Cygnet Yacht Club Awards

Cygnet Yacht Club Awards

Cygnet Yacht Club Awards

By Paula Lickfeldt, Photo by Rich Link

On May 3, the members of the Cygnet Yacht Club had dinner at Club Renaissance. They had a night of socializing and awarded the trophies that the members had won the month before.

Rich Link, club president, uses electronic scorekeeping software to keep the race scores for the month. At the end of each month he tallies the scores to see who won the most races. Once a month, the club members and their wives or partners go out for dinner and the trophies are awarded. The winner of a trophy gets to keep it for three weeks, return it and then it is passed on to the next winner.

At the May dinner the awards went to (pictured left to right), Jim Hallaron 4th place, Glen Surkont 2nd place, Rich Link 1st place, and Bob Cabral 3rd place. Bob got the blue boat trophy for racing the most races in April.

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...

Meet Your Neighbor: Young Chung-Hall

Meet Your Neighbor: Young Chung-Hall

Meet Your Neighbor: Young Chung-Hall

By Ilona Merritt

It was a cool morning when I met Young in the Tillers & Toilers Garden. She radiated warmth and friendliness, and it turned out to be one of the most exciting and informative visits I have had the privilege to enjoy. Sherwin Green and his wife Kathleen Peoples introduced Young to us and called her a “Gardener Extraordinaire.” She is all of that and much more.

In 1979, Young Chung came to America from South Korea for the American dream to get an education and a good job. Her first husband felt that having a son to take care of was all she needed. Young disagreed with that and moved on. She went to work and night school. She worked hard at learning the English language. She started as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service after attending Cornell University Business School, and worked her way up to Manager for National Programs. She worked for them for 20 years, and then transferred to the IRS, where she worked another ten years and retired. She moved up in their ranks, and part of her job was speaking to hundreds of Americans, and her language skills were so important. She also learned American Sign Language.

She married Larry Hall in 2001, and in June 2017, they moved to SCC. She had never had time to garden, but the lack of finding fresh Asian vegetables got her interested in the Tillers and Toilers. Young decided to grow her Asian vegetables; she went to USF Continuing Education Programs, enrolled in the Florida Friendly Landscaping program, and learned about plants, soil, and the sun’s effect. She works in the garden and plans what she wants to grow and what season to plant. She starts with seeds in small containers at home and staggers their growth carefully. Young also includes flowers in her garden to attract Bees and Butterflies to pollinate the vegetable plants. She never uses chemicals in her garden.

Young enjoys cooking healthy meals and uses everything out of her garden. I finally found out what a Napa Cabbage looks like at our meeting before all the leaves had been taken off. There was a trellis loaded with Christmas Lima Beans, and I fell in love with her Moringa Tree. Besides being a tremendous source of nutrition, it also grows very artistic. She readily shares her harvest with friends. Her friends, Sherwin and Kathleen, said that Young is a very accomplished woman. Kathleen has not had such good luck gardening, but she and Young share recipes. Young also enjoys participating in Archery and loves Sun City Center and the Tiller and Toilers community.

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...

Houseboating on the St. Johns River

Houseboating on the St. Johns River

Houseboating on the St. Johns River

By Ilona Merritt

If you’re looking for entertainment, shopping, or fancy restaurants on your vacation, this one is not for you. However, if you ever wanted a truly relaxing holiday, houseboating on the St. Johns River would be the answer.

The St. Johns River is the longest in Florida and is significant for commercial and recreational use. At 310 miles long, it flows north and winds through or borders twelve counties. The drop in elevation from headwaters to mouth is less than 30 feet. Like most Florida waterways, St. Johns has a shallow flow rate of 0.3 mph and is often described as “lazy.”

My long-time dream of a houseboat trip came true this summer, with my husband and two dear friends. Hontoon State Park near Deland was our destination. Once you leave I-4, it is all two-lane country roads. We had to cross a drawbridge before turning onto Hontoon Road, where the Holly Bluff Marina was located, only to travel later on the river when we had to radio the Bridge Tender to open up the bridge for us to pass beneath.

Upon arrival at the marina, we were greeted by a very gracious and helpful staff. The entire area was well organized, and the houseboats were all lined up waiting for us. They are well cared for, and supplied with everything we needed for the trip. We only brought our food and packed casual clothes. An amicable staff member came aboard and gave us instructions on how to handle the boat, and off we were on our adventure. It is important to know that whenever the boat is moving, it must be piloted. Therefore we appointed a captain and a first mate.

A cruise on St. Johns is a return to original natural Florida. The scenery along the river varies with elevation. Pines occur in the higher areas while palms, swamps, and marshes variously border the river and its tributaries. Much of the land bordering the river is part of the Ocala National Forest and will never be developed. Many parts of the Tarzan movies were filmed here, and while relaxing on the deck, it was easy to imagine Tarzan traversing through the trees and swamps. Wildlife is abundant. In the winter, the manatee travel to this area for the warm water springs, constant 72 degrees. We saw great blue and little blue herons, ospreys, and eagles soar in the sky above. Lest we forget, fishing is prevalent.  There is no swimming in the river. The water is brackish and brown with tannin. Alligators are common, as are other water inhabitants, such as bull sharks and snakes.

The route to travel is laid out very precisely and was sent with the contract. There was plenty of time to study the course. With Lake Monroe on one end and Lake George on the other end, there were many things to see and wildlife to watch. It is essential to stay in the channel due to the shallow water. There are branches of the river which are hazardous and are not to be entered. The lakes are shallow and can be dangerous. The river features scattered pockets of civilization with small communities. There is an abundance of alligators in the St. Johns River. Once considered endangered, they are now a preservationist success story.

The river experience will not be forgotten. We enjoyed our meals on the boat and spent the evening playing board games and cards. We charted our own course, enjoyed the beauty of this area of Florida, the camaraderie with our friends, and the casual and laid-back life on the St. Johns River.

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...

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.

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...

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)

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...

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”.

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

October 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Save the date for “Hi, Neighbor!”, cruise over to the SouthShore Sportsplex, see why a grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club, discover why an SCC woman took TOPS honors, meet an Angel on Earth, enjoy a Dramedy on Aging,...

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

September 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Have some Pool Party fun, celebrate with the History Society, register for the Active Life Games, see why local volunteers rock, go Trail Blazing, learn why a local fire chief received a lifetime honor, support Adaptive Sports,...

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

August 2023 NEWS is HOT off the Press!

In this issue… Relive the fun of the Pancake Breakfast and the Pool Party, make some Community and Family Connections, see how local Sew’n Sews are helping our community, get Shell Craftin’, celebrate the music of Bob Dylan with the Pickers,...

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

July 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Enjoy the artistry of some local green thumbs, be sure not to miss the July 4th Breakfast and Family Fun Day, explore the art of Quilling (not Quilting), take a Smooth Ride down Del Webb, hear about Master Plans, high five some...

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

June 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Save the Date for the July 4 community breakfast, applaud student excellence at HCC SouthShore, see how Rotary is helping feed the community, relive Earth Day, celebrate national acclaim for our lawn bowlers, enjoy Music on the...

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2023 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Learn about the Moffitt Cancer Center kickoff, get an update on the Waterset Sports Complex, improve your green thumb with the Tillers and Toilers and the Elegant Gardeners, sail with the Cygnet Yacht Club, save the date for the...