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Hotdogs At The Hall
event offers fun for all

Hotdogs At The Hall
City Clerk Heather Bellot holds up one of her brownies that she cooked and gave away during the Hotdogs At The Hall event.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison ©Aug. 13, 2022 at 8:12 p.m.
     CROSS CITY –
People flocked to the city park near Cross City Town Hall late Friday afternoon (Aug. 12) for free hotdogs, chips, drinks and homemade brownies.

 

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Hotdogs At The Hall
CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SEE THE VIDEO. This is two clips of video that lasts about 16 seconds. It shows Cross City City Councilman J. Ryan Fulford being dunked twice in the dunk tank at the Hotdogs At the Hall event in Cross City on Aug. 12, 2022. In the first clip, a person throws the ball and dunks the councilman. In the second clip, a boy runs up and pushes on the lever to cause the man to be dunked. The dunk tank was a big hit at the event.
Video By Jeff M. Hardison
All Rights Reserved


Hotdogs At The Hall
City Councilman J. Ryan Fulford watches the trigger that puts him into the water when a ball or something else pushes it.

Hotdogs At The Hall
City Councilman J. Ryan Fulford is seen soon after being dunked.

Hotdogs At The Hall
Cross City Mayor Kenneth ‘Tank’ Lee shakes hands with City Manager John Driggers as the event begins to launch at 4 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Hotdogs At The Hall
Justin Bellot puts hotdogs on the grill.

Hotdogs At The Hall
City Manager John Driggers turns a hotdog as part of the grilling process.

Hotdogs At The Hall
Cross City Mayor Kenneth ‘Tank’ Lee and Vice Mayor Jovanté Teague stand with American Legion Riders of Post 383 Old Town. The riders came on motorcycles and motorized trikes. Seen here those American Legion Riders of Post 383 Old Town are Ray and M.J Dalphond; David ‘Cookie Jar’ Newman; Carl and Linda Rich; Gary and Connie Pruss; Post Commander Dave Forsman and Lisa McGee.

Hotdogs At The Hall
People start lining up for the free hotdogs and other treats, including homemade brownies.

Hotdogs At The Hall
Providing a photo opportunity when asked are (from left) Heather Smith, Karen VanAernam, Cross City Police Chief Jamie King holding Emersyn King and Nikie Waits. Waits is active with the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition (DCADC), and she provided a lot of people with spiffy foldable fans that said 'Rise Up For Recovery – Recovery Community Organization.' The DCADC is making progress in the county in its efforts to help people get off of drugs, as well as to not get on them. Drug abuse fuels a significant amount of all of the crime in any community.

Hotdogs At The Hall
Cross City Water Plant Operator George Edmonds (left) and Dixie County Commissioner Jody Stephenson are seen at the event. 

Hotdogs At The Hall
(from left) Dixie County Clerk Barbie Higginbotham, Dixie County Commissioner Mark Hatch, City Councilman J. Ryan Fulford and City Councilman Kirk Marhefka agree to a photo opportunity. This is Councilman Fulford mere moments before he became soaked by being dunked in the dunk tank. Councilman Marhefka was instrumental in this event being listed on the Community Calendar.

Hotdogs At The Hall
A Dodge Charger is seen before the Cross City Volunteer Fire Department demonstrates how extrication equipment (The Jaws of Life) can be used to cut a person out of a vehicle in a crash, when the person is trapped inside. The mat below the car is to catch the loose glass and metal pieces to keep them out of the grass. Mowers can turn glass and metal pieces into dangerous projectiles when the blades hit them. (Another photographer may provide some shots after it was cut up during the demonstration. Maybe not.)


