L.A. TIMES Lake Ashton Community Newsletter February 2024 Seasons of Love Simply the Best! Quilt Show Valentine's Day Party Live Entertainment Volunteer Opportunities and more! 4141 Ashton Club Drive Lake Wales, FL 33859 Lake Ashton is a 55 & Older Deed Restricted Community 863.324.6032 863.324.5457 www.lakeashtoncdd.com

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NEWSLETTER STAFF Christine Wells Editor cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com 863.324.5457 Valerie LeBlanc Advertising Sales, Layout & Design valerie@lakeashtoncdd.com SUBMISSION GUIDELINES March Issue Deadline: February 12 • Articles can be submitted on behalf of Lake Ashton clubs/ groups/organizations to promote lifestyle enhancing, opportunities, and must be approved by the group leader prior to publication • Email articles to: valerie@lakeashtoncdd.com • 150 word limit. Articles will be edited for length, clarity, and to ensure compliance with districts’ media policies • Include your club contact and phone number • The writing style is third person — avoid using I, me, my, we, our, or personal pronouns Photo Specifications: • All photos must be high-res digital images in “jpeg” format and submitted via email or CD/flash drive • Space will generally allow only one photo per article • The designer and printer will make the final determination as to the print quality of photographs for publication THE LAKE ASHTON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT DOES NOT ENDORSE OR SUPPORT ANY PARTICULAR POLITICAL CANDIDATE, PARTY, MEASURE OR ISSUE, OR ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE. FEBRUARY 2024 Lake Ashton employees are at your service. We want your experiences in the Clubhouse, Golf Course and HFC to be as pleasant and memorable as possible! Do not hesitate to contact any of the below with comments, questions or concerns. Lake Ashton Clubhouse 4141 Ashton Club Drive Lake Wales, FL 33859 Phone: 863.324.5457 Fax: 863.324.5829 LACDD Community Director: Christine Wells cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com Clubhouse Activities Assistant: Caroline Lane 863.324.6032 clane@lakeashtoncdd.com Clubhouse Office Manager: Sheila Moreland 863.324.5457 smoreland@lakeashtoncdd.com Clubhouse Operations Manager: Matt Fisher 863.956.6207 mfisher@lakeashtoncdd.com LW Homeowners Association (HOA) Golf Club - Ron Lavoie, General Manager Ian Peterson, Head Golf Professional Eagle’s Nest - Sandra Goodwin, Manager RV & Storage Center Charm City Nik Minadakis, Owner In case of emergency, dial 911! Police Non-Emergency Numbers: Lake Wales: 863.678.4223 Winter Haven: 863.291.5858 Polk County Sheriff: 863.298.6200 3 Lake Ashton Health & Fitness Center (HFC) 6052 Pebble Beach Boulevard Winter Haven, FL 33884 Phone: 863.595.1562 Fax: 863.595.1567 LAIICDD Community Director: James Margeson Phone: 863.595.1562 jmargeson@lakeashton2cdd.com HFC Activities Office Manager: Krystle Funk 863.595.1562 kfunk@lakeashton2cdd.com Gate Houses & Security Officers: Thompson Nursery Rd. (LW): 863.324.7290 County Road 653 (WH): 863.318.0237 863.325.0065 directors@lakeashtonhoa.org lakeashtonhoa.com 863.326.1032 863.326.1032 rlavoie@lakeashtongc.com ipeterson@lakeashtongc.com 863.326.1085 sgoodwin@lakeashtongc.com 863.326.1304 dholmes@lakeashtonstorage.com 863-662-3300 charmcityfl@gmail.com

MONDAY COFFEE Meet new neighbors and to hear about local community happenings, community events and receive information on current projects within Lake Ashton. Meet local vendors personally and even snag a few free items or win services or products. Mondays at 9 am in the Clubhouse Ballroom — coffee & donuts available for $2. FEBRUARY 5 • Birthdays and Anniversaries • LA Woodworkers Project of the Month • Featured Speaker: South Pointe Elementary (the new school on CR 653) • Featured Vendors: Christine Graves, ComForCare, Central Florida Healthcare Offering Free Blood Pressure Checks, Miller’s Central Air FEBRUARY 12 • Bite Me Monday — Donations of pet food and/or supplies for the Humane Society of Polk County • Featured Speakers: Neighborhood Watch Presents Police Chief Meet and Greet • Featured Vendors: Matt Simpson with Edward Jones, Tessier Law Firm, Keep Moving Health • BLOODMOBILE in the Clubhouse West Parking Lot from 8:30 to 11:30 am FEBRUARY 19 • Peanut Butter Monday - Donations will go to the Havendale Food Pantry. Cereal and other non perishable food items are needed. Monetary donations can be dropped off at the Clubhouse Activities Office. • Featured Speaker: AdventHealth Talks - Heart Health • Featured Vendors: True AC, Water’s Edge, Home Instead, Edward Jones - Melissa Kincaid FEBRUARY 26 — NO MONDAY COFFEE IN THIS ISSUE NEWS 5 LA LOOKS 14 SAFETY 16 MOVIES 20 EVENTS 22 MIND & BODY 30 CLUBS 36 GOLF 44 BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETINGS LAKE ASHTON II (WH) CDD February 16, 9 am Health & Fitness Center LAKE ASHTON (LW) CDD February 26, 9 am Clubhouse Ballroom CIT Y COMMISSION MEETINGS LW: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 6 pm, Commission Chambers, Municipal Administration Bldg., 201 W. Central Ave., Lake Wales WH: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 6:30 pm, John Fuller Auditorium in City Hall, 451 3rd St. NW, Winter Haven POLK COUNT Y BOCC MEETINGS 1st & 3rd Tues. , 9 am, Board Room, 330 W. Church St., Bartow

HOURS OF OPERATION CLUBHOUSE: 6 am – 10 pm daily CLUBHOUSE & ACTIVITIES OFFICES: 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday HEALTH & FITNESS CENTER: 5:30 am – 10 pm daily HFC OFFICES & ACTIVITIES DESK: 8 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday MONTHLY MARKET Shop local without leaving the community on the second Wednesday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm. We have a new vendor selling fresh eggs! Vendor recommendations and resident vendors are always welcome - contact Caroline (clane@lakeashtoncdd.com). BAXTER’ S QUAL ITY MEATS Get fresh poultry, fish, and beef every Wednesday in the Clubhouse West parking lot from 10 am to 2 pm. There are always new specials on the board! BOOKMOBILE Second & fourth Wednesdays, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (closed for lunch 12:30 to 1:15) in the Clubhouse West Parking Lot. Polk County library card holders can check out and return books, movies, and more! LOVE YOUR LIBRARY WEEK The Lake Wales Library Association will visit Lake Ashton on February 14, 9:30 am until 3:30 pm to celebrate Love Your Library Week, a nationwide celebration of public libraries, and the non-profit organizations that support them. The LW Library Association celebrates its 70th HOMELESS GRADUATING SENIORS By Doris Reisinger It’s that time of year once more. Soon graduation plans will be planned with joy and happiness. Once again we need your gracious charity to help 147 homeless high school seniors. About 50 of these have no family at all! All help programs stop once they graduate which means even though they have worked hard the help stops. Many will be working jobs when other kids are attending the big graduation school party. Please help us provide an early graduation party, help with domestic items and hopefully some financial help for college. There will be a presentation at Monday Coffee March 4. Any donation great or small is very appreciated. Either Activities Desk can accept donations or call Doris at 217-652-6636 with any questions or donations. Doris will also be at the Monday Coffees. GIRL SCOUT COOKIES Girl Scout Troop #75012 will be selling cookies in the Clubhouse Lobby February 12 and 19 from 4 to 5 pm. Cookies are $6 per box. Gluten free options available! anniversary on February 4. They are bringing their Love Your Library membership drive to Lake Ashton. New and renewing members will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket. Visit lwlibraryassoc.org for information. KNIFE SHARPENING Bring your knives and scissors to the Wood Shop (near the construction office/RV storage area off Dunmore Drive) between 8:30 and 10 am on February 5. ADOPT-A-ROAD CLEANUP A Lake Ashton quarterly litter clean-up event is scheduled for Thompson Nursery Road on February 29. Meet in the Clubhouse Ballroom at 8:30 am to pick up trash bags, gloves, safety vests and trash grabbers. Volunteers receive a free t-shirt and Bok Tower ticket each calendar year. Sign up online or contact Linda Sandel at 863-368-0699 or Sandelly7@gmail.com. Thank you for helping to keep our community beautiful!

