Learn and Enjoy Music

If you love music and want to learn to play an instrument or learn about music theory, you could definitely benefit from one or more music workbooks. A place like C.R. Carol has selections to get you started. Whether you are a beginner or at intermediate level and beyond, there is always somethings new to learn. The more knowledge you gain, the better you will be able to transfer that knowledge into music that others will enjoy and appreciate.

Learn and Enjoy Music

For beginners, these books typically start with the basics with things like the staffs and the difference in the treble and bass clefs. If the piano is your instrument of choice, this is how you distinguish what is played with the right hand vs. what is played with the left. If you are a guitar player, you will only be concerned with the treble clef. The bass guitar player will pick up the notes from the bass clef.

Once you understand the basics about the clefs, you will go on to learn about the notes that are written on those clefs. This is where things start to get a bit more challenging for the beginner. While it can be quickly figured out what those notes are by using some memory techniques, what is important is to be able to recognize them without having to think about it. From that standpoint, it can be similar to what it was like when you learned the alphabet. You had to think about what each letter looked like. Now, you think nothing about that as you see letters connected together on paper to form words. The only answer to having the music notes come that naturally is practice. Though it may be frustrating at first, if you keep working at it, you will get past the frustration stage and advance to the point where it becomes enjoyable and relaxing.

After you get the notes somewhat memorized, you will need to begin working on timing. This means learning the difference in things like quarter and half notes. If you have the notes right, but the timing is wrong, you will not be playing anything that resembles the song you were intending to play.

By using these tools to learn music, you can advance as far as you want to go. If you only intend to use music for your own enjoyment, that is fine. If you plan on going on to make a career from music, that is also fine. The beautiful thing about music is that it can be enjoyed at many different levels.

Photographer empowers women through mermaid portraits

A little mermaid kneeled at the edge of the sand at Sunset Beach, scooting on orange, fin-clad legs to the position into which photographer Bella Michele Milo coaxed her.

“Come, on, do the mermaid shuffle,” Milo told 6-year-old London Roesch as she repositoned the tripod her off-camera flash balanced on. Milo turned toward London’s mother, Kristy Begerow, and laughed as London nearly forgot she was wearing a fin and tried to stand up.

“It’s funny that they always try to get up and walk,” Milo said.

Last Wednesday evening was one of many photo sessions Milo schedules at the city’s beach park with clients. Her speciality is mermaid photos for fans of the mythical creatures and feminist symbols of beauty and power, Milo said.

London’s room is mermaid-themed, Begerow said, and she thought it’d be perfect to frame a photo of her daughter in mermaid accouterment to hang in her room.

“She’s a great photographer,” Begerow said as Milo settled into the sandy water beside her daughter to snap a photo, despite wearing wearing capri jeans and tennis shoes.

“I think we go through fads,” Milo said about popular culture’s current fascination with mermaids. “I think people love the magical world of mermaids and fairies. I think people want these photos, because they see them and they know that it is something different.”

Milo recommends that her clients come to the beach with two-piece swimsuits under their clothes. Once there, she fits them for fins by size and style, then adds a matching bikini top decorated with shells and beads.

“This is as close as you’re getting to a bikini, sister,” said Erika Stigleman to her 7-year-old daughter, Aubrey, as she was getting fitted for her top. Milo also shot a group photo with London, Aubrey and Aubrey’s sister Madie, 4.

Milo adorns her subjects with handmade jewelry and “mermaid makeup” in the form of colorful eyeshadows and glitter to compliment the fins, which Michele purchases online through a company called “Fun Fun Mermaid.”

The company has featured photos London has sent it on its website.

Milo resigned in April from her job as a certified nursing assistant after eight years. Her experience working as an alternative model and shooting photos of her children and friends with a borrowed digital camera led to her taking a leap of faith into full-time photography.

Now, Milo shoots with a Nikon D1500 and a variety of lenses, using off-camera flashes and reflectors for a polished look often shot during sunsets.

Milo started shooting mermaids because of her own interest in the fictional, sea-dwelling creatures, two of which she has tattooed on her leg and one on her arm. She researched tails online and bought one for her and one for her daughter, Chloe.

“The night after I received them we had a wonderful storm, and I knew the clouds would be glorious,” Milo said. “We went on a whim and shot about 15 minutes of photos. I posted the photo, and everyone started saying they wanted photos like that so I started sign-ups with eight people. Before I knew it, it turned into five months, and over 100 mermaids so far.”

All of the mermaid shoots have been in Milo’s hometown of Tarpon Springs, with most of her clients driving from Pasco and Pinellas counties, and some from as far as two hours away. Soon, she plans to travel to other local cities for sessions.

Despite the complications of shooting outside – bad weather, shooting around sun positions and the chance that a beach-goer will accidentally walk into a shot – Milo said her favorite part is the “looks on the little girls’ faces when I put their fins on, and they see it all come to life, and they feel like a mermaid. Seeing them beaming, watching the mothers and daughters hold each other and capturing the moment and expressions for a lifetime. It’s something that they will always remember.”

The shoots also sempower the women and young girls Milo photographs in their fins, splashing around in the water and sand.

“My goal is to allow females to feel good about themselves, Milo said. “You can be beautiful no matter your size or skin tone”

Although based in Tarpon Springs, Milo has opened a photography studio in New Port Richey at 6611 US 19, Suite 206, where she shoots portraits, boudoir, pinup photography and themed shoots for holidays. She also holds ladies nights with drinks, costumes and photos.

