Les Johnson

As seniors and as golfers, we hear so much about the need for flexibility and core strength to prevent injury. Longevity is our goal, both in the sport and in life.

Gary Player was the first golfer to recognize the benefits of physical fitness in the game. Early on, Player devoted himself to proper nutrition, strength and conditioning to stay competitive. Today, at 83 years old, he is still the poster child for the benefits of long-term physical fitness.

From his first Masters win in 1961 to his accomplishments at the Senior Player Championships, Gary is a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic. But for us high(er) handicappers, our strength training need not reach fanatic levels to generate more power in our swings and more fun in our play.

Tom Leimberger, Harbor Hills golf pro, agrees. “Golf fitness improves flexibility, range of motion and balance,” he explains. “All are critical factors in increasing swing speed, which in turn results in greater distance.”

Diet and exercise also contribute to increased energy and a positive mindset. Our Harbor Hills friend and neighbor, Les Johnson is a perfect example. At the age of 88, Les has shot his age and under 600 times. (Yes, you read that right!) In 2017, Les won the bronze medal for golf at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama. His incredible feat was celebrated in a special Mingling Monday event in the community.

What is Les Johnson’s secret? A one-hour fitness routine each day, no exception, and a bowl of Wheaties every morning. Leimberger suggests checking out the Titleist Performance Institute website, my, for exercises and the tip of the day. As Player said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get!”


Smiles are extra-special at a unique school in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. The Lake Hills School is a coeducational public special needs school for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Two hundred and twenty students with significant cognitive disabilities attend daily.  They require extensive support to learn basic academics and process the world around them.

Principal Dr. Robin Meyers holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership. Her extensive knowledge of and certification in autism spectrum disorders make her uniquely qualified for this challenging role.

Lake Hills School is a local learning center championed by the Harbor Hills Lakes Charity.  Dr. Meyers said, “We are so grateful to have the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity support our school. The Charity and Harbor Hills Development have donated nearly $20,000 this year alone.”

Technology plays an integral role in the lives of these children. From assistive technology with voice-output to modified materials and equipment, every avenue is utilized to communicate in alternative ways. Donations go towards the purchase of expensive assistive technology and adaptive equipment for students with physical disabilities.

In addition to Lake Hills School, other local organizations adopted by the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity include The Christian Food Pantry of Lady Lake, The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties, Fruitland Park Elementary and The Villages Elementary School.

The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity welcomes new officers for the 2019-2020 season. They are: President, Sue Rice; VP, Ruth Palmer; Secretary, Phyllis Leonard; Co-Secretary, Susie Connor; Treasurer, Missey Sackett; Co-Treasurer, Leslie Nisun; Historian, Nancy Flood; Co-Historian, Marlene Bacsik; Philanthropy, Mary Johnson and Co-Chair, Judy Kiley. Many thanks to past President Sandy Crabtree and all the officers and chairwomen who worked hard to make the 2018-2019 season an outstanding success.


Harbor Hills will raise the flag and celebrate the Fourth of July with a golf outing and an outstanding all-American cookout. Of course amid the celebrations, Independence Day brings to mind something we seniors know all too well: Freedom is not free.

Neighbor and friend Steve Hritz served in the United States Air Force for thirty years from 1971 to 2002. In the last year of the Vietnam War, Steve flew C-130 Hercules transports out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines. C-130’s dominated airlift operations in Vietnam because of their ability to handle a 15-ton payload and rapidly offload large cargo pallets.

Steve’s other assignments included command of the 375th Flying Training Squadron at Scott Air Force Base. There, pilots were trained in various aircraft including Learjet-support aircraft and aeromedical evacuation aircraft. Steve retired proudly with the rank of colonel.

Friend and patriot John Bircher often reflects on the significance of this exceptional day. His distinguished 30-year military career includes military intelligence officer and Middle East foreign area specialist. John served in Vietnam with Special Forces in 1969-1970 where he was awarded the Purple Heart.

No reference to Harbor Hills’ veterans would be complete without mention of Brig. Gen. Bill Wilcox, USAF. General Wilcox passed away in 2010 at 94 years old. A West Point graduate, his distinguished World War II service included command positions in Europe, North Africa and China. Wilcox flew 75 combat missions and logged more than 4,400 flying hours. His Distinguished Flying Cross was one of many awards and medals.

We remain profoundly grateful to all our veterans past and present, for their service to and sacrifice for our country. Happy Birthday, America!


