Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

By Andrea L. T. Peterson

Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming memoir. It is a tribute to a mother’s love and determination as well as the resilience of children.

Living on a huge farm with more than 600 animals and dozens of temporary and short-term volunteers to share the care-taking responsibilities while she attended to her own successful graphics business isn’t exactly the life Zaleski had imagined when she was a child. Nor did it quite fulfill the promise made to her mother that she would someday have such a farm where her mother could spend work-filled, peaceful days tending to any and all animals that touched her heart.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! When Zaleski was still just a toddler, her family was living a fairytale life. Until they weren’t. When it all fell apart amidst domestic abuse and violence and betrayal, the author’s mother Annie took Laurie, her siblings, and anything essential they could fit in their car and left. Determined not to return to the nightmare that appeared to be an idyllic life to the outside world, the family took up residence in a beaten-up shack—basically four walls and a roof. To make ends almost meet, Annie worked several jobs, among them, cleaning out the cages at the local animal control.

An animal lover, Annie often took the animals on canine “death row” home where she and her kids loved and cared for them, giving them a new lease on life. The shack wasn’t very hospitable to humans or animals, but it gradually became home. Fortunately, the land on which it sat provided much space for all manner of animal life, including horses and goats, that needed a home.

Their strange, animal-filled lives and their impoverished living conditions made the kids outcasts at school, but Annie began bringing some of the animals to school, first for show and tell, then as an educational tool, making young people aware of homeless—abandoned and abused—animals. Suddenly the school “joke,” the kid with pet goats and a cow, was a pretty popular kid!

Zaleski promised her mother that one day, when she was “a successful business woman,” she would buy a farm where her mother could comfortably live the animal-filled life she wanted.

It took almost 20 years for Zaleski’s career in graphic design to result in her own successful business and for the vision of Annie’s farm to begin to come to fruition. Regrettably, Annie saw the signatures on the dotted line, but succumbed to cancer just two weeks before moving onto the property that would become Funny Farm.

Using her graphics business made creating kids books about her menagerie of animals pretty easy, but, Zaleski said, a real book “was a whole new animal… What a learning process! I didn’t know what half of these jobs [in publishing] were.” Writing the book “was like therapy,” says the author.

In the photo: Laurie and Nemo by Matt Reeves

Zaleski still takes her story and animals to schools. What a sight to see her enter the school with a cow or a horse with a chicken on its back and a dog at its heels! With all of these odd animals living together, free-range—she hopes to illustrate that “just because we’re different doesn’t mean we can’t get along.”

An unexpected focus for the Funny Farm has become dogs with Megaesophagus, a disorder in which the esophagus is basically too narrow and everything consumed is immediately regurgitated. No food can pass, no nutrition can be absorbed. The first dog with this disorder to reach Funny Farm was given weeks to live. He lived for six years thanks to lots of TLC and a special chair called a Bailey Chair designed so that the dog can eat sitting up, like a baby in a highchair.

A strict vegan herself, who will “eat bark off a tree before she’ll eat chicken,” Zaleski says “we don’t talk politics, religion, or food! We’re not trying to make people vegetarian or vegan. We just want people to know where their food comes from.”

A refuge for animals and humans, Funny Farm draws supporters and volunteers from the strangest places! “People plan their vacations around us,” says Zaleski. “They follow us on Facebook! The love, love, love the animals.”

Boy Scout troops volunteer, members of Surfside (NJ) AA group volunteers. For some it’s pure pleasure, for some it’s therapy, for some it’s community service hours! Volunteers choose what chores they want to do. Who knew cooping manure could be relaxing and therapeutic!

For Zaleski, Funny Farm “is my church… Stress and problems melt away! It’s so joyous to see all the animals, who are not exactly natural allies, getting along like brothers and sisters! They’re so happy and appreciative!” For her, the bottom line is “Never give up! Every living thing deserves a chance!”

Now, boasting unique mix of pets, livestock and beasts of burden, a core of dedicated volunteers, a presence on FB, and 501(c)(3) status, Funny Farm, In May Landing, NJ (just a half an hour from Atlantic City and about an hour from Philly)–“full of animals and fit for lunatics”—is a modern day Noah’s Ark.

In the photo: Barn photo of Laurie with Adele the Chicken, Stormie the horse, Ducky the pig, Farley the dog, and Yogi the steer by Amanda Werner.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

Creating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area

By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff

First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and tacky drapes, you probably won’t want to stay there. Likewise, if you drive into a town and see median strips that are barren except for semi-maintained grass and no landscaping along the sides of the road, you may think about buying a home elsewhere. The Greater Sun City Center Beautification Corporation (GSCCBC) provides the first impression for people considering purchasing a home in the area. Just as importantly, residents of Greater Sun City Center can enjoy looking at the fountain, flowers, bushes and trees every day.

