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MASONIC LODGE PAR 3 CHALLENGE – GOLF MADE EASY! BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Tom Leimberger & Herb Lunden

The square and compass are easily the most recognizable symbols of freemasonry. These architectural tools have special meanings that include a sense of judgement, balance and stability. Freemasonry or masonry can trace its origins to the end of the fourteenth century and to the stonemasons who created the organization.

Today, the programs and services of this worldwide fraternity are well known. Causes range from operating children’s hospitals, funding medical research, helping the underprivileged and contributing to local community needs. The 22 Shriners children’s hospitals in the US, Canada and Mexico comprise one of the world’s largest pediatric health systems.

Herb Lunden is proud to be both marshal and event chairman of the Wildwood Masonic Lodge No. 92. His 47 years of masonry make him uniquely qualified to create a spectacular event to benefit local charities.

On Saturday, September 19, our championship course will be transformed into a Par Three Extravaganza. All 18 holes will feature extraordinary prizes for holes-in-one, closest to the hole, lowest score and best team scores. “Our generous sponsors stepped up with amazing prizes,” Herb explains. “A Cancun vacation, airfare included, cars from both Phillips Buick and Phillips Toyota, a Bill Bryan jeep, golf carts from Cart World and Yamaha as well as a customized golf cart from Streetrod. Every hole will display major sponsors.”

The per person cost is $100 which includes cart, range balls and lunch. Hole sponsorships are $100 and includes company signage. Checks, credit cards or cash are payable to Wildwood Masonic Lodge No. 92, 103 Georgia St., Wildwood, Florida 34784. Contact Herb Lunden at 229-548-5514 or contact the Harbor Hills Pro Shop at 352-753-7711 for more information. Help us do good works in our local community.

MAKE LABOR DAY A DEVICE-FREE DAY TO RELAX BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Labor Day 2020

 

Today is Labor Day, a celebration of our county’s workforce. This is a special day that honors the American labor movement and pays tribute to the working men and women who help our economy prosper. It originated in 1882 as a “working man’s holiday,” honoring the industrial foundation of our great country.

Could those hardworking men and women ever imagined how labor has changed? Today, information and communication technology has altered every aspect of our familiar tasks. And I readily admit to taking instruction from my eight year old granddaughter on how to use emojis and text attributes effectively!

The coronavirus has made us even more dependent on technology as we self-isolate within our homes. Facetime and Zoom visits have replaced the real-life visits with loving family members out of state. However, a new ritual is gaining in popularity and we seniors can participate. Give yourself the day off from daily tasks. Power down that cellphone, laptop and iPad that tethers you to your daily routine. Then appreciate a device-free afternoon of safely social distancing with friends, a scrapbook-inspired walk down memory lane or any device-free hobby that you enjoy.

Exciting new programs for Harbor Hills’ popular clubs and charities are in planning for the coming year. All ladies who are residents of Harbor Hills are invited to join the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity. The virus may alter the way we typically raise funds. Regardless, all proceeds are donated to helping those less fortunate who reside in our area.

Honor those hardworking Americans we celebrate on Labor Day. Fun activities await even while wearing masks and abandoning our devices. Stay safe and welcome to our returning residents and those new to our area.

GET ACTIVE THIS LABOR DAY! BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Kids Tennis Club

Junior Racquets Program

Harbor Hills Country Club golf members and guests will celebrate Labor Day 2020 in style. On Monday, September 7th, couples will drive their red, white and blue decorated carts to play in a 4-person scramble using team handicaps. The 8-9:30 tee times start the day’s fun. Members and guests will enjoy a delicious Labor Day lunch including baby back ribs and baked mac and cheese. Lunch is available to-go as well. The cost of golf plus lunch is $23.00. Lunch only is $18.00. Reservations are required. Call the Pro Shop at 352-753-7711 for information.

