TRT for Men in Pine Castle, FL

Sexual dysfunction is common and is something that affects men.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Pine Castle, FL

As a man, aging can bring about different emotions and experiences. For some, it's an exciting time when they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor without any stress. However, for others, it can be a scary prospect filled with exhaustion, depression, and sexual dysfunction. If you're over the age of 40 and have noticed decreased sex drive, irritability, and other unusual symptoms, don't despair. You may be suffering from a common issue that affects nearly 14 million men in the USA: low testosterone.

The good news is that low testosterone (also called low T) can be treated with relative ease. NV Medical Pine Castle provides TRT in Pine Castle, FL, to help men like you enjoy a fulfilling life without the debilitating symptoms of low testosterone. With our team of experts by your side, you can change the trajectory of your life one step at a time.

Like any new activity or medical procedure, it helps to have a strong foundation of knowledge before treatment. Before you make an appointment for testosterone replacement therapy testing, it pays to know a little about testosterone itself.

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Understanding the Importance of Testosterone in Your Body

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When people hear the word "testosterone," they often associate it with overly aggressive or macho men. However, testosterone really has little impact on a man's masculinity, at least from a social standpoint. Rather, testosterone plays a much more important role in male development, from puberty to the end of life.

As the primary androgen, testosterone helps men develop typical male characteristics and is vital for the production of sperm. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus in the body control testosterone, and it helps men develop and maintain various functions such as:

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  • Sexual Health and Function
  • Sexual Desire or Libido
  • Healthy Sex Organs
  • Body Hair and Facial Hair
  • Optimal Levels of Red Blood Cells
  • Density of Bones
  • Muscle Mass
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What Causes Low Testosterone?

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As men age, they may experience lower levels of testosterone, also known as low T. This natural decline in testosterone can also be caused by drug abuse, obesity, prescribed medications, or testicle injuries. When testosterone levels decrease, it can affect the body's balance of testosterone and estrogen, leading to an increase in abdominal fat and higher levels of estrogen. This hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of issues that, when left untreated, can affect your quality of life in several ways.

The most common low testosterone signs in males include the following:

  • Erectile Dysfunction or ED
  • Increased Amounts of Body Fat
  • Lack of Concentration
  • More Irritability
  • Low Libido
  • Low Sperm Count
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Decrease in Muscle Mass
  • Lack of Motivation

If one or more of those symptoms are happening in your life right now, it could be because your body has a lack of testosterone. The only way to find out for certain is to have your testosterone levels tested at a qualified Sexual Wellness and Holistic Clinic, such as NV Medical Pine Castle. If testing shows that you have low T, the next step in your recovery could be TRT in Pine Castle, FL.

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The Risks of Living Life with Low Testosterone

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Some men may think to themselves, "I don't have the time or patience to undergo TRT in Pine Castle, FL." While TRT treatments are quick, easy, and require no recovery time, we at NV Medical Pine Castle understand that this type of therapy is not for everyone. Some men choose to rough it through this stage in their life, despite available solutions. While that is certainly an option, if you're considering this route, you should know that more is at risk than low libido and lack of motivation.

As frustrating as those symptoms can be, living with low testosterone often results in more serious issues that risk the health of your vital organs. If you're on the fence about bringing your testosterone levels back within normal range, keep these health risks in mind.

Diabetes

Diabetes

For those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, it's possible that low testosterone levels could be a factor. Research has shown that men with low testosterone are more likely to develop diabetes as they age, and those with diabetes are also more likely to have low testosterone. Additionally, men with low T may struggle with insulin resistance. While testosterone replacement therapy won't cure diabetes, studies have suggested that men with healthy testosterone levels tend to have better blood sugar levels and a lower risk of obesity.

Heart Disease

Heart Disease

If a doctor has informed you that you have high blood pressure, you may be curious about its root cause. Could it be due to aging? Is it hereditary? Or is there another factor at play? Research has shown that men who have low levels of testosterone are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. When testosterone levels are low, red blood cell production is hindered, which can speed up the accumulation of plaque in your arteries. Over time, this plaque buildup can result in severe issues such as heart attacks and strokes.

