**Scroll Down for articles on recent donations**


Family of Violet Fort receives donation presented by Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop President Joann McCullough



Arthur Wright receives $1,000.00 from Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers
Margarete Shelton and Karen Keen

JULY 2013



 Mrs. Karen Hill, Executive Director of the Marion County Literacy Council was presented   with a $500 donation from the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop ladies in response to an appeal by Volunteer Board Member, LerVerne Jacobs.  Although the Community Thrift Shop primarily donates their profits to Dunnellon organizations, schools, and individuals, they were shocked to learn there is 19% illiteracy in our county and felt the need to do what they could to assure this Ocala-based program will continue.  

The program, whose slogan is “Changing Lives One Word At a Time”, currently has

276 adults enrolled and a waiting list of over 50, all hoping to better themselves.  It offers each person an initial in-depth evaluation to pinpoint specific skills needed before they begin working with volunteer tutors who teach reading and math. All are eager to learn and many continue until they are ready to take the GED test.  

According to Mrs. Hill, most of the individuals seeking help are on or below the poverty line and paying the $30 one time registration fee is nearly impossible, even when adjusted on a sliding scale. The cost of materials and books continues to rise as does the number of those requesting assistance.  Anyone interested in becoming a tutor or wanting additional information can contact the

Marion County Literacy Council at 690-7323. 

In keeping with The Community Thrift Shop’s current focus on education, the ladies not only voted to support the Literacy Council but to give $250 checks to each principal of our local schools; Romeo and Dunnellon Elementary Schools, Dunnellon Middle School, and Dunnellon High School.  These funds will be used at the principal’s discretion for local children in need. 

The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop is located at 20815 W. Pennsylvania Avenue at the corner of Cedar Street and its members meet monthly in addition to working in the shop.  New members interested in helping the community are welcome.

 Photo by Joann McCullough: 

Left to right: Olivia Pryor, Dunnellon High School Thrift Shop volunteer, Barbara Brown,

Thrift Shop volunteer, and Karen Hill, Marion County Literacy Council Executive Director

JUNE 2013


The volunteers of the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop are constantly searching for worthy local causes where their profits can make a difference.  They like to see the fruits of their labor from the little shop on the corner of W. Pennsylvania Ave. and Chestnut St. stay within the community.  Articles printed in the RIVERLAND NEWS often prove to be a great source for finding destinations for their donations. 

One of the volunteers brought a story printed in the May 30th  edition entitled “Dunnellon Students Tour Organic Farm” to President Joann McCullough.  After contacting teaching farm owner, Kevin Gunter, McCullough brought the article and additional information to the thrift shop ladies for their consideration.  The ladies voted unanimously to help fund the project with a $500 donation hoping to encourage the “garden doctor” to continue to educate youngsters and oldsters alike in toxic-free food producing, water conservation, recycling every day items, and ways to protect the environment.   

On Saturday June 22nd, two Dunnellon Thrift Shop ladies presented the Garden Doctor Teaching Farm with a $500 check and were treated to a tour as well as an outline of future plans which include raised bed plantings and more extensive irrigation.  Gunter, a Dunnellon High School graduate, retired military man, and current teacher of Junior Air Force at the high school, was taken by surprise at the donation. A smiling Gunter indicated these funds are a rare, unexpected gift and he was grateful for the support and opportunity to expand his experiments, new growing techniques, and the opportunity to share the knowledge he gains. 

During the tour, Gunter indicated he advocates using and recycling common household items for containers and pointed to a fence lined with hanging soft drink bottles filled with soil and growing plants.  He mentioned this Saturday a group of students will come  to the farm for hands on experience. 

The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop wants to thank the community for their donations which are sold in their thrift shop and all our wonderful customers who shop with us, in turn allowing us to give our profits to worthwhile projects such as the Teaching Farm.  The thrift shop continues to welcome new volunteers and is looking forward to celebrating 40 years of donating to the community in 2014.  

Photo caption:Left to right: Teaching Farm owner and instructor, Kevin Gunter, Joan Buchanan, new Thrift Shop volunteer and Joann McCullough, Thrift Shop president. 

Photo by Herb McCullough 

April 2013
Left to Right
JoAnn McCullough,President, Greg Rushton, Coach, Arline Keenum, Treasurer, back row, ballplayer Sam Rushton and Head Coach
March 2013


After reading the heart rendering story of 13 year old Angus Standridge and his family in the Riverland News, the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop ladies voted at their monthly meeting to donate $1,000 toward what is expected to be ongoing medical expenses.  His grandmother, Mrs. Susie Blauser came to the Thrift Shop on Wednesday, March 27th to receive the check and give the volunteers an update on Angus’ condition.  He is in and will remain in ICU to avoid infection but is allowed to walk up and down the unit with the assistance of four medical personnel up to three times a day.  Family and friends are trying to keep this former football player and active eighth grade teenager in good spirits while he awaits a heart transplant in Shands Hospital in Gainesville. 

