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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Melbourne
Rating: 2.79 / 5 (151 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 07 - 06:26

Commission member honored

Brevard County Commission on Aging member Mark Brimer has been awarded the initial Florida Senior Falls Prevention Award.

The recognition is sponsored by the Florida Injury Prevention Program and the Florida Department of Health in conjunction with the Florida Senior Falls Prevention Coalition and is presented to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to Senior Falls Prevention.

In 2008, Mr. Brimer successfully launched The Elder Falls Prevention Program in conjunction with Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department and the Commission on Aging. This program has become a primary initiative of Brevard County.

For more information, call (321) 633-2007 or email tammy.harris@brevardcoounty.us.

Former panther playing professionally

 

One year removed from his playing days at Florida Tech, Naru Wild-Putsorn moved from playing in front of a few hundred soccer fans at Rick Stottler Field to a stadium with a capacity of 10,000 at Thai Japanese Stadium for Bangkok United of Thai Division One.

The four-year midfielder appeared in 54 games, making 53 starts for the Panthers. He finished his career with seven goals and 12 assists for 26 career points. During his freshman season in 2008, Wild-Putsorn finished with five goals, two assists and 12 points to rank second on the team.

Nazza, Wild-Putsorn's nickname and the name reading across the back of his kit, joined Bangkok United FC back in early August.

For more information, visit www.bangkokunitedfc.com or call (321) 674-7484.

Nasal spray for motion sickness is a possibility

Johnson Space Center in Houston and Epiomed Therapeutics Inc. of Irvine, Calif., have signed an agreement to develop and commercialize a NASA-crafted, fast-acting nasal spray to fight motion sickness.

Under the Space Act Agreement, Epiomed will formulate the drug, called intranasal scopolamine, or INSCOP.

Astronauts often experience motion sickness in space. As a result, NASA has conducted extensive research into the causes and treatments for the condition.

Scopolamine is effective and can be administered as a tablet or injected.

With a precise dosage, the NASA spray formulation has been shown to work faster and more reliably than the oral form.

The United States Navy is working on an agreement with Epiomed to test the nasal spray. NASA and Epiomed will collaborate on clinical trials related to the Federal Drug Administration requirements.

NASA is transferring sponsorship of future clinical trials and FDA approvals to Epiomed, which will supply the product for use by NASA and others.

For more information, visit http://go.nasa.gov/RiKclM

Free clinic in need of nurses

Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine is a volunteer clinic that provides free medical, dental and chiropractic care to the uninsured of Brevard County. Last year, the clinic documented, that from the period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, more than 3,000 patient visits occurred.

While the number of providers and lay volunteers has increased, so, too, has been the ever-increasing demand for services.

With many more Brevard residents seeing the loss of insurance and COBRA benefits running out, the clinic, designed strictly for the uninsured, is experiencing greater demand for care.

To volunteer, visit www.spaceocastvolunteersinmedicine.org and click on the Volunteer Form link.

For more information, call (321) 914-0915.

All services: medical, dental and chiropractic are provided free of charge to the uninsured.

Visit the website at www.spacecoastvolunteersinmedicine.org.

School office awarded learning center grant

Brevard Public Schools has announced that the Office of Adult and Community Education has become the recipient of a fifth 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, called "Explorers University."

This five-year grant has a funding total of $3 million and will serve approximately 280 students per day. The award will provide after-school services through School Age Child Care to four elementary schools in the south area: Discovery, Harbor City, Jupiter and Sunrise. The monies will provide academic support in reading, science, math and technology, while offering experiential opportunities.

For more information, call (321) 264-1276, Ext. 3020 or email Francisco.jacalyn@brevardschools.org.

Men's lacrosse assists Alzheimer's walk

 

The Florida Tech men's lacrosse team and coaching staff recently volunteered their time to assist with the "Walk To End Alzheimer's" event at Wickham Park in Melbourne.

The Panthers made a huge impact in the community, while also growing closer together as a team.

Entering into the second season of the program, the young Panther squad assisted in almost every aspect of the Alzheimer's event. They arrived prior to the event to help set up tents, stands and markers along the trail. During the event, players handed out flyers, collected donations, gathered signatures for petitions and even assisted with the event photographer.

One special moment, for not only the team and the coaching staff, but for those in the community who were there to watch, was when a group of the players walked the entire trail with a lady who was in a wheel chair.

The players also formed lines on both sides of the start and finish lines to cheer on the participants. It was something the players and those taking part in the event thoroughly enjoyed.

For information about a "Walk To End Alzheimer's" and the Alzheimer's Association, visit www.alz.org/cnfl/.

Oxygen therapy for pets is now available

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard is now offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments for pets.

Brevard's first and only hyperbaric oxygen chamber was installed at the facility, and within 24 hours, pre-screened patients began receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatments to assist with post-surgical wound healing.

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard, located at the southwest corner of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Croton Road, in Melbourne, offers emergency services for pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is always a veterinarian on the premises, using state-of-the-art imaging equipment to handle emergency and specialty care needs.

The specialty team includes board certified veterinarians, providing emergency and elective surgery and internal medical treatment, as well as neurology, cardiology, canine physical rehabilitation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

For more information call (321) 725-5365 or visit www.CentralFloridaAnimalER.com.

Car show was a huge success

 

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard hosted its Second Annual Hot Dogs, Cool Cats and Wild Rides Car Show, which was presented by Ron Norris Ford, in October.

