(On Vacation For Awhile)

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Feb. 18, 2019
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Feb. 19, 2019


LifeSouth Community
Blood Centers presents awards

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
Accepting the certificate of appreciation for Walmart of Chiefland are Sandy Buccholz (left) and Angie Watson. Wallmsrt of Chiefland was the sixth highest place in 2018 for donors from among the region where LifeSouth Community Blood Centers collects blood in North Central Florida.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 22, 2019 at 11:39 p.m.
Except One Photo By Jeff Emmonds
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers presented awards to people Friday afternoon (Feb. 22) with a Happy Birthday theme for the event.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
This birthday cake is in honor of all of the people who have birthdays as a result of blood transfusions saving their lives.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
Standing next to the birthday cake is Debbie Destin of Camp Valor. She shared information with people at the event about Camp Valor.

     Laura Bialeck, one of the LifeSouth team of professionals at the event, explained the theme is for all of the people whose lives were saved by donated blood. This is to honor them having birthdays in the future as a result of the work of blood donors.
     Coincidently, the event was held on the birthday of George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732 – Dec. 14, 1799), the first president of the United States of America. President Washington would have been 287 years old.
     Two of the many highlights of the afternoon were the recognition of Butler Enterprises and a story by a survivor who is alive thanks to blood donors.
     The iconic, Butler Plaza, established in 1975, is taking on a new look, and making room for the two additional development projects adding more than a million square feet of power-packed shopping and dining, according to its website.
     As for its earning special recognition, the Butler Enterprises group has been part of the network of donor sites for decades now, Bialeck said. Donors there saved more than 3,000 lives with blood this year.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
Accepting on behalf of the City of Williston are Executive Administrative Assistant Latricia Williams and Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Carson.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
Accepting on Behalf of Otter Springs Park and Campground of Gilchrist County is Debbie Destin.

     The survivor who spoke about the value of donating blood works for a local TV station and she said a doctor told her that the virus she had was going to kill her.
     A blood transfusion saved her life, she told the audience.
     “No one knows when death will knock at the door,” she said, adding that the door did not open for death in this instance.
     Meanwhile, in another aspect from the meeting, there may be some confusion about a red bloodmobile that is not red-white-and blue and does not say LifeSouth Community Blood Centers on it.
     Bialeck helped listeners know that there is another bloodmobile in the area, but that blood donated there may not be going to the local hospitals. She stressed a few times that LifeSouth is the local blood supplier – meeting local patients’ needs.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
People mill about before picking up their lunch from servers along a buffet line.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
People accept their lunches from servers.


     There must have been at least 100 people at the Annual LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Chairperson/Media Appreciation Luncheon. It took take place at the Civitan Donor Center -1221 N.W. 13th St., in Gainesville. Everyone who dined on the buffet-style salads, Italian cuisine and desserts appeared to enjoy the meal.
     There was also a birthday cake, as noted to honor people who lived as a result of blood donation.
     Several interests from the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties were noted for their donations of blood to help local patients.
     Among the many Tri-County Area donor sites were Capital City Bank, Palms Medical Group, Alliance Dairies, Florida Farm Bureau, Bell High School, Bronson Middle High School, Williston Middle High School, Trenton High School, the Cedar Key Community, the Bronson Community, Dixie County Rotary Club, Cross City Correctional Institution, the Chiefland community, the Florida Department of Transportation, and Otter Springs Park and Campground. And the list could go on for a very long time.
     Walmart of Chiefland was sixth highest in the Overall Blood Drives for 2018.
     Cedar Key, Bronson, Williston and the Rotary Club of Dixie County were all in the top 10 for Community Blood Drives in 2018.
     Bronson, Bell, Williston and Trenton were in the top 10 for School Blood Drives in 2018. was recognized again this year for its successful efforts in helping the people in the Tri-County Area know about blood drives, and for highlighting the blood donation center in the plaza where Winn-Dixie is located in Chiefland.

Blood Donors In Gainesville Florida
Jeff Hardison holds the framed certificate presented to him for the work of in helping LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. The publisher of the daily news website is seen here on the grounds of The Ink Pad, in the unrecorded subdivision known as Jemlands in Levy County.
Photo by Jeff Emmonds


Winners determined
in 10th Annual Gilchrist County
Sheriff's Chili Cook-off

First Place Winner Chil Contest GCSO 2019
Lt. Scotty Douglas stands with First Place Winner Linda Philman (creator of Just In Case Chili) as the winner holds the trophy made by the GCSO. Joining the first-place winner in this photo is her 3-year-old granddaughter Abbie Holley, the daughter of Lt. Todd Holley and Krystal Holley.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 21, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
(With One Photo By Krystal Holley)
     TRENTON --
Three judges sampled 21 different types of chili Thursday (Feb. 21) and they determined the top three.