Game. Set. Match! Golf is not our only activity this Labor Day. Adjacent to our clubhouse, you will find our world-class tennis courts. Harbor Hills Country Club is one of the few facilities offering tennis, short court tennis and pickleball on an original Har-Tru (soft) surface. Our tennis pro, USPTA Elite Professional John Natolly, is excited to announce the 2020-2021 Racquets Center Seasonal Program. For the first time, program descriptions can be accessed via a link on the Harbor Hills website. This will allow members and guests to plan ahead for future events and additional services.

The Harbor Hills Junior Racquets Program will start in September. Local players of all abilities are always welcome. Reduced court rental rates are available for afternoon and evening players and for Village residents. Racquet sports players do not have to reside in Harbor Hills. Memberships are available for non-residents. Become a member and play racquet sports year round without any costly court fees. Email jnatolly@harborhills.com or call 352-753-9376 for more information. We are excited to welcome back our seasonal residents and let the fun begin!

HARBOR HILLS – A DOG WALKER’S DREAM By NIKKI HOFFMAN

The gentle hills of our community are a dog walker’s dream. My dachshund Bree meets many of his four-legged friends on our daily walks. Bella, Caramel, Maggie and Cooper are a few favorites. But his best buddy is Seymour, another playful doxie in the neighborhood.

Owning a pet provides significant health benefits, especially for seniors. Feeling lonely? Pets are great companions. They are little jesters and provide company in the most fun ways. During these days of isolation, it’s easy to laugh when that waggy tail anticipates a treat or a walk outside. Friend Margaret Gutierrez is owned by the magnificent Feisty, her twelve year old Siamese cat. Feisty is full of adventure, always ready to jump in his carrier for his next outdoor escapade!

A cart ride or walk improves my mood and Bree provides a sure way to get me out the door. Conversations with other pet owners in our friendly Harbor Hills neighborhood at safely social distances is a way for both friends and pets to socialize.

Whether stroking your cat, cuddling your dog or watching your fish swimming gracefully, caring for another living thing lowers anxiety and chronic pain levels. Pet owners may be less likely to suffer from high blood pressure or depression. Neighbor Laurie Carpenter is owned by Scarlett, her certified therapy dog who lifts spirits at assisted living facilities and is the Lady Lake library’s official Reading Dog.

Claudia Labbe is the hardworking Fundraising and PR Chairperson for the Humane Society SPCA. She reminds us that adoptable cats and kittens are currently showcased at Petsense by Lake Sumter Landing and the Petsmart located north of Fresh Market. Gainesville has a rabbit rescue and GREAT is the Greyhound Rescue and Adoptions of Tampa Bay. Visit hsspca.org for more information.

SENIOR FITNESS IN THE AGE OF CORONA BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Dr. Claudia Thomas

Dr. Claudia Thomas

Fitness is an integral part of enjoying and prolonging our lives.  Exercise helps develop muscle tone, improves our balance and posture. For seniors, the pandemic has made it even more challenging to achieve fitness while managing the strains and pains of aging.

Harbor Hills resident Dr. Claudia Thomas offers guidance. She is an orthopedic specialist in Lady Lake in practice for 43 years. Dr. Thomas was the first woman to be admitted to the Yale Orthopedic residency training program.

In her practice at UNOVA Health Care, Dr. Thomas sees recurring complaints among her senior patients. Low back pain, shoulder pain and knee pain are most common. “Fitness is a key factor in minimizing symptoms,” she states. “Harbor Hills is unique. Our gentle hills offer walkers the perfect fitness opportunity, with or without their dogs!” Other outdoor activities such as running, bike-riding and gardening can also be enjoyed while social distancing.

Even moderate strength training can make a major difference in senior health.  It lessens the symptoms of chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. Yoga and chair exercises can be practiced within the safety of our homes. Set goals and switch up your routines to keep it fun. Don’t forget to play your favorite music and dance away!

Having survived cancer at the height of her career, Dr. Thomas cites faith as an integral component of a healthy life. To that end, she and her partners developed a mentoring program for at risk boys in Leesburg. God Spare Life is the name of Dr. Thomas’ autobiography. Many thanks to her and all the resident physicians at Harbor Hills and The Villages who keep us active, positive and safe!

