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KINDNESS REALLY DOES ROCK BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Ladies Charity

Harbor Hills Ladies Charity

 Kindness rocks!

Yesterday I found a glossy river rock that had the words “Make Today Great” painted brightly on its surface. What a worthy reminder that every day has huge potential! Painted rocks with inspirational messages are purposely left in public places, spreading love and kindness to others.

The Kindness Rock Project is now a viral trend. Photos of painted rocks and hints to their hidden spaces are often found on Facebook groups. Messages such as “Be Fearless”, “Live. Life. Well.” and “You’ve Got This” are popular inspirations. This worldwide phenomenon has only three guidelines: Take one for inspiration. Make one for motivation. Be kind!

Kindness and compassion drive the programs of the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity. The 28th Annual Holiday Golf Tournament was followed by a 50/50 drawing, raffle baskets, a silent auction and dinner. Chairperson Lin McLeod announced that the December event broke another record! The Charity will donate over $43,000 to help the less fortunate. Funds are distributed to families who need nutritious food, individuals with mobility and learning issues and local children who require proper school clothing. Funds also support victims of domestic violence and young adults who have aged out of foster care.

Helping others is what drew Harbor Hills’ Frankie Smith to the Beautiful Girls Project. Frankie heard Chef Ze Carter of Leesburg’s Kitch’n Lyfe Skills Inc. speak about overlooked needs for girls. The mission of the project is to donate products and funds to disadvantaged girls. Products include individually wrapped toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products. For more info, contact Frankie at frankie.hellobeautiful@gmail.com. Sponsors and volunteers are needed.

Remember that one small rock and a few kind words can make a big difference in someone’s day.

BEAT THE “QUARANTINE 15” WITH RACQUET SPORTS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

John Natolly

John Natolly

It’s called the “Quarantine 15” and refers to the unwanted fifteen pounds of weight gain many of us are experiencing during the pandemic. WebMD cites a recent Nutrisystem survey that found as much as 76% of Americans have gained 16 pounds or more between March and July, 2020!

Challenges to staying fit are all around us. Snacking from stress or boredom is commonplace. Gym visits require heightened cleanliness and social distancing. Often, it’s difficult to find healthy food with the sporadic shortages on grocery store shelves. The key is to find a physical activity you enjoy and weight loss becomes the bonus!

Looking for a high calorie-burning activity? Racquet sports may be your answer. John Natolly, USPTA Elite Professional, is Director of Racquet Sports at Harbor Hills. John explains that the Racquet Sports Program provides significant exercise while promoting strength, balance and flexibility.

We have nine tennis, two short court and four pickleball courts with well-maintained Har-Tru (soft) surfaces. Beginning every Thursday, January 21st through April 1st, John is offering a weekly member program called “Cash Pot” tennis. Players chip in several dollars and play round robin tennis for the pot! It’s fun and open to all level players.

On January 23rd, residents are invited to play complimentary pickleball on “Residents Racquet Day,” starting at 9:30am. The ongoing Harbor Hills Tennis Doubles Championships are self-scheduled Round Robins, played through March 2021. All club and tennis members are eligible in Women’s, Men’s and Mixed Divisions.

John reminds us that positive experiences reinforce good habits. Find your own ways to make weight loss fun. Create new habits to beat the Quarantine 15 and start the New Year in a healthy way.

LET’S PLAN FOR A FUN AND HAPPY 2021 BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

As the New Year begins, there are unlimited opportunities to make it special. The events of 2020 have greatly impacted our environment and social lives. But if we adhere to the recommended precautions and proceed in a safe way, we can still have a lot of fun.

Think about what will make the New Year enjoyable. Each of us has different hobbies and interests that makes us happy, give us peace and feeds our souls. Are there skills that you have always wanted to develop but never had the chance? Now is the time! Learn a new language or refine your culinary skills. There’s yoga, painting, playing an instrument or cultivating bonsai. Our community fosters interest in so many different skills. They are all worth a try.

