Things to do

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'Dye'ing to Run

Athletes and supporters will be ‘dye’ing to run on Saturday, March 18, at Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School.

No, really, dyeing to run... or dyed as they run in the Dyeing to Run 5K. Hosted by the South Sumter High School National Honor Society, the color run is a fundraiser for SCARC,Inc. and involves runners being blasted with paint along the race course.

Participants are advised to wear a white shirt of their own, or the shirt given to them the day of the race. Along the 5k route there will be color stations set up, so the runners will leave doused with color. Every year the National Honor Society completes a service project, the past couple of years they have been collecting can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

 This year the high school students have decided to help out locally. The organization, SCARC, is currently attempting to raise $17,860. They have many building improvements they are working towards so that they can serve more people. The student goal is to raise all of the money, enabling SCARC to serve as many citizens as possible.

If you would like to register to run in the 5k, you can pick up a registration form from the front office of South Sumter High School. 

The cost is $25 for pre-registration and $35 on the day of the event.

For more information or to register, contact Amy Ashley at ashleyamy0413@gmail.com or by calling 352-461-4628.

Bushnell Craft Fair cancelled

The City of Bushnell has cancelled its 3rd Annual, Crafts on the Corner Craft Show in the Downtown Bushnell Park! This event had been set for Saturday, March 4.,

Minnesota Reunion

Minnesota reunion picnic 35th annual,  March 14,  (second Tuesday). Hickory Point Recreation Facility, 27341 SR 19, Tavares,  9 a.m. - 2 p.m. social, 11:30 Potluck. Bring tableware, No alcohol; Meet old/new friends.  Contact Bonnie Neuman  407-808-3385 or Art/Elaine Kolle 352-771-0151,

Life Line Screening

United Church of Christ at The Villages is pleased to offer a preventive health event.  Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will host their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings on March 9.  Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount).  All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete.  In order to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-888-653-6441 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com/communitycircle.

Food giveaway

A USDA food giveaway will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on the first and third Wednesday of every month. The distribution will be at the Lake Panasoffkee United Methodist Church ( Church of the Fishermen). 

A limited number of packages are available on a first-come, first- serve basis. 

The church is located at 589 N C.R. 470 in Lake Panasofffkee. 

Please call 352-793-3438 for more information.

The new food pantry hours to help serve the Lake Panasoffkee and Sumterville area are: 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.  on  Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Working with youth

The Executive Board of the Fifth Circuit Department of Juvenile Justice is offering their free annual conference for any individuals in the circuit area, working with youth.

The conference has been relocated to Lake County and will be held on April 7 at the Trinity Assembly of God Church in Fruitland Park.

The conference will offer training in: Georgetown Crossover Youth Practice Model, Civil Citations and Restorative Justice, How to Work with Human Trafficking Survivors, CINS/FINS, Overview of Juvenile Incompetency to Proceed, Project CONNECT, and Resiliency:  Access to Care.

The public is welcome to attend and registration is encouraged.

Peach trees

Since April of last year, our Sumter County 4-H and FFA members have been working hard growing and caring for their peach trees. They have attended educational workshops, learned about the peach tree industry and toured our local peach tree orchard.

 During the Sumter County Fair, the trees will be judged and sold via silent auction. The auction begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 3, and closes at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 10. 

The silent auction bid sheets and peach trees will be on display in the Family Living Exhibit. A bid number can be obtained by contacting the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County office at 569-6862.

Following payment, you may pick up your purchased tree(s) by 6 p.m. on  Monday March 13.

Community yard sale

A community yard sale is planned from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, at Second Chance Blessings Thrift Store in Bushnell. The store is located at  100 E. Dade Avenue (behind the library). There is a $10 per space fee. Bring your items and set up your tables.

Sussex County residents to gather for 24th picnic

Previous or present Sussex County, New Jersey residents are invited to the 24th annual picnic on March 11 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Dade Battlefield Park in Bushnell. 

Guests of Sussex County residents are also invited. 

A sheltered pavilion with picnic tables is available, bringing folding chairs is encouraged. Picnic goers must bring their own food and beverage. 