     Beyond the food at the Hotdogs At The Hall event, there was fun at a dunk tank, and an extrication demonstration by the Cross City Volunteer Fire Department.
     The event showed a couple of changes from last year’s event. A new city clerk was appointed by the Town Council in February, because her predecessor went to work for the county as the county’s finance officer.
     The former police chief went to work with Dixie County Sheriff Darby Butler, and instead of being chief he is now DCSO Lt. Duane Sullivan.
     Meanwhile, City Clerk Heather Bellot is serving in that office now. She plans to seek election in the Sept. 27 Cross City Municipal Election. Qualifying for this post is set to happen from noon on Aug. 15 through noon on Aug. 19.
     “I am grateful to have served my city so far,” City Clerk Bellot said. “I look forward to serving the citizens in the future.”
     City Clerk Bellot brought her homemade brownies to give away at this event.
     Police Chief Jamey King said the Hotdogs At The Hall event is a continuation of the program started by former Police Chief Sullivan as an outreach into the community, and as a fundraiser for the Cross City Police Department Scholarship.
     This event on Friday was an immense success. Not only did children and adults from the city show up for the fun, but there were many officials from the county and judicial circuit were there too.
     Among the people from the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office at this event were the Dixie County supervisor for the State Attorney’s Office – Carey Carmichael, and Assistant State Attorney Jarrett Thomas. Thomas also serves as the pastor at Lydia Baptist Church of Cross City.
     A dunking booth provided lots of fun, and the Cross City Volunteer Fire Department demonstrated the use of extrication equipment on a car donated by John Desilet, owner of Cross City Cars.
     Other donors included the Old Family Market, which provided all of the hotdogs and buns, and Save-A-lot that gave the CCPD $100 to cover the costs for condiments, paper products and the like.
     It was a fun event that helped the scholarship fund of the municipal police agency, and a good time was had by all.

 


Williston Rotary News
Williston Rotary
At the regular weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Williston on Aug. 2, members and guests heard from Williston City Planner Laura Jones. She shared information about a plethora of exciting projects that are in the works for the City of Williston, including some of the information in a June 23 story published in HardisonInk.com about the city’s progress on Main Street. That story and photos can be seen by clicking HERE. Williston City Planner Jones is in the middle of this picture (holding an ink pen presented to her as a gift from the Williston Rotary Club) with Williston Rotarians Jacqueline Bastanzi and LeeAnne Rohrer on either side of her.

Rotary International 2022-2023
Like the other Rotary Clubs around the world, the club in Williston is operating under the International Rotary Club theme and logo seen above. The Rotary Year is July 1 through June 30 of each year. The reason for the July 1 start of the Rotary Club Year is that Rotary’s first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended, on Aug. 18, 1910. The 1911-1912 fiscal year also related to the convention, beginning with the first day of the 1911 convention on Aug. 21, 1911.
Published Aug. 8, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.

Photos and Information By Dedee McLeod, Williston Rotary - PR Chair

 


CF GED graduate
gives graduation address

CF GED Graduation 2022
Most of the CF GED graduates participating in the ceremony on Wednesday are seen here. They are Jacob Anderson, Haylie Cardounel, Dominic Danzy, Harley Driscoll, Tracey Driscoll, Samantha Dzielak, Alexander Kennedy, Angela McWilliams, , Isabelle Rose, Baylee Schwarz, Clayton Sellner, Matthew Sweat, , Hillary Thompson and Gabriella Waters. The three graduates missing from this picture are Harley Driscoll, April Melton and Riley Teckenbrock.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:12 p.m.
All Rights Reserved
     LEVY COUNTY –
Sixteen young men and women each completed courses to earn their General Educational Development (GED) State of Florida High School diploma.


2022 CF GED Grads
Click the photo above to watch the graduates enter the auditorium as part of the ceremony.

2022 CF GED Grads
As indicated by the gold-colored cords, these three graduates are honors students. They are (from left) Samantha Dzielak, Hillary Thompson and Gabriella Waters. One honors grad -- Harley Driscoll – was absent from the ceremonies.

2022 CF GED Grads
Leah Gamble, manager of instructional services at the CF Jack Wilkinson, Levy (County) Campus welcomes everyone to the ceremony.

2022 CF GED Grads
Transition Specialist and Instructor Kim Cooper speaks to the people from the podium as CF Levy Campus Manager Of Instructional Services Leah Gamble, sitting closest to the podium and Adult Education Instructor Jennifer Dzielak listen to their esteemed colleague.