 Photo by Joann McCullough 

Left: Mrs. Susie Blauser, Angus’ grandmother, and Anita Peloquin, Thrift Shop secretary presenting the check

February 2013



            Ladies from the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop visited with Principal Delbert Smallridge at the Dunnellon Middle School on February 7 to present checks to the school to support special programs.  One check for $499 was given to offset the cost of box lunches and other expenses for a special March field trip planned for all the school’s sixth grade students.  Another check for $499 was given to the Music program to assist in purchasing or repairing musical instruments.        

 Left to right:

Sue Plummer, Thrift Shop co-chairman of charity gifts, Delbert Smallridge, Principal of Dunnellon Middle School, and Melissa Duke, Vice President of the Thrift Shop.

  Photo by Joann McCullough


 December 2012

Cops For Kids receive $500.00

October 2012
Dunnellon Fire and Rescue receives donation of $1,000.00

 presented by
Arleen Keenum (center) and Joann McCullough (right)
MichelleOGram receives $1,000.00 presented by Melissa Duke and Joann McCullough

October 2012

Advent Church receives $1,000.00Food Basket Donation
October 24, 2012

Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers Elaine Huett and Marie Ponder present $1,000 check
to Dale Meehan, food bank coordinator at Blue Cove Holy Faith Episcopal Church.

October 24, 2012

Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers Marie Ponder, Anita Peloquin present $1,000 check to Walter Fleck, food pantry coordinator at St. John the Baptist Catholic Community Church and Elaine Huett, shop volunteer, on far right. 

October 24, 2012

Anita Peloquin and Carmen Fisher present $1,000 donation check to Pat Marten, food pantry

representative from First United Methodist Church.


Romeo Elementary and Dunnellon Elementary Schools receive clothing from Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop 

Left, Carol Garceau, Thrift Shop volunteer, Pat Chapman, Guidance Counselor, accepting for Romeo Elementary School, and Carmen Fisher, Thrift Shop Vice President, right.

Left, Elaine Huett, Thrift Shop volunteer, and Anita Peloquin, Thrift Shop secretary delivering boxes to Dunnellon Elementary Guidance Office.

Friday, August 10th, Ms. Pat Chaptman, Romeo Elementary School’s Guidance Counselor, was presented with boxes of some new and gently used children’s clothing collected by the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop the past few months.  Vice President Carmen Fisher and Thrift Shop volunteer Carol Garceau assisted loading the clothing for Ms. Chaptman.  “Box Tops for Education” collected by volunteers were donated to the school along with the clothing.   

The Dunnellon Elementary School Guidance Office also received boxes of children’s clothing and “Box Tops for Education” for the school’s use from Thrift Shop President Joann McCullough, Anita Peloquin, Secretary, and volunteer Elaine Huett.  Ms. Christine Flood, Guidance Counselor. was unavailable but in an earlier telephone conversation indicated the clothing will be distributed through her office. 

Although the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop does not normally carry children’s clothing due to limited space at their shop on Cedar St. and W. Penn. Avenue, volunteers collect donated items during the year to give schools at the beginning of the term. The Thrift Shop has collected and donated clothing and “Box Tops for Education” the past several years and according to school officials, there continues to be a need for some of our area children. 

Photos by Joann McCullough


JUNE 2012



The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop learned of 34 year old Karon Johnson’s urgent need for a heart transplant from flyers passed on to the President by Ms. “Rene” Ryan, a friend of Charles and Sherryl Branton, relatives of Johnson, and from a Friends of the Library volunteer.  Within a couple of days the Thrift Shop women had voted unanimously to donate $1,000 to Johnson’s “Help My Heart” SunTrust Bank fund.


Wednesday, June 13th,  Karon Johnson arrived at the Thrift Shop accompanied by several supportive family members.  Shoppers were treated to watching Johnson receive a $1,000 check from thrift shop volunteers.  A slow moving but constantly smiling Johnson was quick to express his thanks for the financial assistance and several cameras were there to capture the moment.  One customer exiting the shop commented how gratifying it was to actually see where the Thrift Shop’s money goes.