Issues with Weight and Obesity

Issues with Weight and Obesity

Many men face the challenge of excess body fat as they age, which can be discouraging when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Despite eating well and exercising regularly, stubborn fat around the waistline can be difficult to get rid of. However, it's important to note that low testosterone levels may be the underlying cause. Studies have shown a correlation between low T and obesity, as testosterone helps regulate metabolism by controlling insulin, glucose, and fat. The good news is that undergoing TRT in combination with proper diet and exercise can lead to weight loss and improved blood glucose and low-density cholesterol levels.

Anemia

Anemia

Anemia occurs when the body lacks or has dysfunctional red blood cells, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to organs. Men with low testosterone levels are at a higher risk of anemia since testosterone plays a role in healthy red blood cell production. A study conducted in 2009 revealed that older men with low T have five times more chances of being anemic compared to men with normal testosterone levels. Although testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is not a cure for anemia, it can help in the production of more red blood cells, which may prevent anemia.

TRT in Pine Castle, FL: A Reliable Solution to Low Testosterone

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To fully appreciate the advantages of testosterone replacement therapy from NV Medical Pine Castle, it's crucial to grasp its mechanism. Testosterone was first synthesized in a laboratory in 1935 and has been prescribed to counteract low testosterone levels in clinical settings ever since. Over the last few decades, it has emerged as one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US.

TRT works by restoring a healthy testosterone level in men who suffer from low T. Essentially, TRT is similar to insulin for people who have diabetes. The body lacks sufficient production of an essential hormone, and so requires an exogenous source to replace it - testosterone in this case. Although most men begin TRT after the age of 50, more men in their 30s and 40s are having their testosterone levels tested at wellness clinics like NV Medical Pine Castle. If you're experiencing symptoms like ED but think you're too young for testosterone replacement therapy, it's worth having your T levels checked by a doctor.

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Our TRT Process

As the name implies, TRT replaces the testosterone that your body is missing, so it can function as it should. Unlike some TRT clinics, however, our doctors and practitioners take a personalized, comprehensive approach to testosterone replacement therapy.

If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate low testosterone levels, it is important to undergo a thorough evaluation, including a medical history and physical examination, as well as laboratory studies. After discussing the potential risks and benefits of testosterone therapy with your healthcare provider, a decision can be made about whether to proceed with treatment.

There are several methods for administering testosterone, such as a gel that is applied to the skin, injections, pellets that are placed under the skin, and a new oral pill that has recently become available. Once treatment begins, regular monitoring of your lab results is essential to ensure that the therapy is effective and to make any necessary adjustments based on additional factors. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are interested in exploring testosterone therapy, please reach out to NV Medical Pine Castle to schedule a private and confidential consultation with our Board-Certified Urologist.

These are the Benefits of Using TRT in Pine Castle, FL

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One of the most common questions we get at NV Medical Pine Castle is, "Why should I take TRT? Are the benefits really worth it?" In short, yes - when you and your doctor agree that TRT is right for you, the benefits give man men in the United States a new lease on life.

That's especially true if you've tried other treatments but haven't had any success. Do you really want to undergo invasive surgery or take addictive medication, only to mask the symptoms that you're experiencing? TRT represents a natural, non-invasive alternative without relying on pills or surgeries. With NV Medical Pine Castle's team of compassionate practitioners and doctors by your side, you can experience the benefits for yourself first-hand.

Some of the biggest advantages of taking TRT include the following:

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Improved Sexual Health

Improved Sexual Health

One of the most popular reasons that men turn to TRT is to enhance their libido and reclaim their sexual health. Research has shown that testosterone levels increase in response to sexual activity and arousal. It's generally accepted that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in sexual activity. However, as men age, they require more testosterone to maintain healthy erectile function and libido. For older men looking to reignite the fire with their partner, TRT is often a viable solution.

Increased Muscle Mass and Stronger Bones

Increased Muscle Mass and Stronger Bones

One of the most popular reasons that men turn to TRT is to enhance their libido and reclaim their sexual health. Research has shown that testosterone levels increase in response to sexual activity and arousal. It's generally accepted that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in sexual activity. However, as men age, they require more testosterAs men age and their testosterone levels decrease, their bone mineral density also decreases. This can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, which can negatively impact quality of life and athletic performance. However, research has shown that higher doses of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help increase bone density. In fact, recent clinical trials have discovered that TRT can also increase hip and spinal bone density. Strong bones are essential for supporting organs and muscles, so maintaining bone density is crucial for overall health and well-being.one to maintain healthy erectile function and libido. For older men looking to reignite the fire with their partner, TRT is often a viable solution.