2022 CF GED Grads
Keynote speaker of the night Aimee Newell, a 2021 GED State of Florida High School diploma recipient, tells the graduates that she understands how difficult it can be to juggle family, work and learning to earn this diploma. Newell is continuing her education as she is in her second year toward earning an Associate of Science degree in medical office administration.

2022 CF GED Grads
Six of the graduates participating that night are seen on one side at the front of the giant conference room.

2022 CF GED Grads
Seven of the graduates participating that night are seen on one side at the front of the giant conference room.

2022 CF GED Grads
Aimee Newell, keynote speaker, is seen in the control booth where she initiated the music for the graduates’ entrance and exit.

2022 CF GED Grads
CF Levy Campus Manager Of Instructional Services Leah Gamble pours fresh punch into a bowl after the ceremony as people prepare to enjoy the post-ceremony refreshments.

     On Wednesday night (Aug. 3), they heard from another person who had earned her GED through that part of the Adult Education curriculum at the College of Central Florida (CF), where that GED graduate is now seeking to complete courses to earn her Associate of Science degree in in medical office administration. 
     Aimee Newell, a 2021 GED State of Florida High School diploma recipient, is continuing her studies at CF as she seeks her Associate of Science degree.
     Leah Gamble, manager of instructional services at the CF Jack Wilkinson, Levy (County) Campus, opened the program by welcoming guests and introducing staff. Gamble has served in Levy County for CF for 16 years now, and she remains passionate about transforming the lives of students.
     Family and friends of the graduates filled both sides of three sets of seats in the large auditorium.
     Levy Campus Manager Gamble spoke about Transition Specialist and Instructor Kim Cooper, Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator Christine Dunn, Adult Education Instructor Jennifer Dzielak and Adult Education Instructor Debbie Sass.
     Dunn and Sass were unable to attend the Wednesday night ceremony. In her absence, Gamble mentioned that Dunn is very happy for this accomplishment by all of the graduates, and she is very proud of all of them.
     Also present for this event was CF Vice President of Regional Campuses Dr. Vernon Lawter, and CF Jack Wilkinson, Levy Campus Provost Holly McGlashan.
     During her welcome, Gamble mentioned that it is important to complete high school to continue education in college or to continue in some other realm to be successful in life.
     This night’s graduates, who are from the spring and summer sessions, chose to continue this path to pursue their dreams, Gamble said.
     “Most of you sitting here,” Gamble told the graduating class, “did not have the greatest experience with education prior to enrolling in our program. We are extremely proud of all of you who are sitting here tonight, and all of our other graduates who did not attend.”
     The graduates of the night were Jacob Anderson, Haylie Cardounel, Dominic Danzy, Harley Driscoll, Tracey Driscoll, Samantha Dzielak, Alexander Kennedy, Angela McWilliams, April Melton, Isabelle Rose, Baylee Schwarz, Clayton Sellner, Matthew Sweat, Riley Teckenbrock, Hillary Thompson and Gabriella Waters. Harley Driscoll, Melton and Teckenbrock did not attend the ceremony.
     The four students in this class who earned honors were Harley Driscoll, Samantha Dzielak, Hillary Thompson and Gabriella Waters.
     To merit this designation, Transition Specialist and Instructor Cooper said, required exceptional commitment to this educational endeavor. Likewise, she added they must have exemplary attendance and model classroom behavior. 
     These honor graduates were distinguished during the ceremony by wearing a gold-colored honor cord, and their names were noted on the program with asterisks next to their names.
     In addition to their diplomas, each of these four honor graduates will receive two letters of recommendation from the National Adult Education Honor Society with one for collegiate financial assistance and one for employment, Cooper said.
