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Applications available for fishing program

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2019-20 High School Fishing Program offers high school fishing clubs or teams the opportunity to apply for the Florida Sport Fish Restoration R3 Fishing Grant. This grant program is focused on recruiting new anglers, retaining active anglers and reactivating lapsed anglers to ensure the future of fishing in Florida.

The Florida Sport Fish Restoration R3 Fishing Grant will award 40 high school fishing clubs or teams up to $500 of financial assistance as a part of the 2019-20 High School Fishing Program. Program participants will receive an updated educational curriculum comprised of lessons and activities on fisheries conservation and resource management, plus a chance to compete with participating clubs or teams in the Costa Kick Plastic Conservation Project competition.

The grant program is open to new or existing freshwater or saltwater fishing clubs or teams at public, private and charter high schools throughout Florida. To be considered for the grant, high school fishing clubs or teams must have a minimum of five members and be represented by a school faculty member who will follow the provided instructor’s manual.

The application can be downloaded online at by scrolling just below the middle of the web page. The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. ET. Submit applications to or mail to FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, Attn: High School Fishing Grant, 620 S. Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Elks sponsors nationwide essay contest

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Grand Lodge is sponsoring a nationwide essay contest for students enrolled in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Students enrolled in these grades are invited and encouraged to participate. The theme for this year’s essay is “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me.”

Eligible participants must be students enrolled in the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth grade at the time of the contest. Essay length is not to exceed 300 words. Essay must be typed or legibly printed in ink. Also, essay must be submitted as written (or typed) by the entrant.

Essay must be submitted for judging to West Citrus Elks Lodge No. 2693, 7800 Grover Cleveland Blvd., Homosassa, FL by Dec. 15. Each entry must have Essay Contest Cover Sheet attached with participant’s name, grade and the school he/she attends.

The Grand Lodge will award plaques for first, second and third places for national winning essays. Winners will be announced at the Grand Lodge Session in Baltimore, Maryland, July 5-8, 2020.

West Citrus Elks Lodge has allocated cash prizes of $75, first place; $50, second place; and $25, third place, to winners who enter the contest through the lodge.

For more information, contact Jeannette Buck-Newhouse, West Citrus Elks Lodge No. 2693 Americanism chair, at 336-963-2079; email:

WTC offers carpentry class beginning Oct. 14

Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC) is offering a carpentry class from Oct. 14 to Nov. 29. The class will be held at the college Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. These are new dates for this class.

Class participants will learn employability skills, the proper use of hand and power tools, how to read plans and elevations, information about floor systems, wall and ceiling framing, roof framing, and installation of windows and exterior doors. Additionally, students will earn a Carpentry Level 1 certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and an OSHA 10-Hour Safety Card.

There will be a hiring event on site at the end of the class. Cost is $600. There is a $50 discount for the first 10 registrants.

Contact WTC at 352-726-2430 for more information or enroll online at

WTC offers basic home improvement class

Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC) is offering a basic home improvement class from Oct. 19 to Nov. 30. The class will be held at the college on Saturdays only from 9 a.m. to noon. These are new dates for the class.

Class participants will learn the basics of plumbing, electrical, drywall and repair. You will learn how to perform basic repairs and when or if you need a contractor, including whether you will need a building permit for your home project.

Cost is $100.

Contact WTC at 352-726-2430 for more information or enroll online at

Learn woodworking with WTC this year

Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC) is offering a beginner’s woodworking class from Oct. 16 to Dec. 11. The class will be held at the college on Wednesdays only from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. These are new dates for this class.

Class participants will safety training and how to use various hand and power tools. You will gain confidence and competence to work with wood and basic tools. You will also make a project to take home.

Cost of the class is $150.

Contact WTC at 352-726-2430 for more information or enroll online at

Of special note

Financial aid workshop at CF Citrus

High school seniors and incoming and current college students interested in getting assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can attend a workshop on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5-7 p.m. in the Citrus Learning and Conference Center at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.

