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Well, hello again. As we head into 2022, I have reflected on the many ways we are “blessed,” which is our positive word for this week.

A popular singer from the 1950s made the hit parade list with his song about blessings: “When I’m worried and can’t sleep I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my. blessings ”.

When we sneeze, our volunteer friends say, “Bless you! Many others end a telephone conversation with “Blessed be you.” We offer pre-meal blessings that will nourish and strengthen us as we move forward in service to others.

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When we count our blessings, we are elevated in thought and attitude. We are blessed by the creativity that finds expression in our church and club projects and activities throughout the community, offering our gift of time and talent as a simple blessing given and received from our hearts with love.

Last month, as I sat on the church pew with my son, Lyman, and daughter, Sue, I felt so blessed that they were born here and live here, near me. We were there for the presentation of “A Classic Christmas” by my grandson Evan Strickland at the West Coast Christian School held in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Crystal River.

Principal Marlene Pringle greeted us and offered the opening prayer. My grandson, Evan Strickland, was joined by students Kyleigh Lindsey, Kayleena Dean, Jason Alfred, Ayden Pringle, Lela Cox, Alex Ruiz and Landon Cox. As a bell choir, the students performed the classic piece “What Child is This”. Miss Haley’s class performed “Baby Jesus, We Love You” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with a red nose that lit up and antlers. “Frosty the Snowman” was the next play, presented by Miss Haley’s class, as each student took turns at the microphone to read a scripture about the first Christmas of Jesus’ birth.

The Bell Choir students then presented “Silent Night” with the entire cast, some with two bells to ring at the appropriate time. A touching piece next was, “Noel”, a sign language presentation by Miss Elizabeth’s class, while the PowerPoint song “Noel” was sung by Christian artist Lauren Daigle.

The final piece was “Mary Did You Know,” presented by the class of Mrs. Shelly, my grandson Evan Strickland’s teacher throughout his study years at the school. At 18, he will graduate this year. Bravo to the disguises. They were extremely genuine. The scene with Evan, as Jesus, was powerful, healing the blind man with the plaster kneeling down to the floor with the lines from the PowerPoint: “Did you know your little boy was the perfect man in heaven?” “


The Veterans Administration is in need of volunteer drivers to take veterans to appointments at the Gainesville Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Villages Outpatient Clinic. Call 352-746-8005.

Taking Stock is in need of volunteer mentors to coach and provide long-term support to high school and high school students as they prepare for college. Call 352-344-0855.

The toll-free dental clinic needs volunteers to help with the thrift store, interview patients and answer the phone. Call Bonnie McMullin at 352-464-4348 for a presentation at your club or church group, or call Kevin on the same number to volunteer.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary needs volunteers for non-military, non-law enforcement programs, including vessel security checks, patrols, search and rescue, security and protection of the environment. Send an email to [email protected]

CASA (Citrus Abuse Shelter Association) needs Ziploc bags, kitchen trash bags, instant oatmeal, noodle cups, juice, Gatorade, Italian dressing and bottled water. Drop off the items at the CASA Outreach Office between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1100 E. Turner Camp Road in Inverness. Call 352-344-8111 to volunteer.


MLK Food Drive drive-thru drop-off continues through Jan. 14 at 2804 W. Marc Knighton Court in Lecanto. The campaign is sponsored by the Nature Coast Volunteer Center and the Ameri-Corps Seniors RSVP in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The American Legion Post 155 steak dinner is 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 and is limited to 100 dinners.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at the Art Center Theater continues January 14, 15 and 16 at the center located at 2644 N. Annapolis Ave., Hernando. Call the box office at 352-746-7606.

The Everly Brothers Tribute Concert will be held on Saturday, January 15 at 6 p.m. at the Citrus Springs Community Center at 1750 W. Citrus Springs Blvd. The event is sponsored by Citrus County Parks and Recreation. Call 352-527-7540. A tribute to Santana (“Moonflower”) is on January 28th.

The North Oak Baptist Church Gospel Music Concert takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at the church, 9324 N. Elkcam Blvd., Citrus Springs. E-mail

The Florida Manatee Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday January 15-16 in downtown Crystal River.

The First Methodist Homosassa Church Secondary Concert will be held on Sunday January 16 in the church’s communion hall at 8831 W. Bradshaw St., Homosassa. Call 352-382-4518.

The Catholic Woman’s Club Military Card Day will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church at 550 US 41 in Inverness. A buffet lunch is included. Call 763-560-7324.

The Citrus County Garden Club Mahjong Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, January 19 in the Windsor Hampton Hall of the Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club at 509 E. Hartford St. in Hernando. Call Dee at 352-697-1846.

The Tallahassee Legislative Days bus trip takes place on Wednesday and Thursday January 19 and 20, sponsored by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce. A gourmet, catered lunch is included. Call Ardath at 352-795-3149 for reservations.

The Gulf to Lake “Your Hearts Desire Arts and Crafts Fair” Baptist Church will be held at 9:30 am on Saturday January 22 at the church, 1454 N. Gulf Ave., Crystal River. Visit

The West Citrus Ladies of the Elks Fashion Show, “Celebrating the Fabulous You” will take place on Saturday, January 22 at 10:30 am at the lodge located at 7890 W. Grover Cleveland Blvd. in Homosassa. Lunch will be served. Call Kathy at 352-586-8886.

The Sugarmill Women’s Breakfast will be held on Monday, January 24 at 11 a.m. at the Sugarmill Woods Country Club at 1 Douglas Street in Homosassa. Call Carol at 352-503-6985.

Special note

Crystal River Christian Women’s Club President Carolyn Weisman informed me that the club has disbanded due to declining membership and a lack of members to sit on its board. The Homosassa Connections Club has invited members to join them at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Sugarmill Woods Country Club at 1 Douglas Street in Homosassa. Call 352-249-7244 for reservations.

Until next week, stay positive and be blessed to be a blessing.

Ruth Levins is involved in a variety of projects in the community. Let her know of your group’s upcoming activities by writing to PO Box 803, Crystal River, FL 34423.