For information on “Photography by Bella Michele” visit http://www.photographybybellamichele.com or https://www.facebook.com/photographybybellamichele.


(727) 815-1067

College students with disabilities

About three years ago, Louisiana State University student Gabriela McCall Delgado started a website for American college students with disabilities.

“I had the idea for a website in high school, but I didn’t act on it then,” said 22-year-old, Puerto Rico native Delgado in a telephone interview. “I was trying to find a disability-friendly college and learn what resources were available to me. However, I couldn’t find a place online with all the information I needed.”

As a youngster, Delgado was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and a learning disability that made reading very difficult. Louisiana State accommodated her disabilities by providing her with a note taker and giving her extra time to take exams.

She said, “College would be more difficult without the note taker. I think I could pass my classes, but my GPA would be lower. The accommodation is there to help me do school to the best of my ability.”

After attending a 2008 conference sponsored by nonprofit group YP4, she received a $1,000 grant, a video camera, and some technical support to help get her website idea off the ground. Her website address eventually became weconnectnow.wordpress.com. Its goals are to provide college students with disabilities access to relevant news, blogs, personal stories, information about government resources, government laws and regulations, and opportunities for contacting other college students with disabilities. The fledgling website has received more than 50,000 hits since 2009.

“We have job listings, which is the most visited part of the site,” said Delgado. “College students with disabilities want to know where they can get a job or an internship.”

One offshoot of her virtual organization has been the creation of local We Connect Now chapters at Hofstra University and Illinois State University, with others in the planning stages, including one at Louisiana State.

She graduates in August 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Soon after, she will start graduate school, seek part-time work with a nonprofit organization, and continue developing her bilingual website for college students with disabilities.

What does she like most about her website? “Reading email from people saying how useful the website was and the satisfaction of seeing its growth,” she said. “We have links now in 50 states and foreign countries. Also, I think it’s really cool when students send us stories about their own experiences.”

Dr. Becky Clark makes a difference

I had a delightful surprise checking my “in” box the other day: an email from a New York City reader, Dr. Becky Clark, a clinical social worker and sports psychologist. In part, she wrote, “Like you, I am also a therapist with a passion for helping people, especially those of us with disabilities and PTSD/trauma.”

Clark’s life journey has included a number of detours. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, she was physically and sexually abused, so much so that the abuse led to her having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and over time contributing to her becoming deaf. In spite of these hurdles, she went on to play basketball for the University of Tennessee under legendary coach Pat Summitt.

As for PTSD, 52-year-old Clark said, “I went through nine years of child abuse, including sexual abuse from a stepfather. Sports was my way to cope with it, along with music and my Christian faith.” For years, she wore hearing aids until in college she became almost completely deaf. To “hear” there, she started learning sign language. Doctors have never offered any plausible explanation for why she gradually went deaf other than the role physical abuse played.

She said, “While visiting Jamaica once, I was sitting down and reading near friends and the whole hotel suddenly went dark. Of course, with all the trauma that had been in my life, I immediately hit the floor and got into a defensive posture because of having PTSD. The people I was with just laughed. I soon learned it was common to have power failures in Jamaica.” She didn’t realize she had PTSD until learning about it while studying to become a clinical social worker. In a sense, she would become her own therapist.

As for being deaf, she said, “I can hear now because of cochlear implants in 2007-08. It’s been a miracle for me and I really can’t put it into words.” A cochlear implant involves the insertion by a surgeon of an electronic device that can give a deaf person some hearing.

Her life has had some remarkable transitions, she said, including one from her being able to hear to being deaf and then reversed, from deaf to hearing. Today, she has a private practice with deaf and hearing populations, is a public speaker, and has been involved as an advocate to raise awareness about child abuse.

For more stories of courage in disability, visit danieljvance.com or find them on Facebook at “Disabilities By Daniel J. Vance.” Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service made this column possible.

Reductions to Medicare Advantage Part B plans

They sound too good to be true: you sign up for a Medicare Advantrage plan and the plan will pay for most of your Part B premium of $99.90 if you are in the lowest premium rate bracket for Part B. The reduction for many plans is $96.40 this year if you have enrolled in one of the Medicare Advantage plans.

What is the catch? For one the plans are almost always HMO plans that require you to use the plan providers and not the doctor of your choice. How did these plans find this extra money? What happens is the plans receive a budget from CMS based on what Medicare will pay the plan per member per month for the upcoming year. The plans are free to design the benefits as long as they cover all the things that Medicare covers in benefits. The plans setup various co-pays or co-insurances for the benefits they allow. If they do not use up all of the budget they must give back 25% of the unused money to Medicare (CMS) and return 75% of the unused money to plan beneficiaries. You get dollars instead of benefits.

The givebacks are based on the budget allowed each year. In years where there are cutbacks on Medicare Advantage allowances you will normally see the givebacks reduced or removed from the product. When you soon see the new plans in October be sure to examine the plan’s position on the giveback for 2013. These welcome bonuses are not guaranteed from year to year. Also they are unique to Florida, they are done hardly anywhere else in the country.

Betsy Vipond is CEO of The Senior Health Advisor and has been in insurance for over 33 years. She is a board member of Tampa Bay Health Underwriters part of the National Association of Health Underwriters and specializes in Medicare products. You may contact her at (800) 603 0901.

Be good to your sinuses

Environment, diet can have big impact on the tender tissues.

On a hot summer day, cooling off by drinking an ice-cold beverage or eating ice cream can be the go-to in seeking relief.