Better Heart Health

Better Heart Health

Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for ensuring that your organs and muscles receive sufficient oxygen to function properly. Testosterone plays a key role in the production of red blood cells via the bone marrow. Insufficient levels of testosterone can result in various health issues for your muscles and organs, including cardiovascular problems that warrant attention.

However, a recent study involving more than 80,000 men revealed that individuals whose testosterone levels were brought into normal ranges were 36% less likely to suffer from a stroke. They were also 24% less likely to experience a heart attack. That's a big deal! These positive findings suggest that TRT in Pine Castle, FL, can effectively promote heart and blood health.

Enhanced Cognition and Memory

Enhanced Cognition and Memory

Several studies have indicated that having higher levels of testosterone may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, there is evidence that suggests a strong link between optimized testosterone levels and better memory, recall rate, and improved cognitive abilities.

Better Overall Mood

Better Overall Mood

Having lower levels of testosterone can negatively impact one's quality of life, as it can lead to symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and irritability. However, studies have shown that this may only be true for men with hypogonadism, as men who experience a natural decrease in testosterone over time did not show an increase in depression.

Additionally, males with hypogonadism reported improvements in mood and well-being, as well as reduced fatigue and irritability. Some research has even suggested that this treatment may be an effective form of anti-depressant therapy.

Trust the NV Medical Pine Castle Difference

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Aging doesn't have to mean a decline in your health and well-being - take control of your life with NV Pine Castle to guide you every step of the way. Our Sexual Wellness and Holistic Clinic in Pine Castle was founded to give men like you - who are suffering from low T - a better quality of life. When you trust our physicians, you can rest easy knowing that you're in good hands. All our TRT options are tailored to your individual needs and goals, ensuring a safe and effective experience without the need for harmful medications or surgeries.

When combined with custom counseling, regular exercise, and a healthy diet, fighting back against low T is easier than ever before. If you're looking to bridge the gap between an unsatisfying past life and a more vibrant future, TRT in Pine Castle, FL, could be the solution for you.

Unlike other TRT clinics in Pine Castle, we know that every man's body and wellness goals are unique. As such, we don't provide a "set it and forget it" experience - we focus on individualized attention and purpose-built plans. If you're a man who is serious about reclaiming your life from the symptoms of low testosterone, you're in the right place.

Patients choose NV Medical Pine Castle because we:

  • Provide Expert Care from a Board-Certified Urologist and Certified Physician's Assistants
  • Prioritize Custom Hormone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Tailored to Your Body
  • Take the Time to Understand Your Needs and Goals
  • Invest Resources into Innovative Therapies and Treatments for Men
  • Offer Complementary Services to Maximize Your TRT Plan

If you're ready to recapture the vigor and vitality of your youth, it's never too late to start. But how will you know when it's time? Like most things in life, your body will let you know. If your body is telling you that change is needed, listen to it - contact our office today and take the next steps toward the life you're dreaming about.

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Latest News in Pine Castle, FL

Bomb testing in Ocala National Forest

Home » CommunityResidents may hear a little extra noise coming from the Ocala National Forest this week as the U.S. Navy conducts bomb testing at the Pinecastle Impact Range. But other than the noise, the only thing those near the range should be cautious about is wildlife that officials say may move around more frequently because of the disturbance.&ldqu...

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Residents may hear a little extra noise coming from the Ocala National Forest this week as the U.S. Navy conducts bomb testing at the Pinecastle Impact Range. But other than the noise, the only thing those near the range should be cautious about is wildlife that officials say may move around more frequently because of the disturbance.

“During bombing periods, wildlife may be temporarily displaced. Use extra caution when driving through the Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas. Secure any items around your residence that could attract wildlife. Always be mindful of larger animals including black bears,” noted a news release from Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville.

Testing of live and inert, or inactive, bombs is occurring this week from Sept. 5-7, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. each day, according to the news release. Bomb testing happens relatively frequently at this site, which is the only place on the East Coast of the United States where the Navy trains with live bombs.

The use of the range differs from week to week. Navy and Marine Corps commands use the Pinecastle range to activate either practice bombs or live bombs to prepare for deployment, said Kaylee Larocque, NAS Jacksonville spokesperson, via email.

Over the past few months, bomb testing occurred from June 28-July 2, July 5-9, Aug. 1, Aug. 22-24 and Aug. 28-31.

