BLUEBIRD NESTS PART OF UNIQUE COMMUNITY IN HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Bluebird Box

A warm welcome to the many homeowners new to Harbor Hills. It’s great to see some new faces at the clubhouse, pool, courts and golf course. Tonight, we will gather in the Griffinview Lounge for the ‘Meet A Neighbor, Bring A Neighbor’ event. Two-for-one drinks, light appetizers and live entertainment can’t be beat for sharing the company of friends, old and new.

Speaking of positive receptions, Member Appreciation Day has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 17. Harbor Hills club members will be treated to a special afternoon event poolside. We expect a great turnout and lots of fun.

There are so many unique aspects to our community and the spectacular view is only one. Strolling peacocks and sand hill cranes dot the hills of our rolling fairways. Newcomers also notice small wooden nest boxes placed high on poles along our golf course.

In 2012, resident Debbie Schrader rallied the Harbor Hills community to create these nest boxes to provide a safe habitat for the declining population of bluebirds. Harbor Hills neighbors quickly responded. With the developer’s approval and the talent of neighbors Bill Stone and Jim Griffith, thirty of the boxes were crafted to house these brightly colored birds.

From mid-February through mid-July, the bluebirds lay about five light blue eggs to a nest. In just two weeks, the eggs hatch. The fledglings leave the nest 15 to 20 days later so golfers, be aware!

Fostering a love for these birds is exactly what Debbie hoped would happen. She estimated that 150 additional bluebird babies are added to our community annually. To enjoy the sights and sounds of these beautiful birds, visit Harbor Hills and experience our unique community first hand. We are open to the public seven days a week year round.

CELEBRATE SUMMERTIME WITH US AT HARBOR HILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

Sunday Brunch

Yummy! The month of July is filled with delectable holidays that give us reason to celebrate.  National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, Slurpee Day, National French Fries Day and my personal favorite, National Lasagna Day mark the month in both a sweet and savory style.

Harbor Hills Country Club challenges all those tasty summer holidays with its own array of dining choices. The public is invited to enjoy a Birdie Breakfast Buffet in the Signature Grille Room every Sunday from 8-10:45AM. Eggs and omelets made to order, waffles, bacon, muffins and more for $8.99/pp.

From 11AM to 2PM, Harbor Hills’ popular Sunday brunch is always open to the public and a very special choice. Located on the Upper Terrace, the view overlooking our Signature 10th fairway is spectacular. Eggs Benedict, made-to-order crepes, a carving station, seafood and outstanding desserts make for a unique experience. Reservations are required, 352-753-7000.

Every Wednesday, club members are treated to a special Member Dinner from 5PM-6:15PM. The Signature Grille menu is featured. As always, desserts are exceptional. RSVP by 1PM Wednesday.

Friday night dining features a special 2 for $40 menu from 5:30-8:30PM. Open to the public, it includes one starter to share, two salad bars and your choice of two entrees. During the summer months, not every Friday is offered. Check with the clubhouse at 352-753-7000 for more information.

This Saturday, Harbor Hills Country Club members will be treated to a special event. It’s Member Appreciation Day, poolside from 12-3PM. Grilled hot dogs and chips are complimentary. Enjoy the cash bar and drink specials, too. Call the club to RSVP at 352-753-7000. I will see you there!

PHYSICAL FITNESS PLAYS A ROLE IN A GOOD GOLF GAME BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

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 tpi.com, for exercises and the tip of the day. As Player said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get!”

HARBOR HILLS LADIES CHARITY AND LAKE HILLS SCHOOL BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

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.

INDEPENDENCE DAY REMINDS: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

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!

PAGEANT HELPS GIRLS DEVELOP IMPORTANT SKILLS BY NIKKI HOFFMAN

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 misslakecountypageant.com. Please come out and support our Lake County girls!

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