Gerald Ricke, Director of Bands
address: 18725 Bates Avenue, Eustis, FL 32736
phone: 352-357-6220

Thursday, February 27, 2014

On Monday February 24, 2014 The Lake County School Board gave The Mustangs recognition

On Monday February 24, 2014 The Lake County School Board gave recognition to Hearts and Hands. They showed appreciation for their 50 volunteers in their warehouse that work 250 hours per month.  They have 135 volunteers that help on Distribution Fridays that give 375 hours a month and they have 30 volunteers in the Variety Store that work 330 hours per month. They serve about 800 families and 4500 individuals a month about 25,000 lbs of food. They show compassion and give hope and assistant to those in need to try and help them appreciate and better their lives every day.  The volunteers are snow birds, local youth getting scholarship hours and/or community service, local homemakers and retirees and all the sites, including the warehouse have clients who receive help that volunteer also.

Hearts and Hands has 7 sites at churches throughout Lake County and 3 sites that are for  individuals 55 years and over on limited income.  They spend an average of $5,000 per month on canned food and fresh meats.  This does not included the “free” government food, produce or breads/desserts. They have worked with the Golden Triangle Kiwanis, Umatilla Kiwanis, DCF, Bates Avenue Council, Eustis Middle School Mustangs and Various churches in Tavares, Eustis, Mt. Dora, Paisley and Leesburg on fundraisers to offer free back to school clothes for kids,  food drives, donations and educational needs.

Diane Popieski has been with Hearts and Hands since Aug. 2010 and opened the Variety Store on Grove Street.  She became Director in May of 2013. Hearts and Hands started in 2006 with one site on Glover Street.

The Lake County School Board gave an honor to The Eustis Mustang Band Students because during Thanksgiving Break The Eustis Middle School Mustang Band held a food drive to give back to the community that supports them. And during this food drive they donated to Hearts and Hands the almost 1,000 pounds of food they raised. This was enough food to feed one town for two weeks. Just some of these students that participated in this food drive were
Alto Saxophone  Seanna Pickins, Tenor Saxophone  Ethan Jauschneg, Tenor Saxophone  Marcus Nix, Bari Saxophone  Dustin Delpizzo, Bari Saxophone Daniel Rusin, Trumpet  Brandon Jasko, Trumpet Cameron Stacks, Trombone Alexandra Frankenfield, Trombone Kirk Simpson, Trombone  Dylan Rollins, Trombone  Wyatt Zachary, Trombone  Isabella Helms, 

Trombone  Madison Lord, Trombone Kenneth Purvee, Keyboard Bass Shea Cabral.

The Mustang Band was given recognition because they also gave an unprecedented amount of clothing to Orphans Rock, all donated by the students in the band. Orphans Rock is a community non-profit that supports the homeless children of our county.

The Eustis Mustang Music Association was appreciated during the Lake County School Board Meeting for the support to the band by raising funds, helping in organizing all events and supporting the band director  Mr. Gerald Ricke in anyway possible. The committee is made of many involved parents and is lead by Cherrice Purvee President, Andrea Jauschneg  Treasurer and Joile Fowler Secretary. However it was made to be known that the Association could not provide what it does without all the parental involvement that it the association is lucky to have.

If you have any questions regarding any of these local organizations, The Mustang Band or how to become a sponsor please contact The Eustis Mustang Music Association President at

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