     Cooper said the college expresses its appreciation to the Rotary Club of Chiefland for sponsoring this recognition.
     At the start of ceremonies Wednesday night, Campus Manager Gamble said the staff and administration at the CF Jack Wilkinson, Levy Campus likewise are proud for the support of family and friends who helped these all of the GED graduates reach their goals, adding that she considers it an honor to be with all of the people there on that night.
     The dedication and demanding work by students and staff put forth in this program, Gamble said, shows that “… as a team we can all be successful.”
     Transition Specialist and Instructor Cooper introduced guest speaker Newell to the audience.
     Cooper is among the powerhouses of positivity and encouragement who help students reach their goals, as she and other members of the whole CF team in Levy County demonstrate by their actions that they care for the people who are placed under their supervision as those students sojourn through academia.
     “Amy completed her program entirely online,” Cooper said, “as she attended during the COVID-19 (global) pandemic. Her determination, self-dedication and grit is what allowed her to push through all of the challenges that online classes can bring.”
     Cooper mentioned that not only is Newell completing college courses, but she has enrolled in the work-study program available at CF, where she assists with peer tutoring, and student support in the CF Adult Education Department.
     “She has already helped to motivate many of the GED grads that you see before you today,” Cooper said. “And we know, she will be successful in life as she has been so far.”
     Newell’s inspirational speech shared aspects of her life during the time she was earning her GED via the Internet as she attended CF online during the height of the global pandemic.
     Newell congratulated the graduates, as she told them she knows this is not an easy thing to achieve, adding that she is proud of all of them for having completed the program.
     When she began the process to earn her GED, Newell said she was scared, anxious and was unsure of what to expect.
     “One thing I knew for certain,” Newell said, “was that I was not going to give up. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and motivation.”
     Newell said she felt driven to complete the task to show her children that “No matter what life throws at you, you can always achieve your goals with persistence and dedication.”
     While completing her GED, Newell was working at a grocery store as a manager. She was working 45 hours a week. For people who have worked in the field of retail sales, she said they would understand what this means.
     “Between work and my kids,” Newell said, “I was finding it hard to find a happy medium. On top of that, I had school. I thought to myself – How am I going to do this?”
     She wondered about juggling priorities of her children, her job and her education. 
     Organization was a key she used to find the answer to the question about time management, Newell said. 
     During her time of learning and being evaluated to show what she learned, Newell said she saw moments of disappointment when she was mere points away from passing the required examinations.
     Instructors Cooper and Dunn never gave up on her, Newell said. 
     “They encouraged me to do better than I though I ever could,” Newell said. “They are my biggest motivators. Without their compassion and diligence, I do not believe I would be where I am now.”
     Newell is in her second year of studies to earn her AS in medical office and administration. 
     “Again, congratulations graduates,” Newell said as she concluded her speech. “I hope you continue your education here at CF. We are more than just a college. We are a family. Thank you.”
     Cooper presented Newell with a gift of a CF shirt from the Adult Education Team.
     Before accepting their diplomas, and turning their tassels to herald their graduation, the students each presented one carnation to the person in the audience who they felt best helped them achieve this goal.
     After the graduation ceremony, there were cookies and punch available for graduates and guests, as well as photo opportunities.

