The Scribe with world renowned tenor

Dr. Paul Pitts is known as the “Pavarotti of Christian Music”, and has sung over 5000 performances all over the world. He brings his special one man dramatic musical about the life and death of Jesus Christ to First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill for a performance at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 11. Steve McManaway was instrumental in bringing Pitts to the church for this presentation. “We are very excited to have him come. During the Lenten season, it is the perfect time to have him here.”

Pitts will present “The Scribe,” an unforgettable dramatic musical performance, depicting the life of Christ as told from a scribe’s point of view, and himself becoming a believer through the testimony of Simon Peter. Pitts will be in full costume as he takes us back to the final days of Jesus of Nazareth, through inspirational music and drama. Musical selections include “The Stranger of Galilee,” “The Lord’s Prayer,” “The Holy City,” “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary,” and others.

“I gave my heart to the Lord, and I’ve never turned back I have received God’s wonderful forgiveness and such a peace in my heart that I want to share with everyone. This has become my passion and purpose in life,” said Pitts. “If I can touch someone’s heart with the love of God, I will have lived out my purpose for living.”

Pitts vocal credits are impressive. Later this year, Pitts will sing the title role of the opera Otello at Lincoln Center in New York City for the American National Opera Company. He was the soloist for the 60th Anniversary television special celebrating Israel’s 60 years of Statehood, with Benjamin Netanyahu. In Belfast, he was the soloist for the “Concert of Peace,” uniting North and South Ireland. Pitts has shared the stage with motivational speakers such as Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell. He has appeared at James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” and “In Touch television program with Charles Stanley. He has performed at the Crystal Cathedral, Alamo Dome, Amway Arena in Orlando, Cypress Gardens and Opryland USA.

The performance begins at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 11 at First United Methodist Church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. All are welcome to attend this event, no ticket required. A Free-will Offering will be accepted. Call the church office at (352) 683-2600 or visit for more information.

Area Events 0311

Notre Dame to present
‘Beauty & the Beast’

SPRING HILL Notre Dame Catholic School will present its production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” Friday through Sunday, March 11-13, at the Eleanor Dempsey Performing Arts Center at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School located at 13651 Hays Road. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Forty-four Notre Dame students, ages 5-13, have been participating in rehearsals since November 2010 designing choreography, costumes, stage props, and perfecting vocals and roles. Disney awarded Notre Dame with the coveted “Mouse-car” (Disney’s version of the Oscar). Ticket cost is $7 per person for adults and $5 per person for children. The public is invited to attend. For tickets or information, call the Notre Dame school office at 352-683-0755.

Early Learning
to hold cookout

SHADY HILLS Foundation for Early Learning in Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc. will hold a “Kickin’ Cook Out!” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Rotary Pavilion, 15325 Alric Pottbery Road. The goal of the community event is to bring awareness to the Foundation and to announce its future initiatives such as: promote the importance of early learning; provide scholarships to families in need of high-quality child care; fund child care provider initiatives and needs; and recognize the achievements of outstanding early educators within our communities. Local child care providers and community leaders have been invited to attend the celebration. The event will give local child care facilities the opportunity to market their businesses to the community. Child care businesses will sponsor activity areas and information tables. Community partners have provided support as follows: Rotary Club of New Port Richey has donated the Rotary Pavilion, and the Trinity Rotary Club will sponsor and serve lunch. All donations for the Foundation for Early Learning in Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc. should be sent to 15506 County Line Road, Spring Hill, FL 34610. The Foundation will also be accepting donations during the Kickin’ Cook Out. All proceeds of the event will benefit the Foundation’s initiatives to support local families and child care providers. The event is free of charge, but preregistration is encouraged and is available at For information, call 727-233-8291.

Fire Auxiliary
to hold auction

BROOKSVILLE High Point Ladies Fire Auxiliary will hold its second annual auction Saturday, March 12, at the High Point Community Center, 12249 Club House Road. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and drawings for prizes will begin at 2:30 p.m. Also featured will be a door prize of a new 32-inch flat screen TV donated by Best Buy. Refreshments will be available for sale throughout the event. For more information, call 352-684-2008.

Craft bazaar
at St. Frances

SPRING HILL St. Frances Cabrini Council of Catholic Women will hold a spring craft and bazaar Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, in Xavier Hall of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church located at 5030 Mariner Blvd. Handmade items for the kitchen, baby and household will be available; and bargains and used items will also be available. Breakfast and lunch will be served both days – hot dogs, coffee and homemade sweets. For information, call 352-686-1698.

