The list of local good news includes Park Ranger Marion who rescued kayakers.
Local student excels in higher education
Faye Peraza d’Ocala was recently inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Jacksonville.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
The Marion County County Council of Commissioners proclaimed November Lung Cancer Awareness Month on November 2, according to a press release from the Heart of Florida Health Center. The proclamation was conducted by the Marion County Cancer Alliance Board of Directors and was read aloud at the November 2 meeting by Commissioner Kathy Bryant.
Marion County ranger recognized for rescue efforts
The county commission last week honored a park ranger who, in early October, helped save two kayakers. Clarke Allen has helped women near the Horseshoe Lake Park & Retreat in Fort McCoy, according to a press release from the county government.
Allen has been a 30-year parks veteran and oversees the North Operational Zone of Marion County Parks & Recreation. He lives in the park warden’s residence in Horseshoe Lake and helped rescue the women when he heard them screaming from the lake, the statement said.
Allen rowed towards them and provided them with life jackets. One of their kayaks had filled with water and the other had drifted, letting them swim.
“We are honored to have such an exceptional leader in parks and recreation,” said Jim Couillard, Marion County director of parks and recreation, in the statement. “In times of crisis, some people flee from danger and others run into danger in an attempt to help, and Clarke’s training and commitment to the safety of all park visitors and her team is a example of exemplary service to our community. “
At the commission meeting, Allen received a certificate of recognition as well as a special challenge coin from Fire Chief James Banta.
Marion County names Freedom Public Library meeting room in honor of lifelong education advocate
The county commission announced last week that the meeting room at Freedom Public Library in southwest Ocala was named in honor of Florence Pritchard.
Pritchard, 85, is an author and former education administrator. She joined the Friends of Freedom public library after moving to Marion County in 2012 and served as vice president and chair, according to a press release from the county government.
Ron Oppliger honored for his work with veterans
Ron Oppliger, president of the Friends of the Marion County Veterans Park, attended the monthly Ocala Chapter meeting of the National Society of the Girls of the American Revolution last week at the Ocala Golf Club.
He received the National Society of the American Revolution’s Girls’ Community Service Award.
Winn-Dixie helps Toys for Tots campaign
Winn-Dixie supermarkets collected hundreds of bikes for the 2021 Marine Toys for Tots campaign for Marion and Sumter counties.
Katie Scott, manager of CR 326 store and Carla Kelly, manager of The Villages Winn-Dixie, were on site Wednesday when the bikes were donated to the annual Toys For Tots campaign and collected by local representatives.
Kelly said the Winn Dixie-sponsored bike ride also includes a donation of around 300 helmets.
According to www.toysfortots.org, the Toys For Tots campaign runs until December 6.
Last year, the campaign distributed 49,466 toys and supported 11,482 children in Ocala, the website says.
For more information and to donate, visit the website and click on “Find your local campaign”. The email is [email protected]
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