Sometimes, eager for relief, a painful moment stops you in your tracks. Suddenly, the cold sensation turns into an achy, throbbing pain in the front part of the head. It is a temporary reaction called brain freeze, also known as an ice-cream headache or cold-stimulus headache, which results from consuming cold food, sometimes too quickly.

Over stimulus of the facial nerves, specifically the trigeminal nerve, can happen within a ten-second window and lasts about a minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. Along with the nerves, sinus passages can be affected.

For those with sinus issues, avoiding cold foods is one way to alleviate complicating the condition, as the cold temperature can affect sensitive sinus passages.

Sinuses are the cavities in the face that trap inhaled irritants to protect the airways. These are connected to the nasal passages through narrow openings in the hollow spaces of the skull around the eyes, cheeks and nose. Sinuses are grouped in three areas, the frontal, ethmoid and maxillary sinuses.

More than 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis each year. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus or paranasal sinuses, and can be a short term condition responding to antibiotics and decongestants. Increased pollution, urban sprawl and increased resistance to antibiotics can be possible causes of acute sinusitis, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.

Chronic conditions are a recurrence of at least four or more acute sinusitis conditions, where either medication or surgery may be needed.

Dr. Maria Scunziano-Singh, M.D., is a board certified primary care physician with Access Healthcare, LLC. She discussed the importance of taking care of your sinuses as these spaces, in responding to food and other environmental conditions, become blocked, obstructed or clogged from inflammation.

“Sinus pressure and pain with eye fatigue, nausea and dizziness are predominately caused by dietary choices,” she said. “Regular consumption of yogurt, breads and most commercial processed/boxed cereals with cow’s milk on top will contribute to your problems.”

Many people are milk intolerant and wheat intolerant as well, she added.

“These two categories will and can cause major upset, not only to the sinuses but the intestinal tract, among other systems,” Scunziano-Singh said.

Dairy products, wheat, most flour based foods (pasta, bread, cakes, etc.), processed foods, processed meats, ice cream, other frozen deserts and iced or chilled drinks can clog sinus cavities.

“They are unfortunately more health hazardous than anything else,” she said. “That cannot be disputed by any intelligent scientific source. It is up to you to make the best food choices for your overall health and if your sinuses are regularly blocked, you need to look closer at the diet.”

Scunziano-Singh described the reaction the body has when consuming cold food items.

Just imagine that you are lying in the hot sun for an hour and someone comes and dumps a bucket-full of ice on you, she added.

“You must realize that your body temperature is 98 degrees and when you put something as cold as 32 degrees in it, don’t expect your throat, esophagus, stomach and sinuses to be happy at all.”

She further described the body’s reaction as a shock to the system and causes actual inflammation. This reaction leaves one feeling unwell and with awful sinus pain causing nausea, dizziness and ultimately infection with fever and chills.

“Drinking a lot of water, and especially cold water, is not good at all for the congested head,” she said. “Moderate intake, meaning 40 to 60 ounces of fluids without chill or ice in the drink, is best.”

“When you stop the cold; the cold and creamy; or the cold, creamy and cakey … you will feel the difference,” she said. “You will see results if you stop consuming the culprit products mentioned.”

Additional culprits to causing sinus conditions are pollution, poor or inadequate fresh ventilation, mold, dust and mildew accumulation in homes, cars and workplaces.

People who use oxygen or other breathing devices in their nose during the day or at night, can aggravate the nasal passages and sinuses, she added.

“Gentle methods of moisturizing the air along with the dietary suggestions are recommended in these situations,” Scunziano-Singh said.

For asthma patients who suffer from sinus problems, it can be caused by food sensitivities, especially milk and wheat flours.

Cold food, air and drinks are a very big problem and should be strictly avoided for people with asthma, she added.

“Smoking will aggravate the sinuses,” she said.

Overeating, as well as over drinking causes, bloating overall. The sinuses experience a lot of the pressure. Symptoms include a runny nose, sometimes leading to the experience of the head feeling clogged or painful.

Dr. Maria Scunziano-Singh, MD is a primary care physician with Access Healthcare, LLC. Her office is located at 5350 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill. She can be reached at (352) 688-8116 or visit AccessHealthcareLLC.net.


Family movie night

BROOKSVILLE The First Presbyterian Church will hold a family movie night tonight starting at 7 p.m. featuring ‘Courageous’ located at 250 Bell Avenue. Open to the public to attend. Free popcorn and punch. For more information, call (352) 428-6385.

VBS at Nativity Lutheran

WEEKI WACHEE Nativity Lutheran Church offers vacation bible school from 9 a.m. to noon the week of June 25-29, located at 6363 Commercial Way. For information, call (352) 597-1456.

VBS at Allen Temple

BROOKSVILLE Allen Temple AME Church offers vacation bible school from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. the week of June 25-29, located at 824 Leonard Street. For information, call (352) 796-2597.

Series teachings

SPRING HILL Abundant Blessings Messianic congregation hosts a teaching series to be held at the Spring Hill Branch Library located at 9220 Spring Hill Drive. Series entitled The Old Nazarite Israelite Religion and The Way of Yeshua/Jesus the Nazarene/Nazarite. Open to anyone to attend. For more information, call (352) 544-5700.

New thought church

SPRING HILL The Awakening Spirit Church is a new thought church in Hernando County offering services Sundays starting at 1:30 p.m. at Temple Beth David Jewish Center 13158 Antelope Street. Focus is spiritual growth, filled with uplifting love, joy and healing, non-denominational Christian church. For more information, call (352) 610-2640 or visit awakeningspiritchurch.org.

