Monthly Archives: May 2014

Obama Gave Rewards Disguised As Green Energy Loans

Gave tax dollars to campaign contributors and lobbyists, and falsely claimed the money was for “green energy”

In 2009 the Obama administration gave $535 million to Solyndra, claiming that it would create 4,000 new jobs. However, instead of creating those 4,000 new jobs, the company went bankrupt. It was later revealed that the company’s shareholders and executives had made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign, that the company had spent a large sum of money on lobbying, and that Solyndra executives had had many meetings with White House officials.

It was also revealed that the Obama administration had already been aware of Solyndra’s financial troubles. For example, according to the company’s security filings in 2009, the company had been selling its product for less than the cost of production. In 2010, Obama visited the Solyndra factory and cited it as a role model for his “stimulus” program, saying, “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” The Washington Post wrote of this, “Administration officials and outside advisers warned that President Obama should consider dropping plans to visit a solar startup company in 2010 because its mounting financial problems might ultimately embarrass the White House.” Solyndra was a private company, but had been planning to use its government loans as a means of going public – so when Obama knowingly overstated the company’s condition in order to help his friends at Solyndra, he broke the same law that Martha Stewart had been sent to prison for breaking.

In September 2011, federal agents visited the homes of Brian Harrison, the company’s CEO, and Chris Gronet, the company’s founder, to examine computer files and documents.  Also in September 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department launched an investigation.

On September 13, 2011, the Washington Post reported on emails which showed that the Obama administration had tried to rush federal reviewers to approve the loan so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory. The company was a hallmark of President Obama’s plan to support clean energy technologies.

The New York Times reported that government auditors and industry analysts had faulted the Obama administration for failing to properly evaluate the company’s business proposals, as well as for failing to take note of troubling signs which were already evident. In addition, Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, had found that the preliminary loan approval had been granted before officials had completed the legally mandated evaluations of the company.

The New York Times quoted Shyam Mehta, a senior analyst at GTM Research, as saying, “There was just too much misplaced zeal at the Department of Energy for this company.” Among 143 companies that had expressed an interest in getting a loan guarantee, Solyndra was the first one to get approval. During the period when Solyndra’s loan guarantee was under review, the company had spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying. Tim Harris, the CEO of Solopower, a different solar panel company which had obtained a $197 million loan guarantee, told the New York Times that his company had never considered spending any money on lobbying, and that “it was made clear to us early in the process that that was clearly verboten. We were told that it was not only not helpful but it was not acceptable.”

The Washington Post reported that Solyndra had used some of the loan money to purchase new equipment which it never used, and then sold that new equipment, still in its plastic wrap, for pennies on the dollar. Former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn told the Washington Post, “After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right. Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”

On September 29, 2011, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had continued to allow Solyndra to receive taxpayer money even after it had defaulted on its $535 million loan.

On October 7, 2011, The Washington Post reported that newly revealed emails showed that Energy Department officials had been warned that their plan to help Solyndra by restructuring the loan might be illegal, and should be cleared with the Justice Department first. However, Energy Department officials moved ahead with the restructuring anyway, with a new deal that would repay company investors before taxpayers if the company were to default. The emails showed concerns within the Obama administration about the legality of the Energy Department’s actions. In addition, an Energy Department “stimulus” adviser, Steve Spinner, had pushed for the loan, despite having recused himself because his wife’s law firm had done work for the company.

solyndra pic

In January 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had thrown millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes into garbage dumpsters, where they ended up being shattered. Solyndra told CBS that it had conducted an exhaustive search for buyers of the glass tubes, and that no one had wanted them. However, CBS discovered that Solyndra had not offered the glass tubes for sale at either one of its two asset auctions that took place in 2011. In addition, David Lucky, a buyer and seller of such equipment, told CBS that he would have bought the tubes if he had had a chance to do so. Greg Smestad, a solar scientist who had consulted for the Department of Energy, also agreed that the tubes had value, and had asked Solyndra to donate any unwanted tubes to Santa Clara University. Smestad stated, “That really makes me sad… Those tubes represent intellectual investment. These could have had a better value to do public good. I think they owed the U.S. taxpayer that.”