SHANGHAI RUMMY GROUP INVITES ALL WOMEN MEMBERS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Shanghai rummy

Shanghai rummy

The word ‘Shanghai” conjures up images of old movies (think “Shanghai Express” with Marlene Dietrich) as well as more recent ones (“Indiana Jones” begins at Shanghai’s Club Obi-Wan.) Intrigue and excitement are synonymous with the name. For history buffs, the port city of Shanghai is fascinating. The two Chinese characters in the city’s name mean “Upon-the-Sea.” By 1700, Shanghai had a population of about 50,000, making it a large and prosperous port exporting silks, tea and porcelain.

In the 19th century, clipper ships in the China trade required a great deal of labor to operate. This gave rise to the practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors by coercive techniques using trickery and deception. Since Shanghai was a common destination of ships with abducted crews, the modern term means to put someone into an undesirable position by pretense.

For a special group of Harbor Hills women, Shanghai has a very different connotation. Every Friday afternoon, they gather for a game of Shanghai rummy. The object is for players to organize all their cards into sets. Play ends once a player has arranged all her cards into sets or melds.

Country club member Fran Novak loves the game and is looking forward to the return of our winter players. “It makes you think,” she explains, “and you get a chance to catch up with neighbors and happenings in the community.”

Bring your nickels, dimes and quarters and join members for play any Friday at 12:30PM in the clubhouse. Seasoned players are excited to teach the game to new players. Members of Harbor Hills Country Club are invited and encouraged to join the fun.

NATURAL LANDMARK IS LOCATED RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

August is Water Quality Month and it’s the perfect time to think about nearby Lake Griffin. The lake is adjacent to the Harbor Hills community, providing spectacular views as well as fishing from the neighborhood dock. 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 Florida Birding Trail. The 7,089-acre US wildlife area is maintained by the St. Johns Water Management District. In 1974, the conservation area was designated as a National Natural Landmark.

The state of Florida is home to one-fifth of the country’s wetlands. Protection of these fragile areas is critical. Half of all North American bird species and other endangered animals use wetlands for feeding and nesting. In winter, songbirds, marsh birds and ducks migrate to Emeralda Marsh. Flocks of snowy egrets and sandhill cranes stroll gracefully through the nearby neighborhoods of Harbor Hills. The sturdy branches of our fairway trees provide ample cover and a grand perspective for the occasional bald eagle.

Today, area visitors find an abundance of wetland wildlife as well as boating, hiking and fishing. Open waters are stocked with fish by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Neighbors Butch and Linda Carlson, Ken Kurth, Dr. Dan Wassell, Dan Kurka and Mark Rhodes are a few of our recreational anglers.  Others include Barry Palmer, Tom Ingram, Mark Witkop and Mike Cofer. They enjoy fishing the many interconnected lakes of the scenic Harris Chain including Lake Griffin.

Much work has been done to improve our local water quality and restore a thriving habitat for our plant and animal life. For information, visit floridaswater.com.

RETURN TO THE MOVIE DIRTY DANCING BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

It was a place to escape the city life and breathe fresh mountain air. Often known as ‘the Borcht Belt,’ iconic resorts in the Catskills were located in southeast New York state between Albany and New York City. In the summer, families descended on the region, creating traditions in the 1950’s and 1960’s fondly remembered today.

Many celebrities found their way to these legendary resorts and mingled with the guests. Jackie Robinson, Rocky Marciano and Yogi Berra were a few. As a star-struck teenager, I met Paul Anka at Grosinger’s Resort! Comics included Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield and Henny Youngman. Musicians Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dean Martin were headliners back in the day.