‘Swing into Spring’
with Jazz Society

SPRING HILL Hernando Jazz Society will perform “Swing into Spring” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Wellington at Seven Hills club house, 400 Wexford Blvd., off Mariner Boulevard. A cash bar and light menu will be available. Dancing to tunes such as “It might as well be Spring,” “Spring is Here,” “Spring can really hang you up the Most” and many other favorites from the Big Band era and beyond featuring musicians and singers from the Hernando-Pasco area will be featured. Admission will be free of charge for Jazz Society members and $9 per person for non-members. New members and musicians are always welcome to join the Jazz Society. For more information, call Bill McLoughlin at 352-799-9690.

Shrimp dinner
at Greek Church

BROOKSVILLE Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church will hold a Shrimp Dinner and Chinese Auction at noon Sunday, March 13, at the church located at 13460 Olympic Village Lane. Ticket cost will be $12 per adult and $6 per child. The auction drawing will follow the dinner. For tickets or information, call Rose at 727-856-1332.

Space available
at Career Fair

Hernando County Career Fair “Opportunity 2011” will be held Thursday and Friday, April 7-8, at the Spring Hill campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) located at 450 Beverly Court, off U.S. 19, approximately one mile north of County Line Road. The two-day signature event will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday by offering a variety of topical educational sessions for job seekers. The interactive workshops may include topics such as: resume writing, dressing for success, and improving skills set for today’s marketplace. The event will begin at 1:45 p.m. on Friday with opening remarks from U.S. Congressman Richard Nugent. Doors will open at 2 p.m. for job seekers to meet with prospective employers. The Career Fair will be hosted by Hernando Today with partners Career Central, Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, and PHCC. Exhibit space is available at a cost of $99 per table if registration is received prior to Tuesday, March 15. Space is limited and will be reserved for employers with current job openings. To reserve a space or for more information, contact Denise Nohejl of Hernando Today at 352-544-5206 or e-mail

Kiwanis to hold
pancake breakfast

BROOKSVILLE Kiwanis Club of Brooksville Ridge will hold its third annual pancake breakfast from 6 to 9 a.m. Thursday, March 17, at the Country Kitchen Restaurant, 20133 Cortez Blvd. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee. Dine in, carry out, or delivery will be available. The donation is $5 per person, and proceeds of the event will benefit the Kiwanis children’s programs and local organizations that serve youth in the community. For information, call Bobby King at 352-279-0622 or Jim Fisher at 352-799-5456.

Fundraiser sale
at Woman’s Club

BROOKSVILLE GFWC Brooksville Woman’s Club will hold its annual fundraiser yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, at its clubhouse, 131 S. Main St. Vendors are needed; table rental is $10 for one day or $15 for two days. Food will be available. For information or table rentals, call Audrie at 352-754-8627.

Sons of Italy to host
St. Joseph’s event

SPRING HILL Sons of Italy, Nature Coast Lodge 2502, will present its St. Joseph’s Day Feast and Celebration from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. St. Joseph’s Day blessing will be offered at 3 p.m. Complimentary pasta milanese will be featured. Also, an old-fashioned market, flowers, vegetables, St. Joseph bread and pastries will be available for sale. Admission will be free of charge, but donations will be given to a local church and charities. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Carmella at 352-688-9234 or Julia at 352-686-3865.

Paint-In to be held
at W.W. Springs

WEEKI WACHEE Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will host a “Paint-In” Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, at the state park located at 6131 Commercial Way, at the intersection of U.S. 19 and State Road 50. Artists are invited to check in at 9 a.m., with doors opening at 10 a.m. Friends of Weeki Wachee invite artists to paint on-site at the historic Florida landmark. Artists will be able to paint, show, and sell their work on the spot. The curtain will be up in the Mermaid Theater before performances to allow artists to view the Weekiwachee spring and capture it through a variety of mediums. Artist Kevin (K.D.) Tobin will offer a presentation and demonstration of Golden’s new open acrylics line of paint. Goodies and door prizes for the artists will be featured. Participating artists will also show their work at the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery during April in a Weeki Wachee-themed exhibit. Artists can participate in the “Paint-In” by becoming a member of Friends of Weeki Wachee. Membership is $15 per person or $25 per family. Applications are available online at and will be available at the event. For information, contact Julie Komenda, artist in residence at Weeki Wachee, at

Grace Women to
hold rummage sale

SPRING HILL Women of Grace Presbyterian Church will hold its spring rummage sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 19, at the church located at 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Items for sale will include clothing, books, CDs, glassware, toys, jewelry, kitchenware, baked goods, furniture, bath and bedroom items, etc. For information, call 352-683-2082.