Despite two other competing car shows (one in New Smyrna, one at the Cape), participant turnout for this worthwhile cause exceeded expectations with 98 cars registered (compared to 60 at last year's event).

There were nearly a dozen trophies awarded to show cars, in addition to drawings for an iPod, a lotto tree and a 50/50 raffle.

The success of this event is a result of the community for its overwhelming support and turn-out and also to the massive network of volunteers supporting the SPCA, including students from the Florida Institute of Technology, whose Delta Upsilon chapter of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity attends major SPCA events to provide the "muscle power" needed to make events like this work.

For more information, visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com.

Top advocate, cop, and attorney for victims' rights awarded

Brevard Sheriff's Agent Cynthia Young's work with domestic violence victims earned the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award from State Attorney Norm Wolfinger during the office's annual observation of victims' rights recently.

The event featured former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth as the guest speaker.

Following his remarks, Mr. Butterworth announced that the annual Attorney of the Year Award would hereafter be known as the Norman R. Wolfinger Attorney of the Year Award. Assistant State Attorney Bill Respess was the recipient.

Mr. Wolfinger began the annual observation of victim rights in 1986, his second year in office. He will resign the post he has held continuously for the past 28 years on Jan. 6.

During his remarks, Mr. Butterworth spoke about how Mr. Wolfinger and his fledgling staff were leaders in the quest for a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing victims' rights to be informed, to be present, and to be heard during court hearings concerning their cases or their loved ones.

Other awards and their recipients were: The Kathy L. King Victim Advocate of the Year Award went to Christina Vinson, an advocate with the Sexual Assault Victim Services unit at the SAO, and Michelle Glover, an advocate with the Titusville Police Department.

The Outstanding Service to Victims Award went to SAO receptionist Kathy Dudley and South Brevard Women's Center volunteer receptionist Diane Reid.

The Sen. Howard Futch Memorial Leadership Award went to community volunteer Delores Spearman.

Mr. Wolfinger also recognized Col. Danny McKnight (retired) with a special leadership award for his lifetime achievements and contributions on behalf of military personnel.

For more information, call (321) 617-7548 or email lhooper@sa18.state.fl.us.

Brevard Workforce honored with Congressional Medal

Brevard Workforce, the area authority on workforce development was recently recognized at the TechNovation Awards Banquet for excellence in supporting the growth and prosperity of technology companies.

President Lisa Rice and community resources coordinator Jan Conrad represented Brevard Workforce in accepting the Congressional Medal of Merit in Technology Cultivation.

An exclusive reception and V.I.P. awards dinner was held to kick off the exposition, hosted by Embraer, a jet aircraft manufacturer, based in Melbourne.

The dinner took place at the Hilton Rialto Melbourne, and John P. Mulholland, vice president and program manager for Commercial Programs Space Exploration at Boeing, presented the keynote address.

Congressman Bill Posey and Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce President Christine Michaels presented Brevard Workforce with a Congressional Medal in recognition of its  Bizlaunch program. 

Following the dinner, Brevard Workforce was a marketing partner for the Second Annual Florida TechXpo event sponsored by the Melbourne Regional Chamber, which allowed companies with advanced technologies and innovations to display their products and services to other companies looking for resources and suppliers.

Brevard Workforce's Biz Launch is a networking, support and skill-building group for those contemplating the option of becoming an entrepreneur.

For complete details on all aspects of the event, visit www.floridatechxpo.com.

For more information about the Brevard Workforce BizLaunch program, visit http://brevardworkforce.com/businesses/starting-a-business/bizlaunch.

 

High-altitude student experiments needed

NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon next year.

The balloon competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium in Baton Rouge.

NASA is targeting fall 2013 for the next flight opportunity for the High Altitude Student Platform. HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 instruments built by students.

A panel of experts from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity.

Flights are launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility's remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., and typically achieve 15-20 hours' duration at an altitude of about 23 miles.

The deadline for applications for the 2013 flight is Dec. 14.

For application materials and details about HASP, visit http://laspace.lsu.edu/has.

For information on NASA's scientific balloon program, visit http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code820/.

For information about NASA's education programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.

Commissioner to help with 'elves drive

The District 5 Commission Office is helping Aging Solutions with its annual Elves for Elders campaign this holiday season.

The "Elves for Elders Drive" benefits individuals served by Aging Solutions. All donations received will go directly to services and needs of wards in Brevard County.

Aging Solutions has a wish list for each of the 83 seniors in its care. The District 5 Office is helping distribute these wish lists through an Adopt-a-Senior program.

To participate, contact the District 5 office by calling (321) 253-6611 or stop by the offices at 1515 Sarno Road, Melbourne, to request the wish list of a senior. Lists are now available.

You will be given a list for a specific senior with items that he or she would like to receive for the holidays.

Items are not luxurious but meet basic needs, such as socks, pajamas, robes, sweatpants, lotions, soaps, bras and underwear.

You would then place the items in one large Christmas bag (no wrapping, no tissue paper) and bring them to the District 5 office, which will get the items to Aging Solutions.

For more information, call (321) 253-6611.

Membership drive is under way

Become a valued member of the Central Brevard Humane Society and receive additional savings, all while helping the homeless animals in the community.

You can start your membership for as little as $15 for an individual or $25 for a family membership. There are also gold, platinum and lifetime membership opportunities available. Your membership term will be good for one full year and starts the day you sign up.

Membership dues are used to care for the animals at the shelter.

Membership cards can be purchased (tax-free) at the Central Brevard Humane Society's Shelter, their "Low Cost" Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic (both located in Cocoa), and any of their four Molly Mutt Thrift Shops (located in Merritt Island, Melbourne, Palm Bay and Rockledge).