Sunday blessings

SPRING HILL People Helping People, Inc. offers Sunday Blessings to about 100 homeless or needy people in Hernando County. PHP is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping by providing free clothing, groceries, transportation assistance and referrals to other help organizations. PHP is seeking volunteers, plus food and monetary donations. For more information, call (352) 686-4466, visit phpinhc.org, mailing address: P.O. Box 6182 Spring Hill 34611.

Christian life center events

SPRING HILL The Bridge Christian Life Center hosts an Open Mic Night and Coffee House held the third Saturday of the month at 6 p.m. Christian musicians and singers are invited to share their musical talents. Snacks and coffee are provided. Located at 7279 Pinehurst Drive. Also a movie and dinner night is held the first Saturday of the month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (352) 683-2863, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, offers Sunday worship at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The pastor is Kristin Wee. For information, call (352) 597-1456.

Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m., led by the Rev. Glenn Fischer. For information, call (352) 683-9731.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday contemporary worship at 8:50 a.m.; and Sunday traditional worship at 11 a.m. For information, call Pastor Tim Orrell at 683-9016.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), 1214 Broad St., Masaryktown, offers Discipleship Hour at 9:15 a.m. Sundays, with Holy Worship at 8 and 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. David Brockhoff giving the message. For information, call (352) 796-4066.

Christ Lutheran Church, 475 North Avenue W. at Zoller Street, Brooksville, offers a Sunday service at 10 a.m. For information, call (352) 796-8331.

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 411 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. The pastor is Ben Pederson. For information, call (352) 688-1057.

First Lutheran Church of East Hernando County, 30419 Park Ridge Drive, Ridge Manor West, offers a Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. For information, call (352) 796-8898.

Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill, offers Sabbath services at 8 p.m. every Friday and at 10 a.m. every Saturday. Spiritual leader is Rabbi Leonard Sarko. For information, call (352) 686-7034.

Hope Community Bible Church, 13241 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. The pastor is David A. Pletincks. For information, call (352) 686-6020.

Spring Hill Bible Church, 15449 Spring Hill Drive, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 544-5644.

Bible Baptist Church, 15901 Little Ranch Road, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 11 a.m. The pastor is Andrew Burggraff. For information, call (352) 584-6961.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 8 and 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Shanda M. Mahurin is the rector and the Rev. Ludwig Wallner is the deacon. For information, call (352) 683-2010.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 200 S. Brooksville Ave., Brooksville, will offer a Sunday service at 9 a.m. The Rev. R. Wayne Sistrunk is the deacon. For information, call (352) 796-9112.

Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church, 13460 Olympic Village Lane, off Sunshine Grove Road, Brooksville, holds The Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. Sundays. For information, call Father John Dalrymple at (727) 510-8259.

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 11200 Elgin Blvd., Spring Hill, celebrates The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. Father Michael Shuster is the presbyter. For information, call (352) 686-6050.

First United Methodist Church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 8 and 10:15 a.m., and a contemporary service at 9:15 a.m. The ministers are Michael Oliver and Anthony Caruana. For information, call (352) 683-2600.

First United Methodist Church, 109 S. Broad St., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. The pastor is the Rev. Jeffery Ice. For information, call (352) 796-3363.

Mariner United Methodist Church

Spring Lake United Methodist Church, 4191 Spring Lake Highway, Brooksville, offers a Sunday contemporary service at 9:30 a.m., and traditional services at 8:15 and 11 a.m. The pastor is the Rev. Williston C. Brewer. For information, call (352) 799-7028.

Lake Lindsey United Methodist Church

Ridge Manor United Methodist Church, 34350 Cortez Blvd. (State Road 50), offers Sunday worship at 10:15 a.m. The pastor is Deborah Nelson. For information, call (352) 583-3770.

Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 200 Mount Fair Ave., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. For information, call (352) 796-4969.

Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. The Rev. Chet Okopski is the senior pastor. For information, call 683-2082.

Dayspring Presbyterian Church PCA, 6000 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10:20 a.m. For information, call 686-9392.

First Presbyterian Church, 250 Bell Ave., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. For information, call 796-4228.

Spring Hill United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. The pastor is the Rev. Carlan Helgeson. For information, call (352) 683-4870.

All Faiths United Church of Christ, 34006 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. The pastor is the Pastor Merle Dech. For information, call (352) 583-4186.

Faith Evangelical Free Church, 5338 Freeport Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 8 and 10:45 a.m. The pastor is Slayden MacGregor. For information, call (352) 688-7605.

Brooksville Wesleyan Church, 22319 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. The pastor is Marlin Mull. For information, call (352) 799-3066.

St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, offers Saturday Mass at 4 p.m., and Sunday Masses at 8 and 10 a.m. For information, call (352) 796-2096.

St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church

St. Anne Roman Catholic Church, 4142 Treiman Blvd. (U.S. 301), Ridge Manor, offers Saturday Mass at 4 p.m., and Sunday Masses at 8 and 10 a.m. The pastor is the Rev. John S. Hays. For information, call (352) 583-2550.

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 8187 Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville, offers Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday. Pastor is Father Jim Marsh. For information, call (352) 848-4377.

Abundant Blessings Messianic Congregation offers a worship service at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays. Call (352) 544-5700 for meeting location and other information.

Calvary Church of the Nazarene, 235 Cobblestone Drive, just north of County Line Road, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 683-0587.

Spring Hill First Church of the Nazarene, 9600 Century Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 10:40 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call the Rev. Larry Dunn at (352) 683-1945.