Adventure may be curtailed by stringent airline precautions and the current state of the cruise industry. But we don’t have to eliminate trips from our bucket lists. A visit to nearby Harbor Hills Country Club for a spectacular view of Lake Griffin, a trip to local Heather Oaks Farm or a drive to the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area can ignite an interest you didn’t know you had!

Getting started on a creative project can be simple and rewarding. We can landscape our gardens, craft cards or update our memoirs and scrapbooks. How about learning brewing techniques to create our own beer at home?

We Seniors have the benefit of age and wisdom. As we get older, we realize that happiness comes more from within than from external events in our lives. Starting the New Year with a positive, productive and creative approach can be an exciting and fun adventure.

REFLECTIONS ON 2020 AND HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Happy New Year

This is the last article of the year and I wanted it to be special. Typically, I write a New Year’s article with an appeal to honor our veterans. Of course that is true, but this year is such an anomaly that all of us deserve to be honored. This has been a year like no other. Masks, social distancing, essential workers, COVID testing, Zoom gatherings. All of this is a part of today’s lexicon.

Yet we, as resilient Americans, find a way to go on. The third Annual Harbor Hills Festival of Lights Cart Parade was both an inspiration and a glowing success with a record number of entries. Best Golf Cart Décor went to Patti and Al Anglis. Best Overall Home honor was bestowed on Jim and Linda Roark for their gorgeous display. Special thanks to Cindy Sammons-Chancellor, Carol and Lee DiDomenico, Theresa Morris and all the volunteers whose hard work made this sparkly, holiday event so much fun.

The donations from the Harbor Hills Poker Golf Cart Rally were provided to a local family of five for Christmas. Gifts were chosen by Kim Smith and made the holiday very special for this deserving family. Thanks to the generous club members who made this possible.

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many who are experiencing loneliness or missing a family member or pet. Especially vulnerable are those with disabilities, illnesses or few family contacts. Be there for anyone who needs someone to talk with or anyone needing assistance. The New Year will bring new opportunities and another chance to get it right. Be grateful for what we have. Laughter and joy are the most effective prescriptions for happiness. From our Harbor Hills community to yours, Happy New Year, 2021!

HOLIDAY TIME PROVIDES REASONS TO CELEBRATE AND INSPIRE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Treats For Troops

This holiday season is unprecedented. Never have we celebrated the holidays during a global pandemic. It is a daily challenge to renew our spirits and energize our thoughts. Our imagination is working overtime, creating holiday magic for our family and ourselves. The word ‘Zoom’ is now an integral part of the process!

The Harbor Hills community made this year’s holiday time meaningful with the 2020 Treat The Troops drive, sending cookies and treats to our deployed soldiers. Organizers Roseann Cochran and Shirle Mabie are excited to report that 135 boxes containing a total of 1,080 dozen or 12,960 cookies were sent to soldiers deployed to Kosovo, China, Africa, Poland, South Korea and Kuwait. Thanks to Roseann, Shirle and dedicated volunteers from Harbor Hills and The Villages. Profound thanks to our soldiers who serve with such courage and love of country.

Start your Christmas week in a festive way! Harbor Hills Country Club invites you to a holiday brunch today in our decorated Harbor Terrace Room. On New Year’s Eve, enjoy an extravagant dinner in the ballroom from 7-9 PM. Donna J. will perform hit songs, making this a very special night. Don’t miss the champagne toast at midnight! For reservations, call 352-753-7000.

Take this unique time to rethink our value as friends, partners, parents and grandparents. We have purpose no matter what our age. We are a remarkable and resilient generation. Remember how much we’ve overcome and how our experiences made us strong. Wishing all my readers the happiest of holidays! Reach out to others who need your kindness. And may the true meaning of the season fill your heart and home.