LOST AND FOUND may make your standing reservation at the Clubhouse and/or Health and Fitness Center. If you have possibly lost anything at the Clubhouse or surrounding area, stop by the Clubhouse Office, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, to check the Lost and Found to see if it has been turned in. Lost and Found items will frequently be displayed at Monday Coffee and may be donated to local charities if not claimed. NEW RESIDENT ORI ENTATION The next new resident orientation will be held in the Clubhouse Ballroom on April 3 at 2 pm. Get introduced to the community, and meet other new residents and community leaders. Sign up online or at either Activities Office. Club, group and organization facilitators who would like to set up an information table at the New Resident Orientation should email Christine Wells at cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com. CLUBS, GROUPS, & ORGANI ZATIONS REMINDERS It is exciting to see so many residents enjoying the amenities and staff wants to ensure all residents have an equal opportunity to book a room for a new activity or join one of the groups that currently meet at the Clubhouse and HFC. Residents interested in joining a new group should visit both Activities Desks to obtain a list of registered Club, Groups, Offices, and Organizations that meet in each location. In keeping with the Joint Amenity Facilities Policies, there are no personal “standing” weekly reservations allowed for the Amenity Facilities listed in the reservation policies. Registered clubs, groups, and organizations may make “standing” reservations. To register as a Lake Ashton Club, Group, or Organization please visit the Clubhouse Office or HFC Activities Office to obtain an application. Once approved by the respective Community Director you To be considered a club, group or organization the following criteria must be met in its entirety. 1. Clubs must be comprised of a minimum of at least five (5) Patrons. 2. No Club may be formed, and no activities held within the Amenities Facilities, for commercial or profit-making purposes. 3. The purpose of each Club must be to provide lifestyle-enhancing opportunities to Patrons and not to effectuate sales of products or services. Clubs may generate funds through dues and proceeds from Club organized events. If a Club chooses to generate funds, a check-and-balance system must be in place. 4. Club membership and Club activities must be available to all Patrons. Patrons will be given priority to attend any club activity or event. 5. Registered guests may be invited to attend if space permits. The Amenity Manager has the right to ask registered Guests and other Non-Residents to leave if necessary to accommodate Patrons. 6. Club facilitators are responsible for ensuring all participants of any club, group, or organization events are residents of Lake Ashton or in possession of a valid Facilities Guest Pass. If unauthorized participants try and gain access to District amenities, it is the responsibility of the facilitator to contact Staff and have the unauthorized participants removed from District amenities. 7. Criteria for Club membership should be governed by the individual club’s Bylaws and must comply with the adopted Joint Amenity Facilities Policies. Violations of any of the Joint Amenity Facilities Policies by any Club may result in the loss of that Club’s privileges within the Amenity Facilities. Please contact LA (LW) CDD Community Director Christine Wells at cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com or 863-324-5457, or LAII (WH) CDD Community Director James Margeson at jmargeson@lakeashton2cdd.com or 863-595-1562 with any questions or concerns.

SECURITY TRANSITION UPDATE Thank you to the residents who completed the information form online and in person. Residents who did not complete the form will have another opportunity to do so once in person registration begins in the coming months. Please stay tuned to email for information on when this will take place. To receive email blasts, click on the link to sign up on lakeashtoncdd.com or lakeashton2cdd.com (on the right side of either website's home page). Securitas has given a tentative start date of February 5 to begin installing the equipment needed for the system to function. This process is estimated to take approximately 6-8 weeks to complete as there are many components involved including amenity access equipment and additional cameras being installed at the Clubhouse and RFID equipment and cameras being installed at the Thompson Nursery Road and CR 653 entrances. Soon examples of the RFID tags and amenity access cards will be on display in the Clubhouse and HFC for residents to get a first time look at the credentials that will be distributed. We understand this is a big change for residents and we are here to help with this transition. Please feel free to reach out to Supervisors or Staff with any questions. Contact information for Supervisors can be found on pages 10 and 11. Residents can also contact Christine Wells, LA (LW) CDD Community Director at cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com or James Margeson, LA II (WH) CDD Community Director at jmargeson@lakeashton2cdd.com with questions. 2024 CITY OF LAKE WALES COMMISSION ELECTION Lake Wales residents can vote in the next Commission election on April 2 in the Clubhouse Ballroom. The period to qualify for election to Seat 2 and Seat 4 begins at noon Monday, February 12 and ends at noon February 16 in the City Clerk’s Office at the City Administration Building, 201 W. Central Ave, Lake Wales. Candidate packets will be available in the City Clerk’s Office beginning at 9 am on Friday, February 2. For additional information, contact City Clerk Jennifer Nanek at 863-678-4182, ext. 1254. Contact the Supervisor of Elections at 863-534-5888 to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot. Voter registration deadline is March 4. LAKEASHTONLIVING.COM By Iris Realmuto Discover how to navigate the features of LakeAshtonLiving.com. This website is a tool for residents to better connect with the community. Come to the Clubhouse Cinema at 10:30am on February 19 and learn all about the features of the website including resident directory, marketplace, event calendar, ticket sales & signups, CDD, HOA, club and activity information, resource listing of service providers and restaurants, and discussion groups. Iris Realmuto will provide insight into what’s available to Lake Ashton residents and answer all your questions.

RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT David Fix and Greg Nauman retired to Florida in 2016 from Pennsylvania. Health was a priority for both of them from day one of retirement so they started out walking. In 2018 they graduated to running and completed their first runDisney race (a half marathon) in 2019. They moved to Lake Ashton in 2020 and continued their healthy lifestyle by running nearly every day for at least 5 miles (most of the time much more). They even brought their love of running to Lake Ashton and the surrounding communities by hosting the first ever Turkey Trot benefiting Lake Wales Care Center (2021), Jingle Bell Jog benefiting Victory Ridge (2022), and Fall Fest 5K benefiting Hands 4 Hope (2023) raising $10,000 for all the organizations, combined. In 2022 they completed their first marathon as part of the 48.6 mile Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge consists of 3.1 miles the first day, 6.2 miles on day two, 13.1 miles on day three, and 26.2 miles on day four for a total of 48.6 miles in 4 four days. One Dopey Challenge turned into 3 completed challenges in January 2024. This third Challenge was a little different for David and Greg as it had a part 2. The day after completing the Dopey Challenge in Orlando and after running 48.6 miles in 4 days, they hopped on a plane and flew to Disneyland in Anaheim, California to complete the Dumbo Double Dare which consisted of 3.1 miles on the first day, 6.2 miles on day two, and 13.1 miles on the last day. For those keeping up with the math, that is 71 miles in two weekends. By running at least a half marathon in both Disney World and Disneyland they also qualified for the Coast to Coast Challenge medal. Showcase Series By Brenda Jackson Meet Jay! Jay is a “jack of all trades” at Charm City with one mission: to make everyone’s visit memorable and enjoyable. He is so full of life and love he will spontaneously break out in song or dance. Many of you have witnessed this side of Jay and will agree, he is quite good. He loves to entertain and loves even more knowing he is making people happy! Jay is a newlywed and comes to us from ChampionsGate. What is something you would like us to know? “We are changing things up to keep things new and fresh. We have had two successful events, our Halloween Party and our Ugly Sweater Party and are planning more. Our Sunday Fundays have been quite successful too. We are now introducing daily specials. It just started so we would appreciate feedback both positive and negative to know what is working and what is not. I truly believe we can’t grow and be successful without your feedback. Some new events we are looking to do are a Valentines Day party and a Super Bowl party, to just name two. Please watch the LA Times, the bulletin board outside of Charm City doors, and our Facebook page for more details!” Greg and David are pictured here with the astonishing 11 medals they earned during their Coast to Coast Challenge. Not only did they earn 22 additional medals, collectively, to add to their ever growing collection (in the picture behind them) they also enjoyed a celebratory dinner with friend, actress Lydia Cornell (Sara from Too Close For Comfort) while in Anaheim. Wow, what a week for these two amazing residents. It is safe to say they are representing the fact that age is just a number and you can do anything if you put your mind to it. When you see them running in the community make sure to cheer them on as they are most likely training for their next race!

LAKE ASHTON HANDS 4 HOPE BRING SMILES By LA Hands 4 Hope On December 7, 2023, the LA Clubhouse was filled with giggles, laughter and yes, some tears as LA Hands 4 Hope (LA H4H) brought families together for a special Christmas & Holiday Dinner. Even the Grinch snuck a smile as Santa and a helper provided gifts for the children and families. A wonderful dinner was provided by multiple residents and served by LA H4H volunteers. Families were truly touched, and many comments were so endearing, for instance: “Thank you for this event, we had an amazing time and felt special,” or, “I can’t remember the last time I ate and was filled.” Love and respect filled the room. Thank you to all who helped: the LA H4H committee and volunteers, LA 5K chaired by David Fix and Greg Nauman, and the Looplanders for their special donation. It’s a wonderful example of many working together to bring hope to others. Your help contributed to the success of this event. This summer look for more opportunities to help LA H4H provide backpacks loaded with the necessary school supplies to students who would not otherwise be able to afford them. Together we can help these students have a much better chance of working through their education. LAH4H is always open to ideas and volunteers in Lake Ashton. LA H4H accepts financial donations anytime. For additional information contact Sophia Brennan at 305-713-0101. THANKS FROM SHERIFF GRADY JUDD THANK YOU to Lake Ashton and all that helped. Because of you over 500 toys were donated to the Sheriff’s Deptartment for distribution. A trailer load of toys have made many children smile. The letter below says it all. “Look at these wonderful gifts and wonderful people from the Lake Ashton community! LA Hands 4 Hope, a community organization that provides support to kids and parents in low-income and underserved areas, partnered with Lake Ashton community to setup a toy drive. They did a “Drive-in Movie” toy drive where they requested a toy per person, served hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks while enjoying their neighbors. As a result they collected over 500 toys! Every year they choose a place where toys would go and this year they choose Polk County Sheriff's Office because of our commitment to the community. Our deputies will be providing these toys to deserving kids in families that are socioeconomically challenged. Please join me in thanking LA Hands 4 Hope and the residents of the Lake Ashton community!” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

