September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue…

Run with the Hemingways, explore the new ER at Sun City Center, take a Night Out with the sheriff’s department, see how SCC is Sprucing Up, celebrate Photo Club competition winners, get updated on the Long Range Plan, make some “Family Connections,” have a “Heart to Hart,” discover how Our Lady’s Pantry is helping local veterans, run a Relay for Life, weigh in on community safety improvements, celebrate 95 years with Russ Merritt, learn how Rotary is improving our community, step back in time at the Plant Museum, meet our new community services aide, and celebrate local scholars.

Then be sure to check out the SCCCA Club News, Kings Point News, Military News, Sports, Arts, Faith & Service, and Community News sections to help you plan your month.

Read the September 2022 Issue of The News

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

As we turn our clocks back (November 6) and look forward to fall, we hope you are doing well and excited about another beautiful month here in Sun City Center and South Hillsborough County. In this issue… After Hurricane Ian, our...

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

First and foremost, all of us at The News hope that all of you reading this came through Hurricane Ian healthy and safe. Our News team fared well, considering. A few trees and power lines down, loss of power, and the general inconveniences of temporarily...

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Run with the Hemingways, explore the new ER at Sun City Center, take a Night Out with the sheriff’s department, see how SCC is Sprucing Up, celebrate Photo Club competition winners, get updated on the Long Range Plan, make some...

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the HemingwaysBy Kai Rambow “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway“There might have been some alcohol involved,” recalled Gary Mull.  Mull...

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City CenterBy Bob Sanchez The ER at Sun City Center hosted a Community Expo to show off the brand-new facility to the public. The free-standing building is an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital....

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal By Bob Sanchez The 5th annual SCC Mini-Relay for Life drew hundreds to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on July 29 to raise money in the fight against cancer. The event raised $16,757.39, easily...

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

By Bob Sanchez

The 5th annual SCC Mini-Relay for Life drew hundreds to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on July 29 to raise money in the fight against cancer. The event raised $16,757.39, easily exceeding its goal of $15,000. Co-chair Sarah Baez expects the final number to surpass $18,000.

Connie Lesko originated the Mini-Relay at Freedom Plaza, where she is Business Development Coordinator with the Retired Officers Corp. She directed the event there for four years. This year, she has turned over chairmanship to Brian Bower, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor, and to Sarah Baez, a Senior Care Consultant at CarePatrol. Meanwhile, Lesko continues to provide considerable support to their effort.

“I felt led to start it when my 54-year-old nephew was diagnosed with colon cancer,” she wrote in an email, adding that she has lost him and three other dear friends to cancer since that time. So for her, fighting cancer is deeply personal.

Beverly Gaussiran represented Freedom Plaza at the event.

Thirty-eight teams worked hard to raise the funds by paying for display tables, selling hot dogs, beer, raffle tickets, and bingo cards. Baez enthused that they also had “a wine pull, social media marketing, the remembrance tree at the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce and boots on the ground efforts, and it is all going to the American Cancer Society!”

The organizers made a point of thanking St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for generously letting the fundraising event use some of its space. Of course with an event such as this, many people pitched in: Tammy Schoonover, Senior Development Manager with the American Cancer Society; Kim Bauer, volunteer extraordinaire; Sean Andrews, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones; Julie Brink, Branch Manager with Lake Michigan CU; Lynne Conlan, Executive Director with the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce; Joanne Bassinger, volunteer extraordinaire; Thina Huskey, Realtor with Keller Williams; and members of the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.  “So many people came together to donate their time or resources,” Baez noted.

TOP PHOTO: Mini-Relay founder Connie Lesko, left, with this year’s co-chairs Sarah Baez and Brian Bower.

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

As we turn our clocks back (November 6) and look forward to fall, we hope you are doing well and excited about another beautiful month here in Sun City Center and South Hillsborough County. In this issue… After Hurricane Ian, our...

