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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.

HONORING VETERANS’ SERVICE WITH CANDLELIGHT CEREMONY BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

veterans day tribute

Veterans Day Tribute

This Veteran’s Day, the Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club is sponsoring a unique candlelight tribute. The evening will begin on Wednesday at 6:30 PM at our Memorial Park overlooking the 16th green.  Candles are provided. COVID guidelines will be in effect as necessary.

Steve Stephens, Sergeant U.S. Marine Corps, Ret. will represent all military services when he brings our National Colors down the hill. Steve will present our American flag to salute and recite our Pledge of Allegiance. A brief program celebrating all veterans will be followed by special recognition of veterans living in our community. Speakers include Giac Modica, Colonel US Army, Ret. and Steve Hritz, Colonel, US Air Force, Ret.

The day was designated to mark the end of World War I and was originally called Armistice Day. The armistice with Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The holiday was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954. “Our service members come from all walks of life,” Modica reminds us, “but each has the basic qualities that exemplify the character of our armed forces: courage, selflessness and dedication to duty.”

Memorial Day honors those who died defending our freedoms. But Veteran’s Day honors those who returned home to improve our communities. Let’s reach out every day to assure veterans that they are not forgotten.

A kaleidoscope of names and military emblems are engraved on the bricks surrounding our memorial. The Garden & Women’s Club sells these bricks customized with your veteran’s name. Funds from brick sales pay for maintenance and upgrades to our park. To purchase an engraved brick, contact Shirle Mabie at shirlemabie@gmail.com.

WHERE THERE’S A NEED, ABUNDANCE OF LOVE IS THERE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Abundance of Love

Abundance of Love

As we head into the holiday season, we celebrate our lives. For those looking to share that feeling of love and gratitude, the local group Abundance of Love may be a perfect solution. Harbor Hills resident and friend Bobbie Powell explains that this unique alliance of crafters meet in one of three groups in The Villages or Water Oak. With the assistance of area organizer Jen Smith, talented men and women put their crochet, looming and knitting skills to good use.

The focus of Abundance of Love is intentionally local. Nearby hospitals, hospices, cancer aftercare, food pantries and schools with populations of underserved children are regular recipients. An assortment of needed warmth comes from the hand-crafted creations of Abundance of Love. Included are hats for oncology patients of all ages, isolette covers, lap blankets, scarves, comforting shawls and masectomy aids for recovering breast cancer patients.

“With our new direction of meeting local needs,“ Bobbie explains, “we have a direct impact on our surrounding community. We are request-driven and fulfill local needs of all types. Recently, the James Haley Veterans Hospital requested chemo hats and lap blankets. We delivered them in patriotic red, white and blue!” Colorful shawls are donated to patients as part of Advent Health Waterman’s Butterfly Project for hospice care.

Have a caring heart but only a half hour a week to spare? Volunteers can create a loomed hat in thirty minutes. The group meets at the Water Oak Clubhouse on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 1-3PM. All COVID safety restrictions are in place. Patterns and yarn are free. Won’t you share your talents, yarn donations or time to help? Call Bobbie at 352-678-5679 or Jen at 352-250-3431.

Bassmasters Comes to Lake Griffin and the Harris Chain of Lakes

Lake County to host college bass fishing championship on Harris Chain of Lakes

Leesburg and Lake County are preparing to welcome the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship and participating anglers to the Harris Chain of Lakes.

The championship, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 31, is expected to draw more than 130 teams of anglers from around the nation.

Lake County is preparing to play host to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes.

“On behalf of our great partners at Visit Lake and the City of Leesburg, we are so pleased to welcome the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Team Championship to Lake County,” said Jason Siegel, CEO and president of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Our community is appreciative of the opportunity to host the College Championship for the first time. We look forward to providing a safe and enjoyable atmosphere and are confident that the anglers and their families will have a wonderful experience in Lake County this fall.”

The championship will launch each day at 7:30 a.m., with weigh-in at 3:30 p.m. daily. Launch and weigh-in will take place at Ski Beach at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg. Anglers will be able to fish the entire Harris Chain of Lakes, which includes Lakes Harris, Little Harris, Apopka, Beauclair, Carlton, Dora, Eustis, Griffin and Yale.

Qualifications for the championship are based on team finishes in four college tournaments held around the country. Only one tournament was completed before events were postponed due to COVID-19, with the others being completed earlier this fall. The College Championship tournament will crown the national championship team, as well as the 2020 Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year.