Fashion show to
benefit Dawn Center

SPRING HILL Fine Lines Boutique will present “It’s All About You” fashion show and luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, off U.S. 19. Entertainment, Chinese auction and door prizes will be featured. Ticket cost is $30 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the Dawn Center Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Crisis Center of Hernando County. Tickets are available at Fine Lines Boutique, 5168 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill; or by calling 352-666-8843.

NAMI to hold

SPRING HILL National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will sponsor a Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Spring Hill Lanes, 3447 U.S. 19. A donation of $25 per person will include three games, shoes, T-shirt and a chance to win prizes. For information, call 352-684-0004.

‘Weed and Feed’
at botanical gardens

SPRING HILL Spring Hill Garden Club will hold its “Weed and Feed” event at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 19, in the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens located at 1489 Parker Ave. Hernando County Master Gardener Rita Grant will briefly speak on invasive plants. Volunteers will then work either in the botanical gardens or at the Spring Hill waterfall entrance to remove invasive plants and vines. A brunch will be served by garden club members at 11 a.m. in the botanical gardens. Residents are invited to participate in the “You weed – we feed” event. For information, call 352-683-9933 or visit the club’s website at

Helping Hands to
hold breakfast
and craft sale

BROOKSVILLE Brookridge Helping Hands will hold an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 20, at the Brookridge Clubhouse of the community located off State Road 50, next to Register Chevrolet. Juice and coffee or tea will also be included. Along with the breakfast, baked goods, crafts, Chinese auction and raffles will be featured. Ticket cost is $4.50 per person for adults, with lower prices for children. The event is a fundraiser for the group to purchase supplies for its many projects which include the Linus Project , Youth Shelter, Hernando-Pasco Hospice and military personnel. The group will also accept donations of good, used, patterned or colored sheets. The public is welcome. For information, call 352-597-7682.

Temple Beth to
hold Israeli festival

SPRING HILL Temple Beth David Jewish Center will hold its annual Israeli Food Fest from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at the Temple located at 13158 Antelope St. The festival will feature homemade Jewish foods including blintzes, kugels, potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, chopped liver and many more items including kosher hot dogs and homemade baked goods. All items can be purchased to eat in or take out. Items from the Temple’s Judaic gift shop will be on sale, and Israeli folk dancing will be featured throughout the day. The festival’s corporate sponsors are Publix supermarkets and Sweetbay supermarkets. Admission to the event will be free of charge, and the public is welcome. For information, call 352-686-7034.

LaSertoma to host
luncheon and show

SPRING HILL Hernando County LaSertoma Club will host a luncheon and fashion show Saturday, March 26, in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church located at 9344 Spring Hill Drive. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. The event will be catered by Guido’s Restaurant, and Bealls will provide the fashions. Ticket cost is $15 per person, and advance ticket purchase is required. LaSertoma is dedicated to youth service recognition and fundraising for scholarships for needy and deserving college students. For tickets or information, call Laverne at 352-796-4657.

Tall ships come to Tampa

Some of the most magnificent international sailing ships will dock in downtown Tampa from July 10-14 for Sail Tampa Bay 2010.

Ships including the USCG Eagle from the United States, the Capitan Miranda from Uruguay and the Gloria from Colombia will be on hand for the event, which will allow visitors to get up close and personal with these vessels.

Both the Gloria and the Capitan Miranda will be docked at the Tampa Convention Center, while the USCG Eagle will be docked at the Yacht Starship dock at Channelside Bay Plaza.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the ships as they arrive in Tampa Bay for the Parade of Sail, as well as board each of the ships, interact with crew and experience daily life on a sailing ship.

The Parade of Sail/ Sail Tampa schedule:

•Ships sail in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 10 during the “Parade of Sail” at the Tampa Convention Center. Ships open for tours 2 to 9 p.m.

•Ships open for tours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 11 through Tuesday, July 13. The USCG. Eagle departs Tuesday, July 13 at 2 p.m.

•Ships will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to closing ceremonies at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 14.

Visitors will be able to board and tour the USCG Eagle at no charge.

Ticket prices for both the Gloria and Miranda are $10 for 13 and up and $3 for children ages 3-12.

A combo ticket, including admission and food is also available for $16 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12.

