A love for music and helping people

Local musician, Lenny Nicotri, has had a long career in music and a few ups and downs in his life. Now, he is happily retired from the demanding and hectic life he led for seventeen years. But he didn’t give up music entirely. Lenny plays guitar and sings with a local band called Alabama Rain that is made up of two other musicians – Michael Morelli on drums and Chris VonBartheld who plays keyboard and also sings. 

‘Sean of The South’ visits Weeki Wachee

His father committed suicide using a hunting rifle, when he was just 12 years old.

He had a life-changing decision to make after his father’s tragic death; which was undoubtedly an unfair situation for a boy his age.  

The life-changing decision: What does he do with his life?

Born in Missouri, Sean Dietrich moved to Florida at the age of 14. It was two years after his father’s suicide.

Since then, he has called Florida his home; only to figure out his soul belonged in the Deep South.

Second Annual Ride for the Dawn raises money and awareness of domestic violence

On Saturday, September 28, the Dawn Center of Hernando County held its second annual Ride for the Dawn. The organization works with men, women and children who have been victims of domestic or sexual violence. Among the services it offers is a hotline, outreach services and an emergency shelter.

As April Johnson, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Dawn Center, stated, “This whole event was the brainchild of an amazing girl, Alyssa Barocas.” 

Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando County receives grant

The Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando County (CAC) recently received a grant for $2,000. Rodney Tower, a retired police officer who is now a Senior Manager for Law Enforcement Relations with a company called Aftermath presented the check to the organization on Monday, September 16. Several years ago, Aftermath instituted a program called “Why We Serve.” Each year, they hold a contest throughout the United States for community based non-profit organizations to develop a public service announcement (PSA) detailing who they are and what they do.

Golf Tournament to Benefit HPH Hospice

Not very long ago, Patrick Hramika was a hospice patient.  Given a terminal diagnosis, and perhaps a year to live, Hramika and his family made arrangements with the HPH Hospice for his care during that time.

The remarkable part of Hramika’s story is; few hospice patients make a full recovery and go on to lead a charity golf tournament to benefit their local hospice. 

The fruits of their labor

On the fourth Saturday of September, many volunteers participate in National Public Lands Day. It’s a day to bring together hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. On Saturday, September 28, 2019 many volunteers from individual and organizational groups gathered at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to help with much-needed landscaping and general clean-up.

Laura Basamania maintains landscaping areas at the park and has been doing so for the past four years. Volunteers contributing their time is much appreciated.

Wait… A Horseshoe Crab is not a Crab? Things you learn when you volunteer!

On September 13, 2019 the University of Florida/IFAS Extension at Hernando County offered a training program for participation in the Horseshoe Crab Watch Citizen Science Program. Volunteers had the opportunity to learn about the program and especially about horseshoe crabs, which are not crabs. They are closely related to spiders and other arachnids. We all reacted the same way. See what you can learn when you volunteer!