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

First and foremost, all of us at The News hope that all of you reading this came through Hurricane Ian healthy and safe. Our News team fared well, considering. A few trees and power lines down, loss of power, and the general inconveniences of temporarily...

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Run with the Hemingways, explore the new ER at Sun City Center, take a Night Out with the sheriff’s department, see how SCC is Sprucing Up, celebrate Photo Club competition winners, get updated on the Long Range Plan, make some...

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the HemingwaysBy Kai Rambow “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway“There might have been some alcohol involved,” recalled Gary Mull.  Mull...

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City CenterBy Bob Sanchez The ER at Sun City Center hosted a Community Expo to show off the brand-new facility to the public. The free-standing building is an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital....

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal By Bob Sanchez The 5th annual SCC Mini-Relay for Life drew hundreds to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on July 29 to raise money in the fight against cancer. The event raised $16,757.39, easily...

Saluting Our Veterans

Saluting Our Veterans

Saluting Our Veterans

By E. Adam Porter, Editor, and the News Team

This month, I asked our reporters to join me in the Editor’s Corner to share about some of the veterans who have made a difference in their lives. If you are a veteran, thank you for your service. And, if your life has been touched by a veteran, I hope these stories remind you of those veterans who made a difference in your life.

Through the help of diligent cousins and computers, I recently learned that my family’s military investment in this great nation goes all the way back before the beginning, to Moses Porter, who fought with General Washington in the Revolution. Military service has remained a venerated vocational pursuit in my family, and when I think about veterans who made a difference for me, the list is endless, so I’ll try to summarize.

My neighbor, retired electrical engineer turned rancher John Sholine, was the first person to encourage me to seriously pursue writing as a vocation, rather than a hobby. Upon my graduation from high school, John gave me a letter, congratulating me and wishing me well. Enclosed with the letter was a poem he had written as a much younger man, during a cold and lonely night in a frozen foxhole in Belgium. That poem, titled Introspection, is one of the best gifts I have ever received.

My grandfather, Major Julian Dixon, led men in both World War II and Korea; my uncle, Robbie Dixon, spent two tours in Vietnam as well as neighboring countries we never officially “visited.” My grandfather died when my mother was very young, and we lost my uncle earlier this year. Every day, I am grateful for their example and for their investment in our family’s legacy. And I miss them. Two of my brothers, Bill and Nathan, served in the U.S. Army, and my eldest son, Christian, has served in both the USAF and the US Army. Chris is currently overseas, in harm’s way, protecting American interests in what remains a war zone. 

Julian Dixon

Robbie Dixon

Christian Merrell

This Veterans Day, and every day, I’m grateful for those who have served and those who still do, grateful for their skill, their work, and their stories… grateful for the examples they set and the legacy they left us to live up to. Many members of The News team feel the same way. Here are their stories…

Diane Loeffler

My father, Lenard Safranski, was in the Army Signal Corps and spent most of his time fighting in Germany, except when he was behind enemy lines in France radioing information about the location of German troops. He never talked about fighting, but he did tell us about some of his former high school classmates being killed right before his eyes. I remember my father talking about sleeping in the snow in Germany. He said he always crawled in his sleeping bag and completely zipped it shut before taking off his boots. He said sometimes it was confusing to know which way was up because the snow was so heavy on top of the sleeping bag. He quickly learned to put his bag near a tree or other large object so that the tanks wouldn’t inadvertently run over him after a heavy snow.

Lenard M. Safranski

In the 1990s, my father was in his seventies. He was upset at some of the negative talk about our troops in the Middle East. He made signs saying, “Honk if you support our troops.” The local newspaper noticed him standing on the corner and put his photo in the paper. Dad’s loyalty and patriotism were unshakeable.

My mother’s brothers served in World War II as well. My dad, my uncles, and my dad’s cousin were all proud of their country and of their service during the war. Putting their lives on the line for our country made them value our nation even more than they had before they enlisted. One of my cousins served in Korea where he spent most of his time guarding the border. He talked about how cold it was. My husband was a Seabee in Vietnam. He drove naval dignitaries around in what they called “the Saigon taxi.” He delivered petroleum to bases in Vietnam and worked in dispatch.

