Jane Gross of Palatka. They have three children, Rick (deceased), Nancy and Randy; two granddaughters, Christiana and Brooke; and one grandson, Dylon. The Rozelles live in the City of Treasure Island (Pinellas County) and are enjoying their retirement.
The Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Program honors schools whose athletic teams demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship during the regular season and the FHSAA State Series, according to information on the FHSAA website.
This award is presented to one school in each of the seven FHSAA classifications. It covers the entire sports program om these schools and is awarded for the one in each class that best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship as demonstrated by its coaches, players and spectators.
Any FHSAA member school (high/combination school or middle/junior high school) may be nominated.
To earn this prestigious title, the winning school must include administrators, coaches, student-athletes and spectators who exemplify the qualities of good sportsmanship, FHSAA Executive Director Tomyn said.
Being ejected from a game due to poor sportsmanship counts significantly in the negative column in this competition. Some years, it has served as a complete disqualifier for consideration. Likewise, reports of good sportsmanship add to the positive score.
Communications Specialist Hogle said that since the committee which decides winning schools is comprised of different members annually, some judges can be stricter, even to the point of one ejection being a disqualifier for consideration.
Criteria for selection of the winners generally includes:
● programs and activities implemented within the school and community to promote sportsmanship;
● the number and type of unsporting conduct ejections;
● the number and type of exceptional sportsmanship reports; and the source of the nomination.
Nomination forms are available online for member schools and/or member officials associations to submit. Nominations must be received by March 25 of each year, or the next subsequent business day if March 25 occurs on a weekend. The person submitting the nomination form must have included their name and their title for the form to be accepted.
An Official’s Association must include his or her name and the Association they are affiliated with for the form to be accepted.
A school cannot nominate itself, Hogle said; however, a school with zero ejections during the school year does automatically qualify for consideration.
The winner and runner-up are selected from each class. The runner-up in each class receives $500 and a commemorative plaque. The winner in each class receives $2,500 and a larger plaque.
This is one of the signs adorning the walls of the CKS Gymnasium. It serves as a reminder about one of the key lessons for students and all others at Cedar Key School.
FHSAA Executive Director Tomyn accepted his duties in 2017 after an eight-year period when Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. James “Roger” Dearing had served the FHSAA.
FHSAA Executive Director Tomyn is a former superintendent of schools in Marion County, and back when he was an educator at Dunnellon High School, he had Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison as a student, he said.
Tomyn has an extensive background as an education administrator and in excess of 40 years total as an educator.
Tomyn earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida.
Able to be captured in a photo for a moment during the pep rally, the CKS Sharks Cheerleading Team is comprised of Karlie Bailey, Carlie Brown, Trinity Boyle, Kayei Lauer, Riley Libby, Alexis Lipscomb, Alyssa McCain, Megan McCain, Haiden Simpson, and Alexa Stottlemire.
While winning the FHSAA Class 1A 2018-19 Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award shows a continuity of spirit and behavior at Cedar Key School, there always are new aspects with the start of each new school year. This year, Aimee Champagne joins the CKS staff as the health aide. Champagne, a certified paramedic, is also the sponsor for the CKS Students Working Against Tobacco, which held its first meeting Wednesday as part of the Club Day activities that day.
CKS Athletic Director DeHaven shared a letter to parents of CKS students as she gave copies to the FHSAA and the press.
It describes “What is Sportsmanship?”
It notes the following:
Sportsmanship is a demonstration of generosity and genuine concern for others. It is a concrete measure of the understanding and commitment to fair lady, ethical behavior and integrity.
Sportsmanship is a blending of cheers for “your team” and applause for the “opponents,” of serving the letter and spirit of the rules, and showing consideration for others.
Sportsmanship is the “golden rule” of athletics treating others as you wish to be treated.
Sportsmanship is respect – respect for others and for one’s self.
Sportsmanship is all this and much more.
For coach, sportsmanship might be accepting a “questionable” call without protest.
For a student-athlete, it may be extending a helping hand to and an opponent who is down.
For a spectator, it might be cheering for his or her team when it loses, and applauding the opposing team when it wins.
For an official, it may be showing restraint when verbally assaulted by coaches, athletes and spectators.
Sportsmanship encompasses all that which is good in human nature.
Sportsmanship is good citizenship in action.
The letter goes on to note the desire for the Cedar Key School Sharks to continue to show great sportsmanship. It notes a desire to be great fans of the Sharks, while serving guest teams as wonderful hosts. The letter reminds CKS fans to be “super visitors” when the Sharks travel on the road to games elsewhere as well.
CKS Athletic Director DeHaven served as the emcee for the awards ceremony, which was at the start of a very peppy pep rally in the air-conditioned CKS Gymnasium.
As the high school math teacher continues in her role as this school year’s CKS athletic director, DeHaven mirrors the example of good sportsmanship, inviting the press to this significant event and serving as a thoughtful host for all of the students, faculty, administrators, staff members and visitors to the school for this occasion.
Rotarians learn about Satsumas
Standing for a photo opportunity are (from left) Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Robert Clemons, Kim Jones, owner of Florida Georgia Citrus, and Gilchrist County Rotary Club Treasurer Charlie Smith.
Story and Photo
By Holly Creel
Published Aug. 27, 2019 at 9:39 p.m.
TRENTON -- The Rotary Club of Gilchrist County had a sweet and refreshing meeting on Monday (Aug. 26) at the Woman's Club in Trenton.
Rotarian Charlie Smith introduced Kim Jones, owner of Florida Georgia Citrus, a family-owned farm that grows a variety of cold hardy citrus trees. We learned mostly about the infamous satsuma mandarin orange - a loose and thin-skinned seedless orange that produces prolifically in November and December. This delectable fruit is known mostly to us southerners and is a self-pollinating crop that is relatively easy to grow.
Florida Georgia Citrus is located in Monticello. It was created by Jones, who after retiring as a John Deere Tractor dealer wanted to develop a business that would be good for the community and would involve his grandchildren.
He started the company in 2015, built the packaging plant in 2016 and then began cultivating the trees. Jones shared stories about the primary disease of the satsuma - the incurable and deadly citrus greening disease that is caused by a vector-transmitted pathogen.
Jones explained best practices to protect the young trees from disease and frost, creative ways to use their juice, ideal planting locations, and optimal techniques for harvesting the luscious fruit. And he shared miniature servings of the delicious satsuma juice grown on his farm. Delightful!
Special thanks to our Rotary Treasurer Charlie Smith, who we have been gifted to have as a faithful and hardworking member since 1993, and to Kim Jones for traveling to Trenton to speak to us and educate us about this refreshing citrus tree.
Special thanks also go to Rotarian Doug Beach, who aptly, beautifully and robustly led us in song with America the Beautiful. And thanks to Chef Jason Fuchs of Spring Water Events for a mighty tasty meal of fried chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans in a special magical sauce, Caesar salad, bread and butter and a heavenly chocolate cake. Gilchrist Rotarians are thankful for such a special day!
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