2019-2020 Miss Lake CountY

Baby Saige Herter, Toddler Charlotte Miller, PeeWee Ariyah Waters, Tiny Kinsley Jones, Little Elliana Castiglione, Junior Kierstyn Riley, Teen Giulia Manco, Miss Jacklyn Paul, Ambassador Jaden Young, Ms. Savannah Avis, Mrs. Melanie Snyder

Confidence. Service. Scholarship. Talent. Determination

What connects these important attributes? Jackie Croft can tell you. She is the director at Miss Lake County Florida. The non-profit pageant organization promotes involvement in community service and encourages participants to develop meaningful goals and ambitions.The pageant’s aim is to instill in the girls a sense of the importance of helping others. Under Jackie’s leadership and firsthand experience, the pageant has grown in prestige and scope.Pageant preparation is preparation for life. Girls learn about themselves as they improve their interview and communication skills, gain confidence and support their colleagues.The reigning Miss Lake County Florida, Jacklyn Paul, exemplifies mentorship in her community. Along with her ‘court,’ she represents Lake County at charity events and helps out at local festivals and fairs. Jacklyn, a South Sumter High cheerleader, is passionate about helping kids through literacy outreach events such as Read Across America. Her goal is to become an elementary school teacher and she already taken courses at the college level towards her goal.On August 10, Harbor Hills Country Club is proud to host the Miss Lake County Scholarship Golf Tournament. The tournament is the pageant’s main fundraiser. All proceeds are designated for college scholarships.Registration opens at 7a.m. with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The cost of $75 per golfer includes the tournament and lunch. Awards, prizes and chance drawings are included. To register for or sponsor the tournament, call the Pro Shop at 352-753-7711 or visit Please come out and support our Lake County girls!


They are the coaches, chauffeurs, caretakers, providers, protectors and spiritual guides. They are our fathers and grandfathers and their influence is profound. To their sons, they set the example and start them on Life’s path. To their daughters, Dads are their first love and a frequent predictor of their future choices in Life.

To the stepfathers who stepped up when no one else was around, to the dads who are raising kids alone, we appreciate you. To the dads, grandfathers and father figures who set us on a positive, caring, productive road, we appreciate you. In celebration, enjoy Fathers’ Day Brunch on Sunday at Harbor Hills Country Club. It’s an all-you-care-to-eat buffet featuring Dad’s favorites, including carved prime rib of beef and spectacular desserts. Dad will love the view overlooking scenic Lake Griffin. Call 352-753-7000 for reservations.

Creating a loving memory between a girl and her father is priceless. To honor that special bond, Guardians ad Litem and members of the organization Voices For Children present the Father-Grandfather Daughter Dance. The event will be held Sat. July 6th at Wildwood Community Center. All funds raised benefit 2,100 children in our local counties removed by the state for their protection. To find out how you can help, visit

There’s no better way for members to meet the exceptional fathers and grandfathers in our community than to attend the ‘Meet A Neighbor, Bring A Neighbor’ event on June 24. With two for one drink specials, live entertainment and a gourmet burger buffet, it’s a member event you don’t want to miss. Happy Fathers Day to my husband and the many deserving dads in our lives.


Summertime. Sunny days, cloudless skies, the sea and sand provide a lot to love about this season. According to wellness experts, the season also offers significant benefits to our health and vitality. Higher levels of the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, help maintain the health of our bones and teeth. Vitamin D also supports our nervous and circulatory systems as well as improving our outlook on life! Eating more fruit and drinking more water have therapeutic effects that include boosting the immune system and lowering our caloric intake. Research shows that sunlight plays a vital role in fighting many chronic illnesses as well.

In 2015, inspired by Florida’s blue skies, Harbor Hills residents Lee and Carol DiDomenico took their convertible for a drive to the town of Ozello for lunch. Several friends, also convertible owners, asked to join in for the next cruise. Since that first drive years ago, the club has grown from six couples to over one hundred members and fifty-four convertibles!

The club, affectionately dubbed the ‘Topless Club,’ has no meetings and no dues. A monthly cruise is hosted by a member who plans the most scenic routes to drive, sets up restaurant reservations and often includes sightseeing or boat rides. Destinations this season included lunch at Lilly’s On The Lake, a tour of the Howey mansion, a visit to Old Pecks Cove in Ozello, a St. Johns river boat cruise and a boat ride in Tarpon Springs.