For more information, visit

Weeki Wachee mermaids help Florida Aquarium celebrate 15th year

The Florida Aquarium will have a new species on display this month as part of its 15th anniversary.

Mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs will splash into the aquarium’s Coral Reef exhibit, the facility’s largest tank.

They’re scheduled to perform May 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Also as a part of the celebration, The Florida Aquarium is offering discounted admission of $15 this month, if purchased online.

For information, go to

Sertoma presents annual Spring Bluegrass Festival

The Sertoma Youth Ranch will present their Spring Bluegrass Festival starting at noon today and running through Sunday, March 28.
On Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Up The Creek, Kenny Stinson, Palms Bluegrass, Carolina Sonshine and Katie Penn will perform in two sets with an intermission break.
On Saturday Kenny Stinson, Kickin Grass, Churchmen, David Davis, Little Roy & Lizzie will perform two sets and on Sunday the day starts at 9 a.m. with a gospel sing along followed by two sets of the Churchmen, Carolina Sonshine, David Davis and Kickin Grass.
The festival takes place rain or shine under a covered pavilion.
Tickets are available at the gate, the full weekend is $50, Friday is $25, Saturday is $30 and Sunday is $12.
For more information, visit or call 352-754-3082.

WillFest is back at Sertoma

The 21st annual Will McLean Festival (WillFest) will bring performers from all over Florida back to the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, today through Sunday, March 12-14.
The celebration will feature many singer/songwriters who have performed at every WillFest since the beginning. Veterans include Mindy Simmons, Dale Crider, Frank Thomas, Jeanie Fitchen, Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters and the groups Patchwork and Southwind.
The festival will feature more than 70 Florida acoustic musicians from age 9 to artists who have been with the festival since its inception.
After the stages close down, everyone is welcome to join the evening campfire circles.
Workshops in songwriting, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, dulcimer, banjo, flute, mandolin, Irish bodhran, Celtic harp and autoharp are offered at no charge.
Special creative children’s activities will be under the direction of Mona Stuart for those 12 years and under starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The top three winners of the 2010 Best New Florida Song Contest: Dawn Dewitt, Walt Leuzinger and Michael Denney will perform their winning songs at noon Saturday, March 13 on the Magnolia x Stage.
Considered the father of Florida folk music, Will McLean roamed from the Panhandle to the Keys, writing and singing poems, stories and ballads in praise of his beloved Florida. In 1996 the state honored him by induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
For more information, call 352-465-7208.

If You Go
Advance weekend tickets are $30. At the gate weekend admission will be $35. Friday only admission at the gate is $15; Saturday: $18 and Sunday only $15.
Campsite fee is not included with festival ticket. Camping hookup is $20 per night, $10 for rough camping – first come, first served.

For information, visit or call 352-465-7208.

For information, visit or call 352-465-7208.


Frankie Dee at The Hideaway

SPRING HILL The Frankie Dee New York Orchestra will feature a St. Valentine’s Big Band Dinner-Dance Sunday, Feb. 14, at The Hideaway, , 247 Hallcrest Ave. Doors will open at 1 p.m., and dancing will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Three-entrée buffet will be featured beginning at 1:30 p.m., and a cash bar will also be featured. Big Band sounds, Frank Sinatra, and more will be performed by 18 musicians and singers. Ticket cost is $21.30 per person, and reservations are required. For more information or reservations regarding either event, call 352-666-1416 or Mary at 352-596-9486.

Arts Guild to offer concert series

SPRING HILL Mariner United Methodist Church’s Community Performing Arts Guild, will offer its outreach concert series as follows: Saturday, Feb. 13, “Paul Todd;” and Saturday, Feb. 27, “Greg Bonham” at the church located at 7079 Mariner Blvd., south of State Road 50. Complimentary tickets for the above performances will be distributed from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 26. For more information, call 352-544-1068.

Scottish Club to hold Burns dinner

BROOKSVILLE Scottish Social Club of West Central Florida will hold its annual Robert Burns Birthday Dinner Celebration Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Elks Lodge 2582 located at 14494 Cortez Blvd. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 6 p.m. The menu will include roast beef, potatoes, mashed turnips, haggis, coffee and dessert. Bag piping, the Dubock Highland dancers will perform. A reading of Burns poems, the Ceremonial Address to the Haggis, Salute to the Laddies and Lassies, singing and dancing will be featured. The cost is $20 per person, and reservations are required. For reservations or more information, call Bill Gilkison at 352-596-0513.