LACDD NEWS By Christine Wells, LA (LW) CDD Community Director There is a lot of talent at Lake Ashton! Take a look at additional winners of the 2023 Fine Arts and Photography Show displayed in the Clubhouse main hallway during the entire month of February. Save the date for the 2024 Fine Arts and Photography Show on March 9. February is full of a multitude of opportunities to meet new neighbors and create lasting relationships. Lake Ashton is fortunate to have two facilities to offer a plethora of entertainment and educational opportunities designed to maintain an active, engaging lifestyle. Don't forget to take a look at pages 22 - 34 in addition to the calendar inserts for information on the current activities, events, and classes at the Clubhouse and Health and Fitness Center (HFC). The Lake Ashton Activities Advisory Group recently welcomed two new members and continues to meet on a monthly basis, alternating between the Clubhouse and HFC, to evaluate past events and assist staff with planning future events and activities at the Clubhouse and the HFC. Suggestions for entertainment, educational classes, and activities are always welcome and are evaluated by the group at each meeting. Please reach out to Christine Wells at cwells@lakeashtoncdd.com or James Margeson at jmargeson@lakeashton2cdd.com with any suggestions for programming or constructive feedback on past events and activities. There was a Joint Board of Supervisors meeting on January 19. Supervisors approved of the revised Joint Amenity Facilities Policies and a final version can be found on lakeashtoncdd.com or lakeashton2cdd.com under "Additional District Documents". In addition the Boards agreed to work on combining the District's individual policies for the issuance of RFID Tags to residents into one policy. LACDD BOARD OF SUP ERVISO RS CONTA CT INF O Lloyd Howison, Chairman 704-302-6555, lhowison@lakeashtoncdd.com Brenda Van Sickle, Vice Chair 863-324-6191 brenda.vansickle@lakeashtoncdd.com Michael Costello, Assistant Secretary 863-875-9228 or 732-718-7431 mcostello@lakeashtoncdd.com Debby Landgrebe, Assistant Secretary 863-268-8193 dlandgrebe@lakeashtoncdd.com Steve Realmuto, Assistant Secretary 863-949-0304, steve.lacdd@gmail.com Office Hours After Monday Coffee in the Clubhouse Ballroom LACDD Supervisors met on January 22. At this meeting Supervisors set the rates for the RFID Tags for Lake Wales residents and Amenity Access Cards for both Lake Wales and Winter Haven residents. Thanks to a Sponsorship, Lake Wales residents will receive up to 2 RFID Tags and up to 2 Amenity Access Cards per household at no charge and Winter Haven residents will receive up to 2 Amenity Access Cards per household. Additional RFID tags and Amenity Access Cards can be purchased for $10 each. Please note, residency verification will be required for each tag and card issued. A full list of approved rates was sent out in a wrap up report on January 24. The purchase of a handicap lift, to be installed at the Clubhouse Spa, was also approved. In addition staff is in the process of evaluating converting to natural gas at the Clubhouse and will be presenting additional information to the board at the February Board of Supervisors meeting. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings to get first hand information on community issues and projects. Please visit lakeashtoncdd.com for meeting dates and Supervisor contact information.

LAIICDD NEWS By James Margeson, LAIICDD Community Director LA II CDD BOARD OF SUP ERVISORS CONTA CT INF O Jim Mecsics, Chairman Public Safety & District Operations/Programs Office Hours: Tuesdays 9:30 am to 12 pm 863.875.4554, mecsicsj@msn.com Bob Zelazny, Vice Chairman Golf Course, Pro Shop, Eagle’s Nest, Facilities and Field Operation, Transportation System (roads, bridges, paths, etc.) Office Hours: Mondays 1 to 3 pm 863.325.8098, bzelazny@lakeashton2cdd.com Mary C. Clark, Assistant Secretary Public Works & Infrastructure, Including Roadways 252-503-7087, maryclark725@gmail.com Angela Littlewood, Assistant Secretary Special Projects, Landscaping Area including Pet Play Parks Office Hours: Thursdays 9 to 10:30 am 352.250.9707 alittlewoodlakeashton2cdd@gmail.com Roy Aull, Assistant Secretary Facilities/Amenity Management Office Hours: Friday 9 to 10:30 am 973-670-2709, raull@lakeashton2cdd.com The Lake Ashton II CDD Board and Staff welcomes February with new programs and events! January had many activities our residents attended and enjoyed. Highlights were our dances, starting with the Free Whiskey Band, on January 12. This was a sold out crowd, who danced and enjoyed the outstanding music of this local band. A Health Expo was also held at the HFC on January 26, with many vendors who addressed resident health care needs and concerns. This month, on February 2, there will be a Sock Hop, featuring the 57 Chrome Band, from 7 to 10 p.m. This event will be a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Research. So dust off your saddle shoes and come on over to HFC to support this important event. Additionally, a new entertainment offering of a free Magic Show will take place on February 9 at 2 p.m. Come on out and experience some magic and illusions at the HFC! February 14, we will be starting a new Zumba Class in the Sports Court. If you are interested, please contact Krystle at the Activities Desk, to register. To add to our new Zumba program, an Aquatic Zumba will also be offered. Contact Krystle to register as well. The Lake Ashton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be conducting a Tornado Drill at various locations within the community on February 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. During this time, you may see CERT personnel and carts driving around the community to ensure our emergency responders are ready for deployment. The deadline for registration for the new gate access system Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) was December 29 2023. This program replaces the outdated clicker system and will enhance the security of our community. Again, we are excited to bring many more activities and programs to the HFC in 2024 that we are sure our residents will enjoy — hope to see you there!

L.A. LOOKS Central SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION ALL STAR GRILL 2019 SR 60 E., Lake Wales, FL 33898 (833) 679-9689, allstargrillfl.com Hours: Sunday - Thursday 11 am - 10 pm Friday & Saturday 11 am - 12 pm Happy Hour 2 - 7 pm Two time champions for best wings! Dine in or take out. Full bar with TVs, NFL Ticket, pool tables, darts, games. CHERRY POCKET STEAK N SEAFOOD SHAK 3100 Canal Rd., Lake Wales FL 33898 (863) 439-2031, cherrypocket.com Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-10 pm. We offer Indoor & Outdoor Seating, Pick-Up, & Delivery THE CROOKED BASS GRILL & TAVERN 1010 N. Scenic Hwy., Babson Park, FL 33827 (863) 589-5887, crookedbass.com Hours: Mon - Thurs 11:30 am-8 pm; Fri & Sat 11:30 am-9 pm; Sun 12-7 pm We serve delicious Seafood, Steaks (including Prime Rib), Burgers, Pizza, Salads, Chicken, Pork Chops, Pasta, Wings, AYCE Specials & a Full Liquor Bar. OVATION BISTRO & BAR Locations in Winter Haven, Lakeland & Davenport ovationbistro.com Offer 1: Free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of 2 entrees/drinks Offer 2: $10 off the purchase of $60 or more Offer 3: Lake Ashton Residents get a free glass of house wine, beer or cocktail with any purchase. Bring this coupon to redeem. Native Plants of Florida By Lynn Davis How could I not start February off without talking about the Purple Passion Flower otherwise called maypop (for the sound it makes when stepped on). This beautiful woody climbing vine is a favorite of many pollinators. It grows rapidly, producing lavender blooms three to five inches wide. The blooms are showy from June through July. A small fruit grows on the spent blooms in summer through early fall. This plant will go dormant in winter. When growing Purple Passion Flowers, think natural. It’s a native plant needing little care. It does well in sandy/clay soil and prefers at least six hours of sunlight. The vine is also cold tolerant and does well in dry conditions. Why plant Purple Passion Flowers in your yard? This plant is notorious for hosting larva. It’s a favorite of the zebra longwing which happens to be the state butterfly. It’s also an attraction for hummingbirds. It will grow easily on a trellis or wall. Some people prefer growing it in containers. They like the flexibility of moving it to other areas. Just make sure to repot it every two years or so. Be cautious purchasing at Box Store nurseries. It might be the invasive variety Passiflora edulis. It’s always a good idea to head to a native nursery or one big on attracting pollinators for your garden purchase. NUISANCE PLANT ALERT: TORPEDOGRASS Torpedograss first appeared in the United States in the early 1800s. It was planted as a forage grass for cattle and livestock, but it quickly became out of control, spreading into waterways. Torpedograss is a type of invasive grass that grows quickly and widely in bodies of water. If not treated immediately, this grass can obstruct water flow and limit recreational use of lakes and ponds. Torpedograss can be difficult to eradicate. In order to keep Lake Ashton's waterways free of this invasive grass, Lake Ashton staff and our aquatics vendor conduct on-site tours of each pond and ensure there is a treatment plan in place. Contact mfisher@lakeashtoncdd.com with questions.

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Wildlife Corner Photo & Article By Barbara Ann Comer for the website and provide your name, address and email (if you have one or let us know you do not have one) so we can reach out to you and update your user profile and provide assistance. The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck has become a common year-round resident of Lake Ashton. This wasn't always the case, fifteen years ago it was a real treat to see one here. They are brightly colored, noisy and hard to miss when present. This species is found in Texas and Mexico and is believed to have arrived naturally in Florida. Formerly considered "Tree Ducks," they perch in trees and, like the Wood Duck, nest in hollow trees or duck boxes. Males and females are identical in plumage. Their loud whistle can be heard when flying over; when doing so at night residents might believe they are hearing aliens. The joke goes they were once called tree ducks, but that was before they learned how to whistle. The red bill and legs, black belly and white wing patches make this bird appear rather clown-like. LA (LW) HOA CORNER By Brenda Jackson Didn’t get your assessment statement? We understand the mail can be a fickle thing at times or maybe you went on holiday and did not receive it. Contact Marti Schmidt at president@lakeashtonhoa.org or Brenda Jackson at admin@lakeashtonhoa.org or email the Board at directors@lakeashtonhoa.org and they will be happy to help you sort it out. If you haven’t already, please register for the HOA website for Lake Wales residents at lakeashtonhoa.com or engage.goenumerate.com. This is our official HOA website, and 402 of your neighbors have successfully signed up and activated their accounts. If we have your email, you should have received an invite to register. Please register to ensure you receive all communications and information to keep you in the know. Haven’t received an email? Need assistance? Please email admin@lakeashtonhoa.org or call 863-325-0065 and leave a message indicating you need help in registering The HOA Annual Meeting will be held February 25, 2024 in the Clubhouse Ballroom. More information will be posted and sent out as we draw closer to the date. Your HOA Board has 2 seats expiring in 2024. We currently have 2 individuals (currently on the Board) that are interested in continuing to serve. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting! LA (LW) HOA BOARD • Marti Schmidt, President & Treasurer treasurer@lakeashtonhoa.org president@lakeashtonhoa.org • David Muller, Vice President vp@lakeashtonhoa.org • John Leale, Vice President vicepresident2@lakeashtonhoa.org • Tim Doyle, Secretary secretary@lakeashtonhoa.org • Harold Jackson secretary2@lakeashtonhoa.org • Bob Prowant manager@lakeashtonhoa.org • Greg Bluemke arc@lakeashtonhoa.org LA II (WH) HOA BOARD • Dave Bishop, President presidentla2hoa@outlook.com • James Akridge, Vice President/HOA Liaison vparcla2hoa@outlook.com • Claude Browne, Secretary secretaryla2@outlook.com • Bill Martin, Vice President & Assistant Treasurer vptreasurerla2hoa@outlook.com • Connie Strassberg, Treasurer treasurerla2hoa@outlook.com • Pierre Duquette, LAII ARC Chair A6lawharc2@gmail.com • ARC requests: arctracker.com/lakeashton2


