Local agency helps people to stop smoking

While some people wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution to quit smoking, experts say there’s no time like the present to get started on the effort. Those who have tried to quit smoking understand the uphill battle in attempting to kick the habit to the curb. But, help is available. Through its tobacco cessation program, the National Area Health Education Center has been training … [Read more...]

Seminar sheds light on skin cancer

His skin cancer diagnosis was a wake-up call to be more careful around the Florida sun. Dr. George Hanak was blindsided when he first was stricken with skin cancer, and he’s not shy about sharing his personal battle with the disease. “I was shocked when I got the report,” said Hanak, the department chair of neurological sciences at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus in Wesley … [Read more...]

Tour a $1.9 million home, enjoy a party, raise money for charity

You don’t have to be among the rich and famous to dip into the lifestyle during the Party at Bella Lago, a charity event set for this weekend. Waterford Designs is hosting a benefit for the American Cancer Society and breast cancer research on April 8, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The party will be at the Bella Largo Model Home, 18707 Cypress Shores Drive in Lutz. Party-goers will see … [Read more...]

She goes to bat against cancer

Pam Ingram was admittedly nervous as she waited to toss out the first pitch at Tropicana Field, when the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Baltimore Orioles. After all, she knew a big crowd would be watching — including her family and friends, and colleagues from Wesley Chapel High School. And, the English teacher would be the first to tell you that she doesn’t have substantial experience in … [Read more...]

Community rallies to help Mark Smith

Years ago, Tammy Hunt periodically would put together charity events. And, whenever she did, the Smith family would step up and offer their business, San Ann Liquor & Lounge (also known as Ralph's), as a location for the fundraisers. As a result, the Smith’s generosity became widely known in the community. So, when Mark Smith, the son of Ralph's owners, Grace and Jimmy, needed help, … [Read more...]

Coach Kris Keppel exhibits grace to the end

The impact that Joel “Kris” Kristan Keppel’s life had on those who knew him was exhibited in all sorts of ways last week in Land O’ Lakes. Keppel, a revered cross-country coach at Land O’ Lakes High, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Jan. 25. Land O’Lakes High Principal Ric Mellin notified the school’s staff and students with this recorded message: “It is with a heavy heart … [Read more...]

No tricks, but plenty of free community treats for Halloween

Many families will go door-to-door in local neighborhoods searching for candy this Halloween. But if you’d rather do something different — or don’t want to limit the fun to Oct. 31 — there are several public events to enjoy. Several activities — most of them free — occur the weekend before Halloween, while others are scheduled for the week of the holiday, and the rest on Oct. 31. For … [Read more...]

Don’t forget: Men get breast cancer, too

Kriss Bowles was in Colorado attending a wedding with her husband, Brock, when he began complaining about pain in his spine as well as two of his ribs. He felt a lump in his right breast, too. When they returned to their home in Lutz, Brock decided to see his doctor. His main concern was trying to find out whether he had arthritis in his spine, but he also casually mentioned the lump … [Read more...]

Free seminars about county services aim to educate, motivate

With so many different agencies providing services throughout Pasco County, figuring out exactly what each one offers can be confusing. But the Community Awareness Series at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch aims to make things easier to understand with free lectures that focus on different service providers. The six-part series began with a presentation by … [Read more...]

Cancer journey chronicled through ceramic busts

People facing a life-threatening disease have different ways of coping. Some join prayer groups. Others keep journals. Some write blogs. Land O’ Lakes resident Jan Tucker decided she wanted to keep a physical record of what her breasts looked like before she began cancer treatment. She knew that her brother, Paul Phillips — who does ceramics and other kinds of art — could make the … [Read more...]