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Foundation supports students

Recently, the Harris Corporation, through the Community Foundation for Brevard, presented the Brevard Schools Foundation with a check for $110,000, which will be used to fund multiple programs during the 2012-13 school year.

The donation supports Harris' primary philanthropic platform, which is for quality education, specifically in the area of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - as these disciplines are extremely important to the future of high tech companies.

Harris employees have given significant time and talent to promote STEM in grades kindergarten through 12, volunteering almost 16,000 hours with the Brevard Public Schools.

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries.

Headquartered in Melbourne, the company has approximately $5.5 billion of annual revenue and about 15,000 employees, including 6,000 engineers and scientists.

Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications products, systems and services.

The Brevard Schools Foundation is a direct support 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that matches community resources with the needs of teachers and students. It is ranked fifth in the nation for support to schools.

To learn more or to become a mentor or supporter, visit www.brevardschoolsfoundation.org or call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 756.

Adventures at space center scheduled

This winter, children can have an "out-of-this-world" campout at the Kennedy Space Center's Overnight Adventure.

Guests will come face-to-face with a real astronaut camp experience while camping beneath an actual moon rocket.

They will test their skills on a rocket scavenger hunt and see a larger-than-life IMAX film.

The program includes dinner, snack and a continental breakfast and is ideally designed for youth groups, Scout troops and school group's ages 7-14.

Operating hours for Overnight Adventure are 4:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning.

Tuition for the program is $99, plus tax, per participant and $79, plus tax, for each attending chaperone. One chaperone per five youth members is required.

For more information or to book an adventure, call (321) 455-7036 or email kscovernightadventure@dncinc.com.

Festival seeking sponsors

The 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, set for Jan. 23-28, is seeking local sponsors, donations, new or gently used items (for silent auction) and volunteers.

The festival usually draws more than 5,000 participants in the field trips, photography field workshops and classroom presentations offered throughout the county.

For more information, call (321) 268-5224, email nata@brevardnaturealliance.org or visit www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Real estate professional attends summit

Brian Lightle of Lightle Beckner Robison recently attended the brokerage owner's success summit at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

The R. David Thomas Center at Duke University hosted the commercial real estate brokerage owner's success summit.

The exclusive and intensive two-day conference was restricted to 50 commercial real estate owners and managers across North America.

Lightle Beckner Robison is a full-service, commercial real estate firm specializing in office, retail, industrial, investment properties and asset property management.

LBR serves Brevard county extending across Florida and Georgia.

For more information, visit www.TeamLBR.com.

Nursing Assistant of Year named

Life Care Centers of America's Sun States Region with its CNA of the Year award honored Carmelin Gordon, a certified nursing assistant at Life Care Center of Palm Bay.

Ms. Gordon has worked at Life Care Center of Palm Bay since 2005. She lives in West Melbourne.

Life Care Center of Palm Bay is located at 175 Villa Nueva Ave., Palm Bay. It is one of 21 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Florida operated or managed by Life Care Centers of America.

For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.

Group gets jackets for dogs

The Central Brevard Humane Society recently received a donation of 55 Thundershirts through a grant, valued at more than $2,100, from the Petfinder Foundation to use on the homeless dogs at the shelter in Cocoa.

The jackets are designed to reduce the stress and anxiety in shelter dogs, in turn, making them more adoptable and better able to find their new "forever" homes.

Phil Blizzard, whose 10-year-old, 50-pound mutt, Dosi, was extremely frightened by loud noises, such as thunderstorms and fireworks, founded Thundershirt in 2009. The gentle constant pressure of the Thundershirt worked to calm Dosi during those times, according to the company website, thundershirt.com.

The Petfinder Foundation saves lives through adoptions, helping shelters prepare for and recover from disaster and working to make sure animal welfare organizations are more sustainable.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit crittersavers.com.

Physician of the Year named

Zafar Sharar, on-site physician at Life Care Center of Palm Bay, was named southeast division Physician of the Year for Life Care Centers of recently.

The award was given during a ceremony held at Life Care Centers of America's headquarters in Cleveland, Tenn., as part of the company's annual physicians' symposium.

Five other divisional award winners and a company wide winner were also honored.

Dr. Sharar has the distinction of being the first physician to work for Life Care Physician Services. He took on the new role in 2010, kicking off Life Care's initiative to place physicians in each of its nursing homes.

Life Care Center of Palm Bay is located at 175 Villa Nueva Ave., Palm Bay.

For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.

Lacrosse tournament is continued success

 

For the second-straight year, the Florida Tech men's lacrosse program hosted a successful "Battle at the Beach" tournament. Not only did the Panthers show great promise heading into the second year of the program, they also raised money for a good cause.

All proceeds from the second annual tournament were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Melbourne Central Catholic's Hustler Stadium saw crowds supporting each of four teams competing at the event. Fan bases could be heard cheering after each goal was announced over the public address system. It didn't matter which team found the back of the net.

Joining FIT at the event were club teams from Palm Beach Atlantic University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.

For the second-straight year the Panthers won all three of their games, totaling 47 goals on the day. FIT will continue to prepare for its second season in the Deep South Conference beginning in February.

Sea turtles get more help

 

In 2012 the Sea Turtle Preservation Society was awarded two grants by the Sea Turtle Conservancy from monies provided through the purchase of sea turtle license plates in Florida.