Please register upon arrival. Tickets for a 50- 50 drawing will be sold during the day.

Organizers are concerned that this could be the last picnic as the numbers have dwindled over the years. 

For information call Jerry and Liz Brock, Dunnellon, 352-489-5530.

Dade Battlefield Park is located just off State Road 48 and I-75. Take exit 314 and follow the brown park signs. 

Special sale

The Tri-County Community Association is now accepting donations of good usable items for their Semi-Annual Yard Sale/Bake Sale to be held March 24 and 25 at the Tr-County Community Center located at 28444 Forbes St., Nobleton.  For more information on drop-offs or pick-ups, please call Marge Archer (352)568-0216 or Dorrie Lewis (352)587-4014.

Relay golf tourney

The 4th Annual Relay for Life Golf Tournament is slated for March 18 at Arlington Ridge. There'll be a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. for the event, which will benefit the American Cancer Society.

Teams of four - four-person scramble on 18 holes of golf. 

The entry fee is $60 per person and lunch is included.

Mulligans are $10 each, along with 10 drawing tickets for chances at door prizes. There'll also be Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive.

Door prize tickets are sold for $1 each or six tickets for $5.

For more information, call Byon Smiddy 352-303-7737, Lisa Perryman 352-603-3335 or Meagan Thurston 352-255-0665.

Pulled pork plates

The First Baptist Church of Bushnell's Relay for Life team will have a pulled pork fundraiser on Saturday, March 4, at the park on the plaza in downtown Bushnell. The park is located in the center of the downtown area, directly in front of and across the street from the historic Sumter County Courthouse.

Set from 9 a.m. until they run out of food, the meal will include pulled pork, barbecue beans, coleslaw and soda or water for $10 per plate.


Master Gardeners Festival

Welcome spring at the hugely popular Plant and Garden Festival! Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 19 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The grounds of the Wildwood Community Center at 6500 Powell Rd. (CR 139), just one mile south of Rt. 466A, will be overflowing with vendors offering many sought-after plants and garden items. 

 The Festival vendors will feature a large selection of nursery plants including native plants, shrubs, perennials, annuals, herbs, butterfly plants, orchids and so much more.  To enhance the beauty of your garden, there will be numerous choices of outdoor structures, garden and yard art, pottery, and arts and crafts. Don’t miss the farm fresh produce and outstanding raffle table. 

Our “Ask the Master Gardener” booth will be available to answer all your gardening questions. Join Jim Davis, UF/IFAS Extension Horticulture Agent, and other guest speakers “Under the Tent” for informative plant talks. Our best-selling book, Gardening in Sumter County Month-by-Month, will be available for sale. 

Admission is $1 per person and children under 12 are free. There is plenty of free parking and only service animals are welcome.   

All proceeds support UF/IFAS Sumter County Master Gardener events and outreach programs. For additional information call the Sumter County Extension Office at 352-689-569-6864 or e-mail askthemastergardener@ifas.ufl.edu.

Republican Club

The Republican Club of Sumter County will meet at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 16, at the Sumterville Community Center located at 2427 CR 522, just off US 301.     For more information please contact Roger Jones at 352-793-3895.

Humane Society event

The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County will be hosting a special dual celebratory event on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at their shelter in Lake Panasoffkee. 

This year marks their 35th anniversary proudly serving Sumter County's animals in need. In addition, they will be celebrating Earth Day with many "green" activities such as meeting local wildlife rehabilitators and animals, free educational information of the many Florida native animal and plant species and how to experience Florida's beautiful environment provided by FWC, UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension Residential Horticulture Agent Jim Davis, UF/IFAS Sumter County Master Gardeners, FL Native Plant Society/Sumter Chapter, Shady Oaks Gather All Nursery, Nature Coast CISMA and more exhibitors. Native plants, food, music, shelter tours and demos will provide visitors many ways to enrich our community.

This Earth Day/35th Anniversary event will also be host to multiple recycling opportunities such as a Book Swap, where people can bring any donated books, emphasizing themes of animals/nature/travel and have the opportunity to receive free books in return.