SAFETY All vehicles, including golf carts, must obey all stop signs and the 20 mph speed limit throughout LA. A person operating a golf cart on public roads or streets who is under 18 years must possess a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license. Please keep an eye out for pedestrians at all times. When walking or bicycling, especially at night or in the early morning, remember to "Be Safe and Be Seen: Make Yourself Visible to Drivers.” • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials • Carry a flashlight • Cross in well-lit areas • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing C RT CERTainly Safe HOME SAFETY REMINDERS COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM Home Safety Tips from Your Lake Ashton Community Emergency Response Team Many folks like to start the new year with some healthy resolutions. Here are some general safety to-dos we all should be sure to take care of this year: Smoke and CO Monitors - Don’t forget to replace the batteries semi-annually in these very important monitors. Hire a home maintenance person to do the job if you’re unable to climb a ladder safely up to your monitors. Fire Extinguishers - If you don’t already have a portable extinguisher in your house (one designated for ABC class fires) you should get one. If you already have such an extinguisher, check to be sure it is easy to get to (not obstructed by other stored items) and it is fully charged and ready to go. Make sure everyone in your home knows where it is and how to use it. Important Numbers - Be sure to have an up-to-date list of phone numbers for family/friends/neighbors/doctors, plus any other important services to call in the event of a medical, fire or other emergency. Keep the list where it’s easy to find. First Aid Supplies - Check your supplies of Band-Aids, gauze, tape, antiseptics, burn ointment, and other basic first aid supplies. Make sure everything is up-to-date, you and your family know where they are, how to use them, and that all such materials are easy to get to. Vaccines and Inoculations - Ask your doctor if you’re up to date for all recommended vaccines. Don’t forget to check with your veterinarian to be sure your pets’ vaccines are up-to-date too. 16

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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH By Brenda Jackson, NW PR Liaison We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to 2024. We know we are! Mark your calendars for these exciting events: February 12 – Please join us at Monday Morning coffee where the Chiefs of Police from Lake Wales and Winter Haven discuss what is happening in their city. All public safety groups (Neighborhood Watch, Citizens Assisted Patrol, and the Community Emergency Response Team) are encouraged to attend in their respective uniforms. If you have specific questions you would like answered, email them to fswperson@aol.com and these will become the questions of priority during the meeting. If time permits the Q&A will be opened to the audience. February 27 - National Night Out. This year's event starts at the Clubhouse and finishes at the HFC. More information and details to come! March 5 - Sheriff Grady Judd is coming! He will join us at the HFC Community Center around 2:30. We are looking forward to a new and exciting year growing the Block Captain group and completing our Deputy positions. Let us know if you are interested in joining either of these groups or would like more information on how you can be more active in our Lake Ashton Neighborhood Watch. For questions/concerns, please contact Deputy Chief, Joan DiBattista @ 239.851.7899. CERT TORNADO DRILL Lake Ashton CERT will hold their annual Tornado Drill from 1 to 4 pm on February 15. Participants will be in CERT or Polk Fire/Rescue uniforms and will be practicing a mock post tornado damage assessment in Lake Ashton. The activity is planned away from busy areas. Orange cones will be placed at the side of some roads to facilitate the drill and will be removed at the end of the exercise. Home Instead® Care Professionals can provide the care needed to ensure your loved one returns home safely . Call (863) 294-9141 or visit HomeInstead.com/333 FL Lic# 299994096 PERSONAL CARE | TRANSPORTATION | MEALS & NUTRITION | MEMORY CARE Each Home Instead® office is an independently owned and operated franchise of Home Instead, Inc., an Honor Company. © 2022 Home Instead, Inc. 18

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MOVI ES The Lake Ashton Black Heritage Club Presents: A Black Film Festival to Celebrate Black History Month FEBRUARY 6 — 8 (NO 3 OR 7 PM SHOWINGS FEBRUARY 8) 11 AM, 3 PM, 7 PM MARSHALL 2017 | PG-13 | 1H 58MIN Young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to conservative Connecticut when wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson) accuses Black chauffeur Joseph Spell of sexual assault and attempted murder. He soon teams up with Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a local Jewish lawyer who's never handled a criminal case. Together, the two men build a defense while contending with racist and anti-Semitic views from those who deem Spell to be guilty. FEBRUARY 13 — 15 (NO 7 PM SHOWING FEBRUARY 14) 11 AM, 3 PM, 7 PM THE EQUALIZER 3 2023 | R | 1H 49MIN Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he's done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new friends are 18 under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the mafia. FEBRUARY 20 — 22 RUSTIN 2023 | PG-13 | 1H 48MIN The architect of 1963's momentous March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was one of the greatest activists and organizers the world has ever known. He challenged authority, never apologized for who he was, what he believed, or who he desired. And he did not back down. He made history, and in turn, he was forgotten. Directed by DGA Award and fivetime Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, Rustin shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world, and inspired a movement in a march toward freedom. FEBRUARY 27 — 29 (NO 7 PM SHOWING FEBRUARY 28) BYE BYE BARRY 2023 | PG | 1H 32MIN When NFL superstar Barry Sanders vanished at the height of his career, he left the NFL world in shock. He was still in his prime, chasing the all-time NFL rushing record when he boarded a flight to England and never stepped foot on the field again. Now, 24 years later, Barry retraces his steps through the streets of London to finally confront the mystery. CLOSED CAPTIONED SHOWINGS: ALL TUESDAY SHOWINGS 11 AM SHOWINGS ON WEDNESDAYS, THURSDAYS & FRIDAYS CINEMA CAPACITY: 55

MAY 7 FEATURE FILM FRIDAYS — 11 AM SHOWTIME IS CLOSED CAPTIONED FEBRUARY 2 11 AM, 3 PM & 7 PM WAITING TO EXHALE 1995 | R | 2HR 1MIN Navigating through careers, family and romance, four friends bond over the shortcomings in their love lives -- namely, the scarcity of good men. Both as the "other woman," Savannah (Whitney Houston) and Robin (Lela Rochon) carry on relationships with married men, each believing their lovers will leave their wives for them. On the flip side, Bernadine (Angela Bassett) ends up alone when her husband divorces her for his mistress. Meanwhile, Gloria (Loretta Devine) finds love with a new neighbor. FEBRUARY 9 AT 11 AM (NO 3 OR 7 PM SHOWINGS) SILVER DOLLAR ROAD 2023 | PG | 1H 40MIN From Academy-Award Nominee Raoul Peck, Silver Dollar Road follows the story of the Reels family as told by the matriarch Mamie Reels Ellison and her niece Kim Renee Duhon, two fierce women defending their rights and fighting to protect their ancestor's land and their brothers and uncles Melvin and Licurtis, who were incarcerated for eight years for refusing to leave their homes -- becoming two of the longest serving inmates for civil contempt in the country. This documentary, based on the 2019 ProPublica article, highlights the ways the legal system is exploited to limit land ownership in the Black community and further contributes to the racial wealth gap. FEBRUARY 16 11 AM, 3 PM & 7 PM THE COLOR PURPLE 1985 | PG-13 | 2H 32MIN An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie's abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing "Mister" Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa. Based on the novel by Alice Walker. FEBRUARY 23 11 AM, & 3 PM (NO 7 PM SHOWING) THE HARDER THEY FALL 2021 | R | 2H 17MIN When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his right and left hand men--hottempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler)--and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including "Treacherous" Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and they are not a group that knows how to lose. the Lake Ashton Black Heritage Club meets the second Monday of each month at 4 pm in the Clubhouse Card Room. All Lake Ashton residents are invited to attend the meetings and are invited to become members.