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10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
Second Place Winner Samantha Mathews (creator of Kicken Chicken Chili) stands with Lt. Scotty Douglas and holds the silver-colored trophy.
Photo By Krystal Holley

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
Third Place Winner Brandi Hilliard (creator of Cheeseburger Chili) stands with Lt. Scotty Douglas as she holds the bronze-colored trophy.

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
Gilchrist County Court Judge Sheree Lancaster stands near the First-Place winning chili.

     The judges were Gilchrist County Court Judge Sheree Lancaster, Assistant State Attorney Robert Willis and Pastor Gene Harris.
     When Judge Lancaster was asked if it was difficult to decide the top three out of 21, she said "Yes, they were all good.
     "Gilchrist County has a lot of fine cooks," Judge Lancaster continued. "And they are all supporting a good cause."
     This event is a fundraiser for the Relay For Life of the Tri-County Area, therefore everyone wins.
     The winners of the top three titles in the contest, though, were First Place -- Just In Case Chili by Linda Philman; Second Place -- Kicken Chicken Chili by Samantha Mathews; and Third Place -- Cheeseburger Chili by Brandi Hilliard.
     Among the other names of chili were Deer, Deer, Deer Chili, Everything But The Kitchen Sink Chili, Mexican Chili, Whole Lotta Chili, I Dare Ya’ Chili, Emma’s Chili, Venison Chili, Veni Chili, The Little Burro (Sweet With A Kick) Chili, 5 Star Chili, Chili Supreme, Swamp Donkey Chili, Devilicious Chili, City Champ Chili, Bring On The Heat Chili, Kickin’ Chili, Nice And Slow But Ready To Go Chili, and Mike’s Famous Chili.
     In the absence of Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz, who had been called to present a program in Orlando, the top three GCSO leaders for the event were Lt. Scotty Douglas, Lt. Keagon Weatherford and Lt. Clint Anderson.

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
Residents from Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center dine on chili.

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
The Wheels to the World van (chariot) for transporting the residents from Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center awaits their return. The men and women were well cared for by staff members from the center.

     A busload of residents from Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center were present to enjoy a chili lunch.
     A table with shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers and other chili fixin’s was available. There were also many baked goods available for dessert as were drinks.

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
A few of the 21 different crock pots are seen here.

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
To be added to the chili...

10th Annual GCSO Chili Cook-off
And for dessert. (This whole event was the culmination of an effort by many people, some who are not named here; however, the success is shown from Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz's concept of OneTeam-One Mission.


Community Scholarship
Program opens

By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 20, 2019 at 10:39 p.m.
People on a low income or a fixed income in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties are eligible to apply for the new Tri-County Community Resource Center's Scholarship Program.
     Tri-County Community Resource Center Manager Beverly Goodman said this scholarship meets needs that may go unanswered from other scholarships.
     This program is for any student aged 16 and older who can present proof of a need to meet education expenses; certification costs; needed job-related equipment; educational supplies; or transportation.
     There is $1,000 available in 2019, Goodman said, and these scholarships are for up to $250. However, they can be for less.
     If a student in the logging equipment program needs steel-toed boots, for instance, she said, then the student can apply for the scholarship to pay for those boots. These funds can cover the cost of CNA scrubs, or the cost for a CNA test or for GED-related expenses.
     Goodman asks all interested students to call 352-407-4000 for more information.

Gilchrist County Rotarians give
dictionaries to third graders

Gilchrist County Rotary Club
Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Aaron Haynes helps TES student Anthony Mayorga Monterroso.

Story and Photos
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published Feb. 20, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
Third Grade students AT Trenton Elementary School and Bell Elementary School received dictionaries from the Gilchrist Rotary Club on Valentines Day (Thursday, Feb. 14).


Gilchrist County Rotary Club
Deputy Resource Officer Jennifer Williams helps a TES student.

Gilchrist County Rotary Club
Deputy Resource Officer Kris Beasley with BES student Hayden Rhodes.

