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Waldo’s glimpse into the past at Annual Cultural Affair

WALDO – “These are pants from the first war and this is a bayonet from the Civil War.” Robert Hill, 55, demonstrated the items he had brought for display on Saturday, Feb. 23. Donated to him and passed down by his relatives, Hill showed pictures of soldiers from the Civil War, mess kits and even a weapon carrier from the Spanish American War.

Hill was one of the many people with items on display for the cultural affair in Waldo. The week-long event began on Monday, Feb. 18, and ended Feb. 23, taking place in the Waldo Community Center located at 13550 NE 148 Avenue.

Sponsored by The Waldo Concerned Citizens for the Community (WCCC), Inc., the organization has aimed to get more involved with children and young adults. Students from the Waldo Community School in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades attended the fair on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to learn about The Black Heritage Trail, Tuskegee Airmen and African American History and poetry.

Randy Adams, known as “The Wayward Potter,” had his display of unique and handmade pottery. A University of Florida graduate, he has been told that he is one of the best pottery artists in the southeastern United States and has participated in many folk art festivals.

“I like to make functional pottery art and I like being specific,” Adams said. “I see art different and I see people different.”

His pieces include chalices for ministers, an African Udu, jugs and pitchers that portray fish or the head of Abraham Lincoln and cups with scriptures.

Mary Ann Rich spoke about the history of some of the surrounding buildings. The Waldo Community Center, which was built in 1954, was once a cafeteria.

“We have this event on African American history every year on the last Saturday of February,” said Barbara Rainer-Lee, a member of WCCC.

All the items on display were donated by members of the community and are displayed every year matching up with Black History Month and its relation to Waldo’s own history. Bottles of moonshine, uniforms, pictures of the first black schoolhouse in Waldo were some of the select items chosen for this year.

“There are many more items that we didn’t show today,” said Rich.

Members of the WCCC include Mary Ann Rich, Barbara Rainer-Lee, Christine Mays and Larry O’Neal. Established in 1982, the annual cultural affair event began more than 10 years ago. This year was the first time that the event last an entire week.

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Scouting adventures at Camp Buc Tuocs

W - Buc Tuocs rocket 485W - Buc Tuocs Eddie Eagle 440W - Buc Tuocs candle 452MELROSE – The weekend of Feb. 1-3, Alachua Cub Scout Pack 88 attended the annual Camp Buc Tuocs campout held at Camp Shands near Melrose. Approximately 15 boys and their parents weathered 23 degree temperatures overnight and camped out in tents for the annual event.

Friday night the boys were responsible for setting up camp and cooking dinner. Afterward, they were free to run around the camp and play, ending the night with a campfire and s'mores.

Saturday morning they were up early making breakfast and breaking down camp before a fun filled day of activities. The camp staff set up various activity stations for the boys to experience new and exciting adventures.

The scouts started their morning with a flag ceremony and a lesson from Eddie Eagle about gun safety. Next they went on to candle making, archery, catapults, BB guns, rocket making and bugs. Each station lasted 50 minutes and included instruction and hands on experiences.

Saturday night ended with the traditional campfire. While some of the boys stayed Saturday night, others returned home after a long day of excitement and new adventures.

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Alachua Elementary honors Veterans

W - Alachua Vet - IMG 7336 copyALACHUA – Alachua Elementary School students celebrated Veterans Day with a lively ceremony Thursday.

The ceremony, “A Celebration of our Heroes,” was open to the public, and over 20 veterans attended.

Faculty members, dressed as Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross, shared facts about U.S. history as birds chirped in the chilly morning air.

Students sat on the pavement, waved miniature American flags and sang patriotic songs like “Grand Old Flag,” “God Bless America” and “God Bless the USA.” Veterans were recognized individually for their service.

School principal Evelyn Copeland said the ceremony is held every year out of respect for the country’s servicemen.

“It’s so that we can honor our veterans,” she said. “This is an important way to show the sacrifice veterans have made.”

She said students often invite fathers and grandfathers who have served in the military to the ceremony. Copeland said most veterans think the ceremony is nice and are thankful the school organizes it each year.

Marine Cpl. Charles Dampier said he enjoyed the ceremony. Dampier served 2006 through 2010, and he was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I came for my cousin,” he said. “I liked seeing the kids with their flags.”

Dampier said he thinks it’s important to acknowledge Veterans Day.

“A lot of people don’t understand the hardships military [personnel] go through,” he said. “It’s important to recognize it.”

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Author shares with High Springs students

W - HSCS annlazotte copyLocal author and librarian, Ann LaZotte visited Mrs. Wheeler's 2nd grade class at High Springs Community School on Wednesday, Dec. 12. She discussed what it's like to be an author and to be deaf.

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Relay Ole to kick off High Springs/Alachua Relay for Life 2013

W_-_Relay_Kickoff_002_Marilyn_and_Anne_copy Marilyn Vanover and Anne Chumley from Alarion Bank

HIGH SPRINGS – On Thursday, Oct. 25, Relay for Life of High Springs/Alachua, a major fund-raising event of The American Cancer Society, had its Kick-Off Party at the High Springs New Century Woman’s Club for the upcoming May 3-4, 2013 event.

There were over 50 people in attendance and the evening was filled with tasty food, including numerous pizzas from the new Pizza2Go that were donated by Alarion Bank, a heart-touching survivor’s story by Toni Warren, a spirited Wobble Dance led by Linda Hewlett and an inspiring Luminaria ceremony conducted by Vickie Cox.

The purpose of the Kick-Off was to inform people of the upcoming event, explain what individuals and organizations can do to take a part and encourage teams to register and pay their $100 team commitment fee. By the conclusion of the Kick-Off party, 10 teams from the High Springs/Alachua area had registered and paid their commitment fee, and over $200 had been raised through chance drawings and the sale of cancer awareness necklaces and other trinkets as well as bandanas for a cure.

Last year’s 2012 High Springs/Alachua Relay for Life raised over $21,000 and had 19 teams participate in the 18-hour event.  Challenging goals of raising over $100,000 and having over 30 teams participate have been set for the upcoming event. Since the 2013 Relay for Life falls between Pioneer Days in High Springs and Cinco de Mayo, the theme is “Relay Ole,” which will include both a western and Hispanic rodeo and fiesta motif.  The spirited 18-hour event will be geared toward celebrating those who have dealt with, or are dealing with cancer, remembering those who have lost their fight against cancer and fighting back against this devastating disease.

People interested in obtaining more information about Relay Ole, forming or joining a team, making a donation or volunteering to help with the event is asked to contact either Amanda Granozio at 352-376-6866, extension 5056 or Sharon Kantor at 386-454-8008.

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