Christian Women to host luncheon

BROOKSVILLE Brooksville/Spring Hill Christian Women’s Connection, affiliated with Stonecroft Ministries, will host a luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, off Barclay Avenue. The feature will be a “Sweet and Treats” auction. Inspirational speaker will be Kay Brow of Brooksville with the theme, “Three Strikes But Not Out.” Complimentary nursery will be available. The inclusive cost is $13.50 per person, and reservations are required by Thursday, Feb. 4. For assured seating, early reservations are suggested. For reservations or more information, call Dolores at 352-799-3735 or Barbara at 352-796-5216.

Father-daughter dance Feb. 5-6

BROOKSVILLE Hernando County Recreation Department will sponsor a father-daughter dance from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd. Music, snacks and drinks will be featured; and photo opportunities will be provided – bring a camera. Ticket cost is $10 per person payable via check, money order, Master Card, or Visa. Cash will not be accepted. Tickets can be purchased from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Recreation Department located at 205 East Fort Dade Ave., one block north of the county courthouse, Brooksville. A ticket application can also be obtained online at If mailing an application with payment, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Master Card and Visa payments will be charged an additional 50 cents for postage/mailing. Tickets will not be sold at the door. All ages are welcome. For more information, call the Recreation Department at 352-754-4031.

Valentine’s Dance at Brookridge

BROOKSVILLE Brookridge Social Dance will host a Valentine’s Dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Brookridge Club House located at 8150 Hampton St., off State Road 50, just west of the Suncoast Parkway interchange, next to Register Chevrolet. Music will be provided by Marti Carroll. Bring own refreshments; coffee and ice will be provided throughout the evening. Doughnuts will be served at approximately 9:30 p.m. Tickets at the door will be $5 per person. Season tickets are available and are less expensive than purchasing at the door. For reservations or more information, call Dot at 352-597-0723.

Philippine Assoc. to hold Valentine dance

SPRING HILL Hernando County Philippine American Association will hold a pre-Valentine’s Day dinner-dance from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the SNPJ Lodge 778 (Suncoast Dance and Party Center) located at 13383 County Line Road. BYOB. Music will be provided by DJ Diomar. Ticket cost is $15 per person, with dinner included. For tickets or more information, call Aurora at 352-848-1031, Cobbie at 666-5381 or Celia at 684-7464.

Clover Leaf Farms to hold flea market

BROOKSVILLE Clover Leaf Farms will hold a flea market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Heather House (clubhouse) located at 900 North Broad St. For more information, call Tom Gloden at 352-799-4065.

‘Diamond, Live’ at Brookridge

BROOKSVILLE Brookridge Entertainment will present “America’s Diamond, Live” starring Jay White at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Brookridge Community located at Brookridge Central Boulevard, off State Road 50, next to Register Chevrolet.

White has performed as Neil Diamond in more than 8,000 shows in five countries including more than 1,000 shows over the past five years with his band at the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
Ticket cost is $15 per person at the door or by calling Barbara Bahr at 352-597-4620.

Concert to benefit United Way

BROOKSVILLE Nature Coast Children’s Crusade will host SHARK AID 2010 “Giving Back to the Village” charity concert from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at Nature Coast Technical High School’s stadium located at 4057 California St.

Performances by area bands such as Clench Fist, Southern Reign, Radio Therapy, and Act of Class will be featured.

Entrance fee will be $1 per person plus two nonperishable food items. Games and food will also be featured.

The concert will benefit United Way of Hernando County and local food pantries.

For more information, call Patrick O’Grady, NCCC adviser, at 352-797-7088 or visit

The Arc to hold Sweetheart Dance

BROOKSVILLE The Arc Nature Coast will hold its Sweetheart Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at West Hernando Middle School located at 14325 Ken Austin Parkway.

The cost is $2 per person which includes food and beverage. A disc jockey and door prizes will be featured.

For more information, call Nancy at 352-544-2322 Ext. 109 or e-mail

Mardi Gras event at Christ the Savior

BROOKSVILLE Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church will present a Mardi Gras buffet and dance from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Parish Hall of the church located at 13460 Olympic Village Lane, off Sunshine Grove Road. Advance ticket cost is $12 per person, and the event is for adults only. For tickets or more information, call Emily Thomas at 352-650-0307.