In April 2012, CBS News reported that Solyndra had left a substantial amount of toxic waste at its abandoned facility in Milpitas, California.

Solyndra was not the only “green energy” company involved in this type of fraud. After Obama gave Raser Technologies $33 million to build a power plant, the company declared bankruptcy, and owed $1.5 million in back taxes. After Obama gave Abound Solar, Inc. a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories, the company halted production and laid off 180 employees. After Obama gave Beacon Power a $43 million loan guarantee to build green energy storage, the company filed for bankruptcy. After Obama approved $2.1 billion in loan guarantees for Solar Trust of America so it could build solar power plants, the company filed for bankruptcy.


Although Obama stated that all of the “green energy” companies that received taxpayer money were chosen “based solely on their merits,” the truth is that 71% of these grants and loans went to Obama donors and fundraisers, who raised $457,834 for his campaign, and were later approved for grants and loans totaling more than $11 billion. By November 2011, the Energy Department’s inspector general had begun more than 100 criminal investigations related to Obama’s “stimulus.” Although an “independent” review said that Obama had not done anything wrong, it was later reported that Herbert M. Allison Jr., the person who had conducted this “independent” review, donated $52,500 to Obama’s campaign.

Sources: Dept. Of Energy, Dan from Squirrel Hill

Trust Is Gone For President Obama

by Dennis Prager



I have been broadcasting for 31 years and writing for longer than that. I do not recall ever saying on radio or in print that a president is doing lasting damage to our country. I did not like the presidencies of Jimmy Carter (the last Democrat I voted for) or Bill Clinton. Nor did I care for the compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush. In modern political parlance compassionate is a euphemism for ever-expanding government.


But I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president. So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.


This is equally true domestically and internationally.


Domestically, his policies have had a grave impact on the American economy.


He has overseen the weakest recovery from a recession in modern American history.


He has mired the country in unprecedented levels of debt: about $6.5 trillion that is 6,500 billion in five years (this after calling his predecessor unpatriotic for adding nearly $5 trillion in eight years).


He has fashioned a country in which more Americans now receive government aid means-tested, let alone non-means-tested than work full-time.


He has no method of paying for this debt other than printing more money thereby surreptitiously taxing everyone through inflation, including the poor he claims to be helping, and cheapening the dollar to the point that some countries are talking about another reserve currency and saddling the next generations with enormous debts.


With his 2,500-page Affordable Care Act he has made it impossible for hundreds of thousands, soon millions, of Americans to keep their individual or employer-sponsored group health insurance; he has stymied American medical innovation with an utterly destructive tax on medical devices; and he has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to lose full-time jobs because of the health-care costs imposed by Obamacare on employers.


His Internal Revenue Service used its unparalleled power to stymie political dissent. No one has been held accountable.


His ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. No one has been blamed. The only blame the Obama administration has leveled was on a video maker in California who had nothing to do with the assault.


In this president’s White House, the buck stops nowhere.


Among presidents in modern American history, he has also been a uniquely divisive force. It began with his forcing Obama care through Congress the only major legislation in American history to be passed with no votes from the opposition party.


Though he has had a unique opportunity to do so, he has not only not helped heal racial tensions, he has exacerbated them. His intrusions into the Trayvon Martin affair (If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon) and into the confrontation between a white police officer and a black Harvard professor (the police acted stupidly) were unwarranted, irresponsible, demagogic, and, most of all, divisive.


He should have been reassuring black Americans that America is in fact the least racist country in the world something he should know as well as anybody, having been raised only by whites and being the first (half) black elected the leader of a white-majority nation.


Instead, he echoed the inflammatory speech of professional race-baiters such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

He has also divided the country by economic class, using classic Marxist language against the rich and corporate profits.


Regarding America in the world, he has been, if possible, even more damaging. The United States is at its weakest, has fewer allies, and has less military and diplomatic influence than at any time since before World War II.


One wonders if there is a remaining ally nation that trusts him.


And worse, no American enemy fears him. If you are a free movement (the democratic Iranian and Syrian oppositions) or a free country (Israel), you have little or no reason to believe that you have a steadfast ally in the United States.


