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2011 GeorgeFest “Royalty” is Announced

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2011 GeorgeFest Queen Nicki Coyle & King John Roberts (top). 2011 GeorgeFest Princess Katie Cochran & Prince Jacob Santos (bottom).2011 marks the 109th consecutive annual celebration of GeorgeFest, the longest running festival celebrating George Washington’s birthday in the state of Florida.   Sponsored by the Lake Eustis Chamber of Commerce and our proud partner, the City of Eustis, the festival is an important piece of living, local history. The theme of this year’s festival is “America the Beautiful” celebrating our nation’s scenic vistas.

Each year a king, queen, prince, and princess are selected to reign over the festivities.  Serving as the 2011 royalty are:  King John Roberts, Queen Nicki Coyle, Prince Jacob Santos, and Princess Katie Cochran.

John Roberts is a long time resident of Eustis.  He is a life member of the Eustis Elk Lodge and Past President of the Eustis Kiwanis Club.  He served 3 different terms as president of the Lake County Board of Realtors and was Realtor of the Year in 1975.  He started John Roberts Realty in July of 1971.  John is currently on the Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is Chair of the Economic Development Committee. 

Nicki Coyle, originally from Kentucky, has lived in Eustis for 38 years.  She began her teaching career at Umatilla Elementary and also taught for 28 years at Triangle Elementary in Mt. Dora before she retired.  Now she spends much of her time volunteering for local organizations such as Angel Flight where she was chosen Earth Angel Volunteer of the year.  In addition, she donates her time to Hospice, the Bay Street Players, and The Samaritan Inn, a shelter for homeless families in Leesburg.  Nicki is a member of the Eustis Chamber and has served on the Board of Directors.  She is also a chamber Ambassador and was given the Volunteer of the Year Award at the 2010 Gala Awards Banquet. 

Jacob Santos and Katie Cochran are middle school students.  Katie has lived her entire life in Eustis and loves visiting the historic Clifford House Museum and conducting science experiments.  Jacob is an avid sports fan and especially enjoys running.  As a member of the JV cross country team for Tavares Middle School, he came in 2nd place in the State competition.  He plans to attend Clemson University and major in electrical engineering.

GeorgeFest 2011 promises to be full of fun and family entertainment, as it has been for the last 108 years! Come out and take part with pride in a triumphant celebration of our country’s founding Father, George Washington.  For more information, please contact the Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce at (352) 357-3434, visit us on the web at www.eustischamber.org, or follow us on Facebook!
 

Update from February 14th Meeting of Lake County School Board

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altTAVARES — The Lake County School Board met on Monday, February 14th, and an item on the agenda that affects every student, days they will be attending class next school year, easily won approval from Board members.

The District is required to develop and implement a 180-day student calendar for each school year. In order to comply with the requirement, a committee composed of employee representatives, parents, citizens and administrators developed two options for the 2011-2012 school year.

The options were distributed to all schools and departments in the Lake County Schools District for review and selection. The results of the survey revealed the majority of respondents favorably accepted option one, which was proposed to the Board for approval. The calendar provides the student attendance days, breaks and holidays for the 2011-2012 school year.

Notable dates on the 2011-2012 school year calendar include:
•    Aug. 22 – First day of school
•    Sept. 5 – Labor Day
•    Oct. 24 – Student holiday (break in-between first & second grading period)
•    Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
•    Nov. 23-25 – Thanksgiving holiday
•    Dec. 19-30, Jan. 1-3 – Winter break
•    Jan. 16 – MLK Jr. Birthday
•    Jan. 20 – Student holiday (break in-between second & third grading period)
•    Feb. 20 – Presidents’ Day
•    March 19-23 – Spring break
•    April 6   Student holiday (break in-between third & fourth grading period)
•    May 28 – Memorial Day
•    June 6 – Last day of school

In other business,
•    The School Board unanimously approved the second reading of an amendment to Lake County Schools Code of Student Conduct & Policy Guide. The amendment prohibits the possession, distribution by sale or otherwise, or use on school campuses of K-2, a form of synthetic marijuana.
 