As a member of the high school graduating class of 1967, many of my classmates fought in Vietnam. Most came home afterwards, some did not. I also have friends and co-workers who served in the military. In a world where peace can be elusive, thank heavens we have men and women who are willing to fight for our country and all that it represents. 

Al Cronheim

Paula Lickfeldt

My father, Al Cronheim, left high school and lied about his age to join the army during WWII. He was sent to North Africa where he fought with Patton’s army against Rommel. Later, he and Patton’s force fought in Italy. Dad was in the Army Air Corps for five years. Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to be my dad’s guardian on his Honor Flight to Washington D.C. We really had a good day together. I believe it was one of the very best days I have ever had with my dad.

Joseph W. Sanchez

Bob Sanchez

My father, Joseph Sanchez, was an ensign on the S.S. Flying Eagle, a Merchant Marine ship that transported vital materiel to our troops in Europe in 1944. Ships like his sailed the North Atlantic under constant threat from U-boats. He was a radio officer who sent and received messages via Morse Code, earning him the nickname “Sparky.” A naturalized U.S. citizen from British Honduras (now Belize), he proudly served his adopted country and instilled that same pride in his four sons. He enjoyed teaching Morse Code to me and my fellow Explorer Scouts.

Ilona Merritt

I come from a long line of military men who served their countries with pride. My grandfather was in the German Marine. My father was a pilot in the Luftwaffe. He died somewhere over Normandy on D-Day. My first husband, Ray Baker, served in the USAF, as did his sons, Eric and John Baker. Both were career members of the United States Armed Forces and retired as master sergeants, having served 20 and 26 years respectively. Eric has two sons: 2LT Thomas Baker graduated from the Air Force Academy, and Thomas’ younger son is a U.S. Army sergeant stationed in Hawaii. Eric was the personal photographer assigned to Admiral Leighton Smith, who was in charge of the South Atlantic Fleet. My present husband, Russ Merritt, served in the U.S. Army in Germany during and after WWII. Upon returning home, he found himself getting back on a ship and heading to Korea.

Pictured: top row: Karl Bandelin, Marine; Egon Pawlowski, Luftwaffe. Second row: Ray Baker, John Baker, Eric Baker, Thomas Baker. Bottom row: Russ Merritt, Joe Baker.

From all of us here at The News, to all the veterans in our community and in our lives, thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and the legacy you leave for the next generation of those who choose to serve their nation and her people. And, if you have a veteran story to share, please add it in the comments.

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

November 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

As we turn our clocks back (November 6) and look forward to fall, we hope you are doing well and excited about another beautiful month here in Sun City Center and South Hillsborough County. In this issue… After Hurricane Ian, our...

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

October 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

First and foremost, all of us at The News hope that all of you reading this came through Hurricane Ian healthy and safe. Our News team fared well, considering. A few trees and power lines down, loss of power, and the general inconveniences of temporarily...

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

September 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Run with the Hemingways, explore the new ER at Sun City Center, take a Night Out with the sheriff’s department, see how SCC is Sprucing Up, celebrate Photo Club competition winners, get updated on the Long Range Plan, make some...

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the Hemingways

Local Lookalikes Run With the HemingwaysBy Kai Rambow “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway“There might have been some alcohol involved,” recalled Gary Mull.  Mull...

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City Center

Community Expo Showcases ER at Sun City CenterBy Bob Sanchez The ER at Sun City Center hosted a Community Expo to show off the brand-new facility to the public. The free-standing building is an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital....

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal

5th Annual SCC Relay for Life Surpasses Goal By Bob Sanchez The 5th annual SCC Mini-Relay for Life drew hundreds to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on July 29 to raise money in the fight against cancer. The event raised $16,757.39, easily...