Even non-democratic allies no longer trust America. Barack Obama has alienated our most important and longest standing Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both the anti-Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Iran Arab states have lost respect for him.


And his complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has left that country with weekly bloodbaths.


Virtually nothing Barack Obama has done has left America or the world better since he became president. Nearly everything he has touched has been made worse.


He did, however, promise before the 2008 election that we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. That is the one promise he has kept.


What does it take for the American people to WAKE UP?

Love Bug Season Hits Florida Again

Bugs Are A Nuisance And Danger To Vehicles


Each May and September, Floridians are reminded that living in the Sunshine State brings unique challenges and obstacles. Love bugs, those pesky insects that invade our home like clockwork, come out in droves during the late spring and early fall. While love bugs don’t bite humans and are generally docile creatures, their sting is felt by your vehicle’s paint job and your visibility through your windshield.

Lovebug Mates

Love bugs, or the officially named Plecia nearctica, came to Florida from Central America via Louisiana in the 1940s. Rumors about the origin of love bugs abound, including the false belief that love bugs are the result of a botched science experiment conducted by the University of Florida, or that love bugs are genetically engineered insects created to control the mosquito population. In fact, love bugs do not eat other insects, instead feeding on various plants.

The fatty tissue left behind by love bugs will damage your paint job or windshield if left unattended. Soaking the area in water usually clears the remains off, but sometimes extensive cleaning is required.  Some of the removal methods recommended by car care experts include washing your vehicle with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, mixing baking soda and water and applying to the love bugs, or spraying the bugs with WD-40 and wiping them away. A dryer sheet is also said to work well at removing the dead bugs. Applying a thin coat of baby oil to the hood and grill before love bug season starts will ease their removal at a later date.


Love bugs can also damage your vehicle if too many build up.  Steve Torreigante, owner of Big Mechanic.Com located at 13721 21st St. in Dade City, has seen first-hand what a swarm of love bugs can do to a vehicle. “I’ve seen inoperable a/c systems over a clogged condenser, which is mounted in front of the radiator,” he said. Torreigante stresses the importance of clearing out any dead bugs, especially on long road trips.  “They cannot be easily cleaned, as they cannot be blown from the inside-out due to accessibility,” he adds.

But Torreigante does have a fool-proof plan for those looking to avoid getting the pesky creatures on their car, and with a glimmer of humor.

“With all the home remedies, the best advice I have (from a 5th generation Floridian), is not drive in early May or mid-September,” he joked.


Saint Leo University Graduates 1,300

Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirit of 3 Ceremonies Over The Weekend

by Brian Michael Smith

As the saying goes, the show must go on. At Saint Leo University this past weekend, the “show” was its annual commencement ceremonies where more than 1,300 students graduated from the Catholic university.

On Friday, May 2, over 400 students from the Center for Online Learning, Adult Education Center, and Continuing Education Centers gathered in the parking garage to line up for the ceremony. Earlier in the day, crews erected tents to cover walkways on the short distance from the garage to the Marion Bowman Activities Center.  Sandbags were placed around the sidewalk to prevent flooding, and staff members were on standby to assist the graduates with navigating the new pathway.

Bob Rohrlack, president and CEO of The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, was the speaker at Friday night’s ceremony. During his speech, he asked graduates to think about the question, “What now?” He reminded the audience to thank their supporters, and recounted the story of his son’s birth as an illustration of the uncertainty of the future and importance of preparation. The crowd roared when Rohrlack finished his address in the brief time he promised, and the ceremony proceeded amid cheers of excitement from the audience and graduates alike.

Friday’s ceremony is unique in that many of the graduates have never visited the university before. Students from 32 states traveled to University Campus for the celebration, along with their families. One graduate, “Jay,” arrived with her mother and refused to allow the weather to stop her from celebrating an achievement 16 years in the making. She traveled from Melbourne for her graduation, visiting the campus for the very first time and remarking that she will “definitely be back for alumni weekend to see the campus when it’s dry.” Others echoed this sentiment and commented on the accommodations put in place by University staff.

