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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. The Harbor Hills Ladies Charity welcomes you!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Shirle Mabie at email@example.com. Have a happy, safe and creative Thanksgiving!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.