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SUMMER RACQUET ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

The extraordinary events of recent months have challenged our mental and physical health as well as the health of those we love. Children are particularly affected by the lack of physical activity. We can’t overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy, provided it’s carried out safely. So get those kids and grandkids off the couch and the electronics out of their hands. Let’s get moving!

Harbor Hills is offering a summer Junior Get Fit Camp specifically for racquet sports. Expert instruction will be given for both tennis and pickleball. Campers play for exercise, fresh air, some competition but mostly fun.

John Natolly, USPTA Elite Professional, is Director of Racquet Sports at Harbor Hills. John reminds us that we have a generation of children living a sedentary lifestyle even before the impact of the pandemic. “Racquet sports promote an active lifestyle and always rate high by the experts for health benefits,” he explains.

Parents and grandparents can choose from two summer sessions. They run from July 13th – July 17th or July 20th – July 24th. Children are grouped by age from four to seventeen. For safety reasons, the number of players will be limited.

The Harbor Hills tennis facility is well-known in the state and beyond. As the premier tennis facility in the area, USTA league play, tournaments and charity events frequently take place in Harbor Hills. Harbor Hills generously provides the home court for the Leesburg High School tennis team cost-free.

John is extending a special invitation to Villagers, their children and grandchildren to come out and play. Discounts on private junior lessons are also available. All safety precautions are in effect. Call John at the Harbor Hills Racquets Pro Shop at 352-753-9376 or email jnatolly@harborhills.com.

INDEPENDENCE DAY REMINDS: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

Harbor Hills will raise the flag and celebrate the 4th of July with a golf outing and an all-American cookout. Independence Day brings to mind something we seniors know all too well: freedom is not free. We remain profoundly grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans.

Neighbor Steve Hritz served in the USAF for 30 years. During the Vietnam War, Steve flew C-130 Hercules transports out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines. He later flew tactical airlift C-130’s and was an exchange pilot for the RAF. Other assignments included command of the 375th Flying Training Squadron at Scott AFB. Steve retired with the rank of colonel. The 30 year military career of friend John E. Bircher III, COL, USA (Ret.) included intelligence officer and Middle East foreign area specialist. John served in Vietnam with Special Forces where he was awarded the Purple Heart.

No reference to Harbor Hills veterans is complete without mention of two beloved veterans who have passed away. The WWII service of Brig. Gen. Bill Wilcox, USAF included command positions in Europe, North Africa and China. Wilcox flew 75 combat missions, logging more than 4,400 flying hours. His Distinguished Flying Cross was one of many medals. He is greatly missed by our community. Bill McKillop flew planes in Korea as a member of the USMC Aviation. As the Korean War came to a close, he served as both a squadron pilot and air controller. McKillop left active duty in 1955. As a commercial pilot, he flew for Pan American and United for 41 years.

The Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club sells engraved bricks to pay tribute to veterans, past and present. The bricks surround our Veteran’s Memorial Park. Contact Club President Shirle Mabie at shirlemabie@gmail.com to honor your veteran.

FATHER’S DAY HONORS ALL DADS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Yesterday was a Father’s Day like none other. Conforming to social distancing rules, our best wishes were shared by phone, Facetime and Zoom. The unusual circumstances, however, did not dim the love we have for the dads in our lives.

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 grandfathers and father figures who set us on a positive, caring, productive path, we appreciate you. Harbor Hills Country Club celebrated with a special Sunday brunch featuring all of Dad’s favorites.

For children in foster care, Guardians ad Litem perform a special service. Through the advocacy of these trained volunteers, the best interests of children are represented during dependency court proceedings. The program is state-mandated and prohibited from fundraising. To fill this gap, our local organization Voices For Children steps in. The organization creates special events such as the annual auction and dinner. All funds raised benefit 2,300 children in our local counties removed by the state for their protection. Coronavirus concerns caused the cancellation of upcoming fundraisers. Compassion and help are needed now more than ever. Visit www.voices4childrenfl.org or contact Sue Carpenter, Chairperson at 352-489-7112 for more information.

Deserving Dads are remembered with love and affection on Father’s Day and every day.

SUMMERTIME FUN AND YOU ARE INVITED! BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Summer Time

Like the fireflies we used to catch as children, summertime in Harbor Hills is buzzing with activity. “Head to the Hills” any Sunday to enjoy our always-popular Sunday brunch from 11AM to 2PM. Dine on an array of delicious brunch items while enjoying the spectacular view of our Signature 10th hole. The public is welcome. For reservations, call 352-753-7000.

