Helping those in need
During 2022, the Two Men and a Truck moving company is trying to collect more than 250,000 items, such as cleaning supplies and personal health items, nationwide for moms who have sought assistance in a domestic violence shelter. Locally, the goal is to collect more than 1,000 items for the Ocala Domestic Violence Center, which works with abused and homeless mothers in need.
Rule changes:FWC changes captive wildlife permit rules; reptile, animal keepers want more clarity
Bakery by day, dessert bar by night:Soleil Bakery & Social House opens in downtown Ocala
Big restaurant news in Ocala:Tropical Smoothie, Chipotle and MISSION BBQ
Area students excel in higher education
Alecia McDonald of Summerfield was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Maryland global campus.
Maegan Pinkerton, a graduating senior at North Marion High School, has been awarded the William L. and Audrey Caton Endowed Scholarship to attend the College of Central Florida this fall. Pinkerton plans on studying physical therapy. This scholarship is awarded annually in memory of the Catons, who were both lifelong educators in Marion
Church quilters donate baby quilts
Morriston Baptist Church quilters recently donated 22 baby quilts, 33 bibs and 24 burp cloths to the Tri-County Pregnancy Center in Williston, according to an email from Linda Hall. These handmade items are given to new moms.
Ocala native serves as a member of US Navy’s submarine force
Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Buckner, an Ocala native, is stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, homeport to west coast ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines, according to a press release from Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel, Navy Office of Community Outreach . Buckner serves as a hull technician.
“I joined the Navy because I was at a point in life where the satisfaction of a normal 9 am to 5 pm job was no longer there,” Buckner said in the release. “I knew there were bigger plans in store for me. It took me a few years to understand the value of the decision I was making, but I would not trade it for the world.”
Buckner attended Forest High School and graduated in 2003.
Public Education Foundation of Marion County receives $20,000 donation
Two anonymous Marion County Public School graduates have donated $20,000 to the Public Education Foundation of Marion County’s Grants for Great Ideas program, according to a foundation press release from Gregory Davis, public relations officer.
Gordon Glover, president of the foundation board of directors, made the
announcement during the foundation event at West Port High School in Ocala.
The grant will help students in need through mental health and wellness initiatives. This corresponds with Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Leah Bender’s platform and her efforts to create new strategies to help student mental health, the release said.
Art students, teachers paint mural at VFW Post
West Port High School art students and teachers recently painted a mural at VFW Post 4781 in Ocala, according to a press release from Barb Anderson of the post.
The post offered a big thank you to the students and teachers who painted the patriotic mural on April 15-16: Kimberly Landin-Glass; Milo Moore; Reueleasha Jean Francois; Kadence Shick; Wyatt Jackson; Brayan Tapia; Alyssa Villion; Kaylee Ayala; Lekyrah Swanigan; Kamari Gibson; Chennai Scott; Ava Simmons, who created the artwork; Jennifer Moore, art teacher; Holly Roblin, art photography teacher; and Kathryn Davis, student teacher.
CF STEM Club selected as finalist in Innovation Challenge
Three members of the College of Central Florida’s STEM Club are headed to Arlington, Virginia, as finalists in the 2022 Community College Innovation Challenge, a press release from CF said.
Justin Bowen, Frankelly Guzman and Andrew Slaughter created a True Wireless Echocardiogram for the national competition, led by the American Association of Community Colleges in partnership with the National Science Foundation, the release said.
“Our team recognized that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,” CF STEM Club adviser Jose Toro-Clarke said in the release. “Identifying that one out of every four deaths is caused by heart disease, the students determined that making diagnostic testing readily available for patients could reduce the chances of
“With an increased chance of cardiac failure due to COVID-19 exposure, it is even more essential to find ways to test patients’ heart rhythms safely. Our team tackled this problem by creating a True Wireless ECG device that patients can take home to monitor their cardiac health without the need for a health care professional by their side.”
Frank DeLuca presents $250,000 check to Reilly Arts Center
On May 12, Frank DeLuca, president/owner of DeLuca Toyota, formally presented a $250,000 donation to the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala. The center recently completed a major expansion that includes, among other things, the Frank DeLuca Grand Lobby.
“This space (the lobby) is the heartbeat. When people come in, it’s the first thing they see, and it sets the tone for the entire experience. This gift was significant, helping us complete this part of the Reilly Arts Center expansion,” said Pamela Calero Wardell, the Reilly’s executive director, in the news release.
DeLuca added: “Giving back, not only does it feel good, but it’s the right thing to do. I’m proud and honored to support the arts and be a part of this great addition to the Ocala community.”
DeLuca and DeLuca Toyota have donated more than $11 million “to community outreach, charities and organizations over the past 45 years,” according to the release.
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