One entertaining act featured a family of gymnasts called Taffy ‘n Terry and Trio, also known as the Flying Wendelkens. Walter and Taffy Wendelken and their three children, Roger, Sandra and Dennis performed as an acrobatic adagio troupe. The routine included lifts, flips and aerials. The elder Weldelkens balanced their children on upraised feet and outstretched hands with amazing feats of strength and balance. Roger, the oldest child, displayed breathtaking aerial stunts from his father’s shoulders. Taffy ‘n Terry and Trio also performed on television including The Ed Sullivan Show and Under The Big Top. Roger was proud to say the troupe got top billing over Sammy Davis, Jr.!

In later years, Roger joined the Unisys Corporation and moved his wife Ruth and two sons to South Florida. Retirement led the Wendelkens to the Harbor Hills community, residing here for more than twenty years. In addition to golf, Roger actively supported the Harbor Hills Ladies Charity. The community was saddened by Wendelken’s passing in April. His athleticism is part of his unusual legacy and we all miss him greatly.

HELPING GIRLS MOVE CONFIDENTLY INTO THE FUTURE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Miss Lake County

Miss Lake County

The Miss Lake County Florida pageant encourages participants to develop meaningful goals and ambitions. “The most important benefit of the competition lies in community service, raising awareness and inspiring others,” Director Jackie Croft explains. The eleven young girls crowned each year accumulate volunteer hours during their reign to achieve the Presidential Volunteer service award.

Pageant winners volunteer at food drives, Kiwanis Club functions and Adopt-A-Grandparent programs at local senior centers. This year, activities have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. Regardless, the reigning Miss Lake County Florida Jayden Young and her court are making a positive impact. The girls are bolstering our local essential workers by delivering homemade cookies, sending cards to sick children and public speaking when possible.

On Saturday, August 22, Harbor Hills Country Club is proud to host the Miss Lake County Scholarship Golf Tournament for the fourth year. Proceeds have enabled awards of $12,500 in scholarships to our Lake County students. The cost of $75 per golfer includes the tournament and lunch. To register, call the Pro Shop at 352-753-7711 or visit misslakecountypageant.com. Please consider playing or sponsoring!

The pageant’s aim is to instill a sense of the importance of helping others. 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 local girls. The mission of the project is to donate products and funds to disadvantaged girls in our community. Products include individually wrapped toothbrushes, soap and toothpaste as well as feminine hygiene products. Frankie is asking for deodorant and bar soap donations to meet a deadline of Friday, July 31st. Contact Frankie Smith at frankie.hellobeautiful@gmail.com. Sponsors and volunteers are needed!

CELEBRATE SUMMER WITH A VISIT TO HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Harbor Hills Country Club

Harbor Hills Country Club

Staying positive and enjoying every day is more important than ever, especially for us seniors. Although our activities are limited during the current COVID-19 situation, we still have summer calendars to fill. How about a visit to Harbor Hills? We are located at the end of Lake Griffin Road in Lady Lake. We are minutes away from The Villages and a short 4.6 -mile drive from the intersection of County Road 466 and U.S. Highway 27/441.

Our semiprivate club welcomes guests in safety with great care for the current situation. Enjoy lunch on our outdoor patio overlooking scenic Lake Griffin. How about a challenging round of golf on our championship course? Discounted rates apply! Call the Pro Shop for more info at 352-753-7711.

Our July 4th festivities included an Independence Day remembrance and a “2 Best Ball Foursome” golf tournament. Two Men’s Flight teams tied for first; Team Ron Nisun, Bill Stone, Tom Warren, Lee Bowers and Team John Bircher, Ken Machacek, Joe Pulsone and John Biszantz. First place in the Fun Flight went to Steve and Eileen Gordon and Bob and Billie Neese. Our God Bless America flight was won by Cliff and Gerri Murphy and Joe Cervoni and Nancy Skoch. Dr. Jay and Deya Shaktawat teamed up with Mike and Linda Reyome to win the mixed Adult/Junior Flight. Golf was followed by an All-American cookout.

Ready for some fun in the sun? Members enjoy our junior Olympic pool, perfect for morning water aerobics or a cool swim in the afternoon. Sundays in July are Family Fundays. We are open to the public seven days a week year-round and look forward to your visit.

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