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HONOR YOUR VETERAN WITH A MEMORIAL BRICK BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

VETERANS MEMORIAL

Seven flags wave proudly near the picturesque 16th green at the Harbor Hills Military Memorial. Our American flag takes its proper place at the forefront of the Memorial. The remaining flags represent branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the newly formed Space Force.

It has been said that “our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” Memorial Day reminds us to be good stewards, ensuring that we honor the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. Their sacrifices enable us to enjoy our freedom every day.

To honor our veterans, the Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club sells bricks engraved with your veteran’s name. Each brick is placed within a kaleidoscope of names and military emblems on the walkway of our Veterans Park. To purchase a brick, contact Shirle Mabie, dedicated chairperson at shirlemabie@gmail.com. Our Garden & Women’s Club continues to raise funds for any beautification and maintenance needed for the Memorial.

A special Memorial Day celebration will be held Monday, May 29 at Harbor Hills. Festivities include an 8 A.M. mixed flight golf tournament and a 12:15 dedication in front of the clubhouse. A traditional Memorial Day cookout awaits, complete with all our favorites.

Reminder! June 18th is Father’s Day. Celebrate with our Father’s Day brunch from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. The buffet includes made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib and scrumptious desserts. For reservations, call 352-753-7000.

BEAUTIFUL PLACE FOR WEDDINGS AND VOW RENEWALS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Hearts and flowers may signify young love, but they are also appreciated by the young at heart. Not surprisingly, we now have more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history.

Any wonder? We baby boomers started to turn 65 in 2011. According to AARP statistics, boomers turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. And true to our boomer nature, we are redefining this life stage as we did all the others!

Longer life expectancy gives us the unique opportunity to celebrate marriage milestones as well as to form new relationships at older ages. For that reason, Christy Rich, Harbor Hills wedding coordinator, is kept busy with both weddings and vow renewal ceremonies.

“A vow renewal ceremony at Harbor Hills is very special,” she said. “It celebrates the value of an enduring relationship. Vow renewal says to the world, “I’d do it all over again.”

As we seniors and super-seniors know, milestone anniversaries are a celebration of love and gratitude. But as boomers will tell you, any occasion is a reason to celebrate.

A vow renewal can be elaborate, although most tend to be intimate and simple. Since the couple is already married, no additional paperwork or license is required. There is no need for a bridal registry, bridesmaids or groomsmen. To add a special touch, a close friend or adult child often officiates.

Whether it be a wedding to celebrate young love or a vow renewal for seniors, Christy organizes everything for the couple. The view from the Harbor Terrace overlooking Lake Griffin provides an extraordinary backdrop for the special day. To contact Christy for more information, call Harbor Hills at 352-753-7000.

I am also celebrating a special occasion. On May 25, 2015, my first article as Harbor Hills community columnist was published in The Daily Sun. It’s been an honor to bring you the news and activities of this distinctive community for the last eight years. Many thanks to my kind readers, The Villages Daily Sun and the developer of Harbor Hills, Michael Rich, for this unique opportunity.

News Harbor Hills Country Club

News from Harbor Hills Country Club

News Harbor Hills Country Club

News Harbor Hills Country Club

By: Ted Drzewiecki

Exciting news from Harbor Hills Country Club so, we move along two weeks into February for our next event extraordinaire. Carol and Lee DiDomenico host and referee our first international meatball festival and contest on February 9th.

The IAC has been in negotiations with the developer about putting in a bocce court to add to the list of Harbor Hills amenities such as golf, tennis, pickleball, and racquetball that makes it so much fun to live here. Bocce Ball chairman Bill Tarinelli he is working with club general manager on bringing this addition to fruition. We visualize men’s, women’s and couples’ leagues playing the great Italian game of Bocce. More on this to come. Right now, we’re working on where to put it. Stay tuned for further developments.

Our March 9th meeting will include Bingo at the Grand Oaks Bistro. We’ll have dinner at 5PM and then play. The early start is because the bistro closes at 8pm. There will be a pre-selected menu to choose from. Make sure you get your reservations in early as we are limited to 35 people.

