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HONOR YOUR VETERAN WITH A MEMORIAL BRICK BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Five flags wave proudly near the 16th green at Harbor Hills’ Military Memorial. Each flag represents a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. Surrounded by the serenity of the memorial, we are inspired to reflect on the achievements and sacrifices of our military the world over. Memorial Day, like everything else this year, is different in the Age of the Coronavirus. But with others or apart, we remain grateful for the sacrifices of our military and military families.

To honor our veterans, the Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club sells bricks engraved with your veteran’s name. The bricks surround our memorial forming a unique patchwork of veterans’ names and memories. Shirle Mabie, Garden & Women’s Club President, heads up the effort. She explains that funds from the brick sales help pay for the costs of maintenance and upgrades to Veteran’s Park. To purchase an engraved brick, email Shirle at shirlemabie@gmail.com.

Mark your calendar! It’s not too early for the Harbor Hills Garden and Women’s Club to plan for the next season. The pandemic caused the cancellation of the club’s events last year. If all is safe, the 2021-2022 season will start this October 2021 through May 2022. Fees that were paid for the 2020-2021 season will be honored for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. Shirle guarantees members will be delighted by the variety of entertaining programs presented each month. “We are looking forward to starting the luncheon and programs in October and seeing everyone’s smiling faces.”

Membership is open to all Harbor Hills Country Club members. Email Frankie Smith, Communications Director at frasmith1@gmail.com for more information.

CELEBRATE AN EXCEPTIONAL MOTHER’S DAY BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Bonne Fête des mères! Feliz Día de la madre! Giorno di madre felice! Happy Mother’s Day to moms of every heritage and tradition! Congrats to the moms, stepmoms, grandmas, foster moms and pet moms. Mothers have a lasting influence on our lives. As any mom will tell you, motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It compels us to find our inner strengths and resolve. As we reflect on our own childhood, we recall both joys and disappointments. We inevitably pledge to do better, providing comfort, courage and confidence to our own families.

As mothers, we are not new to managing heavy burdens and radical change. But this year presented us with unique challenges in terms of enormous loss and isolation. Although the experience tested us in an extreme way, we are now anxious for active living to begin again.

Staying connected to one another, especially as we age, has renewed importance. Friendships are treasured with revitalized appreciation.  Every smile, every expression of joy, holds profound significance. Even the smallest giggle from a delighted child creates a special memory to be cherished.

Let’s take this time to reflect on the many qualities of motherhood in all its many forms.  It’s about awareness, imparting life lessons and overcoming adversity to find something greater within ourselves. Kindness and compassion. Resilience and resolve. Trust and faith. Balance and grace. Tolerance and healing. There is no better time to savor Life in all its beauty.

Happy Mother’s Day, today and every day!

CELEBRATE MOM WITH BRUNCH ON MOTHER’S DAY BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Mother’s Day is next Sunday. For many of us, it’s a nostalgic time when tender memories make us smile. It’s a time to enjoy being moms, stepmoms and grandmas to adult children and grandchildren of assorted ages. Of course, being a mom to a loving pet counts, too.

Harbor Hills Country Club invites you to enjoy a spectacular Mother’s Day Brunch on May 9th from 11am to 4pm. Start with our iconic view overlooking expansive Lake Griffin. Then enjoy a served salad, followed by a buffet featuring Mom’s favorites. Cost is $34.99 per adult. Children ages 5-10 are $14.99. Children under 5 eat free. To purchase non-refundable tickets, call 352-753-7000. Reservations are required.

Congratulations to our Harbor Hills Racquet Association champions! In an exciting finish, the winners are: Ladies Doubles – Denise Collier and Janis DeCoster; Men’s Doubles – Gary Davidson and Pepe Gutierrez and Mixed Doubles – Joanne Drzewiecki and Steve Stephens. HHRA President Giac Modica presented the winners with a group trophy to be displayed in the Racquet Sports Shop. “Tennis is a game for all seasons and all reasons!”, HHRA Publicity Chair Ted Drzewiecki explains.