LET’S CELEBRATE: IT’S PARTY TIME AT HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Christmas Tree

Grab your party shoes and celebrate the season! Having fun is an important and essential part of living.  Although the landscape of our lives is different, there is a great deal that is the same. It’s time to let the joy of the season surround us.

Harbor Hills Country Club members are raising their glasses to the Drink of the Month, the Santa Cosmopolitan! Who, including Santa, could resist this twist on the traditional Cosmo, with a sugared rim and a fresh cranberry garnish? December’s Family Fundays include menu specials and creative Chef Features, available in the Signature Grille from 11 AM to 3 PM on weekdays.

The Third Annual Festival of Lights Cart Parade and Holiday House Decorating Contest will be held on Thursday at 5:30 PM. All safety precautions will be in effect including wearing masks at libation stations. Snacks and drinks will be served by volunteers wearing masks and gloves. Decorated carts will wind their way through our tree-lined streets on a beautiful Harbor Hills evening. We will begin with eggnog at the driveway of Cindy and Bruce Chancellor. Two additional libation stations will take us to a “Driveway Party” at the home of Theresa Morris. Best decorated cart and best overall home decorations will be awarded.

The Harbor Hills Christmas tree, decorated for the holidays with twinkling lights and holiday ornaments, welcomes everyone to our clubhouse. Let’s move forward in this season of joy with gratitude and hope. Connect with family. Reach out with love and understanding to others who may have no support system. Our spirit has never changed. We may have new challenges but there are new joys to be discovered as well.

HARBOR HILLS IS JUST A SHORT DRIVE FROM THE VILLAGES BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

View From Back Of Harbor Hills Clubhouse

Welcome to all my new Sunday readers!

When someone asks me where I live, even after all these years, the common reply is “Harbor who? Where is that?” This opportunity to write about my community is a wonderful way to spread the word among my Village neighbors. So let’s begin.

We are located at the end of Lake Griffin Road in Lady Lake. We are minutes away and a short 4.6 mile drive from the intersection of County Road 466 and U.S. Highway 27/441. Our championship golf course, with its breathtaking views and mature landscape overlooking Lake Griffin, is like taking a trip back home.

The holiday season is in full swing and so are the activities at the country club. Our golf cart poker run was coordinated by Carol DiDomenico and her team of dedicated volunteers. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. Congratulations to our winners! 1st place was Gail Quirk, 2nd place were Lisa and Richard Baker and 3rd place was Lina Hall. The winners generously returned their cash awards. 100% of all awards and donations from the Poker Run, $1400 in all, will be distributed to local families in need. Many thanks to the volunteers who kindly provided both time and expenses.

Other events include the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity Annual Holiday Golf Tournament, the Holiday Festival of Lights and the House Decorating contest. The upcoming Florida Cup Championship will be played at our tennis facility, well-known in the state.

I invite you to take a short drive out. While you are here, enjoy lunch or a challenging round of golf. Our semiprivate club and course welcomes guests daily and we can’t wait to meet you.

LADIES CHARITY KICKS OFF ITS NEW SEASON BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Ladies Charity

Dr. Robin Meyers, Michael Rich, Sue Rice

In 1993, a group of Harbor Hills women were determined to make a difference by sponsoring a golf tournament to raise funds for local charities. Since those promising moments, the intention of this caring group has never changed. Though many years have gone by, the Annual Holiday Golf Tournament continues to be the Charity’s premier fundraising event. This year, the December 6 event will be played in a scramble format. Raffle baskets, a silent auction, and a 50/50 drawing will be held during a special dinner.

The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity is a 501 (C) (3) charity. President Sue Rice explains that the Charity has no overhead. All money raised goes directly to organizations in our community. Dr. Robin Meyers is the principal of Lake Hills School, a local special needs school for 220 students. “We are so grateful to have the support of the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity. The donations have significantly helped fund the purchase of expensive adaptive equipment essential for our special needs students.”