 


WHS student earns
UF/IFAS opportunities

students
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences scholarship winners (from left) Isabella Minderman, Carly Legler, and UF Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Elaine Turner, and UF/IFAS CARLS scholarship winners Hughes Putnam and Alani Haile are seen here.
Photo Provided By UF/IFAS

Stories and Photos Provided
By University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Published Aug. 3, 2022 at 9:12 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE --
As Samantha Murray of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences noted in a recent emailed press release, Williston High School student Carly Legler has received two opportunities to further her academic career. Legler will represent Florida for the Global Youth Institute this October, and Legler has earned a scholarship to the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
     Murray sent the following two stories with the details about Legler's success, which is success enjoyed by certain other students noted in the stories as well.

High school students earn scholarships
through Florida Youth Institute

Written by Caroline Nickerson and Jarred Shellhouse
     GAINESVILLE ---
Seven high school juniors and seniors earned scholarships to the University of Florida/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) through participating in the Florida Youth Institute.
     Based on their outstanding engagement and participation in the week-long program, the following students were offered a scholarship to attend CALS:
     • Isabella Farhat, Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville
     • Emilia Fiebel, Sheridan Technical High School, Hollywood
     • Alani Haile, Atlantic High School, Port Orange 
     • Carly Legler, Williston High School, Williston
     • Isabella Minderman, Merritt Island High School, Merritt Island
     • Adam Hughes Putnam, Houston High School, Germantown, Tenn.
     • Hunter Taylor, Eustis High School, Eustis
     “We know that many high school students are not familiar with the broad range of majors offered in CALS, so through FYI, they see science in action while also learning how to be agents for positive change in their local communities,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “These scholarships are given to students who stood out during the week for their curiosity and meaningful interactions with peers, speakers and program staff.”
     The Florida Youth Institute is a residential summer program that introduces students to college majors and career opportunities pertaining to agriculture, natural resources and the environment, while exploring global food security. The students also prepare an essay before arriving to the program in which they research a country, an issue the country faces related to food security and proposed solutions to address the issue. 
     “I went into this program thinking that everybody was going to impress me. We met tons of experts and tons of farmers, but when actually meeting these people, they more than exceeded my expectations,” said Farhat, a rising senior. “This week has probably been the best week of my life, by far. I’ve learned so much and met some amazing people.”
     Throughout the week, the Florida Youth Institute participants explored several UF/IFAS departments, including animal sciences, food science and human nutrition, and entomology and nematology; spoke with local agricultural organizations like the Florida Farm Bureau Federation and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences Division of Plant Industry; and presented their essays to experts in agriculture and related sciences.
     “I think we had a lot of opportunities to learn from people in the industry, and that’s what kept me so engaged,” said Fiebel, a rising senior. “We’re just teenagers, and we still have so much to learn because we are so young. This week I was just able to learn so much more than I thought I would.”
     The Florida Youth Institute is a program developed in partnership with the World Food Prize Foundation and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 


High school students selected
to attend national conference
through Florida Youth Institute

Written by Caroline Nickerson and Jarred Shellhouse
     GAINESVILLE --
Twenty high school students were selected to represent Florida for the Global Youth Institute this October, following their participation in the Florida Youth Institute and research on a key issue facing a foreign country.
     The Florida Youth Institute is a week-long residential program offered twice in July, hosted by the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in partnership with the World Food Prize Foundation and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The program focuses on global food security, while giving participants opportunities to explore college majors and possible careers in agriculture, natural resources, the environment and related life sciences.
     “We started this program six years ago,” said Charlotte Emerson, coordinator of the Florida Youth Institute and director of student development and recruitment for the college. “It was a way for us to expose high school students to their role in global food security, give them a pathway to learn about our college’s majors and discover how each student can make a local impact to improve the lives of those around them.”
     After being accepted into the Florida Youth Institute, each participant was required to select a country, research an issue in that country related to food insecurity and suggest solutions for the issue. Participants submitted an essay and then presented their work to a panel of experts representing different areas in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences.
     “My paper topic was about education, so it took a holistic approach to food insecurity in Uganda,” said Riley Morauski, a student participant from Fort Myers, Florida. “Through my research, I found that a wider view of food insecurity and its place in society can help solve the problem.”
Based on their presentations, the following students were selected to be part of the Florida delegation at the 2022 Global Youth Institute, on online event hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation in conjunction with the 2022 Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue:
     • Madison Adkins, Lincoln Park Academy, Fort Pierce 
     • Adrianna Ballate, Miami Lakes Education Center, Miami 
     • Amelia De La Torre, Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory School, Hollywood
     • Isabella Farhat, Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville
     • Emilia Fiebel, Sheridan Technical High School, Hollywood
     • Hailey Garcia, Palm Beach Central High School, Wellington
     • Alani Haile, Atlantic High School, Port Orange 
     • Carly Legler, Williston High School, Williston 
     • Isabella Minderman, Merritt Island High School, Merritt Island
     • Riley Morauski, Cypress Lake High School, Fort Myers
     • Lena Morefield, Nazareth Area High School, Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
     • Ella Pilacek, Oveido High School, Oveido
     • Adam Hughes Putnam, Houston High School, Germantown, Tennessee
     • Cade Randolph, Cardinal Newman High School, West Palm Beach
     • Joshua Siu, Montville Township High School, Montville, New Jersey
     • Zaynaa Syed, Universal Academy of Florida, Tampa
     • Hunter Taylor, Eustis High School, Eustis
     • Ryan Wilkerson, Paxon High School, Jacksonville
     • Taylor Worbington, Creekside High School, St. Johns
     • Madeline Yee, Pine View School, Osprey
     Each student will have the option to revise their paper based on feedback from the experts and then send their essay to the World Food Prize Foundation.
     Beyond their research, students also explored several UF/IFAS departments, such as animal sciences, entomology and nematology, and food science and human nutrition, gaining a better understanding for the role each area plays in the food system.
     “The entomology and nematology department was extraordinary and eye-opening,” said Joshua Siu, a participant from Montville, New Jersey. “It helped increase my appreciation for the role that bugs play in our ecosystem and solving food insecurity.” 
     At the conclusion of the Florida Youth Institute, each student was recognized by the World Food Prize Foundation as a Borlaug Scholar, honoring the legacy of Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize winner and agronomist who led several advancements in agricultural production. As a Borlaug Scholar, participants are eligible for select scholarships and internships through the World Food Prize Foundation.