Ocala has played a pivotal role in naval operations since the early 1940s, when the War Department acquired more than 40,500 acres of the forest for what was then called the Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range, according to NAS Jacksonville.

Through World War II, the U.S. Army Air Force Command used this range, as part of the Pinecastle Army Field and Orlando Army Air Base, for rocket missions, bombing practice, ground gunnery and firefighting.

In 1951, the Navy acquired a portion of the range, which has continuously been in operation ever since to help train military personnel.

Today, this unique portion of the Ocala National Forest is used as a training location so military pilots can get real-life training in a realistic environment.

“The Pinecastle Range is the only U.S. East Coast training facility authorized for the release of explosive air-to-surface ordnance, including close air support, an essential factor in air warfare training,” according to NAS Jacksonville.

Synthetic training, such as the use of simulators, is commonly used within the Navy for training. The Ocala National Forest offers a kind of training that cannot be simulated, however, and is instrumental for pilots who specialize in air strikes, according to NAS Jacksonville.

To file a noise complaint about the bombs, email nasjax.noisecomplaints@us.navy.mil. For more information about the Ocala National Forest, visit fs.usda.gov.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Orange County’s District 3

Orange County is home to six districts that each has a distinct personality when it comes to history, natural beauty, parks and recreation options, resident diversity and business opportunities. District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe gave us her Top 5 things to know about her district:The original Pine Castle was a private residence built by poet ...

Orange County is home to six districts that each has a distinct personality when it comes to history, natural beauty, parks and recreation options, resident diversity and business opportunities. District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe gave us her Top 5 things to know about her district:

The original Pine Castle was a private residence built by poet Will Harney, who settled in the area from Ohio immediately following the Civil War. After claiming the land on Lake Conway south of Orlando, he built a castle using the native pine trees naming the structure “Pine Castle.” Within a few years, the entire neighborhood was referred to as Pine Castle. In 1974, as the community continued to flourish and develop, residents created an annual festival – Pioneer Days – to celebrate their pioneer spirit.

Barber Park has a dog park section (divided with one side for small dogs and one side for large dogs), a playground, soccer fields, volleyball area, basketball court, skate park and hockey rink. The skate park is free and the location of the 1st Annual District 3 Skate Event. A wide sidewalk surrounds the park and is perfect for walking or jogging. The Conway Community Market is also ideal for a Sunday family experience.

Cypress Grove Park is a 90-acre park located on beautiful Lake Jessamine. It features great walking trails and recreation areas. The park’s restored 1925 estate house is a highly sought-after venue for weddings, meetings, receptions and special occasions. There is plenty of picnic space, and the park’s pavilion and group area are also available for rental.

District 3 is the smallest but most populated district in the County with parts of three municipalities within its jurisdiction: the cities of Orlando, Edgewood and Belle Isle, each with its own distinct personality and offerings.

District 3 has a number of pristine lakes that offer boat ramps, including on Lake Conway, Lake Holden, Lake Jessamine, Lake Anderson and Lake Mary. The boat ramps give residents ample opportunity to enjoy recreational options such as fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding or simply relaxing on the open water.

For more on District 3 and Commissioner Mayra Uribe, go to the Orange County website.

Do you want to know what District you reside in and who your Commissioner is? Visit ocfl.net/bcc and type your street address and you can find your District and Orange County Commissioner.

Photo cutline: People skateboarding at Barber Park.

Pine Castle Celebrates Community History

Orange County, FL – Since 1974, the town of Pine Castle has been honoring their heritage with a celebration of unique Orange County history. Pioneer Days is a two-day festival held at Cypress Grove Park filled with demonstrations of original pioneer crafts, exciting historic reenactments, traditional music and storytelling and folk entertainment. On February 22 and 23, the residents and families of Pine Castle came together to celebrate this annual festivity. District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke was also in attendance, ...

Orange County, FL – Since 1974, the town of Pine Castle has been honoring their heritage with a celebration of unique Orange County history. Pioneer Days is a two-day festival held at Cypress Grove Park filled with demonstrations of original pioneer crafts, exciting historic reenactments, traditional music and storytelling and folk entertainment. On February 22 and 23, the residents and families of Pine Castle came together to celebrate this annual festivity. District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke was also in attendance, provided remarks and read the official proclamation of Pioneers Days.