EVENTS SCAN THIS QR CODE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE TO SIGN UP FOR EVENTS LIS TED IN THIS ISSUE. TRIVIA By David Fix Join your neighbors for a fun time and a chance to win some cash on February 4 in the Clubhouse Ballroom! Only $1 to play, teams not required. Maximum of 8/table. Bring your own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Doors open at 6 pm and trivia begins at 7. RELAY FOR LIFE By David Harrison The LA Purple Stars will have a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society by selling luminary bags for a minimum donation of $10 at Monday Coffee starting February 5. After every Monday Coffee, the luminary bags will be sold at both Activities Desks. Decorate the bag to remember a family member or friend you have lost to cancer or someone still fighting this disease. Return the bags, and a small can like soup, to any LA Purple Stars member or Activities Desk staff member or volunteer by March 8. We will put a tea light in each bag to illuminate it. All Lake Ashton residents are invited to join the Walk For A Cure at 6 pm on Tuesday March 12 in the Clubhouse West parking lot to walk around the Pavilion and end back at the Clubhouse circle to view all the luminary bags. QUILTS OF VALOR & K9 QUILTS OF HONOR Anyone who would like to put together quilt tops for Law Enforcement K9s and military veterans and active duty should meet in the HFC Sports Court February 9 from 1:15 to 4:45 pm. Thread, fabric, beginner patterns and any instruction, if needed, will be provided. Bring your excitement, sewing machine and scissors. Don’t sew? We will need people to iron for those sewing. A “Quilt of Valor®” is our award to Service Members and Veterans who have been touched by war. There has been over 350,000 have been made over the last 20 years. A “K9 Quilt of Honor®” recognizes Law Enforcement, Military and Search/Rescue K9s, and their handlers for the willingness to serve our local communities, counties, states, country and stand in harm’s way to help keep us all safe. Contact: Carolyn Bluhm at 719.510.1088, CERTMinistry@gmail.com. LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULEZ! By Gina Krall The recently coronated Lake Ashton Mardi Gras King and Queen are making their first appearance this year in the Lake Wales Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 10 at 3 pm in downtown Lake Wales. The Royals (whose names, following MG tradition, will not be disclosed until the evening of the ball) will be leading the LA Krewe of over 40 participants, tossing beads and ushering in the float carrying the one and only Diana Lynn who will be belting out "When the Saints Go Marching In" and electrifying the crowd. The now famous two LA marching groups, Ashtonettes and the LA Shakers, will be struttin their way up and down the streets of Lake Wales delighting the crowd. Add sign carriers, balloon passers and bead tossers and this will not be an event you will want to miss. A special thank you to our sponsor for the second year – Arts Golf Cars. Support your LA neighbors. Grab a lawn chair and stake out your parade spot early in the day. All proceeds go to Lake Wales charities and this year we intend on breaking the bank and putting last year's donation of $26,000 to shame. If you are interested in joining our Krewe as a balloon passer or if you have extra beads you would like to donate for reuse, please call Gina at 443-783-6191. "Throw me something, Mister!”


QUILT SHOW By Marsha Martin The 2024 Lake Ashton Creative Quilters Show is almost here! Come to the Clubhouse Ballroom on February 21 from 11 am to 3 pm, and see what our members have been working on for the last two years. Admission is free. Over 100 pieces of work will be on display, ranging from totes and purses, wall hangings and table runners, to king size quilts. There will be samples of some of our fun group projects such as the Batik Rip and Share and the 2023 Mystery Quilt. Our newest Clubhouse and HFC Quilts will also be on display as well as our latest creation, The I Spy Quilts. The BOLLA group, the SEW What and More Group, and the The K9 and Quilts of Valor will all have displays, so come and see what they are up to. All of these groups are doing projects to better the community so come and see what they are all about. If you are a quilter, but not part of the group, and would like to display a quilt or learn more about joining us, please contact Marsha Martin at 406788-8087. FINE ARTS & PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW By Lyn Rogers The 16th Annual Lake Ashton Fine Arts & Photography Show will be on display in the Clubhouse Ballroom on Saturday March 9, 2024 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Entry forms are due February 1st. The show is open to all Lake Ashton residents, attendance is free and refreshments will be provided. A CHANCE TO TALK TO A LAKE ASHTON AUTHOR Come out and have a conversation with one of the authors of the new book: “The Wall Between”, and engage in a challenging but interesting subject. An opportunity to become more familiar with the conflict in Israel-Palestine and gain a better understanding of why it has become such a difficult conversation for us here in North America and how we might begin to break down “the wall between.” This will be a 90-minute session, hearing from the author, facilitated by another Lake Ashton resident, Dr. Gary Goldetsky as well as being able to ask questions. There is no fee for the session. Participants will need to have read the book. If you don’t already have the book, they are available for $20 (email Jeff at drjeffreywilkinson@gmail.com). The session will be limited to 20 people, but if needed, we will hold another session. The session will be held on March 1 at 11 am in the Clubhouse Card Room. COLORS OF CARING SPRING FASHION SHOW By Kristy McKibben Join us for an exciting “Colors of Caring” Fashion Show on Wednesday, March 13 in the Clubhouse Ballroom. Tickets are $25, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Good Shepherd Hospice, a cause near and dear to many of us. A tasty luncheon will be provided. Beautiful and wearable Spring fashions will be showcased by your modeling friends and provided by Babe’s Shoes & Apparel of Lakeland. Babe’s will be set up to sell before and after the show. Doors open at 11 am, with lunch at 11:30, and the Fashion Show will be held from 12:15 to 1:15 pm. Shopping will continue until 2:30. Tickets are $25 and on sale at the Clubhouse Activities Office. Checks only, please, made out to Kristy McKibben. We have a stamp that will identify your check as “HOSPICE FASHION SHOW.”

GREAT HOLIDAY TOUR WINNERS By Marsha Martin Over 200 votes cast were cast in Lake Ashton’s First Annual Great Holiday Tour to determine the best holiday decor to be found in Lake Ashton. Congratulations to the winners! Pictured left: Best Overall - Vivian and Ted Harmon, 5137 Winged Foot Lane Pictured below: Most Festive - Darlene and Rick Shaw, 4149 Limerick Drive Pictured below: Most Extravagant - Sophia and Mike Brennan, 6253 Pinehurst Loop

Party DATE Feb. 23 tim e pm 7 Shade. Bring your doubloons for “grog and ale” from the Cash Bar. Tickets: $20 at the Clubhouse Activities Office or online. Wear your best pirate garb, pillage, plunder, and dance the night away to live music from 99 in the COMMUNITY SOCIAL POTLUCKS The best way to meet new friends is over a good meal! Join friends and neighbors at the monthly potlucks held at the Clubhouse and HFC. Mark the dates listed below on your calendars now and bring a dish to share! Clubhouse: February 20, April 16, June 11, August 13, October 8 December 10 HFC: March 21, May 16, July 18, September 19 November 21 LA CRUISE-IN RESCHEDULED! MARCH 16 2 — 5 pm ST. PADDY’S DAY PARTY By David Harrison The LA Purple Stars is once again hosting a St. Paddy's Day Party on March 17 from 7 to 10 pm in the Community Room of the HFC. This is a fundraiser for our team to benefit the American Cancer Society and everyone is invited. Tickets are $10, cash or check Payable to LA Purple Stars. DJ Wayne will provide great dance music and, of course, some Irish tunes. Tickets go on sale February 5 at the HFC. Don't forget you can bring your favorite food and beverage. Any questions call David Harrison at 863-326-6418. Clubhouse Ballroom

2024 SHOWCASE & TICKET SALES COMING! By Karen Nelson Changes in Latitudes We are getting ever so close to the 2024 Showcase, created and presented by the Lake Ashton Performing Arts Corporation. Your friends and neighbors have been rehearsing for the Showcase, and we are excited to perform it for you! Opening Night is Friday, March 22 at 7:30 pm, Saturday Matinee is March 23 at 1:30 pm, and Closing Night is Saturday at 7:30 pm. As usual, the Matinee will have an extended intermission for mobility needs, and LAPAC will be providing Sign Language interpreters for the Saturday matinee performance. The deadline for ASL reservations is February 9. Reservations can be redeemed for Saturday Matinee ticket purchases on February 20, 2024 between 8 am and 12 noon on the first day of resident ticket sales at the Clubhouse Ballroom. To reserve, please contact James Adkridge by email at caselton11@gmail.com or TEXT ONLY to 240-476-4549. Tickets go on sale to Lake Ashton residents Tuesday, February 20 at 8 am in the Clubhouse Ballroom. Premium seats are $25, regular seats are $20. Online sales on TicketLeap will begin at noon. If you have not established a LAPAC account with TicketLeap for prior LAPAC events, it will require only a few extra keystrokes! UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE CLUBHOUSE March 15 - Senior Expo April 5 - Luau May 7 - Taco Tuesday Party May 17 - Denim & Diamonds Ladies Luncheon June 21 - Dukes of Hazzard Party July 4 - Star Spangled Shindig

EAL RO PAVER SEALING FREE ESTIMATES 863.272.0746 Before Restoring & Sealing Pavers sealproorlando@gmail.com Aſter Restoring & Sealing Pavers Benefits of Restoring and Sealing Pavers with Polymeric Sand • Inhibits weeds and grass in joints. • Reduces moss growth. • Deters ants and other insects. • Prevents loss of sand in joints. • Helps repel oil, grease, grime and stains. • Easier routine cleaning, enhances color, texture and brightness. • Resists the effects of harsh weather conditions. • Keeps the under base materials dry to prevent pavers from sinking and dipping. Patios & Walkways Benefits of Proper Drainage Installing Channel Drains • Removes water from flooded low areas where water accumulates causing weeds, mildew and mold growth. • Keeps entire paver area looking consistent without stains or permanent embedded darkening in pavers. • Prevents water entering pool or other unwanted areas. Avoids slip areas from forming. • Directs water in correct direction allowing drains to stay washed and functional. • Paver Installation • Pressure Washing • Travertine Sealing • Paver Repair • Polymeric Sanding Installing Channel Drain Steps for Sealing 1-2-3 1 Commercial pressure wash removing dirt, mold, mildew, weeds and contaminates. 2 Re-sand with polymeric sand locking deep inside joints. 3 Heavy multi-application of sealer to renew the original look of newly installed pavers (color added in sealer optional). FREE ESTIMATES 863.272.0746 sealpr oorlando@gmail.c om CONTACT KALEB TODAY AT 863.272.0746 TO GET A FREE ESTIMATE! Repair Low Areas & Root Liſt Stress Areas • Extend Driveways/Walkways • Install New Walkways, Patios & Planter Walls