What the Greater SCC Beautification Corporation Does

The Beautification Corporation is the reason why we have lovely landscaping along the median and roadsides from just east of Cortaro Drive to just west of US-301. This includes landscaping, the Sun City Center monument sign and the Blue Star Memorial sign. Without the Beautification Committee’s work, we would just have grass in those areas and wait for the state to mow it.

The GSCCBC hires people to repair and maintain the fountain and adjacent pond, the irrigation system, and other structures. It also hires and oversees the landscape company that trims bushes, mows the lawn, and prunes trees. The corporation also pays for new plantings. When possible, Florida-friendly plants are incorporated into the landscape. Irrigation is done with treated wastewater.

How the Beautification Corporation Is Funded

The corporation is a not-for-profit organization. It is overseen by five volunteers. Two are from Kings Point, two are from the Sun City Center Community Association and one is an “at large” member. Currently, John Luper is the president of the group. Presidents of associations (HOAs, COAs, POAs, etc.) vote. The number of votes an association president has is equal to the number of homes in their group.

Most of the GSCCBC funds come from the residents of Sun City Center Community Association and Kings Point whose homes were built after late 1991. Currently, these households pay about $3.44 a month (about $41 a year) to help maintain and improve the landscaping along the medians, roadsides and also the low lying, depressed, often wet land along the south side.

Residents whose homes were built before October of 1991 do not automatically contribute. They are encouraged to make voluntary contributions to the Greater Sun City Center Beautification Corporation. To do so, make a check payable to GSCCBC and mail it to GSCCBC c/o Vesta Property Services, 1020 Brandon Boulevard, Suite 207, Brandon Florida 33511. John Luper says, “We spend what we get. There is always something that needs to be done.”

Whenever possible, the corporation applies for grants to help cover expenses. All donations are welcome. The SCC Community Association and Kings Point Federation do not contribute to the beautification funds.

This sign celebrates the many clubs, civic groups, and veterans organizations that make SCC such a great place to live and play.

Impact of SR-674 Road Improvements

The property alongside the road and in the medians all belongs to the state. Luper says, “We have an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation. If we want to take better care of the property than the state does, it is on our nickel. If something is damaged or removed, it is up to us to get it back to normal. The state won’t pay for it.” Our agreement with the Department of Transportation allows The GSCC Beautification Corporation to make improvements if two criteria are met. First, it gets the state’s approval. Second, the Corporation pays for any and all improvements.

Luper says, “We don’t own any of the property. We just want to keep it to a higher standard.” The state and county will leave it as unadorned grass. If we as a community want more, it is up to us. The GSCC Beautification Corporation will use all funds it receives to make the area more attractive.

Using the proposed plans for 674, the Beautification Corporation had its landscapers cap and bury some of the irrigation sprinklers. In the end, extended turn lanes, bike lanes, new sidewalks and paving took up more land than anticipated and much of the irrigation system was lost. The road was enhanced. However, landscaping was lost and the means of watering much of what remains was destroyed.

As a result of the roadwork on 674, Luper says, “Irrigation is a top priority. Currently we have six medians with irrigation not working. Much of the land was scraped and removed. It will cost over $55,000 to make those repairs. It is on us to maintain our improvements on state property and to replace trees and landscaping.”

A Little History

At one time, anyone driving into the area would go down a two-lane road with a grassy median. Later it widened into four lanes with the same type of median. In 1989, Al Hoffman was the only builder in the area. He and his company, most recently known as WCI, wanted the area to look nice so houses would sell. The GSCCBC was originally called the “Master Beautification Association.” All unsold lots owned by the developer on October 10 were classified as “Class A Members.” These Class A Members (one per household even if more than one person lives there) were to be required to pay an annual assessment to what was then called the “Master Beautification Association.” Aston Gardens and the Courtyards are also Class A Members. Since the developer could only make requirements for property he still owned, those with homes purchased before October 10, 1989 were not billed.

As long as WCI and, later, Minto were here, they took care of expenses for many of the repairs such as repairing the fountain. After they left, it was all up to the Corporation to finance. Whether you already contribute to the GSSCBC or not, you may wish to send a donation to the corporation. All monies received go to maintaining and improving the medians and the areas alongside the road.