“Residents of South Orange County have celebrated their pioneer roots at a variety of community gatherings spanning more than a century,” says Billy Morgan Pine Castle Pioneer Days Chairman. “Last year, when it became clear the festival was outgrowing its original site, Commissioner Pete Clarke came forward with an offer to strengthen the long standing community partnership with Orange County Government by making Cypress Grove Park available as a new venue. This year’s event was the first at the new site and thousands of area residents came together to celebrate the area’s long connection to trains and the railroad.”

The original Pine Castle was a private residence built by poet Will Harney who settled in the area from Ohio immediately following the Civil War. Harney composed many tributes to the tranquil virtues of the Central Florida frontier and endured many hardships pioneer settlers encountered in those days. After claiming the land on Lake Conway south of Orlando, he built a castle using the native pine trees naming the structure “Pine Castle.”

Within a matter of just a few years, the entire neighborhood was referred to as Pine Castle. It was often considered the “most striking landmark between Orlando and Kissimmee” and is situated near the cities of Edgewood and Belle Isle, including the pockets of unincorporated Orange County that surround the Conway chain of lakes. In 1974, as Pine Castle continued to flourish and develop, the residents created an annual festival to celebrate their pioneer spirit.

This year, Pioneer Days offered a wholesome, old-fashion lifestyle experience full of family activities and folk traditions. The festival kicked off with a community parade that followed a theme of trains and railroads. Throughout the weekend attendees enjoyed various events that celebrated their unique history.

Preparations for the 2015 event are already underway. Organizers welcome volunteers with a passion for preserving our local history for future generations of pioneers. For more information, call (407) 427-9692, email pinecastlepioneerdays@hotmail.com, or visit the festival web site www.pinecastlepioneerdays.org.

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.

Historic Belle Isle house threatened with wrecking ball by charter school

Cornerstone Charter Academy wants to use Lancaster House land for parking spacesBELLE ISLE, Fla. – A group of Belle Isle and Pine Castle residents is pleading for Cornerstone Charter Academy to reconsider their request to demolish the historic Lancaster House.The house was built in the 1880s and is named after Belle Isle’s first mayor.[TRENDING: ...

Cornerstone Charter Academy wants to use Lancaster House land for parking spaces

BELLE ISLE, Fla. – A group of Belle Isle and Pine Castle residents is pleading for Cornerstone Charter Academy to reconsider their request to demolish the historic Lancaster House.

The house was built in the 1880s and is named after Belle Isle’s first mayor.

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“I was grieved when I heard that they wanted to tear it down,” said Ginni Christopher, a resident of Pine Castle.

Christopher recalled holding bible study meetings at the house several years ago. “This home is very dear to my heart at a time, when we didn’t really have a space at our church.”

Lancaster House is located across from Cornerstone Charter Academy, which leases the property.

“We need the city of Belle Isle and the commissioners have been working so hard on this for so long, to stick to their original decision — this house is worth saving, don’t let it be torn down,” said Bill Morgan, chairman of the nonprofit, Pine Castle Pioneer Days.

The nonprofit is trying to save the house from the wrecking ball and told News 6 that the school wants the space for more parking.

“They really don’t need seven more parking spaces,” said Ben Bateman, vice-chair of the group.

Pine Castle Pioneer Days said the city of Belle Isle had already approved money to move the house, but then changed its mind.

“Five months ago, they made a decision to give $75,000 towards moving the house, then they came back and said, ‘No, it really needs to stay where it is for historical integrity. So would you guys be willing to come in and as Pioneer Days, come in and restore the house and maintain it?’ And we said, ‘Absolutely, yes,’” Morgan said.

On Wednesday evening, the city council discussed the fate of the house. According to the chairman of the nonprofit, it’s not the first time there have been talks about tearing down the house, but a previous 6-1 city council vote saved it.

“We began fundraising and getting the National Registry application put together and doing everything we had to do to make that happen, and now, they’re being asked to again come back and say, ‘Well, maybe we want to change our mind again,’” Morgan said.

Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe — a lifelong resident of Pine Castle — and former Belle Isle City Commissioner Bobby Lance spoke out at the meeting.

“We are an amazing county that has moved forward with everything we’re doing innovative, and it is an honor to have such a beautiful historic site in our community, and we just want to do everything we can to protect it,” Uribe said. “I’m even open to considering moving the house, but destroying it would be so detrimental to the history of Pine Castle, to Orange County and to this community as a whole.”