The April IAC Meeting will be at Casa Barbara and Bill Tarinelli’s on April 7th.

The May IAC meeting and picnic will be on Sunday, May 7th and will be our last meeting of the season. Our genial hosts will be Giac and MaryJane Modica. Sausage and peppers prepared by the master himself, Giac that is, will be on the front page of the menu.

Watch out for emails with more details to follow. As is our tradizione ever’body they bring something like antipasti, insalati e primi e secondi piatta (lots of pasta would be good) and, of course lot’s of dolce. Tiramisu is bene e cannoli is fantastico. Anybody wanna try for some flan? You have two months to plan this out! Make sure you let Debi Matz know if you’re coming and what you will bring.

Is your Club shirt beginning to look a bit washed out? It’s-a been about 8 years since we got the first ones. Carol DiDomenico she checked on these, so, anyone wanting a new club shirt they should go to Custom Apparel in the Southern Trace Shopping Center on Route 466 to pick out and try on a style of WHITE shirt. Shirts with pockets are available especiale for Ted who needs somewhere to put his pens and glasses. Make-a sure you mention that you are with the Harbor Hills Italian-American Club. The price for each shirt is $26.49 and if you wanna be pretty fancy you can pay an extra $5.99 to have your name embroidered just-a like your Mamma would-a done it.

Everybody, you should have a wonderful primavera and estiva. Arrivederci amici, alla prossima volta!

MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH AND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Treat Mom to an elegant Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet on Sunday. The Harbor Hills Mother’s Day Buffet, open to the public, is an exceptional way to celebrate the occasion. The view from the terrace overlooking our Signature 10th fairway is a favorite for snapshots to mark the day.

The menu includes a breakfast buffet, a carving table, and scrumptious main dishes. Desserts and pastries are spectacular. The adult price is $47.99 per person. A few seats remain. Call 352-753-7000 for reservations.

The Harbor Hills Racquet Association and our entire racquet sports community extend heartfelt congratulations to our club champions in the recently played club championship. Tournament Director Ted Drzewiecki presented the traveling trophy to the well-deserving winners in front of a cheering crowd. The winners are: Men’s Doubles- Hank Chipman and Gene Armbrister; Ladies Doubles- Jo Janke and Judy Parker; Mixed Doubles- Hank Chipman and KP Palmer. All players will be recognized at the September Elections Picnic. Congratulations to the competitors in these hard-fought and exciting finals!

Harbor Hills Ladies Golf Association (HHLGA) played their club championship recently. The low gross club champion was Terry Delcamp. The low net club champion was Janis DeCoster. Champions get a coveted cart parking spot next to the Grille Room. The four flight winners for low gross were: Wanda Kurka, Rose Stewart, Nina Mougel and Linda Lafferty. The four flight low net winners were: Chris Sorenson, Judy Warren, Sue Hritz and Carol Langan.

THE HARBOR HILLS LADIES CHARITY HOSTS A KENTUCKY DERBY PARTY BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

The popularity of America’s most prestigious horse race, the Kentucky Derby, is filled with excitement and tradition. The event has become synonymous with Southern culture and Americana. It is held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. This year, May 6 will mark the 149th running of this celebrated event.

Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the event has a rich history. In 1872, Meriwether Lewis Clark, a prominent Louisville resident, was inspired by attending the Epsom Derby in England. Upon Clark’s return to the States, he organized a group of local race fans and created the Louisville Jockey Club. The club raised funds for a racetrack in Louisville. The track opened on May 17, 1875, and the first Kentucky Derby was created. The winner was a three-year-old thoroughbred named Aristides.

Millions of dollars are placed on bets for favorite contenders. In 1973, a stallion named Secretariat set a record-breaking time of 1:59:40. In one astonishing season, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. He became the first horse in twenty-five years to win the Triple Crown.

