Fundraisers and Charities

Sumter’s Wal-Marts Team Up “For the LOVE of Animals”

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altLake Panasoffkee, FL-Wal-mart shoppers will again be able to help animals in need in Sumter County while doing their Valentine’s shopping at both of Sumter County’s Wal-Mart Supercenters. The Villages’ Wal-Mart, off of CR 466, will host the Humane Society/SPCA’s “Fill Your Hearts & Fill the Van” Donation Drive for much needed pet supplies on Saturday, February 12th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the store entrance. On Sunday, February 13th, Bushnell’s Wal-Mart, on CR 48, will also be hosting this event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

HS/SPCA volunteers will be out in front distributing their “Wish List” of needed items, providing supporters an idea of what is typically required in their daily care of the animals rescued. Shoppers can then easily purchase and donate them once they exit the store. Volunteers will be gratefully accepting donations of pet food, supplies & gift cards from the community as a recent plea for much needed pet food and monetary donations had been announced.

The HS/SPCA will also have adoptable animals for prospective forever families to meet a potential new Valentine of their own. The HS/SPCA does not do “same day” adoptions but interested parties will have the opportunity to complete applications for a pet that pulls at their heartstrings. Animal Adoption volunteer Sheri Evans commented that “there’s nothing more beautiful than finding the love of your life on Valentine’s! So consider yourself invited, stop by, shop and who knows, you might even fall in love!”

Supporters are also reminded of two fast approaching deadlines for other great events in February. The “Sumter’s Sweetheart” Online Pet Photo Contest will soon be coming to a close on February 11th, so cast your votes on their website before it’s too late and their Pet First Aid/CPR class on February 17th at The Villages Public Library from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. still has a few openings so sign up soon!

For more information on all their great animal activities, contact the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. at 352-793-9117, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit their website at www.hsspca.org for a full version of the “Wish List” and donation drop off locations throughout Sumter County.


Fancy Footwork: Mount Dora High Teachers to Compete in Dance Fundraising Event

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MOUNT DORA — Mount Dora High School, located at 700 N. Highland St., will host the Second Annual Dancing with the Teachers fundraising event on Saturday, February 19th at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

All proceeds will benefit the junior class and help toward prom expenses. Sixteen dedicated Mount Dora High School teachers have been paired up as dance partners and are learning dances from professional dance instructors.

To start the show, there will be a fun and entertaining hip-hop routine featuring the high school’s step team and a guest administrator. In addition, there will be a special encore performance by Freddy Allen, the “Prince of Pop,” featuring his famous Michael Jackson dance impersonation to hit songs.

Celebrity judges this year are Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders, and recently retired from Mount Dora High School, Sheila Unruh and media specialist Bettie Bailey. The judges will decide which couple wins the mirror ball trophy and will be crowned the winner of the Second Annual Dancing with the Teachers. This year’s event will also feature a chance for the audience members to submit a vote for their favorite dance couple.

Tickets are sold in advance; $5 for students and $7 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in the front office at Mount Dora High School or at Greenlee, Kurras, Rice and Brown located at 627 N. Donnelly St. For more information, call Mount Dora High School at (352) 383-2177.

Those participating in the Second Annual Dancing with the Teachers include:

Women:                                              Men:                                                  Dance:
Linda Bartley                                        John Hallowell                                      Waltz
Pat Moreau                                          Ariel Betancourt                                   Rumba
Megen Watkins                                    Tim Tedeschi                                        Hip-Hop
Natalie Shaffer                                    John Torre                                           Cha-Cha
Kara Semento                                     John Nelson                                         Evolution of Dance
Sharon Eslick                                       Donnie Burchfield                                Tango
Susan Ricci                                          Ed Thompson                                       Meringue
Marlene Straughan                              Rob Minichino                                      Mamba

Other contributors include:
•    MCs: Frank Wood & Marcelle McLucas
•    Hair & Make-up: Professional Mary-Kay make-up artists
•    Lighting & Sound: Mount Dora High School Drama Club & Band
•    Costumes: Courtesy of the Ice House Theatre
•    Dance Lessons: Dancin’ II Studio


Coat & Clothing Drive

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Help Local Triathlete Representing Team USA

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altEustis - Local triathlete and business owner Rick Copley has been chosen to represent Team USA for the Inaugural "Cross Triathlon 2011 ITU World Championship" to be held in Extremadura, Spain on April 30th. Rick will be racing as an amateur in the 35-39 age group.

The "Cross Triathlon" consists of a 1000m swim, 20k mountain bike and 6k trail run.

Information about the race can be found here: http://www.elanillo2011.org/

Rick is a personal trainer and fitness coach. Locally Rick is the founder of "Your Best Fitness Coach.com". To raise money for the trip to Spain he has been sponsoring 5k races in Lake county. There are still 3 more races in the Winter Trail Running Series 1/29 (Tavares Nature Park), 2/5 (Trout Lake Nature Center) and 2/12 (Emeralda Marsh).

As part of the fundraising Rick is also putting on a Valentines "Kiss Me" Relay on February 19th at 8am at the Trinity Church in Eustis. The relay is 2.5k for the ladies then 2.5k for the men. DG Promotions is the co-sponsor for this event.

This will be the second time that Rick has been honored to represent Team USA. In 2009 he competed in the ITU Duathlon World Championship in Concord, North Carolina. Rick has also done the Xterra (off road triathlon) World Championships three times and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships once in 2006 where he finished a strong 12th place in his age group.

Rick lives in Eustis and has an 11 year old son names Colby who is a 5th grader at Treadway Elementary school.

For more information please visit www.yourbestfitnesscoach.com.


LASER Seeks Donations for Storm Victims

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altEUSTIS — Lake And Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER) is soliciting donations from the community for residents who sustained damage to their homes during the January 25th storm that passed through Lake County.

LASER, a not-for-profit agency based in Eustis, is partnering with the United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties to help raise money. One hundred percent of funds received will go towards facilitating the repair and rebuilding of damaged homes.

“Because this wasn’t a declared disaster at the state or federal level, no monetary assistance is available for these families, some of whom did not have home-owners insurance,” said Michael Tart, Executive Director of LASER. “Our goal is to help these residents get back on their feet, and the only way we can do this is through the help of the community.”

There are two ways to make a donation:
1.    Send a check made payable to “Lake And Sumter Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER)” to 27 E. Pinehurst Blvd. Suite B, Eustis, FL 32726
2.    Stop by any Lake County SunTrust branch and drop off a check made payable to “United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties Disaster Account”

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners created LASER shortly after the devastating effects of the 2004 hurricanes. As a registered 501c3, not-for-profit organization, LASER’s mission is to strengthen recovery efforts from any disaster in Lake and Sumter counties. LASER conducts these operations through a coordinated communitywide approach, which provides for the immediate and long-term unmet needs of local citizens. In addition, as a not-for-profit organization, LASER has the ability to accept private and public donations to fulfill unmet needs of residents.

For more information about LASER, call (352) 483-1029 or log on to www.laserfl.com. For information about donations to the United Way, call 211.

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