 


BISSELL Pet Foundation grant helps
FTA keep spay and neuter costs low

FTA and Bissell help pets
Graphics by BISSELL Pet Foundation and Fix Them All.


By Jeff M. Hardison © July 29, 2022 at 11:12 a.m.
     TRI-COUNTY AREA --
Fix Them All (FTA) recently was awarded a $9,350 Spay & Neuter Grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation.
     As a result, these funds will be used to help subsidize the cost of spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats done though Fix Them All between Aug. 1, 2022, and Aug. 1, 2023. Pet owners’ co-payments are only $30 per cat and $50 per dog.
     FTA is the name of the former Pay To Spay, which incorporated in Florida and was awarded federal 501(c)(3) status in 2016. This non-profit organization has a mission to incentivize the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to reduce the number of unwanted animals, which ultimately reduces the number of cats and dogs that are killed by euthanasia.
     FTA works in rural counties in North Central Florida, where there are relatively high euthanasia rates to help people overcome barriers to sterilizing their pets. 
     This grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation for spay and neuter surgeries covers some of the expense through the FTA program. This dedicated grant will help reduce the homeless pet population by preventing unwanted litters of cats and dogs in the communities FTA serves.
     With thousands of pets abandoned each year, proactive spay and neuter procedures address the root cause of animal overpopulation by preventing unwanted births, freeing up shelter space for pets in need, and saving pets from potential abandonment or euthanasia.
     FTA is not the only group helped by the BISSELL Pet Foundation. This foundation awards numerous grants every year to shelters and spay/neuter programs across the country to help protect and save animal lives. In 2021, more than $1.3 million was provided through grants to shelters for spay/neuter procedures.
     “With the recent overcrowding crisis shelters are facing throughout the country, supporting our partner’s preventative spay and neuter efforts has become even more critical to impacting the lives of both homeless and owned pets,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “We also strongly encourage all pet owners to be responsible and have their pets sterilized to do their part to end pet homelessness.”
     Visit the website at https://www.fixthemall.org/ for information about veterinary options and links to the online application and payment form. “Prevention is Kinder” is a motto of FTA.
     “Every shelter in the region we serve is above capacity, and local rescues can’t keep up. There are simply too many stray and surrendered animals,” said Priscilla Caplan, president of Fix Them All. “The only way to make a dent in the problem is to prevent pet overpopulation to begin with by spaying and neutering all dogs and cats. This grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation will help us FIX THEM ALL.”
     FTA provides access to surgery through its low-cost voucher program, transportation when possible, and education to help pet owners understand why this is so critically important. Since 2016, more than 6,000 dogs and cats have been sterilized through the FTA program. To donate, volunteer or find out how to use our services, visit the website https://www.fixthemall.org/.