Additionally, anglers on the top four teams will earn a chance to compete for a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic at November’s Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket Challenge on Alabama’s Lay Lake.

“We are thrilled to host the 2020 Bassmaster College Championship,” said Lake County Commissioner Tim Sullivan. “Lake County is the premier destination for visitors to experience ‘Real Florida. Real Close.’ and is home to the best bass fishing lakes in the Southeastern United States.”

For information about the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship, visit https://www.bassmaster.com/college-bass-fishing. Those interested in the event also can visit the official tourism site for Lake County at www.visitlakefl.com

THIS WEEK: IT’S A GOLF EXTRAVAGANZA AT HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Club Champions 2019

Club Champions 2019

An exciting week of golf for Harbor Hills MGA members starts Wednesday. The Club Championship Stroke Play is one of the most popular and fun tournaments to get the season underway. The championship begins with 8 AM tee times from a mix of gold, blue and white tees. All golf members are welcome to compete. A coveted private parking spot is awarded to the winner along with well-earned bragging rights. The defending champion is Chris Delzio.

Attention, Harbor Hills Senior Golf Members! Running concurrently with the Club Championship, green tee players will compete for the title of Senior Club Champion. Frank Altman will defend his senior title. The three-day event ends with an awards dinner Sunday for participants of both the Club Championship and the Senior Club Championship. Sign up deadline is today.

Next up is the President’s Cup Net Tournament. The three-day event will be played November 11th, 13th and 15th. Members will compete for net winners in each division in addition to an overall net champion. The awards banquet starts at 6 PM on Sunday the 15th and will feature live music. Signup deadline is November 7th.

This Friday enjoy the All You Care To Eat prime rib and seafood buffet. Fried coconut shrimp, honey garlic and Cajun shrimp, mixed veggies, twice baked potato casserole and carved prime rib of beef are all on the menu. This scrumptious meal is open to the public for $27.99/pp excluding tax and gratuity. What a perfect time to visit Harbor Hills Country Club! Call 352-753-7000 for required reservations.

Have a safe and happy Halloween! Don’t forget to move your clocks back on Sunday as Daylight Savings Time ends.

Connect-Learn-Play-Belong By Nikki Hoffman

LPGA Amateur

LPGA Amateur Golf Association

The golf course at Harbor Hills has enjoyed some exciting play recently. Connect-Learn-Play-Belong is the tagline of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association, the recreational arm of the LPGA. It’s the largest amateur golf community in the world. National headquarters are located in Daytona Beach at LPGA International. The North Central Florida Chapter, formed in 2016, has multiple leagues in The Villages and over 100 members. Jeanne Rieker, Rhonda Rose and Glenna Riesterer are directors of the NCFL chapter.

Travel Sundays played at Harbor Hills are a group favorite. The annual Chapter Championship was recently held at Harbor Hills. Rieker explains that Harbor Hills Country Club is a choice locale. “It’s close to home,” she says, “with a challenging layout. We have a great relationship with the staff.” This is the perfect group for fun and getting to know your neighbors. Membership is open to all skill levels and all levels of play. For those of us who love the game for the fresh air, exercise and social opportunities, this group is ideal. For more information, log on to lpgaamateurs.com.

The PGA has partnered with its marketing services firm LOCALiQ to create a tournament for international members. The sixth of eight events was titled “The Challenge at Harbor Hills.” Toni Hakula, a PGA tour Latino America member, won the exciting challenge on October 2. Hakula birdied the 16th and 18th holes to win by just one stroke over Americans Cole Miller, Kyle Wilshire and Argentina’s Jorge Fernandez Valdes. Hakula was bogey-free on his final round 63 for a total of 17 under par.

Hosting a charitable golf event? Contact the Harbor Hills Pro Shop at 352-753-7711 for a complimentary tournament assessment.

RED AND BLUE TEAMS COMPETE IN ANNUAL SIDER CUP BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Sider Cup 2020

Sider Cup 2020

This is the season of traditions and Harbor Hills has a few traditions of its own. Twenty-six years ago, Harbor Hills’ premier golf event, the Sider Cup, was created as a tribute to the Ryder Cup.  Two golf members, Bram Decker and Ray Goldwire, established an event that would be fun for existing members and welcoming for new members. The first Sider Cup tournament was held in 1994.

