At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Clearwater, Police Sgt. Richard Crean and firefighter Dennis O'Connor were recognized with 2011 Public Safety and Service Awards for their exemplary public and community service, both on and off the job. They both have shown this commitment as a way of life that does not end with their shift, officials said. Police Chief Tony Holloway presented Crean with his award; O'Connor received his award from Fire Chief Robert Weiss.
Crean's official duties have included serving in the Vice Narcotics Unit, community policing and as a patrol team supervisor. Off duty and over the past 10 years, Crean has served in a variety of capacities with Tarpon Springs Little League, impacting the lives of hundreds of area youth. In the 2008 season, Crean coached three different teams and was elected as president of the Tarpon Springs Little League program. He was a key factor in expanding operations, adding three new softball teams.
O'Connor is involved with a number of service organizations. He raised more than $10,000 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk; his interest began with his mother's battle with breast cancer. At Camp Hopetake, a children's camp for severe burn victims, he is a "burn buddy." As part of his dedication to the community, O'Connor also is a volunteer with United Way Day of Caring, Paint Your Heart Out, Muscular Dystrophy Association (fundraising and volunteering), the Great American Teach-In and volunteers with the Upper Pinellas Association of Retarded Citizens.
Following the Public Safety and Service Awards, the Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation represented by Ms. Karen Crown, presented the 34th Annual Cornelius Family Foundation Police Officer of the Year Award to Officer Paul Comini for his efforts in saving the life of a man who attempted to jump from the Memorial Causeway last year. Comini will receive a medal for his uniform, a day off with pay and $1,000 savings bond.
The Cornelius Award is the highest award given annually to a Clearwater police officer, and winners are nominated each year by fellow officers.
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The Council of North County Neighborhoods Inc. gathered for its annual members meeting in January at which the election of new board members for 2011 took place. They are Don Ewing, president; John Miolla, founder, first vice president; Ron Schultz, second vice president; Barbara Schultz, secretary; Terry Haas, treasurer; Jim McDonald, founder, director; Roger Johnson, director; Bill Hickman, director; and Jeff Hunt, director.
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The Clearwater Yacht Club's history dates back to 1911 and it is one of the original 13 member clubs of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs.
The club began its Centennial Year Celebration on Feb. 14. Commodore Sandie Ramsden raised the commemorative Centennial Flag as past commodores, local dignitaries and members attended the first of many centennial events.
The organization has a very active family membership who are involved in a variety of yachting, cruising, youth sailing and many social events.
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The Clearwater Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, participated in the Pinellas History Day program. Middle school and high school students from 19 schools around the county presented documentaries, websites, essay papers, individual plays and group plays about historical events past and present.
The chapter presented awards to Safety Harbor Middle School students Eric Briggs and Netanya Goodman for their portrayal of events associated with the American Revolution.
Goodman's project was a display entitled George Washington and Slavery, and Briggs' project was a documentary entitled Outspying the British Spies in the Revolutionary War.
The first- and second-place winners in the more than 30 different categories will participate in the state competition in May and winners from state will compete in the National Competition in Washington, D.C., in June.
The Clearwater Chapter serves the Pinellas and western Pasco counties, including the communities of Clearwater, Port Richey, New Port Richey and Hudson. Activities include a variety of programs to promote the patriotic, educational and historical interests resulting from the American Revolution.
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Clearwater Women's Club invited Crystal Diggs, RN, to speak about women's heart health at its February meeting. Diggs is the nurse manager of the medical ICU, cardiovascular services at Tampa General Hospital.
Diggs explained that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women older than age 20, but it is largely preventable. She also discussed warning signs, risk factors and outlined steps to lessen the risk of contracting the disease, such as healthful eating, managing blood pressure, losing weight, quitting smoking and getting active.
Women desiring more information can find it at GoRedForWomen.org.