 


 

Two weeks of meetings 
Williston Rotary Installs Officers
- Honors Jim Mixson
Desiree Jerrels Mills Visits

Williston Rotary
The new officers of the Rotary Club of Williston take their oath of office administered by Rotarian Chris Cowart.

Stories and Photos
By Jana Carlisle, Membership Chair
The Rotary Club of Williston 
Published July 20, 2022 at 9:12 p.m.
     WILLISTON --
As the new Rotary year begins, the Rotary Club of Williston celebrated with its Annual Banquet and Installation of 2022-23 Officers. 


 

Jim Mixson and Danny Etheridge
Jim Mixson (left) holds the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him as outgoing Co-President Danny Etheridge stands beside the beloved honorary member of the club, who has 50-plus of years of being a Rotarian, when he has provided service above self and continues to put service above self among his guiding principles.

     The club congratulated outgoing Co-Presidents Chris Cowart and Danny Etheridge, and Treasurer Amanda Lane on a job well done and terms well served. Our outgoing leaders shared kind words and encouragement to incoming officers, President Blake Fugate, Vice-President/President Elect Kaylee Sullivan, Secretary LeeAnne Rohrer, Treasurer Jacqueline Bastanzi, and Sergeant-At-Arms Norm Fugate. 
     The club also honored 50-plus year Rotarian and honorary member of the Rotary Club of Williston, Jim Mixson.
     Mixson is approaching his 93rd birthday, and the Rotary Club of Williston honored him by presenting him with a lifetime achievement award.
     President Blake Fugate announced the motto for the upcoming year by saying “Let’s make it a Mr. Mixson year” following Mixson’s excellent example of being a father, a husband, a friend, and consistently demonstrating service above self, where he has proved to be service-above-self leader and an all-around favorite person of many!


Desiree Jerrels Mills,
Candidate Levy County Commissioner District 3

Williston rotary
Flanked by Rotarian Blake Fugate (left) and Rotarian Danny Etheridge, Desiree Jerrels Mills holds an ink pen presented by the Rotary Club of Williston to her as a keynote speaker.


     WILLISTON – The week before the most recent meeting, on July 12, Desiree Jerrels Mills, a candidate for Levy County Commissioner District 3 spoke with the members and guests of the Rotary Club of Williston 
     A lifelong Levy County resident and from a farming family, Desiree shared her love for our county and her platform to preserve the things that are important to so many of us with a fair balance between growth and agriculture stability.
     The seat she’s running for was previously occupied by the late Mike Joyner, whom she worked closely with as his campaign treasurer. One lesson she shared from Mike was “Mean what you say; Say what you mean.” She also stated that “Success in government comes from serving others” and her goal is to be accessible to and a voice for constituents. 
     The Rotary Club of Williston is a service organization proud to support local youth projects, programs and scholarships through community fundraisers like our Purple Pinkie Peanut Run/5K in October and the Gun Raffle October-December.  We invite anyone interested in doing good deeds for our community to join us Tuesdays at 11:45 at the First Presbyterian Church for fellowship and to learn more.

 


 

AdChristianpress2
First Published Feb. 1, 2011 at 8 a.m.
     On Feb. 1, 2011, HardisonInk.com came into existence on the Internet. On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com started, which was about nine months after the start of the daily news website. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, when and where a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption by the man about that journalist was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And the journalist said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
     Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past years. There were two days in 2018 when the daily devotional did not run due to a journalist requiring emergency orthopedic surgery on broken bones in his left arm and wrist. That surgically added metal, though, makes that part of that arm even more able to withstand forces. Many daily devotionals are pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). The journalist who is the sole proprietor and owner of HardisonInk.com (Jeff M. Hardison) notes his appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company, and for the many other contributors who have helped people over the past decade-plus now. Strength for Service to God and Country's daily devotionals include many from a time when the United States of America was a partner in a World War, both WWI and WWII. This journalist welcomes contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to hardisonink@gmail.com. Americans are reminded that all religions, having no religion and or being a person who endorses anti-religion are all protected as part of the freedoms from government intervention, as are other benefits from being an American.

