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
Creative art winners announced
In early November, the Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard held an "All That Art" gala at the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne.
More than 100 people attended to view and acknowledge the winners of the competition. This exhibition will run through Monday, Dec. 3.
The following photographers were recipients of cash awards: Lars Wentzle $500, Andei Belyi $300 and Heidi Thamert $200.
Honorable mentions who all received $50 were : Liesl Walsh, Patricia Corapi, Marc Szcaensy,Lindsay Szalkowski,Donna Herring, Rebecca Gomme, Erika Masterson, Lynn Luzzi $50, Chuck Palmer and Steve Gibson.
For more information, call (321) 254 3398.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (321) 242-4730 or email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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