The first grant was for a boater education program designed to make boaters aware of the sea turtle population in both the ocean and the Indian River Lagoon.

The second grant was to provide equipment to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society's stranding and salvage team that responds to injured, stranded and dead sea turtles throughout Brevard County. They are the primary group that responds to such calls in the county.

Monies were used to purchase three specially designed constructed carriers or "stretchers" needed when removing a 250-pound turtle from the beach. Water and shockproof digital cameras were purchased to assist in reports on injured turtles

For more information, call (321) 392-3223 or email cheneyd@cfl.rr.com.

Lawyer joins board of governors

Andrew Pickett, an assistant state attorney in the 18th Judicial Circuit, was recently selected and sworn in to serve a two-year term on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division board of governors for this district.

His fellow young attorneys-at-law in Brevard and Seminole counties elected Mr. Pickett to the post.

He will be one of two representatives serving a two-year term on the board of governors for the circuit.

Additionally, he serves as the president of the Brevard County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

For more information, call (321) 617-7548.

Phone company gives to United Way

For more than 60 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been strong supporters of the United Way both at the national and local levels.

AT&T has continued this legacy of support through a contribution of $8,000 to United Way of Brevard County.

In 2012 alone, AT&T gave $5.77 million to 574 local United Ways across the country.

The United Way of Brevard County will use the contribution to support programs that create long lasting change in the local community.

Additional information about AT&T and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at www.att.com.

New NASA online science resource available

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system and the universe into the schools and homes.

Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can locate educational resources through information on educational standards, subjects and keywords and other relevant details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

For access to NASA Wavelength, visit http://nasawavelength.org. For information on NASA's science mission directorate, visit http://science.nasa.gov/. For information about NASA education programs, visit www.nasa.gov/education.

College sophomore earns award

 

The College Sports Information Directors of America recently named Florida Tech's Drake Hillman to its Capital One Academic All-District 5 Men's Soccer Team.

Hillman, a sophomore forward, currently has a cumulative grade point average of 3.63, while working toward his degree in meteorology. He was also named to the FIT Athletic Director's Honor Roll after his first season with the Panthers.

The Plymouth, England, native was recently named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Men's Soccer Second Team. He is also a two-time SSC Men's Soccer Player of the Week.

Hillman led the Panthers for the second consecutive year in points (17) and goals (7). In two seasons, he has collected 12 goals and five assists for 29 career points. Hillman also has recorded five career game-winning goals, three this season.

For more information, visit www.cosida.com/media/documents/2012/11/Mens_Soccer_2012_Academic_All_District_Teams.pdf or call (321) 674-7484.

Spot the international space station over your backyard

On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA has announced a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead.

"Spot the Station" will send an email or text message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they will be able to see the space station.

When the space station is visible - typically at dawn and dusk - it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus.

"Spot the

Station" users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.

The International Space Station's trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth's population. The service is designed to only notify users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon.

To sign up for "Spot the Station," visit http://spotthestation.nasa.gov.

For information about the International Space Station and a full list of sightings, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station.

University qualifies for first-ever championship appearance

 

Florida Tech men's cross country used a pair of top-five finishes at the NCAA Division II South Regional at Sharon Johnston Park to rank the team in third place, good enough to qualify for its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship.

Two All-Sunshine State Conference runners did not disappoint for the Panthers as senior Moses Kirui and graduate student Chris Cacciapaglia finished second and third, respectively, to lead the Crimson and Gray.

Another All-SSC runner David Boiywo added another top-25 finish for the Panthers with a time of 33:08.89. Ross Russell and Ezekiel Zauner rounded out the scoring for FIT with 39th and 48th place finishes, respectively.

While this is the first team qualification for the Panthers, the Crimson and Gray are no strangers to the national stage. Last year, Kirui was the top South Region runner, qualifying for the national championship in Spokane, Wash.

For more information, call (321) 674-7484.

University victorious in golf tournament

 

Florida Tech men's golf finished the 2012 fall season with a victory over Brevard Community College in the Collegiate Players Cup. The Panthers earned four points in individual match play to outlast BCC in a 9-7 win.

Facing a 5-3 deficit, BCC battled back to even things at 5.5 points each. The Panthers got a much-needed victory from sophomore Brandon Lau to retake the lead at 6.5-5.5. BCC's Kyle Benson took Match 12 to even the score for a second time on the day, however junior Justin Kalanquin brought the score back in FIT's favor with a 3-and-1 win.

Holding a 8-7 lead, sophomore Ray Badenhorst took a 1-up win with a par on the final hole to bring home the overall team victory. The Panthers took victories in three of the individual matches while halving two matches to hold the two point lead.

The Panthers conclude the fall season, but will now turn sights to the spring championship season. Last season, FIT earned a pair of victories before taking third in the Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Championship.

For more information, call (321) 674-7484.

High school student selected as national scholar

Ian Chan, a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School, has been selected as Brevard's 2012-13 Sunshine State Scholar. Included below is a complete list of the Brevard Sunshine State Scholar finalists.

This prestigious award recognizes superior achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Selection was based upon test scores, GPA, advanced coursework, and successful participation in co-curricular and extracurricular STEM activities.

Ian and other Sunshine State Scholars from around the state will be honored in February at a two-day Sunshine State Scholars Program in Orlando.

For more information, contact Walter Christy, director of secondary programs at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 310, or Cyndi Van Meter, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction, at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 300.

