Friday, March 30, 2012

APRIL! Ambitious and Exceptional Offerings at Master the Possibilities Education Center

April will be another great month at Master the Possibilities Education Center located at Circle Square Commons in Ocala. It begins with the 5th annual Bonsai Exhibit, which includes presentations and demonstrations. This is one of my favorite events at Master the Possibilities (MTP). It is remarkable how the Marion Bonsai Society is able to transform the open area into a beautiful "forest of art." Visitors to the exhibit will learn about this beautiful and ancient art form. Take a class...attend a demonstration...stop by!

April includes see 112 classes, presentations and lectures. It is by far the most ambitious April to date! The variety of offerings is exceptional. There's bound to be something of interest for everyone. There are even classes geared towards grandparents and their grandchildren who are often visiting during this time of year.

MTP has added a special lecture by Wesley Wilcox, Marion County Assistant Supervisor of Elections. On April 10th at 2pm, Mr. Wilcox will be speaking on redistricting and how that will affect On Top of the World Communities as well as Marion County. Mr. Wilcox is incredibly knowledgeable and will make even this dry topic interesting and relevant.

Visit the MTP website at and browse the online catalog of classes...registration is also available on the website. Plus, stay connected with MTP on Facebook at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take the Bus! by Ray Cech

Wanna know a secret? Here it is...there's a way to go shopping, spend time with friends, have lunch and relax all in one great day without ever getting in your car.

How you ask? Ride the bus!! But this isn't just any bus... Since the beginning of time, On Top of the World Communities has had its very own bus for the convenience of residents who want to leave their car at home, yet get in a day at their favorite stores located in town.

Whether you're going to Stein Mart, Walmart, Dillard's or any other areas along SR 200 in Ocala, the most economical, convenient and social way to get to those places is by riding the On Top of the World bus.

Jim French, who has been driving the On Top of the World bus for more than four years says, "With the price of gas, the best way to get anywhere is by riding my bus." When Jim talks about his bus being "friendly", he quickly relates a story or two about folks in the community who have made lifetime friends while riding the bus.

The social aspect is wonderful, but probably just as important is the convenience. Residents are picked up at a central location or if Jim's in the neighborhood, right by your front door. Then at the end of every shopping day, everyone gets dropped off at their front door or vehicle. "It's a great day out without having to think about the gas or parking lots," says Jim.

The new bus holds 14 passengers and is very comfy. When the bus schedule calls for a trip to the mall for instance, passengers will often do a bit of shopping and then jump into Five Guys for a burger, lunch at Applebee's or have ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Sometimes, the day doesn't have to be about shopping after all!

The On Top of the World bus has a regular schedule which can be found in the community telephone directory as well as the monthly community newspaper, On Top of the World News and on

So now the secret is out...take advantage of the bus!

Ray Cech is an On Top of the World resident and writer for the On Top of the World News

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Resident Club Showcase: Candler Connection Social Club

On Top of the World Communities' neighborhood, Candler Hills' residents founded the Candler Connection Social Club in 2007 for the purpose of enhancing the social lifestyle of their residents. Several years later, club volunteers now put on a variety of social and informational activities throughout the year for all Candler Hills residents. As a resident of Candler Hills, you're automatically a Candler Connection Social Club member and are invited to join in all of the activities hosted by the club, either as a participant or a volunteer. Membership into the club is free.

There are a number of committees that are responsible for creating and putting on different events. For example, the club's
Social Committee, with a team of 8 to 10 volunteers, is the heart and soul of the "party" agenda. This team usually puts on between 4 and 6 major events each year, along with several "casual" wine and cheese type functions. Some of the Social Committee's very successful parties have been "A Taste of Italy", "Scary Halloween", "A Summer Luau" and the annual "Holiday Party".

The club's
Communications Committee coordinates with other committee chairs to ensure that upcoming events are communicated to all the residents of Candler Hills. They channel information to the club's newsletter, the On Top of the World News monthly newspaper , the communities' cable TV channel, to neighborhood coordinators and to various other sources that may be particular to an upcoming event. This committee also conducts a "new resident" briefing session that helps newcomers get acquainted with the community as well as the surrounding environs.

Speaker Series is designed as an informational platform that invites topical experts to address Candler Hill's resident and has included a guest speaker with knowledge of lawn care and home maintenance. Other topics included how to care for plants when winter forgets this is Florida, how to reduce your energy bills and helpful tips on staying safe in everyday life proved by our local sheriff.

The monthly
Pot Luck Dinners are a great way to meet new people and sample some world class food. They're held at the Candler Community Center on the last Monday of the month (excluding May-August). Members have a rotation schedule for contributions to the menu. You will walk away asking for recipes and a new friend's phone number after these dinners.

Candler Gathering Club was started in 2007 by Candler residents who enjoy getting together with neighbors to visit historical sites, take in a baseball game, go fishing or spend an evening at the "ole opry". With close to 100 members, this very adventurous group will have you busy with fun things to do all year around!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Pros are Lining Up for the Ocala Open by Greg Wise

The biggest question on everyone's mind right now is...will 2-time defending Ocala Open champion and PGA professional Ted Potter, Jr. play in the tournament this year? After capturing the title last year in six extra holes of "sudden death" play over Orlando, Florida's Eric Cole, Ocala's King of Golf Ted Potter, Jr. continues his tremendous play on the Hooters Tour for 2011, capturing their money title and assuring himself what he has always dreams of...a PGA Tour Card for the 2012 playing season.

Last year's remarkable win in the "sudden death" extra hole shootout at Candler Hills Golf Club was his second in a row for the Ocala Open. So, the question is...will Potter return to repeat a third time? Only time will tell.

Other questions people are asking is whether Arnold Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders return to play in this year's tournament after finishing fourth last year and will Eric Cole, son of prominent golfers Bobby and Laura Baugh Cole from Orlando, be back in the mix after finishing second to Potter last year. Those are just a few still unanswered questions about the field of professionals this year.

Tournament director Rick Hendershot of the Florida Professional Golf Tour is encouraged with the early entries. "It is pretty early in the planning process for the guys that play," Hendershot mentioned. "So many players' schedules can change from week to week. This isn't any different from the previous years of the Ocala Open. We are still well over a week out from the entry deadline and already have players from six different states, five from Florida and two from Canada signed up to play...things are looking good," Rick added.

The 2012 Ocala Open begins on Tuesday, March 13th with a charity Pro-Am. Just as last year's event, the benefiting charities will be Hospice of Marion County and Interfaith Emergency Services. "Our charities are the real winners when the professional golfers come to town," stated Lynette Vermillion, General Manager for On Top of the World Communities, who is responsible for putting on this extraordinary tournament. "It is our pleasure to host this level of professional play at Candler Hills Golf Club and to support local charities that make such a positive impact in our community."

If you would like to get a golf team together and participate in the charity Pro-Am this year, there still is time to enter. Download an application from the Ocala Open website or contact the golf staff at Candler Hills at 352-861-9712. There is a Nike tee gift worth $225, free breakfast and lunch, and of course a round of golf with one of the professionals for each amateur player who participates in the Pro-Am. Link

See you on the course following the pros from Wednesday, March 14 through Friday, march 16!

Greg Wise is the Call Center Manager for On Top of the World Communities.