Christ Community Church of Shady Hills, 17505 Shady Hills Road, Shady Hills, offers Sunday worship at 9 a.m. For information, call the Rev. Paul R. Rowe at (727) 856-4370.

Grace Community Church, 2250 Osowaw Blvd., Spring Hill, meets from 10:45 a.m. to noon Sundays at West Hernando Christian School. For information, call 596-6471.

Fellowship Community Church

Iglesia Arca Evangelica, 15531 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, caters to the Hispanic population of the community with worship services in Spanish, as well as Spanish singers and music, but also has translators available. For information, call Pastor Juan Diaz at 597-8307.

Centro Cristiano Vida Abundante (Abundant Life Church), 2977 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. The pastors are Alex and Martha Torres. For information, call (352) 688-7722.

First Baptist Church of Brooksville, 420 Howell Ave., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship services at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. The pastor is Matt Ellis. For information, call 796-6791.

First Baptist Church of Masaryktown, 269 Roosevelt Ave., offers Sunday worship at 11 a.m. The pastor is Robert Gant. For information, call (352) 796-4076.

First Baptist Church of Spring Hill

First Baptist Church of Hernando Beach, 4446 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach, offers Sunday services at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. For information, call (352) 596-2211.

Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 683-5882.

Faith Baptist Church, 175 Springtime St., Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call 686-5060.

Anchor Baptist Church

Hillside Community Baptist Church, 27440 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship services at 8:30 and 11 a.m. For information, call (352) 799-0687.

First Baptist Church of Garden Grove, 18131 Stromberg Ave., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. For information, call 796-2209.

Spring Hill Baptist Church, 3140 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 10:50 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call 683-5685.

New Hope Baptist Church

First Baptist Church of Weeki Wachee Acres, 8092 Toucan Trail, Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call 686-0747.

First Baptist Church of Ridge Manor, 34132 Ridge Manor Blvd., offers Sunday services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 583-4140.

Highlands Baptist Church, 7932 Ridge Road, Weeki Wachee, offers Sunday services at 10:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. For information, call Pastor David Moore at (352) 597-1965.

Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church

Grace Tabernacle Independent Baptist Church, 1661 W. Jefferson St., offers Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. For information, call Pastor David Clevenger at 796-7229.

Istachatta Baptist Church, 28075 Magnon Drive, offers Sunday services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 583-5228.

Eden Baptist Church, 22308 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville, offers Sunday services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information, call (352) 796-3855.

Bridge Christian Life Center, 7279 Pinehurst Drive, Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. and Bible study at 9:15 a.m. Teaching pastor is Chuck Fightmaster. Nursery provided. For information, call (352) 683-2863.

Hebron Baptist Church, County Road 491 (Lecanto Highway) one mile south of County Road 480 (Stage Coach Road) and 2.2 miles north of U.S. 98, offers Sunday worship at 11 a.m. For information, call (352) 796-9916.

New Song Worship Center, 6001 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. Dan Cole is the pastor. For information, call (352) 686-4000.

Crosspoint Church meets at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays at Challenger K-8 School, 13400 Elgin Blvd., Spring Hill. The pastor is Paul Castelli. For information, call (352) 585-3422.

Christ the King Full Gospel Worship Center, 5111 U.S. 19, Spring Hill, offers a Saturday service at 6 p.m. and a Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. The pastor is Allen Sabo. For information, call (352) 596-5366.

House of Faith, 15221 U.S. 19 (in the Oakhurst Plaza), Hudson, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. Jim Pickens is the senior pastor. For information, call (727) 868-5527.

Holy Band of Inspiration, DT offers worship at 11:30 a.m. Sundays. The pastor is Stella Williams. For more information, call (352) 799-1517.

Weeki Wachee Chapel of Spring Hill offers a Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. at 10496 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. For information, call Pastor Don Anderson at (352) 688-6457.

Church of Christ, 5456 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. The minister is Michael Madden. For information, call 686-0450.

Victorious Church of God by Faith, 824 Josephine St., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. For information, call 799-7905.

Harbor of Hope Ministries, 658 W. Broad St., Brooksville, offers Sunday praise and worship at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. For information, call Pastor Gil Pearson at (352) 422-3508.

Istachatta Church of Christ, 28076 Freewalt St., offers a Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. For information, call 799-4728.

Florida Lighthouse Tabernacle, 8400 Commercial Way, two miles north of Weeki Wachee, offers a Sunday service at 11 a.m. The pastor is the Rev. Ronnie Cannon. For information, call 596-7646.

Victorious Believer’s Fellowship Church, 18709 Broad St. (U.S. 41), Masaryktown, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. For information, call Pastor Sharon Guedesse at (727) 856-2222.

Eastside Pentecostal Church of God, 34490 Cortez Blvd., corner of U.S. 301, Ridge Manor, offers Sunday worship services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. The pastor is Dan Strength. For information, call (352) 799-9424.

Bread of Life Pentecostal Church of God, 812 South Main St., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship services at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. The pastor is the Rev. W. Frank Bishop. For information, call 799-7942.

Heart Center Church of God, 21345 Sanderson Road off U.S. 301, Lacoochee, offers a Sunday service at 6 p.m. Mervin and Betty Sherlin are the senior pastors. For information, call (352) 583-3354.

Victorious Life Church, 18924 County Line Road, offers Sunday services at 9 and 10:40 a.m. The pastor is Jason Kahler. For information, call (352) 799-2821.