The 2012-13 Brevard Sunshine State Scholar finalists are: John Garrett, Astronaut High School; Kevin Nguyen, Bayside High School; Rachel Rintelmann, Cocoa High School; Albert Halbing, Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School; Rebecca Fleeman, Eau Gallie High School; Diana Konarzewski, Edgewood Junior/Senior High School; Brian Truong, Heritage High School; Nina Li, Merritt Island High School; Ali Mata, Melbourne High School; Luis Salazar, Palm Bay High School; Coleman Hilburn, Rockledge High School; Yasmine Zubi, Satellite High School; Aaron Giles, Space Coast Junior/Senior High School; and Luke Evans, Viera High School.

Holiday book drive benefits schools

During the holiday shopping season, customers of Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Melbourne will once again have the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer and help a child learn to read.

Each year, Barnes & Noble invites customers to purchase a book that is then donated to Brevard Public Schools through Brevard Schools Foundation and distributed to the neediest schools.

Brevard Schools Foundation is coordinating the drive this year, which can bring more than 5,000 books.

Customers may choose their own title, one suggested by Barnes & Noble, or one requested by individual schools. They typically cost about $5.

Shoppers wishing to support the holiday book drive by purchasing a book may visit the store at 1955 W. New Haven Ave., West Melbourne.

For more information or to donate financially, contact Brevard Schools Foundation at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 756.

Register for race

Registration is now open for the 20th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, which challenges high school, college and university students around the world to build and race fast, lightweight "moonbuggies" of their own design.

The students' work will culminate in two days of competitive racing April 26-27, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA created the event two decades ago to complement classroom learning, provide young thinkers and builders with real-world engineering experience and inspire them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM fields.

International registration for the 2013 race closes Jan. 7. Registration for U.S. teams closes Feb. 4.

Participating high schools, colleges and universities each may register up to two teams and two vehicles.

For complete rules and to register, visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov.

Racers compete to post the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, while incurring the fewest penalties.

Prizes are awarded to the three teams in each division that finish with the lowest final times.

NASA and industry sponsors present additional awards for engineering ingenuity, team spirit, best debut by a rookie team and more.

To date, more than 5,000 students from around the world have participated in the races.

More than 350,000 people watched live and archived coverage of the spring 2012 race on NASA TV and on Ustream

Golf tournament a success

The Viera East Ladies 18 Hole Golfers hosted the annual combined 18/9 holers tournament in early November.

Gladys Gillette and Joyce Shorts of the 18 Holers made arrangements for the tournament, called "Make A Wish," Dottie Tauble and Beth Cowger from the 9 holers helped with the signing in.

Each hole was a surprise and the best was "skip the over the water hole on No. 14."

Elaine Ferrantelli, 18 Hole president, arranged lunch.

Placing first was the team of Sue Buttner, Elaine Ferrantelli, Gladys Gillette and Marchelle Zweber.

Two schools receive blue ribbon awards

West Melbourne Elementary School for Science and West Shore Junior/Senior High School were named 2012 National Blue Ribbon schools.

Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon schools program has recognized public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of academic achievement.

For more information, call (321) 956-5040, email marshall.neleffra@brevardschools.org or call (321) 242-4730 or email fleming.rick@brevardschools.org.

Basketball legend/hall of famer attends local luncheon

 

Nearly every seat was occupied in the Hartley Room in the Denius Student Center on the Florida Tech campus recently, as the 2012-13 basketball season kicked off with the Florida Tech Panther Club tip-off luncheon.

National Basketball Association legend and Hall of Fame member Sam Jones recounted tales of his playing days.

Mr. Jones was the guest speaker of the luncheon and spoke for nearly half an hour to the nearly 160 people in attendance. He captivated his audience with tales of playing with his Boston Celtics teammate and superstar Bill Russell while recounting humorous stories of a budding on-court rivalry with the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson.

The 10-time NBA champion and five-time all-star concluded his speech by directly addressing the members of both the men and women's teams.

He emphasized the importance of their education over any basketball success.

Mr. Jones played NCAA Division II basketball at North Carolina Central, before becoming a first- round draft pick in 1957.

Mr. Jones was preceded in the luncheon by remarks from head men's and women's basketball coaches Billy Mims and John Reynolds.

For the 2012-13 men's basketball schedule, visit www.floridatechsports.com/mbasketball/schedule/.

For the 2012-13 women's basketball schedule, visit www.floridatechsports.com/wbasketball/schedule/.

Removing gall bladder through belly button

A surgical team at Wuesthoff Health System in Rockledge recently performed a da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy. In this surgery, the patient's gallbladder is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scar less.

Led by H. Drexel Dobson III, general surgeon, the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site instruments on a da Vinci System.

The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).

Using robotic assistance, surgeons removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately 2 inch.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized single-site instruments for use with the da Vinci System in December 2011.

Dr. Dobson is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.

Potential benefits of single-site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scar less results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction.

The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a 3-D, high-definition image of the patient's anatomy.

The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arts and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

Regatta crew performs well

Space Coast Crew recently competed against 10,000 fellow competitors at the 2012 Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Held on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, the Head of the Hooch is the second largest regatta in the nation and the largest in the south.

More than 10,000 competitors, representing thousands of teams from across the nation and Canada, raced at this year's Head of the Hooch.

Overall, the 2012 Head of the Hooch was a successful weekend for the men and women of Space Coast Crew.

All the athletes performed well, posting times and results earning of respect among a group of teams from across the U.S. and Canada.

With the end of the Head of the Hooch weekend, Space Coast Crew ends its fall season and transitions to winter conditioning.

The Brevard County rowing team will compete next at the Southern Sprints indoor rowing event on the campus of Florida Technical College in early February.