MIND&BODY SCAN THIS QR CODE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE T O SIGN UP FOR EVENTS LIS TED IN THIS ISSUE. UPCOMING ELDER LAW BOOT CAMP SESSIONS February 29 at 9:30 am in the Cinema: “Wills & Trusts 101” THINK & DRINK: FOUNTAIN OR AERATION? Grab a drink from Charm City and come to another thought-provoking discussion on February 28 at 6:30 pm as part of the Think & Drink series. Lloyd Lightsey, owner of The Pond Monster, is an incredibly captivating speaker who will have you hanging on his every word as he answers your water- related quest ions. His interest ing presentation will discuss whether a fountain feature or water aeration is the answer for lake, pond, or home water feature needs. Lloyd's charismatic presentation ways will surely dazzle all who attend this Think & Drink! Sign up online or at the Clubhouse Activities Desk. GENTLE YOGA WITH GINA Instructor: Gina Krall Thursdays from 11 to 11:45 am at the HFC. Everyone is welcome. No charge. Mats available or bring your own. Chairs also available if you prefer. Slow, gentle poses with long holds. Positions shown for beginners, intermediate and experienced. YOGA SHARE Facilitator: Sally Winfrey (316-516-2815) Come join us in the Clubhouse Ballroom at 8:45 am for a relaxing hour of stretching, strengthening, and meeting new friends. There is no charge. Know Thy Health By Lynda Hadley FOOD IS AS FOOD DOES We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” But I would like to modify this saying to, “You are as healthy as your dietary choices.” I say this because our bodies can survive on poor nutrition; but there is a limit to how much waste your body can filter out and continue to function. Although we can all appreciate that food is necessary for survival; we seem to have forgotten a basic function of food is repairing and replacing damaged and expired cells in the body. Indeed, cells are the building blocks of every physiological function in our body. And they have a shelf-life of a few days to a few months. We are continuously repairing, rebuilding and replacing the cells in our body. The food we eat not only provides us with energy; it is converted into our own living cells. And the quality of the food we eat is directly related to cellular health, function, aging and disease. Highly processed foods like donuts, candy, cookies, and soda can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries. They are man-made foods loaded with chemicals we can’t pronounce. Sure, it’s convenient and tastes good, but your liver and kidneys are now forced to work extra to remove the toxins and waste they produce. Love your body enough to want what’s best for it. Move away from the boxes and start eating foods that have life: like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Aim for foods with oneword ingredients like spinach, blueberries, almonds, salmon, lentils, etc. These foods have properties that strengthen your immune system, help your body to build and maintain healthy tissue, produce real energy, and will give you that healthy glow that can only come from the inside.

BODY MIND SOUL Simply Healthy Everything is Connected Make it a goal in 2024 to focus on improving your mental health and fitness. Check out these offerings for your Mind, Body, and Soul at the Clubhouse and the HFC. CLUBHOUSE BALLROOM HFC ✴Zumba - a dance fitness class that is easy to follow and every move can be modified for a low or high impact workout for any skill level. Held in the Clubhouse Ballroom - February 7 at 5:30 pm ✴NASM certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer Joel Eyres talks Blue Zones and steps you can take to live to be 100 on February 19 at 4:30 pm in the Cinema. Sign up online or at Clubhouse Activities Office. ✴Free Virtual Meditation Session: Mondays at 3 pm via Zoom, email yogawinterhaven@gmail.com ✴Chair Yoga: Tuesdays at 9 am. $5/ class (payable at class). Sign up online or at Clubhouse Activities Office. ✴Zumba at the HFC Sports Court - February 14, 21, & 28 at 5:30 pm ✴Beginning Chair & Balance: Mondays at 10 am ✴Water Aerobics: Tuesdays — Saturdays at 8:30 am ✴Classical Stretch: Mondays & Thursdays at 11 am ✴Aqua Reloaded: Mondays at 12 pm, Wednesdays & Fridays at 10 am ✴Cardio Swing & Yoga Cool: Tuesday & Thursdays at 9 AM ✴Triple B (Bat Wings, Bellies, & Bulges): Wednesdays at 9 am ✴Basic Fitness & Cardio: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10 am ✴Aqua Motion: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 4 pm ✴Back To Basics: Fridays at 9 am 31

LA DANCE CLASSES - THE CHA CHA Instructor: Connie Wilkinson, certified DVIDA Instructor (863.875.6728) Mondays at 4:30-5:30 in HFC Community Room FREE! No partner needed. TAP JAMMERS Instructor: Julie Bombard (jbombard73@gmail.com) Fridays at 10 am on the Clubhouse stage. All levels of tappers are welcome but this class is not designed for beginning tappers. CHERYL’S DANCE CLASS Instructor: Cheryl Winchester (cwinchester1012@gmail.com, 305-725-4946) Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 am at the HFC basketball courts. LINE DANCING WITH JOHN MOORE Tuesdays (Beginners 7-8 pm and Beginners Plus 8-9 pm) and Thursdays (Beginners 9-10 am and Beginners Plus 10-11 am) in the Clubhouse Ballroom. CARDS FOR ALL AGES Join in the fun making cards. This class is for all levels. If you’ve never made cards before come try something new. All card materials to make 2 cards are provided for $5. Photos of February card are shown below. We meet the first Wednesday of each month in the Clubhouse Craft Room from 2 to 4 pm. You must register to attend, space is limited. Contact Marianne Morcone (mkegolfer@aol.com, 860-712-9440) or Judy Ridpath (judy@judyridpath, 650-678-1174).


CHECK, CALL, COMPRESSION & AED CLASS Learn life-saving techniques with Polk County Fire Rescue on February 13 at 11:30 am in the Clubhouse Ballroom. This class provides hands-only chest compression CPR and AED training designed to save the lives of people in sudden cardiac arrest. Residents will learn these life-saving tips with hands-on training, a presentation, and an educational video. Sign up online or at the Clubhouse Activities Office. FUSED GLASS NIGHTLIGHT Instructor: Jill Groves Friday, February 16 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Clubhouse Craft Room. Create a beautifully unique glass night light! Sign up at the Clubhouse with a check for $40 made out to Jill Groves. Pre-registration is required. All materials included. No previous experience is necessary. FREEZE & FUSE February 18 from 6 to 8 pm and Wednesday, February 21 from 6 to 9 pm at the HFC Craft Room. In the first session, you will create glass embellishments from glass powder & water from one of 2 themes: Ocean or Garden. If you have an N-95 mask, please bring it. In the second session, you will use these embellishments in the creation of a 6” x 8” panel which can be placed on a stand or on a frame (stands and frames not included). Sign up at the HFC with a check for $40 made out to Jill Groves. Pre-registration is required. All materials included. No previous experience is necessary. CREATE A CARD February 20 at 10 am and 12:30 pm in the HFC Sports Court. A guest expert will provide instruction, from beginner to expert, all supplies and equipment, and three beautiful cards to take home. No experience needed. Cost is $10. Sign up at the HFC. Call Karen at 262-497-3272 with questions. BOB ROSS OIL PAINTING Instructor: Kay Lenherr February 10 at 1 pm Clubhouse Craft Room Black Sunset $35 (payable at class) — sign up online or at the Clubhouse Activities Office by noon on February 9 WATERCOLOR WORKSHOPS Artist Freddie Combs will present three day-long watercolor workshops in the new year. Subject matter will be still life, florals and structures. Sessions are February 9, and March 9 from 9 am to 3 pm in the HFC with a break for a sack lunch. Students will create two watercolor paintings per session. Price per session is $50. Call 863-307-1244 to reserve a place. CRAFTING WITH CARMEN - BUBBLE ART Join Carmen in the Clubhouse Ballroom as she shows you how to turn bubbles into watercolor floral art on March 12 at 11:30 am! You will make two pieces of original artwork using specialty watercolor paper, paint, and bubbles. All supplies and instructions will be included for $8/person. Space is limited to 20. Sign up online or at the Clubhouse Activities office by March 4. BRUSHES AND BEVERAGES Instructor: Sheila Vertoli February 7 at 2:30 pm Clubhouse Ballroom Canvas Painting - $35, pay at the Clubhouse Activities Desk with a check made out to Sheila Vertoli by February 4

Brad Kirwan’s Lake Ashton Customers Discuss His Real Estate Work Grateful to Realtor for Service Above and Beyond Working with Brad made a somewhat unique and difficult situation much easier. He took charge with coordinating cleaning out the house and taking care of maintenance/repair issues. Without his assistance, I would have had to hire someone to accomplish the many tasks Brad took care of. I am eternally grateful to Brad for all he did on my Dad's behalf. I highly recommend you contact him should you have need for a Realtor. Thanks again, Brad !! Family of Harry Mazelin 13 July 2023 Verified by RateMyAgent Curious about your home’s current market value? Call for a free Comparative Market Analysis. BRAD KIRWAN 863.280.0390 35

CLUBS LAKE ASHTON FRIENDS OF MEALS ON WHEELS By Marcia Santino Meals on Wheels of Polk County (“MOWPolk”) is headquartered in Winter Haven. It delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks that enable over 600 homebound seniors and adults with disabilities throughout the county to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. For many, the driver who shows up with a meal and a smile is the only person they see or speak with all day. This special delivery is the reason to get up in the morning and something to look forward to. MOWPolk is a non-profit organization with no state or federal funding. It relies on community-based charity, volunteers and proceeds from its thrift store sales. Many Lake Ashton residents volunteer for MOWPolk in one form or another. Even more generously support this deserving organization through monetary donation. Most importantly, some receive meal services. If you are civic-minded and have a few hours available each month, you are invited to join a new club forming in conjunction with MOWPolk. The mission of the club will be to promote MOWPolk in fun, interactive ways within Lake Ashton throughout the year. To become a member or for more information, please email lafomow@gmail.com SINGLES CLUB By Carol Corley If you are in Lake Ashton on your own, you might consider looking into the Singles Club. A good way to find out about us would be to come to one of our monthly meetings — the next meeting will be Sunday, February 4 at 2 pm in the Clubhouse Ballroom. The January meeting had a good turnout, and after the meeting we played cards and games until 4, then went out to dinner (locations vary). We do other activities together, also, like occasionally going to Theatre Winter Haven, out to dinner, or sitting together at club parties and dances. We also have a get-together at the Pavilion on the Third Thursday of most months. We share appetizers and bring something to drink. So please consider coming to our monthly meeting. If that date doesn’t work for you, we also play cards every Sunday at 2 pm in the Clubhouse Ballroom. If that room is in use, we have the Card Room. Once cards are finished at 4., we go out for dinner. CAMERA CLUB By Larry Hillock The Lake Ashton Camera Club will be meeting on Monday, February 12 in the Cinema at 10:30 am. At the January meeting we enjoyed a presentation by guest speaker Reinier Munguia on landscape photography. This month the topic will be utilizing photographs to create greeting cards presented by Pam Klawinski. Members will also share photographs with the group to discuss and enjoy. Remember to bring your photos on a USB drive. The club is open to all LA residents that enjoy photography.