Day at the Races at Marine Corps

BROOKSVILLE Florida Pack of the Devil Dogs, Pound 230, will hold a Day at the Races at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Marine Corps League Detachment 708 located at 8405 Sunshine Grove Road, off State Road 50. Seven races, a daily double, restaurant gift card drawings, plus a 50-50 drawing will be featured. The cost is $5 per person, which includes coffee and cake. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Wounded Veterans Fund. A cash bar and food will be available from the Leatherneck Lounge and Gunny’s Galley. For tickets or more information, call Manny Miller at 352-797-9523.

Church Guild to host fashion show

BROOKSVILLE Mary Martha Guild of Christ Lutheran Church will host a Valentine fashion show and luncheon Saturday, Feb. 13, at the church located at 475 North Avenue West. Lunch will be served at noon, followed by the fashion show featuring the latest collection from Boutique on Wheels. Clothing in multi-sizes will be shown and will be available for purchase along with accessorizing jewelry. Red Hat Fashions and accessories will also be available for purchase. Ticket cost is $10 per person and must be purchased in advance by Sunday, Feb. 7. For tickets or more information, call Inge at 352-686-8751 or Barbara at 352-799-3082.

CCW to sponsor Hawaiian luncheon

SPRING HILL St. Frances Cabrini Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a Hawaiian Extravaganza luncheon and fashion show at noon Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, off U.S. 19. Fashions will be by Belk, and prizes will be featured. The donation is $18 per person, and the public is invited. For tickets or more information, call Florence at 352-683-1150 or the parish office at 352-683-9666.

Filipino Club to hold Valentine’s dinner

PORT RICHEY Filipino-American Social Club (FASC) of Hernando County Inc. will hold a Valentine Candlelight dinner-dance from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at the Regency Park Civic Center banquet hall located at 10240 Regency Park Blvd. Live music will be provided by DJ Willie Matos of Professional – Exclusive DJ Entertainment. A full-course Italian buffet dinner featuring Gelato ice cream and pastries as dessert will be catered by Top Shelf Catering of Tampa. Romantic activities will include a “Rose Ceremony” for couples and singles. Semi-formal attire is requested (jacket and tie for the men; no jeans). Tickets must be purchased in advance at a cost of $25 per person. For tickets or more information, call Glyen Terborg at 727-376-3680, Anna Slaten at 352-382-4015, Lani Knapp at 813-996-4758, Lucia Rodgers at 352-397-8308, or Lisa Villanueva at 352-666-7686.

German Club to host Valentine dance

BROOKSVILLE German American Club will host a Valentine dance Friday, Feb. 19, at the Shriners Club of Hernando County, 13400 Montour St., off Sunshine Grove Road. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with dancing from 7 to 11 p.m. Music will be provided by Alpen Diamanten. BYOB. Ticket cost will be $10 per person for members, $13 per person for guests in advance; and $12 per person for members, $15 per person for guests at the door. For tickets or information, call Lisa Yaskulski at 352-688-3744.

Hi-Lites to hold variety show

SPRING HILL Hernando Hi-Lites will hold its 17th annual Harmony on Parade variety show at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd. Classics and best-loved show tunes will be featured. The chorus’ D’Lites Quartet will be featured, along with guest artist, Jessica Doolittle, and Sunset, a local men’s barbershop quartet. Admission will be a donation of $12 per person and will be half-price for students 18 and under. Group pricing will be available. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. For reservations or more information, call Tessie at 352-686-4122.

Cloverleaf to host concert

BROOKSVILLE Cloverleaf Farms will host Vic Thompkins & VTO in concert Sunday, Feb. 21, at the community located at 900 North Broad St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and showtime will be at 7 p.m. Advance ticket cost is $10 per person or $12 per person at the door. For tickets or more information, call 352-397-3638 or 352-597-5155.

Donations sought for Shrine Auction

BROOKSVILLE Hernando County Shrine Club is seeking donations for its annual auction to be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at Umsted’s Family Auction at CCA Charity Auction House, 2035 South Broad St. Household items, tools, toys, collectibles, glassware, jewelry, coins, books, antiques, furniture, appliances, pictures, etc. will be accepted. Items do not need to be new but should be in good condition. All proceeds of the auction will go to the Shrine Hospital for Children in Tampa. During 2009, 425 children from Hernando County were treated free of charge for orthopaedic problems and burn injuries at the Tampa hospital. To arrange an appointment to drop off items at the Shrine Club or for pickup, call Jack at 352-666-4980 or Fred at 352-597-1703.