Saturday, May 3, Saint Leo staff arrived at the campus to find the weather report as dismal as the day before. Luckily, the same spirit of excitement also loomed as graduates and their guests began to arrive for the 9 a.m. ceremony. Again gathering in the parking garage for the short walk to the gymnasium, the 515 graduate students prepared for their final walk across the stage toward their master’s degrees. Brigadier General Susan A. Davidson, U.S. Army Commander of the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, told graduates to, “Close your eyes and take a deep breath; now smile. You’ve all earned it.”  She went on the remind graduates to “do great things” with their Saint Leo University degree.

Later in the day, Davidson’s brother Mike Petters, president and CEO- Huntington, Ingalls Industries, spoke to the traditional student graduates. These are the students who have attended classes at University Campus, many of them living on campus. Petters remarked about the growth of Saint Leo, from 35 students who graduated from the then Saint Leo Preparatory School with his father Clem in 1954.

While there was still not a break in the weather, the rain didn’t break the spirit or excitement of the graduates or their families. Many of the families arrived at campus earlier than usual, hoping to catch a tour of the place their loved one has called home for 4 years. Downpours prevented tours, but not photo opportunities or chances to visit with friends once last time. After the ceremony, the parking garage remained crowded until the early evening as fraternity and sorority “families” interacted with parents and siblings. Colleen Tiesler, mother of graduate Bobby, said that she will miss the TKE brothers visiting her home on weekends.  “They were always ready for a hot meal and motherly advice,” Tiesler said.

Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., president of Saint Leo University, remarked about the hard work that went into the event, especially given the inclement weather. He thanked the staff members who worked so hard to make the day a celebration for the graduates and their families, and thanked the families for entrusting their student to Saint Leo.

Dr. Kirk also commented about the “advantages the Saint Leo community enjoys because of the variety of students and learning styles Saint Leo supports.”  Saint Leo University enrolls more than 16,000 students at its University Campus, its education centers, and the Center for Online Learning. It is the sixth largest provider of education to our military, and in addition to the associate’s, bachelor and master’s degree programs, Saint Leo recently added a doctoral of business administration degree program.

Enjoy the pictures; as owner of this domain, all pictures are public and are available for use as long as it’s in good taste. Click to enlarge.



Moore Mickens Principal To Retire

Jackson “Buff” Johnson Ends 35 Year Education Career

by Brian Michael Smith

Jackson “Buff” Johnson, principal of Moore-Mickens Education Center, announced his retirement at the end of this school year. Johnson has been an educator for over 35 years, and before arriving at Moore-Mickens, he was the principal at Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills, and Pasco High School in Dade City. He stated that his one regret in his career was “not coming to Moore-Mickens earlier.”

While at Moore-Mickens, Johnson oversaw the adult education programs, CYESIS program for pregnant teens, and drop-out prevention programs for students. He quickly became a fixture on campus, walking around to greet students and let his presence on campus be known. Johnson clarified that Moore-Mickens isn’t a school for behavioral issues, but one for those students who experienced difficulties at traditional schools for various reasons.

Students who attend Moore-Mickens Education Center continue to receive credit for course work with the goal of returning to their original high school during the final 9 weeks to graduate with their classmates. “The teachers just love these kids,” Johnson said. “My math instructor teaches several courses during one period, to make sure students stay on target to receive their diploma.”


Johnson pointed out the particular challenges his students face on a daily basis. The drop-out rate in Pasco County is one percent; although lower than the state average of 3.5 percent, Johnson would like to see it even lower. When obstacles such as teen pregnancy are factored in, the rate would be higher without an assist from the CYESIS program, in which teens are able to attend school after the birth of their child. In fact, Johnson pointed out that students “get off the bus with car seats,” and their child attends in-school daycare while the parent continues their education. Krystle Naughton, a non-instructional teacher for the CYESIS program, said, “It’s great to be able to help these girls finish their education and graduate high school.”

Moore-Mickens Education Center faced closure last year due to budget cuts. The programs were going to be moved to the high schools, against much opposition from the community and school staff. “If we did not have this school, we’d have a lot more drop-outs,” Johnson stated. Pasco County School District Superintendent Kurt Browning attended a community meeting at the school last year and assured the crowd that Moore-Mickens would remain open, and the programs available to students.