Gilchrist County Rotary Club
Rotarian Sheree Lancaster assists TES student Olivia Dewitz.

Gilchrist County Rotary Club
Rotarian Sheila Smith assists students at BES.


     The annual distribution of dictionaries to our public third grade students was even more fun and festive for the Rotarians and the children thanks to the timing.
     As Rotarians gave each child their own book to keep, Club President Aaron Haynes explained the importance of being able to look-up words and their meaning.
     To illustrate his point, he asked the children to look up the word “inspiration” and told them that this word for Rotarians is similar to the character traits the students in Gilchrist schools observe each month.
     Students gave examples of how to inspire others and recited the Rotarian Four Way Test. The Four Way Test of the things we think, say, or do guides Rotarians in how we treat and serve others.  Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? The students and teachers did a terrific job in reciting these words with us; it was such a heartwarming day!
     Our School Resource Officers were a tremendous help in escorting us to the classrooms, helping with the distribution of books, and helping the students find the word 'inspiration' in their book.  Thank you so much to Deputy Jennifer Williams at Trenton Elementary and to Deputy Kris Beasley at Bell Elementary.  We are so appreciative of our law enforcement officers!
     The Rotary Club would also like to thank the principals, teachers and staff who were so helpful in assisting us to make this day such a great success.  It most certainly was a day of learning, fun and INSPIRATION!

Rotarians learn about
Early Learning Coalition

Chiefland Rotary
Sandra Woodard, public relations manager for the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast stands with Chiefland Rotary Club President Sandy Oglesby.

Story and Photos
By C.L. Watson © Feb. 18, 2019 at 10:39 p.m.
Members and guests at the Chiefland Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday (Feb. 13) learned about programs available through the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast.
     Chiefland Rotary Club hosted guest speaker Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast Public Relations Manager
Sandra Woodard. The Coalition serves Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Sumter counties with offices in Crystal River, Chiefland and Sumterville.
     Services include School Readiness, the VPK Program, Child Care Resource and Referral, Parent Resources, the Child Passenger Safety Program and Provider Resources.
     The School Readiness Program offers financial assistance to low-income families for early education. This program also offers child care, so that families can become financially self-sufficient and their young children can be successful in school in the future.
     Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) is designed to prepare every 4-year-old child in Florida for kindergarten and to build the foundation for their educational success. The VPK program gives each child an opportunity to perform better in school and throughout life with quality programs that include high quality standards, accountability, appropriate curricula, substantial instruction periods, manageable class sizes, and qualified instructors.
     All eligible 4-year-old children are entitled to participate in one of the VPK program options. Clyatt House Learning Center of Chiefland is one of the nearby places for VPK.
     Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) is a free information and referral service provided by the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast. The Coalition database includes all legally operating early learning providers (those that have met all state and local licensing or registration requirements) in Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Sumter counties.
     Parent Resources provides links and telephone numbers for numerous services from a Family Training Portal Video to Accredited Online Colleges.
     The Child Passenger Safety Program offers parents and caregivers in the community an opportunity to have a child's car seat checked to ensure that the child is as safe in a vehicle as possible.
     By appointment only, certified CPS personnel will determine whether a current car seat is appropriate and safe for the child. The program offers families experiencing financial hardship the opportunity to purchase a new, high quality car seat for a minimal fee. Interested parties can call 352-563-9939 extension 235 for more information on the Child Passenger Safety Program.
     Woodard encouraged Rotarians to consider employees that could utilize services provided by the Coalition.
     The majority of participants are single parents and grandparents raising grandchildren as well as unexpected guardianships. These programs help offset cost for lower income-based families.
     The programs offer opportunities for participants to be employed or attend an institution of higher education. Persons can also volunteer and donate to the Coalition.
     To find out more, visit


Chiefland FFA earns recognition
Chiefland FFA

Photos Provided

By Jillian Sanchez
Chiefland FFA Sr. Chapter Reporter
Published Feb. 15, 2019 at 1:19 p.m.
Members of Chiefland FFA earned recognition through their accomplishments in recent competition.