Johnson, born and raised in Dunnellon, and a graduate of Dunnellon High School, will be admitted to the hospital this week and hopefully on his way to a heart transplant.  His sister, Sherryl Branton, expressed earlier the community had been so helpful and they were appreciative of the assistance from Dunnellon SunTrust Bank in setting up a “Help My Heart fund for Karon Johnson”.  Family and friends have staged various fundraisers and more information on this 34 year old young man’s plight is available online at HelpMyHeartDonations.com.  

Left to right:

Carmen Fisher, Thrift Shop Vice President, Karon Johnson, Jan Salter, Volunteer

Photo by Joann McCullough 

June 2012



The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers learned of “Trish” Sammons Bannister’s requirement for at least $5,000 in a bank fund before she could proceed with a kidney transplant operation through an article in May 24th’s issue of the Riverland News.  After contacting Clare Jones, Trish’s web site coordinator through their newly set up site, www.transplantfortrish , the volunteers began an immediate phone vote to approve a $1,000 donation.  Within four days, the volunteers had an unanimous majority vote and on Saturday, June 2nd, “Trish” Bannister and Karen Jones met at the Pennsylvania Avenue Thrift Shop to accept the check.


Bannister said she felt so blessed to have the support of so many in this community and the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop’s $1,000 check was thrilling.  She told the volunteers as she accepted the check “protect your kidneys, you have no idea how difficult it is to have dialysis and face this kind of problem”.   Bannister went on to say she is extremely fortunate to have received news that her husband is a suitable match and will be the donor for her kidney transplant.


“Trish” is part of the Sammons family that is well known in Dunnellon; her grandmother, Mrs. Naomi Sammons and her son ran the Sammons Flower Shop at the corner of Cedar and Pennsylvania Avenue for many years.  The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop women indicated it is their hope that this donation will bring “Trish” closer to the $5,000 required which will allow her to proceed with the operation.  Jones indicated there is a fund set up in her name through the Dunnellon Bank of America and they have several fund raising events planned. 


Photograph by Carmen Fisher 

Left to right:

Joann McCullough, Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop President,

“Trish” Bannister and Karen Jones, fund coordinator, receiving the check.

Hats Off and a Really BIG Thank You!

First, I have to apologize for not keeping everyone updated on our progress this week, but it has been an amazing roller coaster ride and frankly, we’ve just been hangin’ on for dear life!   :-) One of my favorite sayings has always been “From little acorns, mighty oaks grow” and boy, I think my acorn was genetically altered because “Transplant for Trish” has taken on a life of its own!

First of all, this week website donations have been amazing, including one individual who left a $1,000 donation.   Yes……I typed that number correctly (I checked the zeros multiple times on the website myself!)…….$1,000.  I believe most of the people in my building at work heard my excited scream when I found out about it!  So our total website donations are now at $2,215. Unbelievable!  And while I was blown away by the generosity of that individual, what has been equally amazing is how many other people have visited the site and left $10 or $25 dollars for the cause or emailed us with their support.  It makes “Transplant for Trish” so much more than a couple of family members sending out a message in a bottle via the internet…….it is a community saying “Together, we can make a difference!”

The second remarkable thing that happened this week came about via Jeff Bryan’s wonderful article in the Riverland News.  One of the officers and volunteers at the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop, Carmen Fisher, read the article and shared it with their president, Joann McCullough.   The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop has been a force in our little town since 1974.  They rely strictly on donations of goods from the community; a network of volunteers run the Thrift Shop year round.  Over the years they have donated money and/or supplies to our fire station, to food pantries and homeless shelters, to the Boys and Girls Club and much much more.  They take the “Community” in their organization’s name very seriously! 

Together Carmen and Joann decided that DCTS had to do something to help.  They polled all of their members and received a unanimous vote to donate $1,000 to “Transplant for Trish”.   Can you believe it?  A unanimous vote…….$1,000.  We were completely overwhelmed not only by the financial contribution, but also by the complete support they showed Trish.  When I called and told Trish the news, she was speechless.  All she could say was “For me? They want to do that for me?”

So yesterday morning, Trish went to the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop where Joann presented “Transplant for Trish” with a check for $1,000.  What an unbelievable group of ladies and an unbelievable gift.  Hats off and a really BIG thank you!


April 2012



Betty Nagele, Education Director for the Dunnellon Boys and Girls Club accepted a $1,000 check April 27th from Thrift Shop volunteers Cindy Quick and Jan Salter.  The donation is intended to assist the Club with expenses for their summer programs for area youth.  An estimated 60 children benefit from their programs which include educational projects as well as recreation. 