Ready for some Fun in the Sun? Every Sunday in June, club members are treated to Family Funday. Menu specials are featured weekly. This Sunday, meatball sliders are on the menu. Meet me and other members at the pool for games and summer fun!!

Our Signature Grille is open seven days a week for eat-in or take out. The breakfast menu is delicious! Try the Par 3 for starters. Wednesday and Friday are member dining nights, always with exceptional menus. To-go is available.

Our championship golf course is picturesque and in great shape. The public is welcome to enjoy a challenging round at Harbor Hills. Tom Leimberger, PGA Professional, offers clinics, video lessons and more to improve your game at all levels.

Racquet sports are in full swing on our Har-Tru soft courts. Harbor Hills is one of the few country clubs to offer racquet sports on the soft, comfortable Har-Tru playing surface. Enjoy easy and fun activities for beginners or advanced players. Call John Natolly, USPTA Elite Professional at 352-753-9376 for more information.

Low impact and water aerobics, Mahjongg, Shanghai and many social group activities fill our summer days. Are you curious about membership? A summer membership from June through September is available at a special preview rate. For more information, contact Christy Rich, Membership Director, at 352-753-7000.

TRAVEL AFTER CORONA – CHANGES IN OUR FUTURE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

SUMMER TRAVEL

SUMMER TRAVEL

This week we made the hard decision to cancel our summer trip to Boston. I know you miss your children and grandchildren as much we we do. Sadly, the coronavirus has delayed not only the timing of our trips, but the way in which we travel. The risks we’re willing to accept, especially as seniors, will surely make the world look different. But when it’s safe to travel again, changes are expected and surprisingly, may even be welcomed.

To encourage travel and fill empty seats, airlines will enhance frequent flyer miles with bonus miles and other incentives. This may be a great time to cash in! Dream trip, anyone? The middle airline seat will also need some re-thinking. Will the empty middle seat become commonplace? Delta, for one, shows a seat map with the middle seats blocked to provide some physical distance. That will certainly be a welcome change.

More space in our airports is forthcoming. How will those packed security lines be handled? It’s hard to imagine how any personal space requirement could be implemented in the Orlando airport, but I’m all for it!

From Disney, to airports, to destination spots and more, travel will be transforming in unexpected ways. Exactly what the changes will look like is anyone’s guess. For now, relying on community feels safe and familiar. Harbor Hills is making that possible in so many ways.

Dinners are available to members on Wednesdays and Fridays, take home or eat in. Our spectacular Sunday brunch is served from 11AM to 2PM. The public is welcome. The Grille Room, open to the public and available daily, offers both seating and a delicious Grab and Go meal. All aspects of service are in accordance with CDC guidelines including seating and limited customer entry.

THE AGE OF CORONA AND OUR SHINING STARS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Class of 2020

Class of 2020

Hats off to the graduates of The Villages High School! The Class of 2020 is graduating during some of the most difficult circumstances in history. Phrases like “socially distanced ceremonies” are part of our lexicon. In spite of many graduation adjustments, Harbor Hills is proud to count several residents among the 2020 Villages High School grads.

Cross country and track have always been an important part of Austin Wyatt’s life. He holds the school record for the 5K and the two mile, distinguishing himself as an outstanding competitor. Austin is a member of the National Honor Society and was a student in the Business and Banking Academy at the high school. He is the president of HOSA – Future Health Professionals. Austin will attend Florida State University in the fall. His future may include a financial role as he enjoys his internship with Citizens First Bank. Austin is grateful for faith and family.

Another exceptional graduate living in Harbor Hills is Alexandra Held, daughter of Dr. Richard and Julie Held. She is graduating with high honors, is a member of the National Honor Society and has over 200 community service hours. Alex was a student in the Business and Banking Academy and will be interning at Citizens First this summer. She’s headed to the University of Tennessee in the fall, pursuing a marketing degree.

Congratulations as well to neighbor Nisha Upadya, graduating from Vanguard High School in Ocala. Nisha is the daughter of Drs. Shirikanth and Anu Upadya.

Our young people are striving to make the world a better place. We wish all the graduates good luck as they take the next step in their lives. They have already made us incredibly proud.

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