Chiefland FFA

     We were represented well. None of this would be possible without our parents and advisors. Chiefland has recently competed in the District level contest and the Livestock Evaluation CDE preliminary contest.
      Opening and Closing Ceremonies Team won the District contest and will move on to compete at State Convention in June. The team members included Regan Varnes, Hunter Sharp, Everette Tribble, Shanie Keene, Adysen Baker, Annabelle Beauchamp and Ryleigh Locke.
     Hunter Sharp won Middle School Extemporaneous Public Speaking.
     Reagan Hudson (not pictured) placed 3rd in Senior extemporaneous speaking.
     Sam Mills won Senior Tractor Driving.
     The Livestock Team placed 9th in the Livestock Evaluation CDE preliminary contest out of 79 teams and 299 contestants. The team included Sam Mills, Jillian Sanchez, and Rieley Beauchamp
     We are excited to see what the state contests have in store for us!


Explore career, educational
opportunities at
CF Preview Night
 in Levy County on March 5

Published Feb. 5, 2019 at 10:49 a.m.
The College of Central Florida is scheduled to host its Preview Night open house Thursday, March 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the CF Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus, 15390 N.W. Highway 19, north of Chiefland.
     The College of Central Florida has campuses in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties. There are Preview Night events at the other campuses as well.
     All students who attend the “Getting Started at CF” workshop on March 5 will have their $30 college application fee waived, and they may enter a drawing to win a $300 scholarship, where one or two are awarded per location - at campuses in Levy, Citrus and Marion counties.
     The college will showcase the many career and educational opportunities it offers. Prospective students can attend workshops on Dual Enrollment, Getting Started at CF, Financial Aid and Student Life.
     They also may interact with faculty and staff to learn about workforce and certificate programs, and advanced degrees, including CF’s baccalaureate programs.
     Preview Night at the Ocala Campus is in the Ewers Century Center on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m.
     Preview Night at the Citrus Campus will be held on Thursday, March 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Citrus Learning and Conference Center, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.
     For more information about the free event at the Levy County campus, call 352-658-4077.
     For more information about all Preview Night events, click HERE.

College financial aid workshop
at CF Levy, March 14

Published Jan. 28, 2019 at 1:18 p.m.
Updated Feb. 8, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
High school and college students interested in getting assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can attend a workshop on Thursday, March 14, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the College of Central Florida Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus, 15390 N.W. U.S. Highway 19 – north of Chiefland.
     Students are strongly encouraged to attend with their parent or guardian.
     Required documents to bring include the student’s photo identification, parents’ and student’s 2017 federal income tax returns and all W-2s, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of parents and student, and records of all 2017 untaxed income.
     Space is limited. Register for the event at
     For more information, call 352-658-4077.
     To learn about other events at CF, visit


Timber Harvesting Equipment
program at CF for third year;

Deadline to apply is April 19 
Published Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:39 a.m.
The College of Central Florida is scheduled to offer an eight-week Timber Harvesting Equipment program May 6 through June 27 at the Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus, 15390 N.W. U.S. Highway 19, north of Chiefland.
     Classes meet Monday through Thursday in the morning for the first five weeks and then for a full day the last three weeks.
     The program is open to 12 students and includes classroom instruction and field trips to local logging companies and mills. Students will receive OSHA-10 and CPR certification. Upon completion of five weeks, students will be registered for the Master Logger Certification course and exam.
     The final three weeks of the program will include on-site training and cover harvesting a section of timber donated by the Florida Forestry Association using a skidder, fellow-buncher and loader. Support is offered through industry partnerships with Usher Land and Timber, Loncala Inc. and the Florida Department of Forestry.
     Due to a generous scholarship, students can attend the program for free. The program includes all assessments required for registration, textbooks, fees, personal protective equipment and tuition
     Students must be at least 18 years old to participate. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, April 19.
     Applications can be picked up at the Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus. For more information, contact Leah Gamble at 352-658-4077.


Advanced Welding Technologies
program to be offered at CF Levy

Published Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:19 a.m.
The College of Central Florida is scheduled to offer an Advanced Welding Technologies Certificate program starting in the fall at the CF Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus.
     The program focuses on pipe welding and provides an opportunity to earn three additional high-skill certifications in the pipe-welding process.
     Students who have completed CF’s Welding program or students who have completed another welding program and can demonstrate the skills necessary for the advanced process through certification are eligible. The program can be completed in one and half semesters, if attending full time.
     For more information, contact Leah Gamble at 352-658-4077 or

Community Foundation awards
$22,500 in Angelica G. Muns
Nursing Scholarships

Seven of the recipients are seen here.