To join the youth or adult program or get more information, visit www.spacecoastcrew.org.

Ski club adventures

Brevard County has a very active snow ski club, Space Coast Ski Club, which offers wonderful prices on ski trips. Group travel is so easy, and the trips are filled with fun-filled people. The trips are planned and organized, from start to finish, and all you have to do is sign up and write your check.

The Space Coast Ski Club is part of the Florida Ski Council that consists of 17 clubs from all over Florida. The purpose of the Florida Ski Council is to promote snow skiing and to plan trips to ski destinations both in the United States and abroad.

A local Brevardian is now president of the Florida Ski Council. Clair Quenzler, a native of Merritt Island, who grew up water skiing and not snow skiing, is the president. She is enthusiastic about snow skiing, but mostly enjoys the fun and adventuresome people she has met on the Space Coast Ski Clubs trips.

The Florida Ski Council trips for 2013 are to Heavenly (Lake Tahoe) and Big Sky. The trips for 2014 are Snowmass and Park City.

For more information, visit spacecoastskiclub.com. 

 

Foundation celebrates volunteers

Recently, the Space Coast Cancer Foundation hosted a Daffodil Society volunteer luncheon to honor the time and energy donated by local community members.

The luncheon was held at the Space Coast Cancer Center Titusville office.

Daffodil volunteers were able to share testimonies in helping patients by volunteering and giving back to the community. There are many opportunities to volunteer with SCCF.

The SCCF mission is to assist cancer patients and their caregivers in the community with the financial and emotional demands that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

If you are interested in becoming a Daffodil volunteer, call (321) 264-5504.

Hospice honors volunteers

Hospice of St. Francis' purpose is to provide care, compassion and comfort for Brevard residents nearing end-of-life and their families.

Volunteers play an important part in fulfilling that mission.

Providing more volunteer hours than the national average, Hospice of St. Francis volunteers were honored for their contributions at a recent appreciation dinner.

Volunteer Tim Brown received recognition for contributing 333 patient support hours in the past year. He transports patients, provides visits, errands, respite and has even visited patients in his Santa Claus suit. He also volunteers with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Meals on Wheels and homeless veterans.

Volunteer Carl Dome was acknowledged for volunteering 495 hours in administrative support. Carl works in the office, providing administrative support to the bereavement and admissions teams, in addition to couriering.

Several volunteers celebrated milestone anniversaries: Lisa Aaron, Frank Ballistreri, Martha Hyde, Pat Widick and Joyce Wilson with five years of service; Amy Boland, Loretta Kerr and Bonnie Thompson with 10 years of service; and Betty Kitchens with 15 years of service.

In addition to honoring the specially trained volunteers, community crafters were recognized for donating Alzheimer's activity aprons, lap robes, clothes protectors and handcrafted cards for hospice patients.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call (321) 269-4240 and ask for volunteer coordinator Vicky Hamilton at the Titusville Office or Mary Larson at the Melbourne Office.

Hospice of St. Francis, Brevard County's first hospice, is an independent, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization providing care for patients and support for loved ones.

For more information about programs and services, call (321) 269-4240, (866) 269-4240 toll free or visit www.hospiceofstfrancis.com.

 

Panthers collecting used soccer clothing and equipment

Florida Tech is teaming up with "The Give N GO Project" for the remainder of the 2012-13 academic year. The Panthers will be collecting new and used soccer equipment at the front desk of the Clemente Center on campus.

GIVE N GO, a nonprofit organization, uses sports as a means to bridge the gap of socioeconomic status by creating a team atmosphere, building self-confidence and instilling a sense of hope for abandoned kids.

GIVE N GO collects and donates used and new soccer gear, while conducting clinics at orphanages abroad and foster homes in the United States.

The women's soccer team has set up red collection bins at the front desk of the Clemente Center for those who wish to donate.

GIVE N GO will accept any of your used soccer gear, including cleats, shin guards, uniforms, socks, running shoes, workout clothes, balls and any other soccer equipment you are willing to donate.

For more information, call (321) 674-7484.

 

Area transit wins awards

Space Coast Area Transit received four first-place marketing awards during the 38th Florida Public Transportation Association Annual Conference recently held in Daytona Beach.

The awards included:

Print Advertising: an ad promoting new evening service in Titusville on Route 2, from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as a new Searstown Mall Bus Transfer Center.

Electronic Media: a cable TV commercial encouraging mobile device users to "Think Small" and use Space Coast Area Transit's mobile web site.

Signage: a billboard Clear Channel Outdoor placed on four digital locations, congratulating Space Coast Area Transit for winning the 2011 FPTA Outstanding Transit System of the Year Award.

Online Communications: Some of the features Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, offers users include: an online Google Maps trip planner, interactive maps and schedules, a quick connection to Space Coast Area Transit's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, Vanpoool matching, special services information, en Espanol, and a transit for kids online coloring book.

Masquerade ball helps children and families

At Club Esteem's Eighth Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball, costumed revelers enjoyed a feast prepared by Matt's Casbah, an open bar, a sample craft brew by Barrier Island Brewing, music by Blue Stone Circle, desserts by Elite Sweets and professional photography by Liz Cowie Photography.

The event took place at Mango Manor, Kim Deffebach's historic riverfront home, and more than 300 sponsors and guests attended.

The masquerade ball generated more than $93,000 for Club Esteem's programs and services.

Club Esteem's mission is to inspire children and families from economically disadvantaged communities to embrace the highest standards of academic and personal excellence - instilling in them a desire to learn, serve and accept challenges.