Lake Hills School was just one of the many recipients of the $32,000 raised last season by the hard work and dedication of the ladies of the Harbor Hills Charity. Others included the Christian Food Pantry, Fruitland Park Elementary, Community Medical Care Center, The Villages Elementary School, The Haven and Forward Paths.

Last month, the annual Ladies Brunch welcomed many new members to the Charity. All Harbor Hills residents, new and returning, are invited to join. If COVID-19 precautions allow, we will have a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner event in February and the popular Unique Clothing Boutique in March. Lina Hall and Barb Smith will organize the food drive for the Christian Food Pantry in January and April.

Community members and guests who wish to participate, volunteer or donate to the Annual Holiday Golf Tournament can contact Chairperson Lin McLeod at mcleod5600@embarqmail.com. The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity welcomes you!

A VIRTUAL THANKSGIVING AND TREATS FOR OUR TROOPS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Due to the coronavirus, most of us are facing a lonely Thanksgiving. This year, my family and many others will be staying home. But take heart! We can include loved ones in our celebrations by using technology even if we are apart.

Video chat to discuss recipes, holiday plans or craft with the grandchildren. Share a virtual puzzle at https://jigsawpuzzle.io/. If you keep a journal or scrapbook, document this unusual year. Focus on thankfulness and what is meaningful to you.

Our brave soldiers are not always within reach. Active-duty personnel serving outside the United States number over 170,000 men and women, deployed in more than 150 countries. The comforts of home are what our soldiers miss most. Home-baked goodies are high on the list. Enter the Harbor Hills ladies and our 2020 Treat The Troops drive. Roseann Cochran and Shirle Mabie lead the charge to give our deployed military personnel a welcome taste of home. Last year, 1,050 dozen cookies (12,600 cookies) in 131 boxes were sent to our troops. The team effort included overwhelming support from Village residents.

This year, we have already received requests from our soldiers in Kuwait, Africa and Shenyang, China! Won’t you show your support by sending a taste of home during the holiday season? You can donate cookies, contribute money for military postage, write personal notes, or provide the names and addresses of military personnel stationed overseas until after the holidays. The military discount cost of mailing one box is $19.45.

The last day to donate cookies or postage money is Monday, November 30. For additional information, contact Roseann Cochran at rcochran479@gmail.com or Shirle Mabie at shirlemabie@gmail.com. Have a happy, safe and creative Thanksgiving!

CONTINUING TO ADJUST AS LIFE GOES ON BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

   

Recent months have been about connecting with our inner strength. As Americans, we are well-known for our resilience and resolve. Although our everyday lifestyle continues to be altered, we are making the necessary adjustments and getting on with life. During October, golf at Harbor Hills Country Club was in full swing with small modifications. We take separate carts and leave the flagstick in while continuing to enjoy the game.

The Men’s Club Championship was a three-day event played from a mix of gold, blue and white tees. This year’s winner is Mike Latch who beat last year’s winner Chris Delzio by one stroke. The senior champion is Chape Chapin who won by three strokes over Bill Collier. The Ladies Club Champion is Nancy Weiss. Congrats to all!

The Blue Team emerged the victor over the Red Team in October’s hard-fought Sider Cup competition. The annual Ladies Red/Blue Tournament has become an integral part of Sider Cup activities as well. Congrats to the Ladies Red Team who won their event.

The Harbor Hills Convertible Club, affectionately known as the Topless Club, is holding a Western golf cart poker rally event on Friday. This unique fundraiser will benefit a special family of a student attending a local school in Lady Lake. We start at the clubhouse at 4:30PM. For poker rally registration, contact Carol DiDomenico at carol_d2211@hotmail.com.

Following the rally there will be a delicious BBQ buffet with live entertainment provided by Bobby Tate. The menu includes beef brisket, roasted chicken, pulled pork and St. Louis style sticky ribs. The lounge opens at 5PM. Dinner starts at 6PM. Dinner is open to the public and we would love to welcome you! Call 352-753-7000 for reservations.

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