Story and Photo
By Executive Director Lauren Deiorio
Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County
Published Feb. 14, 2019 at 2:49 p.m.
     OCALA --
The Community Foundation for Ocala / Marion County recently awarded $22,500 in scholarships from the Angelica G. Muns Nursing Scholarship Fund.
     Of the 11 recipients for the Spring 2019 term, five were recurring scholarships.
     One of the new recipients – College of Central Florida (CF) student Manal Abdelhack - was designated the Therese McPherson scholar with a $2,500 award.
     The Therese V. McPherson Scholarship was established by Dr. Lon McPherson, former Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Munroe Regional, in loving memory of his wife Therese, for nursing students who “bridge” programs toward an advanced nursing degree.
     The 10 students receiving Muns Nursing Scholarships of $2,000 each are:
● Regan Martin- CF (recurring)
● Mashelle Thrush- Rasmussen (recurring)
● Kristin Williams- CF (recurring)
● Courtney McCallum- CF (recurring)
● Bailey Johnson- CF (recurring)
● Lauren Dignard- CF
● Ronald Oliver- CF
● Koanaki Rivera-Mercado- CF
● Timothy Quick- CF
● Alexandria Hershel- CF
     The awards ceremony held on Wednesday, Feb. 5, was hosted by CenterState Bank located at 6132 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
     Since 2016, the Community Foundation has administered the Angelica G. Muns Nursing Scholarship. Mrs. Muns, a United States Airforce Lt. Colonel, was a registered nurse who served during World War II. Her love of her military service and of her chosen profession led to the establishment of a nursing scholarship to ensure that those wanting to excel in the field of nursing had the opportunity to obtain a nursing degree.
     Mrs. Muns and her husband both received excellent healthcare in Ocala/Marion County and established this scholarship in recognition of the exceptional care they received. The legacy scholarships not only enable students to pursue nursing degrees but post-graduation, the trust stipulates that they continue their career in an acute healthcare facility for up to an additional two years. Qualified applicants/recipients must be enrolled in a certified nursing program in Marion County and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the duration of their schooling.
     The Muns Nursing Scholarship fund is one of many funds housed at the Community Foundation. Administering funds is just one way the Foundation enhances its mission which is " to connect the charitable interest of donors to build a strong community."
     For more information on the Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County contact Lauren DeIorio, Executive Director, at 352-622-5020.

Tobacco Free Florida
encourages communities
to ‘Skip The Dip’ during
Through With Chew Week

By Kristina Zachry, MPH
Published Feb. 12, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
This Through With Chew Week, Feb. 18-24, Tobacco Free Florida and the QuitDoc Foundation are encouraging smokeless tobacco users to set a quit date and create a personalized quit plan using Tobacco Free Florida’s free Quit Your Way tools and services.
     Through With Chew Week raises awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use (chew, dip and snus) and the many effective resources available to quit.
     “Smokeless tobacco use is still a major concern in rural Levy County,” said Kristina Zachry, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County facilitator. “The Partnership has resources and information available for community organizations, schools, businesses, individuals, and others to use to share the messages that smokeless tobacco is not harmless tobacco and Florida has free resources to help people quit.”
     Smokeless tobacco is not harmless and can lead to nicotine addiction. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, throat and pancreas, as well as increased risk of death from heart disease or stroke. In fact, smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer compared to non-users.
     Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) club members across Levy County are participating in Through With Chew Week by hosting awareness and education activities at their schools, where they are showing their peers that the tobacco industry targets teens by using sweet, kid-friendly flavors and by advertising smokeless tobacco products prominently in convenience stores, often placing ads at a child’s eye-level or near candy, toys, or soda.
     While smokeless tobacco use among Florida youth (11-17) has decreased throughout the years, many rural communities have significantly higher prevalence rates. The current youth smokeless tobacco rates in some of Florida’s rural counties are two to four times higher than the state average.
     According to the 2018 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 6.8 percent of Levy County youth ages 11-17 reported currently using smokeless tobacco, which is four times higher than the state average. Additionally, 2.8 percent of Levy County individuals who are in between the ages of 11 and 17 years old reported using smokeless tobacco on school property, which is also four times higher than the state average.
     Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services for Floridians looking to quit any form of tobacco, including smokeless. Those looking to quit can call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669) or visit

Cedar Key Woman's Club's
33rd Annual Spaghetti Dinner
draws a crowd of diners;

Spaghetti becomes the tie
that binds souls together with love

CKWC Spaghetti Dinner Cedar Key
Greeting everyone at the front door were CKWC Second Vice President Linda Kimball and Past President Jane Moore.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 10, 2019 at 5:09 p.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2019 at 10:29 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
For the 33rd year, the Cedar Key Woman's Club attracted islanders, off-islanders, members, guests, families, friends and humans from all walks of life to enjoy another extraordinary spaghetti dinner on Saturday evening (Feb. 9).