Brookridge to host annual Bingo Bash

BROOKSVILLE Brookridge Woman’s Club will hold its 17th annual Bingo Bash on Saturday, March 13, at the Brookridge Club House located at 8150 Hampton St., off Country Club Boulevard. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m., and games will begin at 10 a.m. The total payout will be $3,200. The donation is $35 per person which includes doughnut, coffee and iced tea. Bring a sack lunch; dessert will be provided at lunch break. Reservations are being taken, but full payment is not due until March 2. To see the floor plan, visit the Friday Night Bingo that is held from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. For reservations or more information, call Martha Shugars at 352-596-8061.

Volunteers sought for Swamp Fest

HERNANDO BEACH The 17th annual Swamp Fest 2010 will be held March 6 and 7 at Linda Pederson Park at Jenkins Creek located at 6400 Shoal Line Blvd. (County Road 595). The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Volunteers are being sought. If interested in volunteering or for more information, call Roger Davidson at 352-596-3987.

Editor’s note:Since Area Events are published on a space-available basis, it is advisable to submit events at least 2 weeks or more in advance. E-mail submissions to Karen Raimondi at kraimondi@hernandotoday or fax to 352-799-5246. For inquiries, call 352-544-5277.

Get ready for a good time

Admit it! Many of you are Food Network fans. You watch Emeril do his thing and share his amazing creations with his audience. Now Hernando-ites have a chance to get in an audience just like the ones on the Food Network to watch, cheer, ooh and ahh up close as one of the sexiest young celebrity chefs on the scene today wows you with his culinary common sense and invites to you taste and participate while he whips up some of the yummiest foods this county has ever seen.

The event is the Relish Cooking School Expo. And the star of the show is Relish Magazine’s in-house star Chef Jon Ashton. Now an Orlando resident, Ashton is a transplant from England. His British charm and passion for food is so infectious, it’s not possible to watch him without feeling inspired.

His down to earth philosophy of fresh and simple takes the mystery out of cooking.

“Food is not just food. Food is life,” Ashton told Hernando Today in an exclusive interview. “The only true relationship with life you have from the day you are born. And it’s the memories that surround it. That’s the beautiful thing. And it has no language.”

From the time he was a child Ashton had a dream. It was to come to be a great chef and to come to America. Here he hoped to widen his experience by learning from the melting pot of home cooks all over this land.

To that end, Ashton has traveled the world and this country. He puts on Relish Cooking Show Expo’s around the country. This first one in Hernando is being held on next Thursday, Oct. 29 at Heffernan Hall in Brooksville.

In addition to being Relish’s in-house chef he is also the food guru on the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz. He’s appeared with Al Roker on the Today Show and Jay Leno on the Tonight show – to name a few.

But the live Relish Cooking Shows are his favorites.

“I love to get people to come up on the stage because America is still new to me and I don’t know all the foods and dishes and there’s so many family recipes I want to learn about,” he explains. “I’m much more interested in that than the chef’s recipes. A lot of the times the chefs have egos and they think they’re the best chefs ever but it’s not about that. In all actuality a chef isn’t the star. Mother nature’s the star. She gives us the land and the sea. She gives us the seasons. All I am is the maestro.”

For Ashton being the maestro means lining up mother nature’s freshest offerings and arranging them into taste-pleasing, mouth-watering experiences that are almost sensual.

“It’s like music. Whether it’s my recipe or Emerill’s recipe or Paula Dean’s, it’s made to their taste – for their five taste buds – whatever they feel cozy with. When you’re home, you do the same thing. Go where you want with your ingredients. Go with your tastes. Take the foundations – bitter, sweet, salty, marmy – anything you want and add to it”

Ashton’s Relish Cooking School’s aim is to de-mystify food and make it a fun and personal experience. When it comes right down to it, ingredients are the cart that follows the horse. According to Ashton, there’s really no such things as a recipe – just techniques of cooking.

“Grilling, roasting, shallow frying, braising it’s just techniques. Once you learn a technique you can cook anything. A braised chicken in China is the same technique as braised chicken in France. In China, shitake mushrooms, soy, some Chinese white wine, garlic, ginger, some sesame seed oil. In France maybe we’ll make some coq au vin – some onions, bacon, red wine mushrooms, exactly the same thing – it’s just technique it’s not a recipe. Once you learn that you can go anywhere.”

Ashton’s menu for the Oct. 29 festivities. You will feast your eyes and your taste buds on these:

• Meatballs in Sofrito sauce – tender olive studded beef served in a bright, Latin inspired tomato sauce topped with a lime cilantro gremolata (a chopped herb condiment typically made of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest).