Springs of Life Family Church, 19832 County Line Road, Spring Hill, offers Sunday praise and worship at 10:30 a.m. For information, call (352) 238-8690 or (352) 346-8139.

River of Life, Full Gospel Church, 18612 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 11 a.m. The pastor is Dan Strength. For information, call (352) 428-7506.

Brooksville Seventh-day Adventist Church, 991 W. Jefferson St., holds a worship service at 10 a.m. Saturdays. For information, call 796-2539.

Suncoast Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 8449 Cobb Road, Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10 a.m. led by Pastor Dan Turner. For information, call (352) 797-0401.

Brooksville Christian Church, 6197 Broad St., Brooksville, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. Minister is Mike Harshman. For information, call 796-3221.

Heaven’s Gate Christian Fellowship, 7138 Lykes St., Weeki Wachee, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m., led by Pastor Ray Favichia. For information, call 597-3838.

Awakening Spirit Church, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill, offers Sunday services at 1:30 p.m., led by Rev. Olivia Christel. For information, call (352) 610-2640.

Christian Church at Spring Hill, 9074 Bay Drive, off Deltona Boulevard, offers Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. For information, call (352) 683-6195.


Religion Events appear each Saturday. News releases about special events must be received 14 days in advance. Events will not be published without complete information, such as the time, date, and physical address of the church or location of the special event. Also, an information telephone number for the public and the name and telephone number of a contact person must be included. Send to Anna Lamy, Content Coordinator, email ALamy@hernandotoday.com or by mail to her attention at Hernando Today, 15299 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville FL 34613.

Autism Awareness Fest a hit

It may take a village to raise a child. But it takes an entire community to raise a child with autism. Or, at the very least, a collaboration of community support.

According to the National Autism Association, one in 88 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and the rate has grown steadily for the past 20 years.

Although autism is vastly becoming a national epidemic, it is, ironically, the most underfunded medical disorder.

Danish Hasan, a Springstead Junior, stumbled on that realization by accident.

Hasan had a friend whose 2-year-old son is on the autism spectrum. “They had moved here from out of state,” Hasan said, “and they wanted to know more about autism and what services were available here.”

Hasan jumped online only to learn that options for families living with autism were very limited. “There was nothing in Hernando County,” he said, even though as many as 680 children in the county were diagnosed with the disorder.

As an International Baccalaureate student looking for a qualifying community project for college, Hasan’s interest was immediately sparked.

He set out to learn as much as he could about the disorder, even attending an international convention for autism in Orlando last summer.

The experience, he said, was mind-blowing. He met professors from Baylor University who provided information about genetic testing. “They were also application producers for Apple and iPads,” Hasan said.

He was amazed at how much was being done to assist families dealing with the difficulties of the disorder, and the amount of effort that was being applied to isolating a cause and, hopefully, leading to a cure.

“Yet a county like ours has no resources, no money, no funding, no groups,” Hasan said. “We have absolutely nothing.”

Hasan contacted CAUSE Autism Support Group Hernando County, a support group for families and children on the autism spectrum.

CAUSE provides support meetings every first and third Wednesday evening and Friday morning at BayCare off Grove Road in Brooksville.

It also provides funding for summer activities for children on the spectrum in collaboration with the Hernando County Family YMCA.

Hasan met with CAUSE and they discussed teaming up to organize a seminar or walk in the county. “We decided on a festival,” Hasan said, which would comprise local resources linked to autism including therapists, support groups, the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, local vendors and high school students.

Their mission was to provide information about resources available for families dealing with the disorder while making it a fun environment for the children.

“We wanted to distract the children while their parents worked,” Hasan said.

They hoped for a good turnout. But Hasan was realistic with expectations. “The general public isn’t as enthusiastic about a particular autism event,” Hasan said. “If it were a disability, something big like Relay for Life, then it would attract a lot of people.”

The Autism Awareness Fest, held on Saturday at Springstead High School, was the result.

The collaboration attracted several local resources and vendors to help bring attention to the disorder.

The track field was decorated with a bounce house for the kids and booths set up by C.A.U.S.E., For 1 Small Voice Autism Support Group, Golden Branch Christian Academy for students with learning differences, and the YMCA.

The Springstead Band Booster provided funnel cakes while Springstead’s National Honor Society sold cold drinks.

The People to People Club sold baked goods and the Rotary Club sold snow cones. The Band also played ten minute performances every hour.

Friendly Kia, from New Port Richey, provided a trolley car that took visitors on a tour of the parking lot. The engineer even let the little ones ring the bell.

And local businesses donated gifts for the raffle. They included Mario’s Pizza, Flammer Ford, Bill the Barber, Panara Bread, Cupcake Heaven, Weeki Wachee State Park, Spring Hill Lanes, PJ’s Brick Oven Pizza, Sherwood Forest, Beacon Theaters, and Beef O’Brady’s.

A few volunteer booths were set up providing games, activities and face painting for the children.

All the proceeds collected at the event would be donated to CAUSE for autism related services in the county.

Erin Bratton attended the event after hearing about it through her son’s Exceptional Student Education newsletter.

Four year old Giuseppe Digiadomo was diagnosed with autism and ADHD in January.

Giuseppe attends an ESE preschool program at Pine Grove Elementary, but his mother needed outside support to navigate the often overwhelming roadblocks associated with the disorder.

She was excited about the event.

“I spent most of my time at the CAUSE booth,” she said. “The women at the booth were very helpful.”