Photo by Joann McCullough 

Left to right:

Thrift Shop volunteer Cindy Quick, Betty Nagele, Education Director and Jan Salter, Thrift Shop volunteer.

April 27, 2012



Lt. Dennis Joiner, Dunnellon District Commander and Debbie Pollic, Marion County Sheriff’s Department employee, accepted a $500 donation from  Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteer, Jan Salter which will go toward expenses for their annual “Harmony in the Streets” event.  This five day July camp is held at Rainbow Springs State Park and is available for children ages 6 through 12.  Restricted to the first 60 who register, the day camp is presented by The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Inc. and Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  The Thrift Shop has supported this event for the past several years.  Detailed information is available by calling the Marion County Sheriff’s Office: 402-6050.   

Photo by Joann McCullough

 Left to right:

Lt. Dennis Joiner and Debbie Pollic from the Marion County Sheriff’s Department accepting check from Jan Salter, Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop Volunteer.




Karen Keen, left, new volunteer for the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop, presented a $500 check Wednesday to Ellen Cortese, on the right, to assist the Little League with expenses for uniforms, equipment and their miscellaneous operating costs.  The Thrift Shop has long been a supporter of the Little League as well as other local sports programs. 

Photo by Jan Salter     Article by Joann McCullough


March 2012
Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop

Elise McGurk, Citrus Springs Elem. School PTA secretary, received three baskets donated by the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop for the schools silent auction fundraiser.  Also in the photo - Carol Prior, Melissa, and Anita Peloquin.



Melissa Duke, cancer survivor for over 4 years and an active member of the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop, received a check for $500 for the “Relay for Life” April 4th benefiting the American Cancer Society.  Duke smiled as she accepted the check from Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop’s president, Joann McCullough, and said “I’ll run my very best”.  The Thrift Shop has been a supporter of the Dunnellon relay for many years and has had at least one of their members who is a survivor participate in the event each year. 

Photo and article By Joann McCullough 

Photo left to right: Joann McCullough, President and Melissa Duke



Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop


Bill Whetmore of Dunnellon Fire & Rescue Service presented an appreciation plaque to the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop February 7th in recognition of our financial support for their annual Christmas gifts for children and dinner for families.  The Fire & Rescue Service were able to provide gifts for 480 children and dinner for over 650 people this year.  Accepting on behalf of the Community Thrift Shop are volunteers Pat Rettke and Carole Menge. 

Photo take by Betty Poole



Left to right:  Bill Tuell, Crystal River Vets, and Community Thrift Shop volunteers, Carol Prior and Carole Menge.


Photograph by Joann McCullough



 December 10, 2011 

The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop presented Betty Nagele, Education Director for the Dunnellon Boys & Girls Club, with a $3,500 check December 10th.  The funds are to assist the center in many ways such as fuel to transport children from school to the center, art and playground supplies and equipment, scholarships for disadvantaged children, and supplemental staff salaries to name a few.  The Community Thrift Shop women believe one way to affect our community in a positive way is to provide assistance to our children and their families.


 Seated left to right- Betty Nagele, Boys & Girls Club Educational Director, being presented check by Sue Plummer, Thrift Shop Volunteer.  Standing is Beverly Carroll, Thrift Shop Volunteer and Joann McCullough, Thrift Shop President.

 Photo by Joann McCullough


December 14, 2011

The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop presented donation checks December 14th to three Dunnellon church food pantries, giving an additional $500 to each. 

 Left to right – Jan Salter, Thrift Shop volunteer and Joann McCullough, Thrift Shop President, present $500 check to Sharon Gane, Food Bank representative for the First United Methodist Church.



Left to right – Jan Salter, Thrift Shop volunteer and Anita Peloquin, Thrift Shop secretary, present $500 check to Sandy Zak, Food Pantry Coordinator for St. Johns the Baptist Catholic Church



Left to right -  Anita Peloquin, Thrift Shop secretary and Jan Salter, Thrift Shop volunteer present $500 check to Dale Meehan, Food Pantry Coordinator for Blue Cove Holy Faith Episcopal Church. 

Photographs by Joann McCullough


OCTOBER 25, 2011

The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop, recognizing the increased need to keep local food banks stocked to feed the needy, presented donation checks to three Dunnellon food pantries.  $500 was given to each.

Front row:  Left to right- Thrift Shop volunteers Ida Tacker, Winnie Kilby, Sandy Zak, Food Pantry Coordinator from St. Johns the Baptist Catholic Church, receiving $500 check from Betty Poole, Thrift Shop volunteer.  Second row:  Left to right – Thrift Shop volunteers Donna Sue Auger, Barbara Hayes, Carmen Fisher, Annabelle Dobbs, Gerri Bueller, Helen Park, and Ellie Rex.


