LARC visits Cedar Key

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By Kellie Parkin

More than 40 participants from the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens Work Activity Center located in Otter Creek visited the Cedar Key Community Center last Thursday for a luncheon, informational presentations by local officials and a dance.

“Mrs. Thelma McCain made us a fish dinner, grits, coleslaw, hush puppies and cake,” said Trainer Kathy Eschbach. McCain’s son Harold is a LARC participant. “Mrs. McCain fed everybody – anyone who walked through the front door,” Eschbach said.

Counting staff and visitors, more than 60 people were served by McCain, who organized the event, and other volunteers. “She does a lot for us,” Eschbach said.

LARC Executive Director Betty Walker coordinated the event. Participants were transported by Nature Coast Transit. Drivers also enjoyed the lunch, Eschbach said.

Several citizens made educational presentations.

Cedar Key Fire Chief Robert Robinson showed off the new rescue boat and spoke about how it has been used in emergency situations. Chief Robinson introduced it as “Harold’s Boat.”

Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin also stopped by to introduce himself and talk about police work.

Marine biologist Missy Jackson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Laboratory in Cedar Key gave a presentation about marine life complete with samples that were passed around for inspection.

City Commissioner Pat O’Neal attended to show his support as a resident in the community. “I just paid a visit because I like what LARC does,” O’Neal said. “I can’t say enough good about the folks that run it – the people thrive there.”

“It’s something that this county does really well,” O’Neal continued. “And Natures Coast Transit is the same. Whenever I see one of the vehicles I think, ‘OK the county is doing good.’”

O’Neal has great respect for LARC and said he hopes that in the future more and more people will support it. “LARC does a great job. It does my heart good to see them.”

After lunch and presentations, participants spent the afternoon dancing. “They love to dance,” Eschbach said. “It was fun. They all had a good time.”