The council voted during the Wednesday meeting to have city leaders try to renegotiate the matter further.

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Special-needs adults make holiday luminaria kits to brighten Jacksonville

At a workshop on Jacksonville's Southside, a group of special-needs adults gather this time of year to turn flat-bottom bags, votive candles and premium sand into luminaria kits that will light up neighborhoods all over town.They are proud to be part of the city's holiday tradition.“Well, I put the candles in the box because I can count," said Michelle Cooks, 56. ”I like that they will look nice at people's houses."The workshop is at ...

At a workshop on Jacksonville's Southside, a group of special-needs adults gather this time of year to turn flat-bottom bags, votive candles and premium sand into luminaria kits that will light up neighborhoods all over town.

They are proud to be part of the city's holiday tradition.

“Well, I put the candles in the box because I can count," said Michelle Cooks, 56. ”I like that they will look nice at people's houses."

The workshop is at Pine Castle, a work- and life-skills training and activity center for adults with intellectual and developmental differences. Some clients get job opportunities at area businesses, others work onsite assembling and packaging for businesses or on Pine Castle product lines such as stakes for construction and survey companies and the holiday luminaria kits.

"Every time you walk into a Pine Castle workshop and see the participants hard at work you cannot help but smile," said Cory Clarkston, business and employment placement officer. "The participants bring an energy each and every day that lights up our campus and to see the pride they take in their work is an experience unlike any other."

"The ongoing development that the … employment program provides brings opportunities to each participant that they might not otherwise have and creates pathways that help them reach their highest potential," he said.

White luminaria bags — containing a small candle anchored by sand — are traditionally used to light and decorate walkways, paths, porches or entryways during the holidays. The 25-year-old Pine Castle project sells about 4,000 kits annually at $10 each plus tax. Each kit contains 12 white flat-bottom bags, 12 white votive candles and two bags of premium sand, as well as the story and a photo of a client who made the kit.

The 20 Pine Castle clients who participate "are hard workers and are very diligent in the assembly of each kit," Clarkston said. "They take great pride in ensuring their specific role in the process is done correctly and understand it is critical to the success of their team to produce a complete kit."

The reward for them, he said, comes not only with their paychecks but as they "see the kits being used around their communities to brighten up the holidays."

"They take great pride in their work," Clarkston said. "Like all of us, they want to work and earn money to take care of their needs and to buy things they want. … Others are excited to be able to go see a movie or to share a meal with a friend. But all of them are happy to be working each day, learning new skills and preparing themselves for future work in our community. You will not find a more enthusiastic workforce anywhere."

The clients are paid based on the number of pieces produced or hourly wages, or a combination of the two, according to spokeswoman Amber Sesnick. The U.S. Department of Labor allows "adults with differences the opportunity to do work at their pace and earn a paycheck based on their level of production," she said.

The kits are sold to homeowners associations and community organizations that host luminaria nights, as well as through local retailers, media advertisements, referrals to friends and neighbors and the Pine Castle website, digital newsletter and social media.

Riverside Avondale Preservation ordered kits two years ago.

"We thought that this special gift kit would be a nice addition to our inventory," said Executive Director Warren Jones. "We have not sold out of the kits yet, so we will reorder when we do so. We picked Pine Castle to do the work because of their mission. A staff member and I took a tour of the facility and were very impressed with the breadth of services and the work they are doing."

Brittany Patrick, 37, said she has the same reaction when she completes a kit and when she envisions them being placed outside Jacksonville homes.

"I feel happy," she said.

Alex Thomas, 28, was new to the process.

“This year is my first year. I never done it before," he said. "I put the sand in the bag and then I stack up the boxes when they are done.”

Seeing the finished product, he said, is “pretty good.” But helping create something special for the community, he said, is "great."

Beth Reese Cravey: bcravey@jacksonville.com

PINE CASTLE LUMINARIA PROJECT

To order a kit, contact Cory Clarkston at (904) 733-2650 ext. 245 or CClarkston@PineCastle.org or go to pinecastle.org/luminaria. Proceeds support Pine Castle.

PINE CASTLE LUMINARIA PROJECT

To order a kit, contact Cory Clarkston at (904) 733-2650 ext. 245 or CClarkston@PineCastle.org or go to pinecastle.org/luminaria. Proceeds support Pine Castle.

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