To view a slideshow of the 2012 Masquerade Ball or to make a tax-deductible gift, visit www.clubesteem.com.

To volunteer, contact executive director Ellena Little at (321) 409-8942 or email clubesteem@clubesteem.org.

Financial services representative celebrates 20 years

Nicki Biamonte, financial services representative, financial advisor and investment advisor representative with MetLife, recently celebrated 20 years of service with the company.

Ms. Biamonte focuses on helping individuals and businesses with insurance protection, through life, disability income, and long-term care insurance.

She also concentrates on investment strategies, retirement planning, 401k rollovers and tax saving strategies.

She can be reached at (321) 610-9906 or via email at nbiamonte@metlife.com.

Ms. Biamonte's office is located at 150 Interlachen Road, Melbourne.

Derelict vessel removal efforts continue

The Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program will kick off another phase of its ongoing efforts to remove derelict and abandoned vessels from the county's waterways in December.

Working closely with state and local law enforcement, the county staff has been able to identify approximately 25 vessels derelict or abandoned in county waters.

This continuing work will span Brevard's waterways north to south and is scheduled to remove more than 14 of the 25 identified vessels.

Project support and funding through the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Brevard Boating Improvement Program and the Florida Inland Navigation District has been crucial to the success of this project. This brings the program total to more than 140 vessels removed since 2006.

The project is intended to improve boater safety and protect water quality and submerged aquatic resources in Brevard's Intracoastal waterways.

To report derelict or abandoned vessels, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-3922.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at (321) 633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.

Sights, sounds and Santa at the visitor complex

Guests can celebrate the holiday sights and sounds as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents the second annual "Holidays in Space" now through Jan. 1.

The Visitor Complex will be adorned with an array of holiday decorations, feature daily visits and present storytelling with Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as heartwarming performances of favorite holiday songs by strolling carolers.

Santa Claus will greet guests, hear wish lists and pose for photos in Santa's Launch Control Center, located between Astronaut Encounter and Robot Scouts.

Onsite elves, i.e., Kodak representatives, will snap the perfect family photo and provide prints for sale, or guests may capture the moment with their own cameras.

Mrs. Claus will be on hand for some special space-themed story times for kids of all ages, including "The Cat in the Hat," "There's No Place Like Space" and "What the Moon is Like."

Due to their busy holiday schedules, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. through Dec. 24.

Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus will take place at 3:30 p.m. each day. At 4 p.m. daily, Santa and Mrs. Claus make special appearances in the Space Shop.

Immersing guests in the sounds of the holidays, a team of international carolers will perform traditional holiday songs.

The carolers will perform daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon in the Rocket Garden, at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Saturn V Center and 4:15 p.m. in the Space Shop.

A towering, 42-foot International Space Station-themed Christmas tree, located in the Rocket Garden, will be adorned with warm-white bulbs, strobe lights and 600 miniature flags from the 15 ISS partner countries.

The International Space Station mural just outside the Rocket Garden will be swathed in holiday candlelight. Decorative wreaths, garlands, lights, ribbons and bows throughout the Visitor Complex add to the holiday festival atmosphere.

"Holidays in Space" is included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is $50, plus tax, for adults and $40, plus tax, for children ages 3-11. Souvenir photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available at an additional charge.

With the purchase of a Commander's Club Annual Pass, guests may visit an unlimited number of times for a full year from date of issue.

To celebrate the season, guests can purchase an annual pass a reduced rate of $55, plus tax, and $45, plus tax, for children.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Holidays in Space, call (877) 313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Teacher of the Year finalists chosen

The names of six outstanding educators who have been selected as finalists for Brevard Public School 2013 Teacher of the Year have been announced.

 The finalists - three elementary and three secondary school educators - were selected from the 90 Teachers of the Year from each of the district schools and education service center areas. These individuals will now contend for the honor of being named Brevard 2013 Teacher of the Year.

The 2013 BPS Teacher of the Year will be chosen by a committee comprised of education, business and civic leaders in a formal selection process and will be announced in ceremonies at the ABC Awards Gala on Jan. 23.

The winner will be Brevard's representative in the state's 2013 Teacher of the Year competition and be the recipient of more than $3,000 in cash and prizes. Finalists for the 2013 BPS Teacher of the Year are listed below in alphabetical order.

Joanna DiPeppe - Satellite High School

Susan French- Sherwood Elementary School

Debra Milliken - Oak Pak Elementary School

Jason Schack - Melbourne High School

Amber Thibedeau - Sunrise Elementary School

Jill Whitacre-West Shore Junior/Senior High School

Florida Tech wins tournament championship

Behind an impressive start, Florida Tech (3-1) captured the Hooters of Melbourne Thanksgiving Tournament Championship with a 75-61 win over Morehouse (2-3) at the Clemente Center.

The Panthers won the opening tip, and Julius Reid gave his team a two-point lead four seconds into the game. Although Morehouse's Shawn Allen answered with a lay up, Jermaine Jackson found David Usic in the paint for his first two points of the game. The basket would start a 20-3 run punctuated by a trey from Chris Carter. Carter totaled 14 points during the run, which lasted five minutes and 37 seconds.

The sophomore transfer from the Air Force Academy finished with a season-high 30 points on 8-of-14 from the field, 4-of-9 from the arc and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. He also recorded five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Jackson notched his second double-double of the season with 23 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. He also tied Reid for the team lead with six assists. Reid also had 10 points, five rebounds and six steals.