Bratton said the event was an important first step in assisting Hernando County families who live with autism on a daily basis. “Seeing other people get involved was really a positive note for me,” she said.

But Hasan isn’t stopping here.

To continue his IB work throughout his senior year, Hasan hopes to hold an autism seminar.

“I’ve already contacted Dan Marino in Miami,” he said. “He has a son who has autism.”

For more information about CAUSE and their meetings, visit its website at www.causeautism.com.

Kim Dame is a correspondent for Hernando Today. She may be contacted by email at dame writes@yahoo.com.

It’s time for a Flossie Johnson cookbook

Flossie Johnson put out her first cookbook, “Flossie’s Favorites,” in 1992.

Her second book, “Flossie’s Favorites Too,” came out 10 years later.

Now it’s 2012, and, sure enough, Johnson has another cookbook, “Save the Fork.”

“We had heard the story about the woman who said, ‘Save your fork,’ and we were inspired by that,” Johnson said.

The story goes that a woman who was dying asked her children to bury her with a fork in her hand. When one asked why, the woman said her mother used to occasionally tell her at dinner to save her fork. That meant she would have dessert that night, or “the best was yet to come.”

“So,” the woman said, “I want to be buried with a fork in my hand, for the best is yet to come!”

Johnson, who lives in Wilkes County, is the former wife of Junior Johnson, the NASCAR legend. She also is a bit of a legend in racing circles. She not only helped Johnson with his racing business for years, but also was known for the hospitality she always provided to the larger NASCAR family.

On the cover of “Save the Fork,” Johnson holds a plate, napkin and fork that belonged to her mother, Cordie Williams Clark.

“We wanted to honor her with that,” Johnson said. “She taught me a lot of things, in the kitchen and in life.”

Clark died in 2001, just a couple of months shy of her 100th birthday.

Not much else has changed since her last cookbook, Johnson said.

Johnson, 82, appears to take after her mother, refusing to let her age slow her down.

She has lost some weight, she said, but she still loves to cook for company, especially when old NASCAR friends like Darrell Waltrip or Jeff Hammond drop by.

She goes to the annual NASCAR banquet. The back cover photo on “Save the Fork” shows her with Kathy Virtue, a friend and the book’s publisher, at the 2011 banquet in Las Vegas.

She still raises chickens for Tyson Farms, processing about 32,000 poulets (young chicks) every 21 weeks or so.

She still keeps a big garden, and does a bunch of canning and freezing every summer.

The other week, she was helping at MerleFest, working in the kitchen that feeds the musicians and their families.

She still keeps up with other volunteer work, too, especially for the local hospice.

She said she hasn’t slowed down in the past 10 years. “I think keeping active is maybe why I’ve got along as well as I have,” she said.

“I still do things I’ve always done. I still go out with friends. We still have fun. And I don’t worry about a thing. It’s not worth it.”

Johnson again turned to her friends and family for her latest cookbook. About 30 people contributed recipes to “Save the Fork.” Johnson figures about half are her recipes, and half came from others. But, she said, most of these recipes have been circulating among her family and friends for years.

The 115 recipes are divided into three sections: cakes, pies and miscellaneous treats.

Johnson describes herself as a country cook, and “Save the Fork” reflects that.

Cakes include black walnut cake, old-fashioned caramel cake and several pound cakes, including her favorite, coconut pound cake. “I make that to be auctioned off a lot at benefits,” Johnson said.

Pies include coconut cream, lemonade, buttermilk, peach custard and sweet potato.

Treats include classic banana pudding, apple dumplings, sticky buns and an easy cobbler. “Blackberry cobbler is probably my very favorite,” Johnson said. “But you can use apples, peaches or anything.”

She hopes that people who buy “Save the Fork” get a lot of pleasure out of it, and maybe even learn a thing or two: “I think everyone needs to learn how to bake something.”

Brooksville success story plays out at top pediatric hospital

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” –John Lennon

When Adam Resnick, former Brooksville resident and graduate of Hernando High School, completed his training at the Department of Neuroscience at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, he was propelled by his dream to cure pediatric brain cancer.

Five years later, in a research lab across the street from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Resnick analyzes brain tumors, most of which were removed surgically by his colleague and friend, Dr. Phillip (Jay) Storm.

The blending of Adam Resnick, a Neuroscientist, and Jay Storm, a Neurosurgeon, is a unique partnership that was actually incepted at John Hopkins School of Medicine where the two met. Resnick was completing his training in neuroscience while Storm was doing his residency.

“By chance, we began to interact,” Resnick said.

At the end of his residency, Storm accepted a job at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as a brain surgeon. And the two parted.

“I was just finishing up my training at Hopkins when I got a call from Jay,” Resnick remembered. “He asked me what I thought about doing brain tumor research.”

Storm explained that CHOP was embarking on a revamped brain tumor research lab and there were funds available for a scientist. “I immediately thought of Adam,” he said. “I asked him if he’d be interested in working with me to build a brain tumor center.”

Resnick knew of CHOP’s prestigious ranking as one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals.

In fact, according to www.CHOP.edu, “Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia shares the No. 1 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals.”

And Resnick learned that CHOP had been making serious efforts toward reorganizing their brain tumor research program.

“They invested heavily in the infrastructure for determining the culprit and identifying the genetic basis of many brain tumors,” Resnick explained. “It ended up being a perfect fit to have collaboration between a basic scientist interested in the intricacy of how cells behave and a clinical neurosurgeon who deals with the patients.”

The rest, you might say, is history as the two integrated their specific skills, fueled by a common goal toward finding a cure for pediatric brain cancers. And the partnership has been an exceptional union, gaining momentum year after year.

