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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Barbecue, auction for New Horizons in Brandon on Nov. 2

BRANDON — New Horizons Group Homes for special needs adults will host its 19th annual barbecue and silent auction Nov. 2 to help fund operations.

The event, the major fundraiser for the nonprofit homes for developmentally disabled adults, takes place in the Central Baptist Church and Christian School gymnasium.

The barbecue dinner will be catered by Lil’ Taste of Country and includes a pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, baked beans, a beverage and dessert.

Board member Brenda Watkins said there will be about 90 items in the silent auction this year, including a brunch for eight at Bonefish Grill and gift cards from Applebees, Olive Garden, La Cubanita and others. There will also be a table with a collection of 20 Precious Moments figurines for sale.

In past years, New Horizons has sold holiday ornaments depicting various historic buildings around Brandon. But last year, the ornament didn’t sell well, which prohibited the group from ordering a new one this year, Watkins said. Ornaments from previous years, though, will be available for sale.

New Horizons has two large houses on E. Clay Avenue in Brandon which serve as homes for six men and six women. There are two openings in the women’s home and New Horizons is actively seeking two new tenants.

Board President Peter Watkins said the homes were recently inspected by the Agency for Health Care Administration and Persons with Disabilities and received near-perfect marks in all areas. The Watkins’ daughter is a resident in the women’s home.

The women’s home opened in 1999 and the men’s home opened in 2002.

Those living at New Horizons must have a medical need for assisted living documented through a health care provider, said Administrator Win Frenelle. Residents receive assistance with daily life activities. They spend their days much like anyone else, Frenelle said, either working or attending to their personal chores.

In the evenings, they attend church, go to choir practice, bowl, shop, visit Busch Gardens or participate in activities at the homes, Frenelle said.

“A lot of their time for personal activities is self-directed,” he said. The average age in both houses is mid-30s.

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