 


Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Read John 4:19-26

     God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
-- John 4:24 (KJV)


     Real religion is what happens when men become aware of the presence of God. But how may we become aware of the presence of God? We become aware of the presence of God only by thinking of him as a Spirit. But what does it mean to think of God as a Spirit? Are we to think of Him as a kind of a “Ghost”? To many people, such thoughts are uncanny and unreal. Jesus taught us to think of God as our Father in heaven. By His life and teaching, Jesus thinks of God in terms of His purpose for us and for others; His plan for the world, His love of humanity, His coming rule “on earth as it is in heaven.”
     It is helpful to think of an earthly father and mother. Though we may not see them or touch them because they are separated from us in space or even by death, we may know their presence exists for us because we know their hopes for us, their plans for us, their pride in us, their love for us, all of which are enduring long past their physical presence with us. We may not “feel” them near us, but they are spiritually present in our memories, our hopes and our love.
     Right across the centuries, people have known the presence of God as a healing, strengthening, empowering reality, meeting them in their plans, their purposes, their temptations and their victories. The Spirit of God was made real in Jesus.   
     God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
-- John 4:24 (KJV)
     O GOD, who hast revealed Thyself in Jesus Christ, grant us grace that we may worship Thee in spirit and in truth. Thou art closer to us than breathing and nearer than our own hands and feet. Help us to be true to Thee and to live in the strength of Thy presence. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alexander Converse Purdy (1890-1976)
Hartford Seminary
Hartford, Connecticut
Strength for Service to God and Country
(Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers)

 



Outdoor Truths Ministry

By Gary Miller © Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:12 a.m.

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     I have fished since I was a teenager. I started fishing for carp in the canals of my little town. As and older teenager, my occasional trip to the levee was one of my most memorable outings and it gave me an opportunity to catch a bass. I was fifteen before I took my first trip to the lake. As a young adult, I spent many hours on those lakes. Crappie, largemouth, and white bass were the species I knew best. As I got a little older, I learned the nuances of the small rivers in my area. I have fished the shallow crappie waters of Alabama and the multitude of small pike-infested lakes of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. I have fished from the most expensive bass boats, the least expensive Jon boats, kayaks, and even in waders. What I had never done until last year, was fish the North Fork River in Arkansas. This trip triggered the inexperience I had with larger, fast flowing, and unbelievably cold, rivers. Not only was I trying to catch trout, but at the same time I was trying to keep the small boat arranged to keep us in the correct position for fishing, and for keeping us from being capsized by a hidden log, a low-lying tree limb, or just by an unexpected wave. Needless to say, for the first few hours, fishing was not on the top of my priority list. Staying alive and dry was. Most of my group was as inexperienced as me. Each boat operator had to learn quickly how to maneuver in order to have a safe and successful time. As for fishing, the idea was to manage all the different paces of the environment we were in. To catch fish, we had to manage the flow of the river, the pace of the boat, and the retrieval speed of the lure we were using. Each of us had our difficult moments. These were not comfortable days on a placid lake. These were adventures in unknown and unexpected environments, that were capped with both success and failures. When the fishing was over, we all came back to the cabin and ate together, shared our stories, competed in trash-talking cornhole competitions, and laughed a lot. Then we prepared to do it again the next day.
     One afternoon, I stayed at the cabin. I watched as each man adapted to the situations given him. Each one tailored his efforts according to the winds, waves, and currents of the unknown. And each one finished the day, tired. Some caught more fish than others, but all did their best. I imagined standing at the door of the place we call church. I imagined welcoming people who had spent a week adapting to more difficult situations with more important ramifications. And I imagined them needing a place to eat, rest, recover, fellowship, laugh, and be encouraged for the following day when they will face life once again. And I can’t imagine anything more important for the church to do, than that.

-- Gary Miller  gary@outdoortruths.org

     Gary Miller has written the Outdoor Truths articles for 20 years now. He also has written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He speaks at wild-game dinners and men's events for churches and associations. Gary Miller's website is located at http://www.outdoortruths.org/.


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