Students younger than 24 years old are encouraged to attend with their parent or guardian. Required documents to bring include the student’s photo identification, parents’ and student’s 2018 income tax returns and all W-2s, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of parents and student, and records of all 2018 untaxed income.

Space is limited. Register at For more information, call 352-249-1215.

Students, mentors sought for Take Stock

Take Stock in Children is a school-based mentoring program that provides support, guidance and encouragement for students as they work their way through middle & high school and prepare for college. Each student in the program receives a college and vocational scholarship, a volunteer mentor and long-term support.

Take Stock in Children of Citrus County is a program sponsored by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and currently monitors 57 active students enrolled in Citrus County’s middle and high schools, Caring adults are needed to help make a difference by mentoring these students, once a week, in school, for 30 minutes. Mentor sessions will start at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Call Pat Lancaster at 352-422-2348 or 352-344-0855 to learn more about the program.

Scholarships & more

VFW scholarship programs

Students in grades 6-12 are welcome to participate in VFW Scholarship Programs for the 2019-20 school year.

Grades 9-12 are eligible to enter the “Voice of Democracy” contest. The theme for this year is “What Makes America Great.” The student is required to record their three-minute, no-longer-than-five-minute speech on a CD/flash drive. The CD/flash drive is to be submitted along with a typed copy of the speech and the entry form.

All materials must be submitted by Oct. 31 to a local participating VFW post. First-place prize is $30,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with cash awards all the way to 53rd place.

Grades 6-8 are eligible to enter the “Patriot’s Pen” written essay contest. The essay theme this year is “What Makes America Great.” The essay is required to be typed and cannot be fewer than 300 words or more than 400 words in length.

The essay and entry form must be submitted by Oct. 31 to a local participating VFW. First-place prize is $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with cash awards all the way to 53rd place.

Students in public, private, parochial and home-schooling are eligible. For entry forms, go online to — Community tab, Youth & Education tab.

For more information, contact VFW Post 4252 Youth and Education Committee Chair Bob Haines at or 352-527-4968; or VFW Post Cmdr. John Bond at or 248-379-6928.

DAR offers essay contest

The United States Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787, and each year, we celebrate Constitution Week from Sept. 17-23.

The Fort Cooper Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is promoting the reading of the U.S. Constitution with an essay contest which is open to all school-age students in Citrus County. One winner will be selected and receive $100.

To enter, submit a typed essay responding to “How has the 19th Amendment effected your family throughout the generations?” and a completed entry form by Sept. 30 to DAR Fort Cooper Chapter, 7749 West Inn Lane, Homosassa, Florida, 34446.

For more information, contact DeeDee Wilcox at or 352-634-4179.

Patriotic art scholarships available

VFW Auxiliary Dumas Hartson Post 8189 is excited to announce the kick-off of the VFW Auxiliary’s annual Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. Local students in grades nine-12 have the opportunity to compete for $31,000 in national scholarships.

Students must submit an original two- or three-dimensional piece of artwork. Digital art, photography and jewelry are not accepted. The entry must have completed during the current 2019-20 school year and the application must include a teacher or supervising adult’s signature.

Students begin by competing at the local VFW Auxiliary level.

The first-place winner from each Auxiliary advances to District competition (if applicable) with District winners advancing to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of $31,000 in national awards, and the national first- place winner is awarded a $15,000 scholarship. National first- through eighth-place winners are featured in VFW Auxiliary Magazine and on the VFW Auxiliary website. All state winning entries will be held and displayed and judged at the VFW Auxiliary National Convention that will take place July 18-23, 2020 in Reno, Nevada.

Student entries must be submitted to VFW Auxiliary Dumas Hartson Post 8189 by March 31, 2020. Interested students, parents and teachers should contact Roger Ingall at 352-697-1826 or at for more information.

To download an application and see the 2019 winners, visit

Take Stock offers college scholarships

Take Stock in Children ( is a statewide, school-based mentoring program that assists in creating a brighter future for deserving youths from economically disadvantaged families by providing college and vocational scholarships, volunteer mentors, support staff, early intervention and long-term support.