Economic Action Workshop Deemed a Success

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Lake County’s first Economic Action Workshop took place on February 1st at Lake-Sumter Community College.LEESBURG - The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held its first Economic Action Workshop at Lake-Sumter Community College on Tuesday, February 1st with over 100 people in attendance.

“We really appreciate everyone’s participation,” said Darren Gray, County Manager. “It’s only through communication and dialogue that we will make Lake County a better place to prosper.”

The event was organized as a round-table discussion that included representatives from local businesses, government agencies and community organizations.

The discussion centered on ways to enhance Lake County’s economic outlook and promote Lake County as a business-friendly community. Attendees were encouraged to brainstorm ideas and give input on the County’s vision. Also discussed were strengths and weaknesses for marketing Lake County to businesses, along with specific suggestions and policies that need to be addressed.

The information gathered at the workshop will be used to develop an Economic Development Action Plan to present to Commissioners and residents in the next 45 days.

The County began actively soliciting suggestions from the community last December for ways to grow business in Lake County. Suggestions received were used for planning the discussion at the workshop. 

The County is once-again soliciting community input in anticipation of an additional workshop to be held in March. Ideas and suggestions can be submitted by logging on to the Lake County website at www.lakecountyfl.gov/businessideas, and either downloading the form to submit via U.S. mail, fax, hand-delivery or e-mail; or by filling out the available Web form. The next deadline for submissions is March 4th.
 

Is your Rubber Ducky the One?

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altTAVARES — Less than two weeks remain to purchase ducks for a chance to win a college education at the 2nd Annual No Duck Left Behind Rubber Ducky Race.

Tickets for the No Duck Left Behind Rubber Ducky Race are $10 for three duck adoptions and are available at 36 participating school sites or on facebook.com/noduckleftbehindrace. Payment is due by Friday, February 18th.

“You can win a college education or one of over $5,000 worth of prizes for your child, grandchild or any child who is enrolled in Lake County Public Schools,” said Carman Cullen, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation of Lake County. “You can also donate and adopt a duck for a student who cannot afford one.”

Come to the race and carnival from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. on March 5th at Wooton Park in Tavares and see a seaplane drop the ducks from the sky. School carnival booths will have food, games and prizes. The event includes free moonwalks, obstacle courses and non-stop entertainment.
 

Eustis Fire Department Receives $57,000 Grant for Lifesaving Equipment

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 15-Lead Monitor / DefibrillatorEustis, FL – The Eustis Fire Department moved one step closer to providing Advanced Life Support (ALS), thanks to the Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which was awarded to the department.  The 95% matching grant, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides the city with $57,000 toward the $60,000 cost to purchase two monitor/defibrillators.  The devices, which allow a paramedic to monitor and stabilize a patient’s cardiac and respiratory functions, are essential tools for providing Advanced Life Support (ALS).

During a December 2009 workshop, the Eustis City Commission directed staff to move forward to meet the requirements for the City to provide ALS to residents.   The Eustis Fire Department, which currently employs Emergency Medical Technicians to provide Basic Life Support (BLS), began immediately to implement the commission’s decision.

“We have two firefighters who are already paramedics,” says Eustis Fire Chief Rex Winn, “and there are three more firefighters finishing up training with three more scheduled to begin classes soon.”

With a new rescue vehicle, which the Commission approved in the latest budget, the monitor / defibrillator grant and trained personnel, the Department aims to be ready to start providing ALS services in October of this year.
 
“For the 2009 workshop, we identified the steps necessary to provide ALS,” says Winn.  “We’ve implemented the plan and this grant will shorten the time our residents wait for a lifesaving medication or procedure.”
 
As the department already responds to medical calls for services, this change ensures that Eustis personnel are better able to assist Lake-Sumter EMS, which provides transport services for Eustis residents.
 
The City of Eustis Fire Department protects a population of more than 18,000 citizens and responds to more than 3800 calls for service each year.  With a staff of 20 firefighters, the fire chief and one inspector, the department has achieved a ‘3’ protection class rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

 
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