Front row:  Left to right -  Ida Tacker, Winnie Kilby, Maria Haywood, Assistant Food Pantry Coordinator from Holy Faith Episcopal Church receiving $500 check from Gerri Bueller, Thrift Shop volunteer.  Second row: Left to right - Thrift Shop volunteers Donna Sue Auger, Barbara Hayes, Carmen Fisher, Annabelle Dobbs, Betty Poole, Helen Park, and Ellie Rex.


Front row:  Left to right – Gerri Bueller, Winnie Kilby, Sam Samples, Ministries Coordinator/Food Bank from First United Methodist Church receiving $500 check from Ida Tacker, Thrift Shop volunteer.  Second row:  Left to right – Donna Sue Auger, Barbara Hayes, Carmen Fisher, Annabelle Dobbs, Betty Poole, Helen Park, and Ellie Rex. 

Photographs taken by Joann McCullough



October 20, 2011

DUNNELLON COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP presented the Dunnellon Fire & Rescue Service a $500 check for the needy children's Christmas toys.  Left to right, Thrift Shop volunteer Arline Keenum, Driver Engineer Julian Abrmas, volunteer Barbara Sleep, and LT. T.E. Slattery.


Sept. 3, 2011 

Boy Scouts of America – Gulf Ridge Council Venture Crew #370 girls

receive sponsorship for their November Kodiak leadership training in Miami from the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop.  Four of the crew’s six Dunnellon area girls visited the thrift shop Saturday morning to receive the $500 donation. Front left to right: Lillian French, Secretary, Laura Ketcham, Publicity and Historian, Kristie Ruff, Activity Chairman, accepting check from thrift shop Vice President, Carmen Fisher. Back row: Susan Gangi, Crew Advisor, Samantha Gangi, Program President, John Gangi, Crew Advisor, and thrift shop volunteers Arlene Keenum and Marilyn Edenfield.

Photo taken by Joann McCullough, Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop President





THE DUNNELLON COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP delivered cartons of school supplies August 11th to help the needy children in the Romeo Elementary School district.

Accepting for the school is Romeo Elementary School principal Kathy Hultman, presenting the school supplies on behalf of the Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop is President Joann McCullough and volunteer, Melissa Duke. 

Photo taken by Romeo Elementary School bookkeeper Caroline Spitznotle.


Dunnellon Boys & Girls Club

Mrs. Bette Nagele, Education Director of the Dunnellon Boys & Girls Club and her grand children Trace Nagele and Ashley Nagele were presented A $500 check  July 5TH by the DUNNELLON COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP Volunteers Winnie Kilbry, past President,  and volunteers Carmen Fisher and Phyllis Knight. 

The Boys & Girls Club has been offering local children education and recreational activities during the summer and after school for the past 8 years. The all volunteer, not-for-profit DUNNELLON  COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP accepts donations of gently used items at their new location in the Historic District at 20815 W. Pennsylvania Ave. during summer business hours – Mon - Sat 10 AM TO 2 PM.  Volunteers evaluate community needs frequently and vote where to disperse their profits.

Photograph by Elizabeth Tilley-Poole


DUNNELLON Michelle-o-Gram

DUNNELLON COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP continues its goal of giving to the community by presenting one of their largest donation checks to the Dunnellon Michelle-o-Gram fund, an organization who provides manmogams for those unable to pay. Presenting the check May 4, 2011 are (Left to right) DUNNELLON COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP volunteer Arline Keenum, Helen Hunt, Thrift Shop Treasurer and volunteer Marilyn Edenfield (extreme right).  Accepting on behalf of the Michelle-o-Gram Fund are representatives Suzy Blauser, Sherry Roberts, and Elaine Hobbs ________________________________________________________________________________________

Dunnellon Scouts from Troup 452



Dunnellon Scouts from Troup 452, under the direction of Scout Master Doug Piechowiak, prepare to leave for Camp Rainey Mountain in Northeast Georgia. Seeing off the 15 scouts and 5 adult leaders for their week long trip are Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers Joann McCullough, Jan Salter, and Anita Peloquin., affectionately referred to as the “Wednesday girls” because of the day they volunteer.


The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop, recently  relocated in the Historic District at 21815 W. Pennsylvania Avenue donated $500 toward the Troup’s expenses; the all volunteer organization has been giving money and merchandise to Dunnellon and surrounding communities since 1974.