HEADLINE PHOTO: This bright sign and beautiful water feature welcome residents, guests, and prospective buyers to Sun City Center. (Photo by Shelba Porter)

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center

A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us   

By Diane M. Loeffler

The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our welcome center, a place where people who are considering moving into our community can learn more about who we are and what we offer. The Center does that job very well, and it also offers a valuable resource for all of us.

Orientation

The Information Center is now in charge of orientation meetings for newcomers. If you are new to the community, never attended an orientation in the past, or just want to learn more about our community, show up at the Center at 1 p.m. on any Wednesday. There will be one or two volunteers who are well-prepared to tell you about our community and to answer any questions you might have. The only requirement for attending is being an association member.

I attended an orientation seven years ago and found it to be very helpful. Before writing this article, I attended another one on January 12, 2022. The volunteers were prepared with information which they presented in an informal way. This session lasted one hour. Discussions are encouraged, so the time can vary. Materials were handed out and questions were asked and answered. Because of the interaction at these meetings, no two meetings are exactly alike. However, the volunteers have a script to follow in order to make sure important items are covered.

One of the items covered in the January 12 presentation was to review the new phone book. Sound simple? Actually, the book contains more than phone numbers and addresses. It includes bylaws, emergency numbers, club contacts, maps, a brief history, support services, hurricane preparedness recommendations, and more. The tendency is to grab it to look up a phone number and not realize the wealth of information it contains.

The presenters showed the boundaries of the Community Association, referred to the website for additional information. They talked about sources of community information, which include this newspaper and email blasts. They discussed the consumer affairs notebook in the administration office and online. They also discussed how we are governed, county services, guest policies, golf car usage and volunteer opportunities. Other topics covered were based on questions from the attendees. Afterwards, tours were offered to anyone who wanted one.

Dick and Dee Babbitt have been volunteers at the Information Center ever since the building opened. The Babbitts volunteer two hours a week. They have lived in SCC since 1999.

Using the Information Center as a Resource

Janet Ditmore is the Director of the Information Center. Ditmore says, “Residents usually want phone numbers for rooms or the local post office or trash pick-up issues. They ask about lost and found, when events are happening, when a scheduled meeting is taking place, the location of meetings, how to find rooms, how to renew their badges, why did you shut down for the holidays, how do I get a guest pass, and how do I get in touch with directors, clubs, the sheriff, etc.”

Ditmore says, “People don’t realize that the firemen at the Sun City Center station will change out the batteries in a smoke alarm. We get calls from residents who cannot get on a ladder. The alarm is going off and they don’t know what to do. Post lamp maintenance is also not well known.”

Volunteering at the Information Center

Ditmore says, “If you like meeting new people and enjoy living in Sun City Center, then we would love to have you as a volunteer in the Center. Shifts are only two hours a week on a regular or substitute basis. Our volunteers have a conversation with visitors about our lifestyle. We do not sell real estate. Training and resources are provided. You can choose to be a greeter, tour guide or orientation leader.”

 

Contact Information

The Information Center is open from 9 to noon and 1 to 3, Monday through Friday. You can call the center by dialing 813 633-4670. You can also email the center at “info@suncitycenter.org”.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s Vets

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s Vets

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s Vets

By Diane M. Loeffler

On the morning of December 16, a party was held at Bob Evans Restaurant for Maurice (Mo) Lanouette. Mo’s actual birthday was Saturday, but the Bob’s Vets group decided to honor Lanouette during their weekly breakfast get together on Thursday.

There was a cake, balloons, and a huge birthday card signed by 52 Bobs Vets attendees. Lanouette was presented with congratulatory letters from Vern Buchanan and Governor Ron DeSantis. He also received a framed commendation signed by all Hillsborough County commissioners and a commemorative coin from Mike O’Dell of Veterans Helping Veterans.

Mo Lanouette was born in New Hampshire. He later moved to Louis, Massachusetts. The Army sent him to the Beacon Hotel for basic training. He practiced his drills on the Florida beaches. Mo served as a Supply Technician during WWII. He served in England, France, Germany, Okinawa, Alaska, and Massachusetts. He retired from the military after 20 years of service as a staff sergeant.

Lanouette met his first wife, Molly, in England. After retiring from the Army, they lived in Dunstable, England, where he worked for General Motors.  Lanouette says, “Our house was a ten-minute walk from the bus. The bus trip only cost twenty cents, so I never had a car until I was 62 and was given one by General Motors.”

Lanouette returned to the United States after his wife passed away in 1988 or 1989. He moved to Kings Point in 2001. His second wife, Madelyn, passed away in 2006. In 2016, Joanne Campbell became Lanouette’s caregiver. She took him on an Honor Flight in 2019.