Harbor Hills Men’s Golf Association played their annual Member-Member Match Play tournament on April 14, 16 and 18th. The three-day event consisted of thirty two-man teams with five flights. In a shoot-out, the tournament champions were Bill Collier and Steve Hritz, outlasting runner-ups Larry Coburn and Anthony Mancuso. The other flight winners were Dan Lasdow/Mark Thompson; Frank Zsilavetz/Bill Bogert and George Mailloux/Jerry Swift. Players for both tennis and golf include resident club members and nonresidents who are either golf members or members of the Harbor Hills Racquet Center.

POST-PANDEMIC, A HEALTHIER LIFE IS WITHIN OUR GRASP BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

COACH BLAKE

Fitness is an integral part of enjoying and prolonging our lives. Exercise helps develop muscle tone and improves our balance and posture. As seniors, we have the added issue of managing the strains and pains of aging. The effects of the pandemic have also challenged us to balance our fitness goals with realistic expectations.

Fitness coach Blake Bolen is sure we can strike that balance. Athletic as a youth, Bolen struggled with fitness after having two children and overcoming life’s many challenges. Her significant comeback to health and fitness is a reminder that it’s never too late to get your health back. Maintaining health and strength is a step to creating positive change for both body and mind.

Bolen coaches all ages from kids to seniors but her specialty is working with those of us with limitations. She starts training where her clients are at, no matter how slow or small. A short warm up begins the session and then moves to strength training. Full body or free weights are often included, always within the limits of her clients. Cardio is critical. Stretching and yoga complete the session.

Bolen explains that strength training makes a major difference in senior health. It lessens the symptoms of chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. “The first and best victory is to conquer self” is her inspirational motto. In the last four years, Bolen has expanded her company Athletix to include in-home training sessions and virtual Zoom calls. You can also find Bolen inspiring Harbor Hills Club members twice a week in group training sessions. For more information or to schedule a workout, contact Bolen at 937-305-6908 or email Blake.Bolen2009@gmail.com.

VIRTUAL WALKERS RAISE MONEY FOR GUIDE DOGS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

The tree-lined streets of Harbor Hills are a dog-walkers dream. David and I meet our favorite four-legged friends on our daily walk. Harbor Hills residents Cliff and Laurie Carpenter are dog lovers, too. They care for Southeastern Guide Dogs being raised in The Villages.

New pup Scarlett was welcomed into the Carpenter’s family in 2019. Scarlett is a certified therapy dog and Lady Lake Library’s official Reading Dog. She has her own corner in the library. Children can now schedule reading time with Scarlett every Wednesday at 3PM. The Lady Lake Library’s Facebook page features a video of Scarlett hard at work. Don’t miss it for a smile!

Southeastern Guide Dog puppy raisers provide full-time care until the pup is 14-16 months old. Home activities provide socialization, where the pup learns how to respond appropriately to different situations. After tender goodbyes, the future guide dog returns to headquarters in Palmetto, Florida. Founded in 1982, the organization places more than 100 dogs each year with adults, children with visual impairments and veterans with PTSD. These extraordinary dogs transform lives at no cost to the recipients.

The organization relies solely on volunteers and philanthropy. In addition to donations, the organization holds annual walkathons. This year, the May 1st Walkathon will be virtual. Raffle tickets for the May 10th drawing can be purchased for a Grand Prize of $10,000 and five $1,000 prizes. Raffle tickets are $20 a sheet of five tickets or $5.00 each. Laurie will deliver or pick up as needed. She is Captain of our Walkathon Team, Tri-County pups, trending first overall. Join us at Tri-County pups on the Southeastern Guide Dogs web page, http://participate.guidedogs.org/ or call Laurie at 352-751-0328 for more information.