The club supports Operation Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox and the Treat the Troops project. Membership is open to all Harbor Hills residents with a convertible. To join the fun, contact Carol at


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.
To honor our veterans, the Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club sells bricks engraved with your veteran’s name. The bricks surround our memorial. To purchase an engraved brick, contact Shirle Mabie at A Memorial Day celebration will be held for members today. Festivities include an early dedication and golf tournament. Chef Rick will provide a traditional Memorial Day cookout complete with all our favorites.
Congratulations to the community members who helped make the 2019 Harbor Hills Ladies Charity Garage Sale a huge success! The sale brought in over $6,800. The funds will be donated to the needs of the underserved in our local community. Heartfelt appreciation goes to Garage Sale Chair Roseann Cochran and Co-chair Carolyn Bowers whose considerable commitment to this project insured our success. Special recognition for their individual contributions and talents include Roger Wendelken, the Oeschger and Girard families, Price Roberts, Ted Sartin, Ellery Hathorn, Linda Fulkrod and many others.
I also have reason to celebrate! On May 25, 2015, my first article as Harbor Hills community columnist was published in The Villages Daily Sun. It has been a delight to bring you the news of our distinctive community for the last four years. Thanks to my kind readers, the Daily Sun editorial staff and the developer of Harbor Hills, Michael Rich. Apart from the Great American novel I have yet to write, this has been a dream come true.


On May 4, Harbor Hills was the honored host for the annual For Kids’ Sake Golf Tournament. This is a special celebration of life for one little girl – Malia Jusczyk. It started in 2011 with her diagnosis of a very aggressive childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma. With the help of local resident physician Dr. Jay Shaktawat and Dr. Srinivas Attanti, Malia was declared cancer-free in July, 2012. Now a healthy 10 year old, Malia is the inspiration for the For Kids’ Sake Foundation, created by her dad, Glen Jusczyk. This volunteer-based nonprofit raises money for research and treatment of pediatric cancer. It also provides financial assistance to the families of children similarly diagnosed.

Dr. Shaktawat and his associates brought the For Kids’ Sake parent and child golf tournament to Harbor Hills six years ago. He rallied local physicians to sponsor the fundraiser. “My daughter is the same age as Malia,” Shaktawat commented. “They played together and Malia’s joy and love of life never waivered. I was inspired to bring awareness and support to this remarkable child and her foundation.”

According to the Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Society, “For families affected by neuroblastoma, the medical costs alone typically exceed $500,000 with many costs not covered by health insurance. This experience can devastate a family financially.” Malia’s mom, Megan, explained that only 3.8 percent of all cancer research goes to pediatric cancer.

Over ninety golfers from our area participated in this 8AM shotgun scramble. Malia herself was a strong, young contender! Mom Megan again expressed her gratitude to those who generously give their time and money to support the foundation. All proceeds benefit families struggling with pediatric cancer. For more information, visit

The Harbor Hills Party Line Dancers

Line Dancers Classes:
3:00 p.m. Beginners Line Dance Class
4:00 p.m. Advanced Line Dance Class

All members are welcome. Line dancing class will teach you all the moves and steps you need to enjoy line dancing at parties or even on the squares in town. Line dancing is good for your brain as well as your body. Come and enjoy the camaraderie.

The new beginner line dance started on Tuesday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m. Regi has taught 10 dances already, so if you have a little experience in line dancing, you can still join us. We dance on the carpeted area in the Harbor Room next to the Grille Room, so sneakers with deep treads are not recommended. Shoes that allow your feet to slide on carpeting are best. Please email Regi at with any questions. There is no fee. The class is open to all members of the Harbor Hills Country Club.


Jazz lovers take note! For the sounds of a hot sax and a cool voice, Alan Darcy will entertain us this Friday night and the public is warmly welcomed. Darcy has performed at the Naples Beach Hotel, the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Miami’s South Beach and Disney. His musical creativity and improvisational skills bring to mind the jazz greats of old; Stan Getz, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. And it’s Pasta Night, with a delectable selection of pastas, sauces and toppings. Call 352-753-7000 for a very special evening.

Visit Harbor Hills any Sunday to enjoy our always popular Sunday Brunch. Dine on an array of buffet items while enjoying the view of our signature 10th hole overlooking expansive Lake Griffin. Upcoming events include our spectacular Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday. Reservations are always required.

Golf is not our only game at Harbor Hills Country Club! We are one of the few facilities offering short court tennis and pickleball on a Har-Tru (soft) surface. John Natolly, USPTA Elite Tennis Professional, is extending a special invitation to Villagers to come out and play at a special rate. Our Junior Summer Racquets Camp is now taking reservations for summer camp, ten weekly sessions from June 4 through August 16. Three age groups are offered for ages from 6 to 18. Kids learn to play the fun and healthy racquet sports of tennis, pickleball, badminton and ping pong in a beautiful setting. Reserve your spot by Friday, May 31. Contact John at 352-753-9376 or

Members are welcome at the Harbor Hills Memorial Celebration on Monday, May 27. Choose golf and cookout or cookout only. Join us at the flags in front of the clubhouse at 12:15PM and a classic American cookout will follow. Call 352-753-7000 for reservations.

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