Mo and Molly had two children, a son and a daughter. His son is deceased. His daughter, Diane, lives in England. She flew to Sun City Center to see her father in the Veteran’s Day Parade last year.

Lanouette says, “I have a sister who will be 100 on December 30 and a brother who is 95.” Lanouette also belongs to a coffee group. They meet at McDonalds. He says, “Last birthday my coffee group friends came to my house with a band.”

Congratulations, Mo, on reaching age 99. It certainly would be great to write another article next year when you reach 100!

In the photo: Mo Lanouette and George Tamburello at the Bob Evans.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders   

By Diane M. Loeffler

On Wednesday, December 22, a group of Kings Point and Sun City Center Community Association residents met in the lobby of South Bay Hospital to donate money to three groups of first responders. Todd Carnell, the Rescue Chief of the Hillsborough County Fire Department, Mike Bardell, the Chief of the Sun City Center Emergency Squad, and Sheldon Barr, the South Bay CEO accepted donations on behalf of their organizations.

Kings Point resident Bill Barker says, “I came up with the idea to put on a performance to raise money for first responders, then Linda Stone took the bull by the horns.” A group of Kings Point Follies and Pelican Players actors, actresses, singers, directors and organizers put together a show. They were concerned about how many tickets they might sell for the November 19 event and were very happy when 316 people came. This allowed them to present $1,056 checks to each of the organizations.

Barker says “We put the whole show together without any expense. VESTA allowed us to use the space at no cost.” All the money went to the SCC Fire Department, Emergency Squad, and South Bay Hospital.

The recipients were grateful for the donations. Each has something special in mind for the funds. South Bay Hospital is using the money to enhance their in-house caregivers’ sanctuary room. The sanctuary room is a space where caregivers can go to take a break, relax, and regroup.

The Hillsborough County Fire Department sponsors a cadet youth fire program. They are earmarking the funds for the cadets’ travel and food expenses while they compete against other cadets from other locations.

The SCC Emergency Squad is using their donation toward the replacement of lift mechanisms. These mechanisms lift stretchers into the back of ambulances and must be in good working condition.

Thank you to everyone who made the donations possible, and thank you to the first responders who serve our communities so well.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship

By Ilona Merritt

Welcome aboard! You are invited to visit “America’s Tall Ship.” Since 1946, every new Coast Guard cadet undergoing officer training has begun their career by learning to sail on Eagle – the traditional way. Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets, and more recently, officer candidates, an unparalleled leadership experience at sea.  They are always looking forward to incredible voyages of safe and exciting sailing, hard work, and in-depth leadership training with the future officers of the Coast Guard.

The primary mission of the Eagle is training. Every cadet who attends the Coast Guard Academy will spend a minimum of six weeks on board Eagle. In addition to learning the nautical traditions of their profession, cadets learn basic seamanship and navigation skills and important team-building and leadership skills. The ways of old still have much to teach. The conditions and situations you face under sail can’t be replicated either in a classroom or aboard today’s modern ships. Onboard Eagle, cadets find themselves suddenly out of their element. Dependent on wind, waves, and currents, they quickly learn how these forces of nature affect a vessel. They become skilled in ship-handling, decision-making, and meeting unexpected challenges. They learn the importance of crew members working together to handle the ship safely.

USCGC Eagle also performs a public relations role for the Coast Guard and America. Eagle welcomes the public for a visit during domestic port calls and calls foreign ports as a floating goodwill ambassador for US diplomatic relations. Eagle has hosted Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Truman. When Tall Ships gather together, we are most likely to see Eagle leading the parade.  She is a tremendous draw for visitors. This past summer, she was in Reykjavik, Iceland. Repairs kept her three additional days in port and during that time was visited by 18,000 people.

By 1979, the Coast Guard had developed plans for an extensive refit at the Coast Guard Yard facility in Baltimore. From 1979 to 1983, Eagle visited the yard all four winters between summer deployments. In 2014, Eagle began a similar refit. The ship’s crew temporarily shifted its administrative homeport to Baltimore and began an extensive four-year service life extension project. Each year, Eagle will spend six months in the Coast Guard Yard Facility. The goal of this maintenance overhaul is for the ship to remain safe and viable as the Coast Guard’s premier training vessel well into  the Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets, and more recently officer candidates, an unparalleled leadership experience at sea.  They are always looking forward to tremendous voyages of safe and exciting sailing, hard work, and in-depth leadership training with the future officers of the Coast Guard.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...