At our annual VHA event held at the Sharon Performing Arts Theatre, our President, Peter Russell, talked about a VHA three-legged stool, with one of the legs being our Philanthropic Ventures, another being our Advocacy role, and the third being Health and Wellness, with the seat being engraved as Quality of Life, and we take these roles very seriously for our community! The VHA Neighborhood Representatives are active in all these roles, but the Advocacy role is frontline for The VHA Neighborhood Representatives.

To support this, as well as changes implemented in The VHA recently, we are combining several of our programs to include all areas of The Villages. As we have grown, we do not feel there is a South VHA and a North VHA – we are offering these programs and other VHA events to all Villagers. We feel there is more to be accomplished by being one consolidated unit. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this dream that the Developer continues to build every day.

Listed below are a few of our upcoming programs:

  • Thursday, July 25th at 6:00pm, at the Ezell Recreation Center: We will present “Growing and Showing in The Villages”.  This program will feature our own Villages Grown and Sawgrass Show Kitchen visionaries. Drew Craven, the Executive Director of Villages Grown, has a program that demonstrates the benefits of what is grown in all those greenhouses that you see on Highway 44. Chef Scott Copeland will then present what everyone near the Sawgrass area is talking about, with his culinary expertise in preparing all variations of meals. I had the good fortune to experience this firsthand, and it is something that you must try for yourself! Chef Kristen Nicoll prepared fried calamari, Caprese salad, and chicken parmesan with Cavatappi pasta, while Sous Chef Kimberly Schwind prepared the fourth course – lemon ricotta cake with almonds. Additional staff included Javier and Bryanna, who made sure this experience was one to talk about! Please take the opportunity to visit both great places. You can get menu information for the Show Kitchen and Villages Grown by visiting The Villages Entertainment website.
  • Tuesday, August 27th at 6:00pm, at Ezell Recreation Center: We will have a presentation on our “Parks and Recreation Update”. As you may have heard, there are several exciting recreation opportunities planned in The Villages. Hopefully, we will learn more regarding the additional golf courses that are being designed and built!
  • Wednesday, September 11th at 6:00pm, at the Lake Miona Recreation Center, we will have our most popular program. Audra Platt of the Pittman Law Firm will present an “Overview of Estate Planning in Florida.” Previous attendees had not realized there were potentially so many changes needed in their estate planning if they moved to The Villages from another state. She will be discussing out-of-state legal documents to confirm their validity in the State of Florida, as well as estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney under Florida law.

So as you can see, we have prepared an interesting mixture of programs and events that are important to a tremendous number of residents. It takes a large amount of effort and work in putting these programs together for you, and our VHA members would not have it any other way. All our programs have free drawings for VHA bingo, free two-year memberships to non-members, and other giveaways, so get out and enjoy some of these programs!

If you are out and see a VHA Neighborhood Representative, please give them a thumbs-up for the job they do for this organization and the community in which they reside. They took the slogan “Get Involved, Make a Difference” to heart, and they make a difference every day. We can’t wait to meet you at our next VHA event!

Please Register for any event by visiting the VHA Website,, and click on the Events tab. Preference will be given to those registered for a given event. Please note that other events are also listed on the website – some of these events are Bingo, Residents’ Information Night, and our Golf Cart Safety Clinic. These go along with our VHA Helping Hands and VHA Foundation.

Mike Williamson