Our entire Harbor Hills golfing community gathers together to enjoy the ten day event. This year, the captain of the Blue team is Mike Reyome and the Red team captain is Joe Pulsone. Their respective co-captains are Bill Collier and Bill Bogert.

Pairings will be announced at tonight’s Captain’s Dinner. MGA President Dave DeCoster explains that the three-day matches begin Wednesday, October 14 with a first round, alternate shot format. Second round is four ball/better ball on Friday, October 16. The exciting final round format is single matches followed by a celebratory banquet on Sunday, October 18.

The annual Ladies Red/Blue Tournament has become an integral part of Sider Cup festivities. The ladies will be off to a shotgun start on Thursday, October 15th.

Speaking of traditions, limited seating is available for Harbor Hills’ extraordinary Thanksgiving buffet. All safety precautions will be in place including social distancing. My family never misses this celebration and this challenging year will be no exception. The buffet is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features all the traditional favorites and more. Open to the public, the cost for adults is $35.95 plus service and tax. Unlimited champagne and mimosas for $8! The spectacular view from the clubhouse makes this holiday very special. Call 352-753-7000 for reservations.

HEATHER OAKS FARM IS A HARBOR HILLS FAVORITE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

HEATHER OAKS FARM

HEATHER OAKS FARM

Maintaining good health is what is on everyone’s mind these days. Wholesome nutrition is and always has been a major component of a healthy body and a long life. With well-being in mind, Bob and Maria Tracy have established a quaint farm featuring locally-grown produce with an emphasis on nutrition and freshness.

In a short ten minute drive from Harbor Hills, you will find Heather Oaks Farm. Located at 4240 Christmas Lane, this family farm harvests local produce just like the neighborhood farms we remember from childhood. Bob and Maria Tracy own and operate the farm which grows seasonal blueberries and grapes that you can pick yourself.

Throughout the year, tomatoes, kale, squash, peas and lettuce are grown aquaponically. Maria explains that this environmentally-friendly process uses less water and provides greater nutrition than traditional farming. Customers can call in special orders for aquaponic vegetables and in about two weeks, the order will be ready.

Farm fresh eggs are plentiful and available daily at Heather Oaks. Maria insists on purchasing certified organic feed for her chickens. “Conventional feed is cheaper,” she explains, “but may contain additives or antibiotics.” The difference between farm fresh eggs and mass-produced eggs is both visual and nutritional.

With a backdrop of sunflowers and sweet-smelling herbs, the pheasant and quail leisurely meander around the farm. It’s a fun place to take the children or grandchildren to watch the grazing sheep up close and help pick seasonal berries and grapes. Harbor Hills residents have enjoyed the fresh monthly selections and invite you to enjoy as well. Maria Tracy can be reached for egg orders at 1-352-516-4986.

CLUB IS PLANNING MEMORABLE MONTHLY EVENTS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Garden Club

Wondering what the Harbor Hills Garden and Women’s Club is planning for an outstanding 2020-2021 season? Club president Shirle Mabie guarantees members will be impressed by the variety of monthly programs.

October’s inaugural event is “Identity Theft & Sex Trafficking. The Lake County Sheriff department, headed by Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, explains that protecting our youth and ourselves are two of the highest priorities that will be addressed at this important meeting.

The life and music of George and Emma Kelly is related in November’s program by their son, G. Ross Kelly. He is author of the book, “What’s Your Favorite Song?” Emma Kelly is known as The Lady of 6,000 Songs and is featured in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Friends and neighbors will Jingle and Mingle with the spirit of the holiday season for our December program. We greet January 2021 with an important program about women and finances, presented by Kelley Pyles, Certified Financial Planner.

Home décor is the theme of February’s program offered by our friend Ruth Stieren, Licensed Interior Designer from Baers. Ready for a unique musical comedy act? Our March program features Jimmy Keys, an international high energy performer with incredible piano playing skills that will delight you with favorite Broadway songs and more.

Flamboyant? Glitzy? In April, our very own Real Housewives of Harbor Hills will share “secrets and gossip” about living and playing in Harbor Hills. It’s guaranteed to keep you laughing! Join us in May at an ultimate surprise party as the season concludes! Details are secret with teasers along the way. Membership is open to Harbor Hills Country Club members. Email Shirle at shirlemabie@gmail.com for information.

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