LA DEMOCRATIC CLUB By Paul Ritz The Lake Ashton Democratic Club is holding their monthly meeting February 1 in-person only at the HFC. Social time with snacks will be from 6 to 6:30 pm. Please bring your own beverage. The inperson General meeting will start at 6:30. The speaker will be Terrye Howell, former member of the Lake Wales City Commission, to discuss the importance of completion of the Lake Wales Envisioned and Lake Wales Connected Plans. Email lakeashtondemocraticclub@gmail.com for more information. LA REPUBLICAN CLUB By Kristy McKibben The February 28 meeting will feature Anders W. Edwardsson, author of “Radical Betrayal: How Liberals & Neoconservatives Are Wrecking American Exceptionalism.” Born in Sweden, Anders earned an M.A. in History and a Ph.D. in Politics. He has written three books on political history, and works as a political commentator and syndicated columnist. He lives outside Tampa. You must attend this meeting to learn the important history behind the book’s title. Check-in begins at 3:30 pm and program begins at 4 in the Clubhouse Ballroom. Contact: Linda Sandel 863.368.0699 GARDEN CLUB By Lynn Davis The Lake Ashton Garden Club met on January 10. A TAKE CHARGE OF LIFE’S TRANSITIONS <#$3$* @4311"12 6"7"12 A('#$# 5 )"44# 6&12 A*(0 B3(* C*="/3"= @4311"12 D##*$ @(&$*/$"&1 @(&+3$* 63E* D#F$&1 >*#"=*1$ !"#"$ &'( )*+#"$* ,&( -./&0"12 !"($'34 5 6"7* 8*0"13(#9 :*;# 5 <='/3$"&134 >*#&'(/*#? Denise R. Tessier, Esq. 863.220.7927 Office | 863.225.2244 Direct Info@TessierLawFirm.com !!!"#$%%&$'()!*&'+",-+ 1375 Havendale Blvd. NW | Winter Haven, FL 33881 presentation on houseplants was lead by Rhonda Lindon Hammon. Panel members supporting the topic were Kathie Eustice and Pam Klawinski. Sil Wells gave a demonstration on repotting plants using a more simplistic and less hassle method. Members attending took home information on the best practices and also participated in solving problems. The club will tour Bok Tower instead of meeting in the Pavilion on February 14. Anyone wishing to go should contact Lynn Davis at crladavis@aol.com as soon as possible. Some members have extra guest passes and carpooling will be available. Sil Wells will lead the tour. Sil is a volunteer at Bok and has given tours before. Please come and support the Garden Club on Wednesday, April 10 as the third annual silent auction/garden sale will be held at 10 am. The club does not collect dues. This is its main fundraiser. Monies collected go towards speakers in which all residents are welcomed to attend. Other purchases, but not limited to are: replenishing existing garden beds and numerous supplies. Anyone interested in donating plants, pots or miscellaneous garden items please email Lynn Davis. FRIENDLY BOCCE GROUP By Stephanie Iszak The Friendly Bocce Group would like to invite all Lake Ashton residents to come out on Mondays and Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm to play some fun games of Bocce Ball and see the “new” courts. No experience is required. Our first social of the year was in January. The potluck was a huge success with a lot of food and fun and laughter. Our group also has the Bocce courts reserved for the first and third Fridays for the 2024 season from 4 to 6 pm for tailgate parties. Bring your drinks and an appetizer to share.

This is a great opportunity to socialize and play some games. The Yearly Tournament is scheduled for March 16, limited to sixteen teams, and dinner will be held at Charm City. Jim Weaver has agreed to sponsor the tournament for another year. More information regarding the tournament will be forthcoming. All information for the LA Friendly Bocce Group will be disseminated via "Talk of Lake Ashton" (TOLA) on Facebook, Lake Ashton Friendly Bocce on Facebook, emails, email blasts, and in the LA Times. Any questions please contact Stephanie Iszak at 609-980-9505 or at siszak@comcast.net or Tammy Shields at 863-632-2024 or tammy.shields1221@gmail.com. Looking forward to having many new Friendly Bocce players. LA SWIM CLUB By Sandy White All LASC members are doing a good job of working off holiday calories. Some swim 4 or more times a week, and some even swim as early as 5:30am. We are excited that some new swimmers are participating in the club's 100+ mile swim challenge. All are welcome to participate. Simply track your laps on the log in the hallway by the fitness area restrooms. Some swimmers, including the two pictured, are gearing up for the annual Polk Co. Senior Games swim meet, which will be March 2-3 at the Lakeland YMCA indoor pool. The deadline to enter the Games is quickly approaching - February 9. You can register by obtaining a registration book from Coach Sandy or calling the Senior Games office at 863-533-0055. Many thanks to resident Tom Knapp for repairing the digital wall clock! It is valuable to LASC members as well as the water exercise classes. LA PICKLEBALL CLUB By Mark McDuff The Lake Ashton Pickleball Association (LAPA) is comprised of residents who enjoy pickleball, from Beginners to Advanced. LAPA is a great way to connect with other players while making pickleball more fun. Here are a few things LAPA does: • Supply balls to all courts • Coordinate Training Clinics, Mixer Tournaments, and Social Events • Represent the members to the CDD • Purchase essential items that go beyond the CDD’s responsibility • Manage league teams that compete with neighboring communities • Post playing time schedules and other useful information on the bulletin board outside the courts Membership forms and a submission box are located at the Clubhouse or HFC Activities Offices.The cost is $12 for January through December. If you sign up after January the fee is prorated by $1 per month. For example, $9 if your membership starts in April. Join us for another year of pickleball fun!

DUPLICATE BRIDGE By Liz Leigh You do NOT have to have a family member who has served in the military. Come see for yourself. I am happy to report that the LAVA Auxiliary donated $7,500 to Canine Partners for Patriots and $5,000 to Soldiers Freedom for Outdoors. Upcoming Event: Craft Fair October 2024. We are accepting vendor applications for the 2024 Craft Fair, so submit your applications early. You can obtain your application and Craft Fair packet from Sheila at the Clubhouse. Her office is directly across from the Activities Office. Dues were collected at the January meeting. If you were unable to attend this meeting, please refer to Lynne’s email. Her address is on the form that was emailed to members. God Bless America, our Troops and Veterans! A duplicate bridge game is held every Monday in the Clubhouse Card Room from 12:45 until approximately 3:30 pm. Players of all levels are welcome. Advance sign up is encouraged by contacting Don Fuller at 863-324-2255. Winners: December 18: North-South 1st Marian Oshinsky & Trish Kellar; 2nd James Ford & Don Fuller; 3rd Patricia Foster & Sonny Robinson; East-West 1st Marge Kniat & Judy Robertson; 2nd Howard Mayne & Jeff Wilkinson; 3rd Jeannine Connors & Dee Mayne January 8: North-South 1st Graham Littlehales & Tom Fleming; 2nd James Ford & Don Fuller; 3rd Marian Oshinsky & Trish Kellar; East –West 1st Nancy Golding & Cheryl Tillman; 2nd Dana Griffiths & Marge Kniat; 3rd Sonny Robinson & Patricia Foster January 15: 1st Sonny Robinson & Patricia Foster; 2nd Graham Littlahales & Tom Fleming; 3rd James Ford & Marian Oshinsky; 4th Nelda Sedlacek & Lois Dole LAVA AUXILIARY By Chris Graves The LAVA Auxiliary Meeting will meet on February 21 at 6:30 pm in the Ballroom close to the stage. I have been a member of the Auxiliary for 8 years. My experience during that time is WOW! The meeting attendees are filled with smiles and eagerness to help our veterans who have given so much so that we can have the freedoms we experience each day. 41 LA ROCKERS By Annie Lutz LA Rockers is a wonderful group of residents that spreads acts of kindness to our LA Community. You never know how a small painted rock can change someone’s day, outlook, or even their life. It’s about sharing a little message of encouragement to someone who needs it. It’s about bringing smiles to our neighbors. It’s about welcoming new neighbors. The group has been busy painting rocks for the latest group challenge. Each LA Rocker has been challenged to paint 6 themed rocks so be on the lookout for all those new hidden rocks! Please post a photo of your finds on Talk of Lake Ashton’s (TOLA) Facebook page. LA Rockers meet in the HFC Community Center from 2 to 4 on the first and third Wednesday of the month. The first Wednesday is for current members to learn new skills and techniques. The third Wednesday is a “Free Paint” session where newcomers are welcome to join the group. Come give the group a try! You don’t need to be an artist to create a beautiful rock. There are lots of ways to paint and the group is always happy to share tips and techniques. Newcomers will be lent the supplies they need for their first session. It’s very important to contact MJ Richards (mjmrichards517@gmail.com) at least five days before their first meeting so that supplies can be provided.