The lab’s success, due in part to an outpouring of local donor support, has gained notoriety with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In fact, the Division of Neurosurgery, where Resnick and Storm perform miracles, is this year’s recipient of the hospital’s largest volunteer fundraising event.

The Daisy Day Campaign was started in 1953 by the Auxiliary of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and has raised more than $13 million for the hospital since its inception. It began when volunteers stood on the streets of Philadelphia and handed out daisies for donations. It has since grown into an annual fundraising event, this year marking its 56th year.

To benefit from Daisy Day, each department at CHOP had to provide substantial donations from private means to even be considered. The event’s Honorary Co-Chairs; Helaine and Joseph Banner and Nancy and James Minnick, made the final decision.

Nancy Minnick said the board’s decision to support the Division of Neurology was particularly personal to her. Minnick’s daughter, Jennie, had a lesion removed by Jay Storm five years ago.

Jennie, who suffered a seizure on a ski slope in Colorado when she was 14, was diagnosed with a Cavernous Malformation in her brain. Cavernomas are linked to epilepsy and can be life threatening. Fortunately for the Minnicks, Jennie’s cavernoma was in a location that allowed Storm to safely remove the lesion and cure the seizure.

“No matter how good the scenario,” Minnick said, “it is still life-altering.” The Minnicks, who live in Philadelphia, knew of the reputation of CHOP. “We were lucky,” she added. “Not everyone has the best possible hospital in their backyard.”

The experience impassioned the Minnicks to pay it forward by jumping behind the support of the neuroscience lab. Nancy and James Minnick were happy to chair a poker tournament in 2010 to benefit the Division of Neuroscience at CHOP.

“We became quiet convinced that these two guys are going to change the course of a lot of kids’ lives,” Minnick added.

The 2012 Daisy Day, which took place on May 3rd, was a gallant affair, combining an elegant luncheon and a prestigious fashion show, featuring designer Keren Craig Marchesa Fall 2012 Collection, and held at the Grand Ballroom of Philadelphia’s Hyatt at The Bellview.

The event broke records and raised more than $1.3 million to support Adam Resnick and Jay Storm’s brain tumor research efforts. It featured Storm as speaker and Resnick as a guest “model”, walking the runway alongside Jennie Minnick, attired in Saks Fifth Avenue clothing lines.

Adam Resnick grew up in Brooksville, attended Hernando High School and graduated as Valedictorian. By all accounts, he represents what makes a hometown hero.

His father, Peter Resnick, is Adam Resnick’s most pivotal supporter. The elder Resnick started a foundation, called Resnick Storm Labs, Neurosurgery, and began promoting the lab’s work to colleagues, friends, and customers.

Since its beginning, Resnick Storm Labs Neurology has raised well over $100.000, mostly from local Hernando County donors. That figure is in addition to the money raised through CHOP’s national advertising campaigns.

Facts don’t lie. And when presented to willing donors who recognize the importance of supporting one of their own, the interest only grew. Prominent members of the community have been more than willing to assist in furthering the life-saving research conducted at Resnick Storm Labs.

Joe Mason, whose family has been in Hernando County for five generations, has been donating to Resnick Storm Labs for about two years.

“I didn’t even know the research lab existed,” Mason said. Mason is a partner of McGee & Mason PA in Brooksville. “When Peter told me about his son’s lab and showed me some of the results, I was astounded. From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty promising.”

Joe Lowman of the Lowman Law Firm paralleled Mason’s impression.

“I thought it made sense,” Lowman said. “It was something that was near and dear to Pete, and it was the kind of charity we like to donate to.”

The Lowmans are advocates for children’s charities and have donated to Shriners and St. Judes for years. Adding Resnick Storm Labs to the list was an easy decision, especially when given insight into its success in just five years.

But Anna Liisa and Tony Covell, also of Brooksville, might be the most dedicated donors for Resnic Storm Labs because they experienced the miracle first hand. Their young grandson, Benjamin, was diagnosed in December 2010 with Neoblastoma. He was just three months old.

Tony Covell’s friendship with Peter Resnick was the precursor that got Benjamin the best possible care from CHOP without ever stepping foot into the hospital.

“Within 30 minutes of getting the news about Benjamin, Peter was on the phone with Adam,” Anna Liisa Covell said.

Within 24 hours, Dr. John Maris, M.D., was in contact with the family. Maris is the director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and specializes in Neuroblastoma research.

Benjamin’s surgery to remove the tumor was performed at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. But Adam Resnick and Dr. John Maris were the family’s support throughout the process.

“They had an open door,” Covell said. “And they were there every step of the way. And they still are.”

Benjamin, now 19-months old, has received consistent evidence that his Neuroblastoma is in remission.

For Adam Resnick and Jay Storm, building the lab to its current status has been an amazing experience. “For us it’s been a phenomenal marriage,” Adam Resnick said. “It’s an authentic partnership that works.”

Jay Strom wrapped it up with a poignant thought. “The goal of our whole partnership is to put me out of business.”

For more information on the Daisy Day Campaign or how to donate to the Resnick Storm Lab, Neurosurgery, see www.daisydayluncheon.org or contact Pat Feeley at the CHOP Foundation, 267.426.6483 or feeley@email.chop.edu


Resnick Storm Labs, Neurosurgery

Peter Resnick

(352) 206-9712


Kim Dame is a correspondent for Hernando Today. She can be contacted by email at damewrites@yahoo.com.