The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity will host an exciting fundraiser tomorrow. Live racing, raffles, and games highlight the afternoon. Flamboyant hats and wild ties will be on display. Take a photo with a horse and jockey on the lawn in front of the club! Mint juleps, tasty treats, and music add to the fun. Thanks to the caring ladies of the Charity for their year-round efforts to raise funds to benefit those in need.

THE BIRDS OF HARBOR HILLS COUNTRY CLUB BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Country Club is adjacent to Lake Griffin. The area is part of the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area, known as the Jewel of Lake County. It’s one of the most scenic sites along the Great Birding Trail, a network of more than 500 wildlife viewing sites throughout our state.

Every morning, I am treated to the melodic songs of multiple birds from my patio overlooking the fairway. That’s why I was so excited to download the free app from Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. Its mission is to provide people with the answer to “What’s that bird?”

The app is called Merlin. It identifies regional birds by photo or sound. More than three million descriptors will help Merlin match your input with the most likely birds. Over 10,000 birds can be identified through their photos, songs, and calls. Clicking “This is my bird” saves the record when a species is identified. You can retrieve it at any time, along with data about the bird and its habitat.

I’ve been out on the patio using the sound app every morning with surprising results. The app identified a Northern cardinal, a Great crested flycatcher, a fish crow, a Northern mockingbird, a Northern Parula, a Mourning dove, an American goldfinch, and a red-bellied woodpecker. And that was just one morning! The sound ID details the call by song, duet, and juvenile calls.

The Merlin app is free and can be downloaded by Android (6 or newer) and iPhone (iOS 15 or newer). Search Google Play or the Apple App Store. The app is called “Merlin Bird ID and makes birdwatching especially entertaining!

AMERICAN LEGION GOLF TOURNEY BENEFITS CHILDREN BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

A deep and abiding spirit of Americanism and service accurately describes the values of the American Legion. Created in 1919, worldwide membership today stands at more than 2.4 million. Not surprisingly, our local Post 347 is the largest post in the world. The membership continues to grow and is presently at more than 60,000. With the motto “Still Serving America!” the American Legion works on behalf of veterans, families, and communities.

Harbor Hill Country Club is proud to host the Children and Youth Charity Golf Tournament on May 13. The fundraiser helps the American Legion in its efforts to benefit youth in our area. This is one small way to show we care about America, veterans, and their families.

The shotgun begins at 8:15 a.m. The cost per golfer is $85. Contests include the longest drive, a hole-in-one, and the closest to the pin. Don’t miss the prizes and surprises! Call the Harbor Hills Pro Shop for more information at 352-753-7711.

Speaking of ways to appreciate families, how about treating Mom to an elegant Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet on May 14? The Harbor Hills’ Mother’s Day Buffet, open to the public, is an exceptional way to celebrate the occasion. The view from the terrace overlooking our Signature 10th fairway is a favorite for snapshots to mark the day.

The menu includes a breakfast station, a carving station, and scrumptious main dishes. Desserts and pastries are spectacular. The adult price is $32.95 per person, plus the service charge and sales tax. Enjoy unlimited champagne and mimosas for an additional $8.79. The price for children ages 5-10 is $13.57 plus the service charge and sale tax. No charge for children under 5.

Our Gainesville grandson joins us for brunch, and it has been a family tradition for many years. Seats fill up quickly, and reservations are required. Call 352-753-7000 for information.

PICTURESQUE LAKE IS A GREAT EVENT SETTING BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Boating on Lake Griffin

As often happens in The Villages, I’ve recently been reunited with a cousin who moved nearby. David and I look forward to welcoming her to our home in Harbor Hills. Not only is our community situated at the highest level in north-central Florida, but did you know that Harbor Hills Country Club overlooks Lake Griffin, a 9,200-acre lake?

While the view is certainly breathtaking, Harbor Hills has the qualities of an actual water park. There are 76,000 boatable acres in the Lake Harris chain. The fishing is great, and the many waterfront restaurants provide panoramic views. It only seems fitting to have activities centered around this unique area. Several community clubs enjoy trips and social events on the water year-round.