CKWC Spaghetti Dinner Cedar Key

     This winter tradition includes some established aspects, and every year the club makes the event a little different.
     Held at the Cedar Key Community Center, 809 Sixth St., the fundraising dinner lasted from 5 to 7 p.m.
     Patrons who stayed at the Community Center for the meal enjoyed attractively decorated tables, complete with appropriately designed tablecloths, Italian flags, fresh roses and carnations, various Italian-bistro themed bottles and other knickknacks.

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
The duet Shade Tree – comprised of Bunny Hand and David Norden -- perform. Joe Hand served as the sound man for the event.

     One new aspect this year was live musical entertainment, including Shade Tree – a duet comprised of Bunny Hand and David Norden. Another set of musicians are the trio of Doug and Sandy Lindhout and John Thalacker.
     People who used the take-out option to enjoy their meals found the same $15 donation buying them a wonderful spaghetti dinner with salad and garlic bread, with a selection of homemade desserts and iced tea or coffee. (Children's meals cost $7.)

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
Eileen Senecal and Judy Duvall, were each acting as a sommelier, or a wine steward, as they served patrons wine from the Low Hanging Fruit Winery, with varieties that included Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

     The Cedar Key Woman’s Club was formed in 1960, and members volunteer at various community events, with proceeds from fundraising supporting Cedar Key at places like the Cedar Key School, the Cedar Key Library, the Food Pantry, Another Way, and the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire Department.
     The members of the Woman's Club also have been active in raising funds for Fisher House at the Veterans Hospital in Gainesville. One of those fundraising side events is the sale of tickets to win a prize-winning quilt.

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
Janet Ramsey sits behind the table where tickets were sold for the quilt that is scheduled to be awarded during a drawing at the Fashion Show on March 14.  The quilt being raffled by The Cedar Key Woman’s Club this year shows an ongoing commitment to help The Fisher House, which is a facility for injured veterans’ families. The title for the quilt this year is Dolphins At Play.

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
This 2019 quilt is unique beyond all of the other previous CKWC quilts. All previous quilts were not completed entirely by Cedar Key Woman’s Club members. This one is, however. Therefore, when it is entered in competition in Gainesville for the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) District Art Show in early 2019, Dolphins At Play Quilt is a blue-ribbon award-winner. Funds from this quilt raffle go to help Fisher House of Gainesville, a place for families of veterans being helped with medical issues.

     Diners presented tickets at the pass-through kitchen window to receive their meals. Drinks, including water, tea and coffee were at another bar. Wine was available and a donation was requested for those folks enjoying this libation.
     As one may anticipate, from the food perspective, the spaghetti sauce is perhaps the most vital element in a spaghetti dinner.
     Cedar Key Woman’s Club’s own Susan Rosenthal heralded her seventh consecutive year as the chef of the sauce for this part of the meal. Joining President Rosenthal on spaghetti duty were Rosemary Danesi and Jan Hendricks, President Katherine Dunlap said.
     Robin Jocelyn and Nancy Reed were the Bread Committee this year. The Salad Committee was Cindy Leiner, Kathy Salkaln, Kathy Freidenfelds and Gini Barss.

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
President Katherine Dunlop and First Vice President Teri Brennan are the two top leaders of the Cedar Key Woman’s Club and they are among the people who made every guest feel welcome to enjoy the evening at the Community Center.

Cedar Key Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner 2019
Desserts galore were the proverbial icing on the cake for the meal, and the cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods included -- literally -- icing. This table, one of two for desserts, included tateful decorations as well.

