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The largest Christmas present

I will always have, this one special Christmas throughout my childhood that I will never be able to forget. That year’s joyous holiday season started getting intense, a couple of weeks’ prior of the “BIG” day. My older brother (God rest his soul) brought in this present, (with my name on it mind you), that was so large, so gigantic, he had to bring it in through the double glass sliding doors.

Students paying it forward for The Arc Nature Coast

Hernando Sun Staff

Left: Mark Barry, the Executive Director of The Arc Nature Coast, as he accepts a check from Daniel Pecora who hosted a fishing tournament fundraiser for his favorite charity. He raised $378 in total.

Three seventh-grade students from Gulf Coast Academy chose The Arc Nature Coast as their charity of choice for their 'Pay it Forward' Project. The students were asked to choose a local charity and raise at least $100 for that charity. The students came up with some very creative ideas and more than surpassed their original goals. Daniel Pecora held a fishing tournament, raising $387; Noah Bedard held a bake sale and raised $157.25; and Cain McEnerney held a treasure hunt, raising a whopping $500. Thank you to all who worked so hard to raise funds to support The Arc Nature Coast.

Book It! Free pizza for reading

Hernando Sun Staff

In 1984, the son of Steven Reinemund (the president of Pizza Hut) was having trouble reading. Steve wanted to encourage his son to read, so he made a deal with his son. If his son read enough books, he would take him to Pizza Hut, just the two of them. Steve was a busy man, so this was a very strong incentive. This inspired his son to read and the father thought that this could help other students, so he set up the Book It! National Reading Incentive Program.

Dollars for dogs: love is the answer

photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Ten year old Harrison is the founder of Dollars for Dogs.

One of the most powerful commercials I recall seeing was of children following adults and imitating their actions. It ended with the tagline: Make your influence positive.

It’s a simple concept, but it requires adults to be conscious of their acts and consistent in providing good examples. That is what Mandy Celt has done. Mandy runs ASAP Rescue, which quite literally takes small animals from the euthanasia lists at animal shelters – abandoned pets, the injured or old, the throwaways.

Little girl, BIG dreams

photography by Sarha Rush, Ric Tauceda and Andrea Harrison

Photographer Madison Harrison, by Ric Tauceda

“Who says you have to be an adult to start your own business?” says Madison Harrison, owner and founder of Photos With Madison. This amazing entrepreneur is only 10 years old and started the business when she was 7. Can you believe that? Madison started taking pictures when she was only 3 years old because she wanted to capture memories herself. She says, “I wanted to take my own pictures.”

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