ITALIAN/AMERICAN CLUB By Susie Escoda All of you with Italian heritage are welcome to join us on February 15 at 6 pm at the HFC for our monthly potluck. The cost is $1 each to cover expenses. Please bring a dish to share (desserts are taken care of) and a beverage of your choice. Tickets will be on sale for the dance March 1 at the HFC for $10 each. Happy Days band will be playing from 7 to 10 pm. This event is open to everyone in Lake Ashton. For tickets contact Joe D’Herin (313-407-8286), Doug Olympia (845-275-8468) or Susie Escoda (863-206-6566). MN, ND, & SD STATE PARTY By Mark Rath It is almost here! Please join your fellow Minnesotans, North and South Dakotans for a Potluck on Sunday February 18 from 5 to 8 pm at the HFC. Bring a dish to share that serves eight (please mark your dish), and don't forget serving utensils. Coffee and water will be provided, or bring your own favorite beverage. RSVP to StatepartyatLE@gmail.com by February 10 or call 952-797-4597 with questions. Come meet new people, enjoy a great potluck and have some fun! LA BELLES By Patti Bergstrom As Bruce Springsteen sings it so well - we are going to "Glory Days" for the February LA Belles Luncheon on Wednesday, February 28 at noon. Their address is 6005 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven. The telephone number to check their specials for the day are 863-496-6122. Please register the first of the month on TicketLeap as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please call Patti at 740-624-6903. Let's celebrate Valentine's month together! Hostesses: Judy Mehal, Noreen Guy and Patti Bergstrom MICHIGAN POTLUCK By Nancy Sztanyo To all you Michiganders, Yoopers and Trolls! We are so excited for our upcoming Michigan Potluck on March 3 from 4 to 7 pm at the HFC. Lots of people, delicious food and even a little Michigan trivia. Sign up sheets will be located at both the Clubhouse and the HFC in January. $5/couple or $3/person (to help pay for the paper products needed). Please bring a dish that will feed 8-10 people and your own beverage This will be a fun filled event and we hope to see everyone from our Great Lakes State! Any questions - call or Nancy D’Herin 313.407.8283 or Diane Schrauben 517.668.0832. SANDY ’ S NYS GROUP By Joyce Notarnicola Greetings to all neighbors from New York! We are looking forward to seeing old and new friends over the coming year. Our monthly get-togethers will be mostly held in the Clubhouse Ballroom on the third Friday of the month at 6:30 pm with some changes made due to availability of the Ballroom. The February event will feature pizza, salad & dessert in the Pavilion on February 7 at 6 pm (cost for pizza TBD, let us know in the facebook group or by email if you can bring a salad or dessert). Many of you know that our group's founder, Sandra Fritschi, passed away on December 20 after a long battle with cancer. In her honor, the group has been renamed "Sandy's NYS Group" and there will be a collection at the February dinner for the Lustgarten Foundation, an organization that does research for the treatment and cure of pancreatic cancer. Newbies: Please send your name, address in LA, phone number, email and where you’re from/live in NY to Deirdre Knapp - auntdeda@hotmail.com. Join us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ 1770504486652589. Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, February 7th for pizza at the Pavilion. GENEALOGY CLUB By Jane Imparl The next meeting of the genealogy club will be Wednesday, February 14 at 2 pm in the HFC Craft Room. Come join the fun while we look for our elusive ancestors and help each other answer our questions. For more information, call Jane at 815-545-6655.

How AI is Making Financial Fraud Harder to Spot As we continue to navigate the digital era, the technological advancements of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have impacted many industries, most notably finance and banking However, with the development of AI comes a problem: AI is making financial fraud harder to spot. Financial fraud has been a nuisance to the global economy, draining businesses of money annually. Traditionally, fraud has been fought using standard detection systems and manual fraud analysis. However, traditional approaches to combat fraud must be revised as fraudsters become more sophisticated, leveraging AI to perpetrate malicious deeds. They have ushered in an era of “intelligent fraud,” which is now more complex to detect and prevent. Machine learning (ML), a subset of AI, is a critical feature that fuels this complexity. Fraudsters deploy machine learning algorithms to understand and exploit patterns in data, facilitating the creation of new fraud techniques. Consequently, while financial institutions race to incorporate AI to help prevent fraud, online fraudsters use these same systems to accomplish their schemes at an alarming rate, making financial fraud harder to spot. Another harmful aspect of AI is the concept of deepfakes, a sophisticated AI application that creates counterfeit audio and videos that seem real. Hackers and fraudsters can now manipulate data to validate fraudulent transactions. They use these deepfakes to imitate voices on the phone or foster fake video conferences, duping authorized personnel to validate transactions illegitimately. This escalating sophistication of financial fraud exemplifies a “moving-target defense.” Fraudsters relentlessly adapt their tactics, forcing businesses and banks to continually adjust their fraud detection models, which, in turn, slows down the detection process, allowing fraudsters more time to prepare their schemes. The repercussions of AI-driven fraud extend beyond the immediate monetary losses. There are substantial costs related to reputation, customer trust, and regulatory compliance. Trust-based business relationships can be eroded due to these fraud incidents, leading to indirect losses that result in direct financial losses. Despite the growing complexity of spotting financial fraud, a silver lining exists. AI and machine learning technologies are diverse and flexible enough to be used by financial institutions to combat these advancing fraud techniques. For instance, AI can help to identify unusual patterns or anomalies in transactions that may signal fraudulent activities. It can delve into large amounts of data in realtime, improving the speed and accuracy of detecting fraudulent transactions. Additionally, AI can be trained to flag suspected deepfakes based on inconsistencies in the simulated audio or video files. While AI has increased the difficulty of spotting financial fraud, continuous deployment of proper AI measures, increased collaboration, and the evolution of fraud detection models can tilt the scales in favor of financial operations. SWG 3112572-1023b The sources used to prepare this material are believed to be true, accurate and reliable, but are not guaranteed. This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial or tax guidance. When you access a link you are leaving our website and assume total responsibility for your use of the website you are linking to. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at this website. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, websites, information and programs made available through this website. Contact me today! Jim Cooper Certified Financial Fiduciary P: (863) 589-6850 E: jimcooper@newinsightfinancial.com Lake Ashton Resident 99 6th St SW Suite 109 Winter Haven FL 33880 43 Questions? Scan this QR code to book a 15-minute appointment.

GOLF LAMGA By David Kubissa The 2024 season teed off on January 3 with a Pick-Your-Partner two-player, best-ball game followed by a buffet luncheon at the Eagle’s Nest. It was the first golf-luncheon combination that the league plans to repeat throughout the year. As of this writing, 143 players had enrolled in the men’s league, with more expected as winter residents return to Lake Ashton. If you are reading this article and are new to the community, you may sign up to join LAMGA at the pro shop during business hours. Membership applications are available there or online on the LAMGA web page at LakeAshtonLiving.com. Dues for the season – Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 -- are $25. For more information about LAMGA and the schedule of upcoming weekly games, go to the league’s web page where you also will find a list of local businesses and services that sponsor the league. Their support is invaluable to sustaining LAMGA events. In addition to the kickoff of the season, January held significant importance to league members because it is the month when they could sign up for the annual LAMGA Member-Guest Tournament that takes place this year on March 7, 8 and 9. LAMGA board members spent the month processing tournament applications, lining up sponsors, planning activities and selecting merchandise that goes into the gift bags provided each golfer. For a list of last year’s Member-Guest winners, check out the LAMGA web page on LakeAshtonLiving.com FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATES! FLOORING - BLINDS - SHUTTERS - SHOWER REMODELS 29710 US Hwy 27, Dundee 863-439-7500 www.jimsfloordepot.com

LA NINERS By Marti Schmidt received a gift card for $35 good at the Pro Shop or Eagles Nest. Congratulations Red Team and to Mary Lou Wheat and her committee on a successful event. The 2024 Club Member Ringer Tournament is in the bag, and kudos to all those Niners that participated with the less than perfect weather conditions! Top winners included Snook/Lowry, Kramer/Alvaro, and Reardon/Lopez. Additional winners were Butch/Bothwell, and Anderson/ Buie who also were the most improved! Congrats! The Niners Pick-Your-Partner ringer tournament is coming up February 19th-20th with lunch following on Wednesday. Always a fun event – watch for the sign-up sheets! As the golf season is in full swing (pun intended), please remember to play ready golf, keep practice swings to a minimum, score the hole at the next tee-box (not at the green), and ALWAYS HAVE FUN! Still have questions? Ready to join? Contact Denise at denisepops23@aol.com for more info! LALGA By Beverly Hines February is the month of love and LALGA members love golf. The Solheim Cup 2-Day Golf Tournament was held January 15 and 16. The format was match play with a partner. Blue Team played the Red Team with same partner for both days. Day 1 was best ball net of partners. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions (rain) the second day was cancelled. Players arrived hoping to get finished playing the round, but the weather had other ideas. The good news was that lunch was still on so everyone regrouped at the Eagle’s Nest at noon for a delicious lunch of chicken tortilla soup and build your own chicken or beef taco salad bar. After lunch, Mary Lou Wheat, tournament chair, announced that according to the rules sent out prior to the tournament that due to inclement weather, the holes completed will be used to score the event, therefore, the Red Team won 34 to Blue 30. Each player on the Red Team The LALGA East vs West Tournament was held on January 30th. The format was partner match play with one bet net of partners determining the winning team. The LALGA Member/Member tournament is February 12 – 13 with the theme “18 Shades of Green”! The tournament is a pick your partner event. Partners dress for the theme. Lunch is served after the second day of play. To date our Red Hoagland challenge for members with the most winnings for the year is Liz Leigh in the lead followed by Doris Krogman, Kathy Reed and Bev Hines.

THE LAKE ASHTON PERFORMING ARTS CORPORATION PRESENTS THE 2024 SHOWCASE Changes Latitudes in MARCH 22 - 7:30 PM MARCH 23 - 1:30 PM & 7:30 PM Tickets go on sale February 20 at 8 am in the Clubhouse Ballroom. Premium: $25 Regular: $20 Extended intermission and ASL interpreters available at the Saturday matinee. See p. 28 for details.

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