     Of the 52 CKWC members, many of them must have been among the donors to create the impressively vast array of homemade desserts. Two diners mentioned the coconut cream cake was worthy to be put into competition; however the long list of various desserts were all delightful.
     Every seat was filled Saturday night when the Cedar Key Woman’s Club celebrated its 33rd Annual Spaghetti Dinner.
     The 25 to 30 members who prepared meals for up to 250 guests once again conducted the perfect spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
     There may be a "first this" and "then that" formula to the ladies' perfect dine-in or take-out dinner of wonderful homemade spaghetti, however it probably is just the big dose of community spirit and love for people that puts this event up beyond the highest notch for excellence.
     In fact, from a metaphoric perspective, with the wonderful food, and kindhearted welcoming tenderness in the building, one could say that spaghetti that night served as the tie that binds souls together with love for each other.
     Certainly, the food pleased all of the patrons' palates, and the festive friendliness made for an enchanting evening.
     Every person was made to feel at home by the friendly CKWC members.
     And with so many members participating in the building and behind the scenes (and perhaps some husbands, boyfriends and others volunteering as well), there are those many other unnamed individuals who gallantly put forth the effort and yet remain in the hallowed halls of anonymity as part of the absolute success of the fundraiser.
     There really is a point beyond the food and ambiance for this spaghetti dinner. There is the camaraderie among the members that extends to their hundreds of guests as well.
     Each guest enjoyed that certain je ne sais quoi, a quality that cannot be described or named easily, from each hostess to make the whole evening a spectacular event.
     Meanwhile on Saturday evening (Feb. 9), another wonderful group in southern Levy County conducted a similar fundraiser.
     The Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club held a Pasta Bar at the YIWC Bistro. Diners there created their own dinners with pasta choices of penne, bow-tie or spaghetti.
      Like the more-established fundraiser in Cedar Key, this event in Yankeetown included opportunities to dine-in or take-out, as well as to enjoy wine with the meal.
     The clubs in in Cedar Key and Yankeetown are both part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The GFWC was founded in 1890 during the Progressive Movement. It is a federation of more than 3,000 women's clubs in the United States of America, which promote civic improvements through volunteer service.


     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially began Feb. 1, 2011. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, when and where a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And the the journalist said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
     Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past eight years. Many daily devotionals are pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). I note my appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company. I welcome contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to

Feb. 22, 2019  Friday at 6:49 a.m.
George Washington's Birthday

Read Philippians 3:4-14

     Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
-- Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)

     An inscription at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732 – Dec. 14, 1799) reads:
Washington, the brave, the wise, the good,
 Supreme in war, in council, and in peace,
 Valiant without ambition, discreet without fear,
 Confident without presumption.
 In disaster, calm; in success, moderate; in all,
 The hero, the patriot, the Christian,
 The father of nations, the friend of all mankind,
 Who, when he had won all, renounced all,
 And sought in the bosom of his family and of
 nature, retirement,
 And in the hope of religion, immortality.
     Not all these statements may legitimately be applied to you and me. We won’t be “supreme in war, in council, and in peace,” or “father of nations.” But in our own sphere we can come to merit the more important valuations of character: “the brave, the wise, the good”; “the hero, the patriot, the Christian”; “the friend of mankind.”
     Our American inheritance of great people is rich. Think also of Thomas Jefferson and of Abraham Lincoln - we have the privilege of following their high example. But let us go on to find our hero in the Greatest Example of all, “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”
     OUR FATHER, we would take as our example and our ideal Thy Son. Grant to us some measure of His courage and strength, His humility, His unselfishness, His faith in Thee. Amen.
Merrimon Cunninggim (1911-1995)
Methodist minister and university administrator
Emory and Henry College
Emory, Virginia

Strength for Service to God and Country
(Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers)



Published Feb. 21, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
First UMC CHiefland Pastor Alex Christian Connections


    Pastor Alex Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland provides a daily devotional video each Monday through Thursday via the church's Facebook page. Pastor Christian (or Pastor Alex as some people call him) in this video offers insight as well as other as aspects that may be inspirational to individuals.
     Pastor Christian will be focusing on what it takes to breaks down walls in our world. This is the theme through February.
     In his daily videos this week, Pastor Christian plans to share with people about breaking down walls of silence

     The pastor provides insight today about how we can speak up for others.
     Click HERE to hear this pastor in this video


Acts 16:6-10 (NIV)
     6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.



Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Feb. 18, 2019 at 7:09 a.m.