Joanne Drzewiecki and Steve Stevens Win HH Mixed Doubles Championship By Ted Drzewiecki

NEWS FLASH!!
TUESDAY, APRIL 13TH 2021
 

The Harbor Hills Tennis Championships concluded this morning in classic style with the Final of the Mixed Doubles pitting the ever-gritty Karen Popp and her big-hitting partner Gary Davison versus the highly consistent team of Joanne Drzewiecki and Steve Stephens.  Karen and Gary got off to a rip-roaring start by reeling off the first six games handing Joanne and Steve a bagel at 6-0.  Not to be daunted, Steve and Joanne switched sides for the second set and, after many super shots and points by both teams, downed Karen and Gary 6-3.  This forced a ten-point tiebreaker third set.  But the Big Mo (momentum) stayed with Joanne and Steve and they prevailed 10-4.

          

The tense crowd erupted in cheers for both teams for giving them such an exciting tennis match.The Harbor Hills Racquet Association President Giac Modica presented the winners with the Club Championship Trophy which represents all three divisions of the Club Championship, Ladies, Mens and Mixed doubles and is permanently prominently displayed now in the Racquet Sports Shop.  A perpetual plaque with engraved names of all annual winners will also be displayed there.

 

We wish to acknowledge all the winners and thank all the participants for making the 2020-2021 season a terrific tennis experience.  We hope the 2021 – 2022 season will be as good or better.  Remember, tennis is a game for all seasons and all reasons!

Harbor Hills Country Club Tennis Champions

Ladies Doubles – Denise Collier and Janis DeCoster

Men’s Doubles – Gary Davison and Pepe Gutierrez

Mixed Doubles – Joanne Drzewiecki and Steve Stephens

 

LEGENDS ARE PART OF THE HISTORY OF HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Peacock at Harbor Hills

A legend is a story that is passed down through generations. It’s often fact-based with a touch of the mystical. Did you know that Harbor Hills has a legend all its own? Forty-four years ago, the story goes, a traveling salesman purchased a few peacocks to keep his wife company while he was on the road. The property was adjacent to what would become Harbor Hills. Over the years, the peacocks found their way to our community. Visitors are greeted by a unique sign: “Peacock Crossing!”

Tail feathers are often more than a yard long. When spread out in the sunlight, nothing is more graceful. Angela Rogers, Harbor Hills Design Coordinator, is delighted by the showy fans as she enters the clubhouse daily. “Spring has sprung,” she explains, “and our peacocks are showing their beautiful fans for all to enjoy.”

Legends are also created by the enthusiastic golfers at Harbor Hills. The Men’s Golf Association played their Member-Member Stroke Play Tournament on March 24, 26 and 28th. The three-day event was followed by an awards dinner on Sunday. The winners were: Flight 1, Chris Delzio and Ted Sartin; Flight 2, John Bircher and Ken Bishop; Flight 3, Ray Barr and Joe Redoutey and Flight 4, Shad Shadoin and Ray Edmiston.

The Harbor Hills Ladies Golf Association hosted their club championship last week. An awards luncheon concluded the two-day event. The club champion is Nancy Weiss winning by two strokes over Wanda Kurka. The net winner is Judy Warren, winning in an exciting playoff against Catherine Sendell and Janet White-Cofer. Congrats to all who participated! Special kudos go to Bob Burns who aced the Par 3 fifth Hole on April 1.  (This is not an April Fools joke!) Congratulations, Bob!

SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Veterans Memorial Park

The eternally beautiful Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” It’s Spring and we need flowers and lightness in our lives! Positive news in recent weeks have lifted our spirits, giving us hope that soon the virus will subside and we can readjust our lifestyle to a new normal.

The picturesque Harbor Hills Championship Golf Course overlooks expansive Lake Griffin. The public is encouraged to visit and enjoy a challenging round on our rolling hills. Tom Leimberger, PGA Professional, offers clinics, video lessons and more. The competitive spirit is alive and well in Harbor Hills! The exciting Men’s 2021 Member-Member Three Day Match Play Championship begins April 14, 16 and 18. There will be four fielded flights with a skins game each day. The awards dinner on Sunday, April 18 completes the event with a 5 p.m. cocktail reception and a 6 p.m. dinner. Registration closes Friday, April 9.