"It's as simple as 'bring a book, take a book' in order to recycle and share throughout our community" Fundraising/PR Chairperson, Claudia Labbe, explained. "Other book topics are also welcome but the main theme is to keep with animals, the environment, nature and travel throughout our beautiful planet" she added. If someone does not bring any books, they may make a donation for ones they wish to get at the book swap. In addition to the book swap, there will many items available in a yard sale. 

Any items which remain after the event will be donated to assist local charity thrift stores.

For those who wish to repurpose their used pet items (leashes, harnesses, crates, beds, towels, litter boxes, etc.), they can be brought on Earth Day and receive a tax receipt on the spot. 

Aluminum cans, used ink cartridges, old cell phones and tablets will be accepted for recycling as well to assist in the HS/SPCA's fundraising/recycling efforts. 

Car Wash

The South Sumter Middle School FBLA will have a car wash from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at Bushnell Tire (Goodyear) on Main Street. 

Proceeds will be used to fund the State Leadership Conference trip March 23 - 26. 

Shopping extravaganza at

Bushnell Church bazaar 

 The Bushnell First United Methodist Church Annual Spring Bazaar will be held on the church grounds from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., this Saturday, March 4.  The church is located at 221 W. Noble Ave. in Bushnell.   

The garage closet/treasures/rummage sale, with bargains galore, is just one of the favorite featured activities.  This sale offers a wide variety of items of every description for individual and household use. There are no advance sales.

The landscape plant sale will feature plants for every location in your yard. If you’re thinking of replacing an overgrown shrub or replanting your entire landscape, be sure to stop at this sale first.

There will also be a donations only pancake breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and a chicken and rice lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $6 per plate.

For more information, contact the church office at 793-3221.  The office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

If you're looking for bargains and good food, you'll find both at the Methodist Church's Spring Bazaar.  Don't miss this shopping extravaganza.

Calling all four-year-olds

The Sumter County School Board announces the registration details for their VPK Round-up.

Bushnell Elementary School will hold their registration round-up on Thursday afternoon, April 6; Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School will hold their registration round-up on Tuesday afternoon, April 11; Webster Elementary School will hold their registration round-up on Thursday afternoon, April 20; Early Learning Academy will hold their registration round-up on Tuesday afternoon, April 25 at Wildwood Elementary School.

The times for each of the registrations are from 3 p.m. to 5:30 respectively.

Parents/Guardians should bring the following items to the registration round-ups: a certified birth certificate, current immunization record, a school physical dated within one year of the first day of school and a certificate of eligibility (for questions about the COE please call 793-5430.)

Any child who resides in Sumter County and turns four years of age on or before Sept.  1,  qualifies to register. Voluntary Prekindergarten is free to every student and acceptance into the program is not based on family income. Space is limited so don’t delay. Children are NOT required to attend registration.

For more information, please contact your child’s school or contact Jeanne Harris-Lively            at 793-9444.

Kindergarten Round-up

If your child turns five years of age on or before September 1, he/she is eligible to enroll in  kindergarten. The Sumter County School Board would like to invite all parents of eligible students to attend a registration event near you! This year our registration procedures have been revised, so mark your calendars with the following information:

On April 1, registration packets are available. Parents may pick up a registration packet at the following school sites: Bushnell Elementary School, Webster Elementary School, Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School and Wildwood Elementary School. Parents are asked to complete the registration packet at home and gather the necessary documents before registration. 

On April 1, open enrollment also begins. Parents may drop off a completed packet at your child’s school, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be after-hours, extended registration dates. The dates are as follows: On Thursday, April 6 Bushnell Elementary School; On Tuesday,  April 11 Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School;  On Thursday, April 20 at Webster Elementary School and on Tuesday, April 25 at Wildwood Elementary School. The times at each school on their respective dates will be from 3 p.m. to  5:30 p.m.

Please bring your child’s updated shot record, a school physical, dated a year from the first day of school and a certified birth certificate. For more information, please contact your child’s school or call Jeanie Davis at 793-5405.