Nancy Guss, principal at James Irving Education Center, will take the helm at Moore-Mickens next year, while maintaining her current position. Johnson is confident Guss will face the challenges of the schools and succeed. “She has a great vision for both schools,” Johnson said.

While Johnson says he is “excited to have gotten to this point (retirement),” he will miss the staff, and especially the students. A retirement celebration will be held on the Moore-Mickens campus at the end of this month, but no official announcement has been made.

Ground-Breaking for New Academic Building at SLU

SLU Press Release:

A new, 48,000 square-foot academic building will be constructed in the Saint Leo University Campus, replacing the existing Crawford Hall, which only has 8,000 square feet of floor space. The building will be finished in the summer of 2015 and will be built at a cost of $14 million.

When completed, the four-story facility will house 16 classrooms, 24 faculty offices, and additional academic program space. It represents the latest in a series of campus construction projects that have expanded and improved the University Campus. In October 2011, Saint Leo University dedicated the Donald R. Tapia School of Business which is located directly across from where the new academic building will be located.

The new academic building will compliment the Spanish Mission style of the neighboring Donald R. Tapia School of Business building, but will incorporate distinct landscaping features and will be furnished warmly for teaching arts, education, criminal justice, and social work classes, including graduate-level classes for continuing professional education. It will incorporate energy-friendly and eco-friendly design features.

The architect is Gould Evans of Tampa, FL and the general contractor is Creative Contractors, Inc. of Clearwater, FL.



National Day of Prayer in Dade City, FL

Thursday, the National Day of Prayer was celebrated on the north lawn of the Historic Pasco County Courthouse. Mayor Camille Hernandez dedicated in the name of Dade City.

As the official National Day of Prayer website would describe, “The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”

Enjoy the pictures!



Zephyrhills Native Reutimann Not Out Of The Race

NASCAR Still The Focus, Awaits Car to Drive

by Brian Michael Smith

 David Reutimann, the race sensation on the dirt tracks who went on to find his place in the world of NASCAR, doesn’t appear to be poised to give up on his dreams of being a top driver in the ultimate racing sport on the hard top, despite rumors. In fact, Reutimann was back at it last Saturday, where he took 29th at the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond. While he didn’t finish in the top 20, it was a clear statement from the racer that he was far from finished.

Reutimann was not available for comment as of Monday, so Zephyrhills Free Press paid a visit to Buzzie Reutimann, David’s father. An accomplished dirt track racer in his own rite, as well as a car builder himself, Buzzie remains optimistic about the future of his ambitious son.

“His car was better when he finished than it was in the beginning,” Buzzie said, referring to his son’s recent run at the Toyota Owner’s 400. “He was also penalized when the pit crew jumped over the wall too soon [at a pit stop],” he said.

To stay in the game, Reutimann understands that in order to remain in the running to race for a team, he must keep his name out there. Buzzie said that good advice came from fellow racer, Terry Labonte.

“The biggest mistake I’ve ever made was sitting out a year,” Labonte once told Reutimann. It appears the advice is being heeded.

Reutimann, who now resides in Mooresville, NC with his wife, also has a shop there where he continues to build race cars for the dirt tracks.

“In fact, he built me a great [race] car,” said Buzzie. The elder Reutimann recalled a phone conversation later from his son, when he said there was good news and bad news.

“The good news is I sold the car,” said David Reutimann. Curious was Buzzie, when he realized his custom-made car had been sold. He asked, “What’s the bad news?”

“I’ve got the money,” David replied humorously. Of course, Buzzie’s son assured him that he would get right to work on building him another one.

Off the track, David Reutimann does build custom-made racing machines, but he also contributes in a quiet, humble way. He spreads the cause out by raising money for an array of charities in Zephyrhills and beyond. Later in the summer, Reutimann is expected to make a decision on whether he will have his annual David Reutimann Charity Cookout, Auction and Golf Tournament at Silverado Country Club in Zephyrhills. A tight budget and the uncertainty of being offered a ride with a team in NASCAR weighs on his mind.