Harbor Hills golf members are taking advantage of our picturesque course with fun evening rounds every Tuesday starting April 18. It’s called Spark Golf and is a network of social, 9-hole leagues with relaxed rules for players of all skill levels. This new golf league spans more than 1200 courses across the US and Canada! It’s a friendly competition open to all recreational golfers. Join with a partner or contact Tom to partner you up. Call 352-753-7711 or email help@spark.golf for more information.

Cheers are in order for the winners of the Harbor Hills Ladies Golf League Member-Guest Tournament! Five flights were fielded and the winners are: Flight 1-Wanda Kurka and Kay Stock; Flight 2-Nancy Flood and Cecile Davis; Flight 3-Jo Brown and Ginny Doran; Flight 4-Sue Hritz and Ruth Chancellor and Flight 5-Kathy Petillo and Jeannie Fluhrer. Congrats to all!

Our season is in full swing, with many exciting events and activities for members and the public. Visit Harbor Hills Country Club and join the fun!

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

Colorful flowers, fresh air, and fun are all facets of springtime in Central Florida. In celebration, Harbor Hills invites you to enjoy an exceptional Easter brunch on Sunday. Your choices include a hot buffet station, a carving station, and a dessert station.

The hot buffet features salmon with a honey Dijon glaze and chicken with tarragon cream. The carving station includes prime rib of beef and Black Oak ham. Adult cost is $47 pp. Pricing is reduced for children ages 5-12. Children under five eat free. Serving times are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations required. Call 352-753-7000.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we honor the women who have inspired us. We all remember actress Betty White. Her television career began in the late 1930s. White was one of the first women to act and direct in productions that spanned decades. She was 99 years old when she passed in 2021.

White’s longevity lessons are simple. Live with purpose. She was a lifelong champion for animals. White spent over seventy years helping animals by supporting compassionate and caring causes. She often said that we lose our worries while caring for others. Find your purpose and lend a hand.

White’s most important lesson is one we know well: live in the present. I have just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and highly recommend it. It echoes White’s emphasis on mindfulness and the gift of the present moment.

In this season of hope and new beginnings, reach out to others with kindness. Wishing all my readers a happy holiday and hearts filled with love, gratitude, and reflection.

CLUB TOURNAMENTS NET PLENTY OF CHAMPIONS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

The Harbor Hills Championship Golf Course overlooks scenic Lake Griffin. It is a
perfect setting for the exciting tournaments recently played. Harbor Hills Country
Club golf members have enjoyed some exciting competitions this season. The
2023 Couples Club Championship was recently played on our course. The
championship is a two-person best ball format with net and fun fields flighted by
handicap. Congrats to the winning couples! First place in the Net Flight Division
were Chape and Regi Chapin. In the Fun Division, Les Johnson and Jo Brown
prevailed.
The Presidents Cup Stroke Play was a three-day MGA event. Members competed
for net winners in each division. Flight winners were: Flight 1- Joe Redoutey, Flight
2-Frank Altman, Flight 3-Ted Sartin, Flight 4-Jim Wohrley, and Flight 5-Pat
Murdock. Congrats to all!
Member-Member Stroke Play was a three-day MGA event with a format of
alternate shot, best ball, and aggregate. The winners were: Flight 1-Bill Collier and
Steve Hritz, Flight 2-Don Winefordner and Bruce Goldsborough, Flight 3-Bruce
Dow and Bill Bogert, and Flight 4-Joe Pulsone and Ken Machacek.
Closing out the final MGA event for the Spring will be the Member-Member
Match Play on April 19, 21 st and 23 rd . The event concludes with an exciting playoff
with all flight winners competing. A dinner will follow. Sign up before April 15
online at hhmga.com.
Don’t forget to hop over to place your reservations for Harbor Hills’ Easter Brunch
and Buffet on April 9 th . Dine overlooking the Signature 10 th hole. Reservations are
required. Call 352-753-7000 for information.

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