     There’s no doubt one of the thrills of my life is being able to get outdoors with a bow, gun, or rod. This time of year, I am especially nostalgic concerning this. When you get cooped up because of the weather you really begin to appreciate those things you are unable to do. This is when the gun and bait shops really come in handy. As I have said before, I am so glad these places encourage loitering. They know that many times talking about past adventures and future expeditions are a balm to our restless, outdoor soul. During periods of inactivity, I am drawn to these places just as much as I am drawn to the outdoors during better weather. We hunters always like handling a new gun or checking out the newest bait the pros are using to catch big bass. And then there are also the guys who, like me, have pulled up a chair at that local hangout. It’s probably no different than when our grandfathers met at the local hardware and feed store to play checkers.
     This is really the best part about this kind of loitering. It’s actually pretty boring if no one is there and I’m left to browse on my own. No, people are what make this place special – people from all ages, from all walks of life and from all social statuses. But we are all there because we have something in common. And while there may be conversations concerning some disagreements, it never seems to affect our relationship. It is as if what we have in common is stronger than what we don’t like about one another. The results are friendships that are based on something far deeper than differences. I’m not even sure I know what it is, but I do know this; when I spend periods of time with someone, I begin to get to know so much more of them than simply a political or preferential label. I get to know them – whatever “them” is. And what I begin to realize is, their good qualities so outweigh our differences, I would be the one to lose by excluding them from my life. So, while I may still differ in some areas and even try to convert them to the truths I hold dear; my words will now come from a place far, far deeper than my convictions; but from compassion.

Gary Miller has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations.
Gary Miller's website is located at


A Friend That Sticks
Closer Than A Brother

By Guy Sheffield © Feb. 19, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
    Often folks who’ve read a good many of my misadventures are inclined to ask, “How do you remember all that?” Well, truth be told, I often don't, or I try not to. It’s just I’m constantly reminded of my checkered past by my knuckleheaded brother Heath! Heath won’t let me live anything down. He’s always telling something new on me at work. He usually gets big laughs too. I just try to take it in stride, because when he’s through, I go write it all down. With his elephant like memory, I’m hoping to have fresh material on myself for years.
     Recently he’s been on me about that time at Wendy’s. A while back we had stopped there for lunch when I suddenly realized I'd forgotten my wallet. “Oh, how convenient,” Heath remarked. I turned beet red, and my swelling pride almost compelled me to stomp off to the car. Only my hunger constrained me. Heath yanked a wrinkled five dollar bill from his wallet along with three ones. “This ought to cover us. I guess…” he huffed, shaking his head at me. Since certain details of what happened next always seem to be conveniently forgotten by the plaintiff, which shall henceforth be referred to as Knucklehead Heath, I shall take it upon myself to exonerate my good name.
     After the initial joint and binding financial offer was accepted, we continued to confer about other unrelated topics until our turn to order. Therefore, I submit it’s perfectly conceivable that I’d forgotten all about our monetary restrictions by the time the lady asked, “Can I take your order?” Witnesses will testify that after briefly glancing up at the menu, I spoke the following words without the slightest intention of malice, “Give me a double with cheese combo.” Admittedly, I did add, “Oh… and biggie size it.”
     I was quickly alerted to my gross over-orderazation by a sudden burning sensation penetrating the back of my skull. I turned to find Heath’s eyes stabbing me like flames! Under such obvious duress I began to suffer from what I will refer to as “SSS”, or "Sudden Stupidity Syndrome", for I sheepishly added, “Oh, and whatever he wants.” Heath stood there dumbfounded, which in my opinion isn’t all that big of a stretch. I alertly made a quick escape to the drink fountain. With the scant change now left at his disposal, Heath subsequently ordered from the value menu. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy. I could hardly enjoy my meal over the growling of his stomach.
     But anyway - Despite the pending law suit, the teasing, bickering, fighting and eye gouging, deep down I really love Heath. Sure, we may have grown up fighting like two bull sharks in a 55 gallon drum, but I’ll tell you this, we’ve faced many a challenge in this life together, and few gifts the Lord has given me equal the relationship I have with my little brother. He's always been there to talk to, to lean on, and to cry out to in Wendy’s. We're like twins, born six years apart.
     Many folks wonder why Heath would allow me to poke such fun at him in these stories. Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because he’s my fellow warrior, gladly willing to play the fool for Christ’s sake, if it might take you even one step closer to discovering the treasure we’ve both found in Jesus. (…and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
     Whatever you do, please don’t tell that Knucklehead I said all those gooey things. He’ll be telling off on me at work.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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FRIDAY  FEB. 22  11:29 p.m.
George Washington's Birthday

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