• Butternut Squash Soup with Caramalized Apple Brucetta – Creamy butternut squash puree wit a hint of cayenne complemented by crisp baguette slices topped with cinnamon scented apples and a garnish of fresh thyme.

• Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano.

• Rosa di Parma – Whole beef tenderloin filled with spinach, prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, pan seared, sliced and served with a brandy reduction.

• Bananas Flambe Ripe bananas served over vanilla ice cream with a rum-fortified caramel sauce.

Helping out behind the scenes will be Ashton’s right hand prep man Matt Hendrikson and Hernando’s own Chef Audrey Costa. A native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Costa has been wowing those who’ve discovered her at Chef Audrey’s Eclectic Cafe located at the back of Brooksville Natural foods.

A special morning favorite there is her fresh brewed organic coffee and straight from the oven Morning Glory Muffins made with applesauce, raisins and carrots and other palate pleasing ingredients.

Don’t forget the recipe contest!

For Hernando’s unsung heroes of the kitchen, Hernando Today is proudly inviting you to enter the “Taste of Hernando” recipe contest which is being run in conjunction with the Relish Cooking School Expo.

Just select your favorite main dish or dessert recipe and send it in to along with your picture and a brief line about where the recipe got its start and why it’s such a favorite. Three finalists in each category will be chosen. They will each receive two tickets to the event.

Judging will take place during the Relish Cooking School Expo VIP mixer (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.)

Winners get a $100 Publix gift certificate and will be introduced on stage by Relish Chef Jon Ashton. They will also get an autographed picture with the chef.

Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. today so act now.

The event

Relish Cooking School Expos have been held in other parts of the country but this is a first for Hernando County. Tickets cost $15 each and $2 from each sale will be donated to Hernando County food banks.

If you are attending, you are also invited to bring canned foods and other non-perishable items like dried foods (pasta, rice, flour, sugar, and instant potatoes, shampoo, bath or hand soap, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, disposable razors, etc. Publix shopping carts will be standing by to receive your donations. Please do not bring any opened packages or outdated food.

In addition to enjoying free samples of foods at the outside food court, there will be live entertainment and door prizes will be given out throughout the night.

The main event will, of course be the Cooking School staring Relish Chef Jon Ashton and don’t be surprised if many of you in the audience end up on stage treating your taste buds to Ashton’s specialities. Sharing his creations is one of the chef’s favorite parts of the show.

“The best moments are when people try my food for the first time and to me it’s a little like going on a first date with someone. And I get a little antsy pantsy – I get the butterflies in my belly. I love to watch them as they take that first bite and it’s like that first kiss on a date. And you watch them and you watch their eyes. I love it when their eyes become glazed and they look at you and they say “yeah.”

So don’t miss this one of a kind party opportunity! Come, eat, drink and be merry! Other Web sites where you can learn about Chef Jon Ashton and his recipes:

Relish Magazine – and his own Web site – Relish Chef Jon Ashton –

For more information or tickets, call Denise Nohejl at 352-544-5206 or e-mail her at

For recipe contest submissions e-mail

Not only is Virginia Diaz a regular contributor to the Health Today, she is also an experienced Food Network Producer who spend many years working with Al Roker on his hit series Roker on the Road.

For More Information

See the Relish Cooking School Expo special section in this edition of Hernando Today.

Not only is Virginia Diaz a regular contributor to the Health Today, she is also an experienced Food Network Producer who spend many years working with Al Roker on his hit series Roker on the Road.

Busch Gardens to rock this weekend

Celebrate 50 years of fun this summer with big names in country, Latin and classic rock. There will be a new music series coming to Busch Gardens and SeaWorld with the biggest Worlds of Discovery lineup yet.

Expect great times with country and classic rock legends at Bud & BBQ, Viva La Música’s chart-topping salsa and meringue, and a new contemporary Christian music series at Busch Gardens.

’70s and ’80s Rockers Revisited

Independence Day weekend explodes with a pair of performances at Busch Gardens. On July 3, it’s legendary teen heartthrob David Cassidy. From “The Partridge Family” fame to his 18 gold and platinum recordings, Cassidy has had numerous hits throughout the decades, including “I Write the Songs,” “Lyin’ to Myself” and “I Think I Love You.”

On Saturday, July 4, former Starship lead singer, Mickey Thomas, rocks Busch Gardens in a special Independence Day celebration, followed by a fireworks finale.

For more information, visit them online at