The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity will hold an April food drive to benefit the Christian Food Pantry of Lady Lake. For the fifth year, chairwoman Lina Hall and co-chair Barbara Smith will coordinate donations of non-perishables, paper products, soap, pet supplies and cash. Donations will be accepted April 23-25 at the Pro Shop. Pick up is also available. Call Lina at 352-753-9062 for details.

The Harbor Hills Garden and Women’s Club thanks our community for the generous donations in support of Harbor Hills Veterans Memorial Park. There are two new benches at the park. Please stop by, rest on the benches and enjoy the spectacular view from Veterans Memorial Park. A special thank you to Gregg Monin who led his capable crew of Bob Chimento, Chris Delzio and Mark Delzio.

HOP ON OVER TO THE HARBOR HILLS EASTER BRUNCH BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Colorful flowers, fresh air and fun all are facets of springtime in Central Florida. In celebration, Harbor Hills invites you to enjoy an exceptional Easter brunch next Sunday. It includes a hot buffet and a carving table. Salad and dessert are served. Bottomless champagne and mimosas are $8.00. Adult cost is $34.95. Pricing for children ages 5-12 is $14.99. Children ages 5 and under eat free. Seating times are 11 A.M to 4 P.M. Call 352-753-7000 for prepaid, nonrefundable tickets.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we honor the women who have etched a significant place in our lives. Actress Betty White has been a longstanding symbol for the energy, creativity and ambition of the “older woman.” Her television career began in the late 1930’s. She turned 99 years young this year. Her zest for life has never slowed.

White’s longevity lessons are simple. Acting gave her life purpose. Living life with purpose improves both mental and physical well-being. Find your passions and nourish them. White’s next lesson is to find joy. Seek out the positive. Combining joy with laughter is a winning combination.

Supporting causes is White’s third lesson. Her philanthropy is legendary. She’s a champion for animals in her charity work. Find what you’re enthusiastic about and lend a hand. We lose our worries while caring for others, be they human or animal! Her last lesson is one we know well: live in the present. Mindfulness and meditation are food for our souls.

Be especially cognizant of White’s example today. Reach out to others with kindness. Enjoy the gifts that Life has given us. Wishing all my readers a holiday and a heart filled with love, gratitude and reflection.

RACQUETS ASSOCIATION INVITES YOU TO ANNUAL FUN DAY EVENT BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

John Natolly

John Natolly

Serve it. Smash it. Win it. Love it. Harbor Hills Country Club offers tennis, pickleball, short court tennis and racquet ball at our world-class facility in Lady Lake. The Harbor Hills Racquet Association was formed to provide players with a voice in how racquet sports are promoted and played. Dedicated volunteers guide the program from both a play and an aesthetic perspective. The goal is to provide the best racquet sports venue in the area.

Players are comprised of both resident country club members and non-residents who are members of the Harbor Hills Racquet Center. Members do not have to reside in Harbor Hills. Annual dues are $10 per person. Dues are used to improve the facility with needed equipment and to defray costs of social events, among other expenses.

On Thursday the Harbor Hills Racquets Association is excited to announce the Annual Racquet Sports Funday! Teams will be arranged by our tennis pro John Natolly, USPTA Elite Professional. Snacks and drinks will be available courtside. Matches are followed by lunch on the patio, overlooking Lake Griffin. Draft beer and soft drinks will be provided by the HHRA. Sign up at the Racquet Sports Center or jnatolly@harborhills.com. Call 352-753-9376 for membership information. Everyone is welcome!

The Club Tennis Championships include Men’s, Ladies’ and Mixed Doubles. The round robin phase is almost complete. The competition now enters the semi-finals. Final winners will be crowned Club Champions in early April.

Hearty congratulations to Mike Latch and Lynn Tracy, winners of the 2021 Harbor Hills Couples Golf Championship. Net Couples Club Champions are Mike and Denise Collier. Winners from the fun tees are the fun couple of Bob and Billie Neese. Congrats to all!

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