Kiwanis Club presents check to support education

Displaying checks from the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville Foundation are, from left, Sarah Trowell, principal of Eastside Elementary; Mike Lastra, principal of Brooksville Elementary; Natasha Saavedra, assistant principal at Pine Grove Elementary; Patty Martin, principal of Moton Elementary; Andrew Chamberlain, chief executive of Jericho Road Ministries; and Rick Carlton, treasurer of the Brooksville Kiwanis Foundation.

WellCome OM center to hold holiday dance party

SPRING HILL — WellCome OM Integral Healing & Education Center is inviting the public to its “There’s No Place Like OM for a Holiday Dance Party” on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the center, 4242 Lake in the Woods Drive, Spring Hill.

The public is invited to its first festive holiday party.

Elite Sounds Entertainment will be spinning live music and MC-ing. The party will include games, a photo booth, belly dance performances by WellCome OM’s own instructor, a comedian, salsa dance lessons by Carmen Friedberg and light bites to eat.

Festive attire is encouraged. Admission is free; however, the Boys & Girls Club of Hernando will be collecting financial donations and grocery gift cards at the door to benefit local children in need this holiday season.

Stage West offers some fun for the holidays and beyond

SPRING HILL — The monthly comedy club offering has changed its name to LAFFS2GO, and its first event under the new name is at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Host Rob Garguilo is bringing two very funny men to the stage.

Vinnie Ward is an award-winning Florida comedian whose work has been on social media, pay-per-view and Sirius XM satellite radio.

Al Ernst has been named Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Entertainer of the Year,” no mean feat when you consider that Carnival fills more than 5,000 entertainment gigs per year. He was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about clean comedy; and has been seen on HBO, Comedy Central, ESPN, TNN and A&E.

Preferred seating (VIP) is $18, and reserved seating is $15. The box office, doors and cantina open at 6 p.m. and the laughing starts promptly at 7 p.m.

For tickets and information on upcoming shows, see

Live Oak Theatre to hold Christmas festival

BROOKSVILLE — Live Oak Theatre and Conservatory will hold its annual Christmas festival on Saturday, Dec. 11, from noon to 5:30 p.m., following the Brooksville Downtown Parade. The festival will be on its grounds at the Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.

There are opportunities for craft and gift vendors. Vendor space is only $30. Vendors must supply their own tent, table and seating.

Admission and musical entertainment are free; however, a variety of food and family-friendly activities will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the Live Oak Theatre Company and Conservatory, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

For more information, email or call 352-593-0027.

HCFES Station 5 groundbreaking ceremony

SPRING HILL — A ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, to break ground on the new Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services Station No. 5, located at 9220 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill. The ceremony will be streamed live on the Hernando County Government Facebook page at

Tickets on sale for ‘The Little Earl’ at Live Oak Theatre

BROOKSVILLE — The Live Oak theatre will present the delightful musical “The Little Earl,” and tickets are on sale now.

“The Little Earl” will be performed Dec. 9, 10, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.

It is based on the classic, “Little Lord Fauntleroy,” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

This show for the Christmas season is presented in collaboration with Youth With a Mission Tampa.

Advance seats are $20 for adults and $8 for children ages 13 and under, when accompanied by an adult. Thursday and Friday evening shows are at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets at the door are increased to $20 for adults and $10 for children with an accompanying adult. Advanced prices are available up to 24 hours before each performance.

To purchase tickets, go to or email or call 352-593-0027.

Fickett Hammock Preserve improvements under way

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program announces the temporary closure of Fickett Hammock Preserve, 15842 Centralia Road, Brooksville, to begin construction and installation of a trailhead kiosk at the entrance to the Preserve.

The kiosk will provide information and a trail map for preserve visitors. Signs will be posted to notify the public of the closure for the duration of the work period. A separate announcement will be made once construction has been completed and the Preserve will reopen for public use.

Contact the Hernando County Planning Department at 352-754-4057 for more information.

Kiwanis Club presents check to support education

The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville was chartered on March 22, 1923. The 39 original members initially focused on city and county beautification projects during the 1920s, but soon branched into serving youth in Brooksville and Hernando County.

Today, the Foundation's endowment funds several scholarships that are awarded to local students each year to help them complete their educations; the club co-sponsors the Annual Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Student Recognition Celebration. Starting this fall, the Club’s Foundation will be holding quarterly check presentations supporting education and nonprofits in Hernando County

The recent check presentation included $10,000 for Hernando County-Brooksville elementary reading programs and $4,000 for Jericho Road Ministries Food Pantry.

SBA offers assistance to businesses, residents affected by September severe storms and flooding

BROOKSVILLE — Florida businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding on Sept. 15-19 may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The declaration includes Citrus County and the adjacent counties of Hernando, Levy, Marion and Sumter in Florida.

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Citrus County on Monday, Nov. 29, at noon at the Citrus County Canning Center. 3405 W. Southern St., Lecanto.

Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. It will close permanently at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Customer service representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at and should apply under SBA declaration #17270, not for the COVID-19 incident.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or emailing Loan applications may be downloaded at Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan. 14, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 15, 2022.

Utilities department offers over $400 in water-saving rebates

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Utilities Department announced that it is offering four water conservation rebate programs through Sept. 30.

A $125 water bill credit is available for qualified HCUD customers who have a home built before 2004 and wish to install low-flow toilets. Customers may receive credit on their water bill for up to two toilets (up to $250). Customers must utilize participating plumbers for the purchase and installation of the toilet. The participating plumbers this year are:

• Billy the Sunshine Plumber: 352-596-9191

• Reliable Plumbing: 352-686-7527

• Rich the Plumber: 352-584-2160

• Bayonet Plumbing: 727-863-5446

A $55 water bill credit is available for qualified HCUD customers who have a home built before 2010 and wish to add or replace a rain sensor on their irrigation system. Customers must utilize participating irrigation contractors for the purchase and installation of the rain sensor. The participating irrigation contractors this year are:

• Challenger Irrigation: 352-683-4040

• Sunshine State Sprinklers: 352-686-5924

• Vance Irrigation: 352-686-5388

Customers should first visit for more information on qualifications and requirements for these programs.

HCUD customers who attend a rain barrel workshop and purchase a rain barrel from HCUD will qualify for a one-time credit of $25 on their water bill. The credit will be raised to $30 in February 2022, as rain barrel prices will be rising. To find out more on how to attend a rain barrel workshop, contact Lilly Browning at or 352-540-6230.

Pre-qualifying HCUD customers may be eligible to apply for a rebate for purchasing a high-efficiency washing machine. This is an online only program.

Customers must request an authorization code prior to purchasing their washing machine to participate in this rebate program. A $100 water bill credit will be applied to qualifying customers’ water bill. Terms and conditions apply. Visit to learn more about the qualifications for this rebate and to request an authorization code.

Hernando Audubon birding events in December

• Hernando Audubon birding trip to Sweetwater Wetlands, Saturday, Dec. 11: At 8 a.m. meet in the parking lot at 325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville. There is a $5 per vehicle fee (correct change required). We will walk along boardwalks and crushed gravel trails that border ponds where we will see many species of ducks and wading birds. Contact Gwen at or 206-659-2677.

• Hernando Audubon Beginning Birding, Friday, Dec. 31. Meet at 8 a.m. at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville. Learn to identify birds at feeders during a short walk. There will be binoculars available for use. Contact Claudia at or 813-244-0305.