“I’ve raced against him and lost. You know, father and son. I know his talents, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that something will pop up for David,” Buzzie said.


Buzzie Reutimann


Bikers Unite To Protect Children

Group To Host Fundraiser On April 27 At Doc’s Pub And Grille

 by Brian Michael Smith


Harley Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, or Triumph – if there are 10 bikers in a room, there are 10 different opinions about which motorcycle brand is the best.

However, one group of bikers will put all differences aside when discussing the subject of child abuse.

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) is a tax exempt organization whose purpose is to “provide aid, comfort, safety, and support for children that have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused.”

On April 27, Lakeland’s Thousand Lakes chapter that supports Pasco County will host the first “Remember The Children” fundraiser in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Dade City event will be from noon to 6 p.m., at Doc’s Pub and Grille.

The organization does not condone violence of any kind and members undergo extensive background checks before being allowed to interact with children. Members never go by their real names, and instead use their “Biker Handles” for security reasons.

When a referral is made, BACA initiates contact with the family and begins the process of welcoming the child into the BACA “family.” A ride is organized to meet the child, with as many riders showing up as possible. The child is presented with stickers, a vest with the BACA emblem, and contact information for BACA members. At any time, the child is encouraged to reach out to members of the organization for emotional and physical support.  By incorporating the biker family attitude, BACA ensures that all children feel protected and safe, thus beginning the healing process.

BACA was founded by a licensed clinical social worker, Chief, after his years of extensive work with children who had been abused. Chief worked with the court system and law enforcement to assist with their work as he understood that it is physically impossible for any agency to monitor a child’s safety at all times. BACA works to fill in the gaps to protect their “wounded friends” and empower the family to prevent further abuse. The organization also maintains a therapy fund for children who do not qualify for services elsewhere.

On April 27, BACA will host the first “Remember The Children” fund raiser in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month at Doc’s Pub and Grille, 114946 U.S. 301, Dade City, from noon to 6 p.m. Live music, great food, vendors, and a 50/50 raffle will help BACA raise money to provide area children with much-needed support. In the past year, members of the Thousand Lakes chapter have attended five court cases with children who have been abused. In all 5 cases, the child’s testimony helped convict the perpetrator, empowering the children to feel safe once again.

The Thousand Lakes Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse can be contacted at (863) 588-6560 or email  Vendors who would like to participate in this event can email for more information.



Dade City Animal Clinic Yard Sale

Progressive 4-H Club The Focus Of This Year’s Event


by Brian Michael Smith


Closets, attics and garages were less cluttered Saturday when Dade City Animal Clinic hosted its 5th Annual Yard Sale. Each year, Dr. Chet Taylor and his staff choose an animal-based, charitable organization to benefit from the community yard sale.

This year, the Progressive 4-H Club, based in Dade City, benefited from the generosity of the community and Dade City Animal Clinic. The club is hoping to raise enough money to purchase a bench for the Dade City dog park, located in a fenced-off section of Price Park on Meridian Avenue. The dog park has been open since 2013.

Tiffany Williamson, office manager at Dade City Animal Clinic, said the event started five years ago. “We have a great parking lot. We might as well use it to help the community,” she said.

Correct she was. The parking area surrounding the clinic is aplenty of large, shady oak trees with an abundance of parking room.

Michelle Knowlton and Katy Boyd, parents of Centennial Middle School students, couldn’t agree more. The parent group at the school, located at 38505 Centennial Rd., Dade City, set up at the yard sale to raise money to offset the costs of the 8th grade trip to Busch Gardens. Knowlton pointed out that many students cannot afford luxuries such as a field trip, and this yard sale is a “great way to help the kids.” The group also raises money each year for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week at the school.

At the end of the day, Williamson reported that the event raised more than $500 for the Progressive 4-H Club. Not bad at all for a yard sale. Williamson added that the Progressive 4-H club has also raised money selling boiled peanuts at the Bug Jam in Dade City, parking cars at the Rattle Snake Festival in San Antonio, and collecting cans at their scheduled meetings.

“$100 to go,” she said.

Leftover merchandise was donated to Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care for their thrift stores in Dade City and Zephyrhills.