by SARAH NACHIN
On Saturday, February 29, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce held its second annual Home and Garden Show at the Sand Hill Boy Scout Reservation. According to Lisa Callea, Director of Events for the Chamber, the purpose of the event was to “showcase the trades industry.”
More than fifty vendors set up displays at the site. These ranged from real estate offices and banks to home-based businesses, such as Mary Kay. A number of non-profit organizations were also represented. There was even a very cordial manatee at the event.
Manny, the manatee (AKA David Pye) welcomed visitors to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park display. Pye is part of the dock staff and works at the canoe rental when he’s not dressed up as a friendly manatee.
Lisa Mills and Anthony Littrell were there representing The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch Thrift Store. The organization has six stores in which they sell used items to benefit the Youth Ranches. The Hernando County store is located at 1430 Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill.
Since 1957, The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch has been housing boys and girls who are considered “at risk.” The organization also has a summer camping program for children ages 10-15 at two locations. Except for the cost of a physical and transportation to the pick-up locations, the camps are free. Information on the youth ranch programs can be found at www.youthranches.org.
Since its founding, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch has served more than 130,000 children. Many of these children have gone on to lead successful lives. Anthony is an example of just one success story.
Anthony’s high school coach took him in when none of his relatives wanted him. He eventually came to the Youth Ranch last August when he was seventeen years old.
“Anthony has excellent grades, is the Senior Class President, played football and works at Publix on the weekend. He is a mentor to the other children in residence at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches,” states Lisa Mills, Director of Business Development for the organization.
And just recently he received word that he has been awarded a Congressional nomination to West Point.
“Because of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, boys and girls are able to face the future with a sense of direction, ability and hope,” concludes Ms. Mills.
Richard Bilodeau and Gloria Mitchell with First Class Flooring and Cabinet Design are an example of why business owners come to events such as the Home and Garden Show.
“We met a lot of people in our community that we feel we can help with their home projects,” states Ms. Mitchell.
The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce is an excellent source for business owners and organizations to get their products and services before the public and the business community. Not only does the chamber offer events like these, but it offers marketing, networking and training opportunities. For information on the chamber go to http://hernandochamber.com/