Back-to-School Fair puts spotlight on kids' safety

The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team will present its annual Back-to-School Safety Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Lake Square Mall, 10401 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg.

The fair, which helps families prepare for the school year, will include bicycle- and helmet-safety programs, a child-seat safety checkpoint, a child-identification program, face painting and more.

Sir Gus Jr. the camel will be there.

Other agencies participating include the Lake County Department of Public Works, local law-enforcement agencies, Lake County Schools' Parent Resources, Children's Home Society, Florida's Blood Centers, Florida Division of Driver Licenses, LakeXpress bus transportation and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).

The Lake County Health Department also will offer free required immunizations for students. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must have proof of immunizations -- a Florida Certificate of Immunization or "blue card." The blue card is supplied by family physicians or local county health departments.

Business after hours

The Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will have a Business After Hours on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chamber at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd.

Lady Lake's growth-management staff will answer questions about day-to-day responsibilities of the department, general process and procedures, and services offered to the public.

Refreshments will be served.

Reservations: 352-753-6029.

Marion County chief elected

The Florida Fire Chiefs Association recently elected Marion County Fire Rescue Fire Chief M. Stuart McElhaney as its 54th president.

McElhaney has served on FFCA board of directors for the past nine years and will serve a year term as president. He has been the fire chief for MCFR for 15 years.

Music and food

Pine Lakes Community Association will have a fundraiser beginning at noon Aug. 15 at the Pine Lakes Community Building, 31635 Lakeview Drive, off State Road 44 near the fire station.

The Hilltop Ramblers, a local group, will perform. Lunch and drinks will be available for purchase.

Proceeds will go toward the community building.

Classes for older drivers

AARP's Driver Safety Program helps participants refine their skills and develop safe driving habits. Upon completion of the course, Florida drivers 50 or older might be eligible for insurance discounts.

The cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers, which includes a workbook. Payment must be by check; no cash or credit cards.

The program, an eight-hour, two-day course, will be offered Monday and Aug. 12 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Leesburg Senior Center, 1211 Penn St.

Registration: 352-326-3540.

Safe Sitter classes

South Lake Hospital in Clermont will offer Safe Sitter, a course designed to train baby sitters for girls and boys ages 11 to 13.

The program teaches baby sitters how to handle crises and how to nurture and guide a child. Thousands of adolescents have been trained by Safe Sitter to handle life-threatening emergencies. Youths will get advice on safety and security precautions, such as what to do if a stranger comes to the door and when and how to call for help.

Students also will learn the basics of infant and child CPR using a mannequin.

The $50 two-part class is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Aug. 11 at the National Training Center on the hospital's campus, 1109 Citrus Tower Blvd.

Seating is limited. Preregistration is required by calling 352-394-4071, Ext. 4419.

Books for a good cause

The Lake County Agricultural Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, is selling the Bath Pond series written by Central Florida author Lowell Teal through the end of September.

The fictional series is a look at a Florida citrus family during the Depression. Half of the proceeds from the book sales will benefit the 4-H club's citrus project. Citrus growers, processors, packers and other support industries purchase citrus trees for members of the 4-H program so they can learn about the citrus industry, as well as complete a record book of their tree's care.

The four novels, which include Bath Pond, Fortunes Crossing, Inherited Journey and Promise to Poppy, are $14.95 each for softcover or $24.95 for hardcover. Cash and checks are accepted.

Details: Maggie Jarrell, 352-343-4101.

Recycle newspapers, magazines

W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora has a newspaper-recycling bin in the library parking lot, 1995 N. Donnelly St.

Acceptable items include newspapers, magazines, catalogs and white office paper.

No telephone books, plastic bags, cardboard, wrapping paper, bows or trash will be accepted.

Funds made from the recycling collection will go toward purchasing youth materials for the library.

Details: 352-735-7180, Option 5.

Mail community news to Debbie Manis, Orlando Sentinel, 1898 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL 32778-4366, fax 352-742-5938 or e-mail

Credit: The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.