Its mission is to provide deserving qualified children with scholarships to college and guidance from caring mentors. Once students are accepted into the program, they remain in the program until they graduate from high school.

Upon graduation, students who complete the program will receive a two-year, tuition-free scholarship (two years of college in Florida) through a partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Contact the Take Stock Office at 352-344-0855 for more details, including income eligibility guidelines. The fall application deadline is Oct. 22.

Pick up an application packet from the guidance office at your school or visit the website at

Fleet Reserve essay contest begins

The Fleet Reserve Association’s National Committee on Americanism-Patriotism is sponsoring its upcoming annual Americanism-Patriotism Essay Contest, based on this year’s theme: “What My Vote Will Mean to Me.”

The essay contest’s Grand Prize is $5,000, with additional prizes for first place — $2,500; second place — $1,500; and $1,000 for third place in grades 7-12.

All national winners will receive an attractive plaque citing their achievement. Every entrant judged at the national level receives a “Certificate of Recognition.” Winners in the local area are judged by the Branch and then sent to the Regional Convention for further judging. Regional winners then advance to the National level for final judging. Additional prizes may be awarded at the Branch and Regional levels.

FRA’s essay contest is open to all students in grades 7-12 (including home schooled). Students attending grades 7-12 can contact their guidance counselor. Each entrant must be sponsored by an FRA member in good standing or by a currently chartered branch.

Local contact is Bob Huscher, Chairman, FRA Branch 186, at 352-344-0727. All entries must be submitted by Dec. 1 or sooner to the local chairman or to the student’s local school representative.

DAR seeks female scholars at WTC

The Fort Cooper Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is offering two $500 scholarships for young women enrolling at Withlacoochee Technical College who seek training in non-traditional female occupations. These scholarships represent the mission of DAR to encourage female participation in the trades workforce.

Funds are available for tuition, books, tools, fees and certifications. Financial need is of great importance and applications and guidelines are available in the WTC guidance office.

For more information, contact Fort Cooper DAR scholarship chairman Shirley Hartley at 352-270-8590 or

Take Stock in Children scholarships

Take Stock in Children is looking for students who have a dream of going to college. To be considered for a scholarship, your child must be in a public school, in the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth grade, meet the financial eligibility requirements, agree to remain drug, alcohol and crime free and get good grades.

Take Stock in Children’s two-year, tuition-free scholarships are provided through a partnership with the Florida Prepaid Foundation. Applications are now available in the guidance offices of Citrus County School District’s middle schools or high schools or through the Take Stock office (352-344-0855) or on our Take Stock in Children website:

For more information about the program, find out whether or not your child meets the eligibility requirements, call 352-344-0855.

Concert choir advances education

The Citrus Community Concert Choir offers a $1,500 scholarship opportunity to qualified students residing in Citrus County who wish to further their education in vocal or instrumental musical arts.

Information is at or call 352-637-2377.

Garden club environmental scholarships

The Riverhaven Garden Club in Homosassa has been giving scholarships for more than 20 years to area seniors interested in pursuing a career in botany, landscape design, or ecology. The scholarship alternates between Lecanto and Crystal River, since these are the two area high schools that students in Homosassa attend.

The scholarship amount has varied, as has the number of recipients, but we have given these scholarships for amounts between $500 to $1,500 toward a recipient’s college tuition. Email or call 352-621-3004 for information.

Classes and courses

Adult learning in Old Homosassa

The Old Homosassa Learning Center has a new Adult Learning Schedule. Call 352-628-9333 for information including prices.

The current lineup is: Monday at 9 a.m., yoga with Michelle DiDomenico; Tuesday at 10 a.m., Zumba with Nadeen Horak; Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., body sculpting with Michelle DiDomenico; Wednesday at 6:15 p.m., Zumba with Nadeene Horak; Thursday at 9 a.m., yoga with Michele DiDomenico; Thursday from 12:30-3 p.m., Sew Cool! Workshop with Faith Peix; and Friday at 10:30 a.m., body sculpting with Michelle DiDomenico.

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