With the win, Coach Mims is now three victories away from 200 wins as a college head coach. Last season, he surpassed the 500-career win plateau and earned his 100th win at FIT.

Following the game, Carter was selected tournament MVP, and Jackson was named to the all-tournament team. He was joined by Morehouse's Shawn Allen and Andrae Nelson, Rio Piedras' Angel Acevedo and Wisconsin-Parkside's Jeremy Saffold.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250.

 

Key tags for businesses and consumers

A VIP key tag discount membership business, Key Tag Deals, has been launched.

Businesses are required to offer a discount to the VIP Key Tag Members to be listed on the site.  Key Tag Deals designed a beautiful "Made-In-The-USA", biodegradable, lifetime VIP Key Tag that consumers simply need to show to any participating business listed on KeyTagDeals.com to receive a discount!  It's a win-win for both businesses and consumers.

Supporting and promoting local businesses is its only mission.

For more information, contact Bren Duncan at KeyTagDeals@cfl.rr.com, call (321) 961-1121 or visit www.KeyTagDeals.com. 

Student singers seek stardom

The Platinum Coast Chorus, Brevard's local chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a nonprofit organization, has announced its 2013 Rising Star Competition.

Groups who enter the competition must include a minimum of three full-time students, and may be all females, all males or mixed. There is no maximum limit on group members.

Groups may choose their song, but the arrangement must be performed in "a cappella" (voices only) harmony.

Auditions will be held by video DVD and must be received by Jan. 15.

The first-place prize awarded is $200, and the second-place prize awarded is $100, plus groups will have a chance to appear on a live show, Saturday, March 2, at Eau Gallie High School. In addition, winning entrants will enjoy meeting the annual show's special guest quartet, "So Divine," a Sweet Adeline student quartet, which represented at the Atlantic-Gulf Region at the International Convention in Denver in November.

For more information, visit sodivinequartet.webstarts.com for a sneak preview.

For more information contact Nancy at (321) 727-0921 or email platinumcoastchorus@gmail.com.

Bras for a cause

More than 10,000 Brevard County residents, breast cancer survivors, business and community members joined together and put on their pink bras at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk to fight breast cancer and provide hope to all people facing the disease recently.

This noncompetitive, fundraising event united the community in celebrating breast cancer survivors, educated men and women about the importance of early detection and prevention and raised more than $300,000 to fund lifesaving research and support programs that will further the progress against this disease.

In its second year, the "Put On Your Pink Bra" campaign empowered walkers to wear pink bras in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Brevard County walkers accepted the challenge, decorating their bras with everything from lace to glitter to feathers.

This year, Brevard County's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event was one of 26 held across the state.

The American Cancer Society uses the dollars raised through Making Strides events to fund breast cancer research, provide up-to-date breast cancer information, ensure all women have access to breast cancer screening and treatments - regardless of income - and to provide services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Over time, the Society has invested more in breast cancer research than any other voluntary public health organization. Since 1972, it has invested nearly $323 million in breast cancer research grants, resulting in many of today's breast cancer treatments.

It is not too late to make a donation to Brevard County's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Visit www.putonyourpinkbra.com to help the Society continue making strides and saving lives.

For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Volunteers needed for hospital duties

The Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center and Palm Bay Hospital Auxiliary are in need of volunteers to help support important hospital duties.

Volunteers are needed to help with the information desk, admitting and discharge areas, gift shop, cheer cart, emergency department lobby, greeting services, in-hospital courier services, waiting rooms and golf-cart external transportation to and from the hospital.

After completing a special training class, volunteers are able to choose their hours and areas of interest.

To find out how to become a volunteer at one of these Health First Hospitals, call (321) 434-8519.

Donate late-model sedans, old clunkers or anything in between

St. Vincent de Paul Orlando welcomes any vehicle donation.

All proceeds from local donations are used to support the charity work of St. Vincent de Paul here in Central Florida.

Donating any used car, truck, motorcycle, boat or recreational vehicle - working or non-working - is completely hassle-free and can be easily scheduled by calling (800) 322-8284 or by visiting www.svdpusacars.com.

All donations are tax deductible, and a tax receipt can be issued, if necessary.

One of the oldest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is a Catholic organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 142 countries on five continents.

With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, membership in the United States totals more than 146,000 in 4,600 communities.

Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine.

SVdP serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 644,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than seven million service hours to those in need.

America's veterans honored

Giant Recreation World, Central Florida's No. 1 recreational vehicle dealer network, has announced that on Nov. 11 and 12, the business fed complimentary meals to more than 2,500 veterans and their family members.

Many Giant Recreation World customers, employees and their family members have served in the armed forces, and the event was in recognition of their service to the country.

Veterans enjoyed this recognition at The Country House Restaurant in Winter Garden, which served more than 450 meals.

The Palm Shores Riverview Diner in Palm Shores served almost 500 meals, and at both Steve's Famous Diner locations in Daytona Beach, veterans and their families were served a combined total 1,560 meals.

This special appreciation event had all the diners filled to capacity, with veterans and their families enjoying great food.

Founded in 1976, Giant Recreation World is an industry leader in delivering quality recreation vehicles at a superior value.

The company's 90 employees provide sales and service from three Florida locations: Winter Garden, Melbourne and Ormond Beach.

The company's goal is for every customer to have an excellent consumer experience.

Visit the company's website to learn more about Giant Recreation World's new, used and rental products and customer satisfaction goal of never losing business over price at www.giantrecreationworld.com.

- For Hometown News




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