On May 22, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association of Clearwater held its annual scholarship and awards ceremony following church services at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater. More than 200 AHEPA family and church members participated in the coffee fellowship and were in attendance to honor outstanding students and chapter members.
Continuing AHEPA's long history of philanthropy, 10 scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to Alex Thompson, Alexandra Aloizakis, Nicholas Caros, Victoria Garos, Maria Tripodis, Stephen Tsagaris, Angelique Boutzoukas, Maria Tsolakis, Asimina Boutzoukas and Elefteria Garos.
Since the inception of the AHEPA scholarship program, more than $100,000 has been awarded.
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Palm Harbor's Hannah Zazzaro, 18, demonstrated her musical range, talent and ability by performing a variety of show tunes at the National Society of Arts and Letters lunch meeting June 1 at the Belleair Country Club.
Zazzaro was selected as a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts Silver Award winner in voice, and Merit Award winner in musical theater, one of 40 out of a field of over 6,000 applicants nationwide.
She studied more than five years at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Marcia P. Hoffman Institute winning numerous awards including the NSAL Shirley Rabb Winston Vocal Scholarship competition. Zazzaro has been accepted to study at the University of Cincinnati — College Conservatory of Music for a degree in musical theater. She is one of 19 chosen to attend out of 700 who auditioned.
In other business, new members Patsy McFrederick Garland, Nancy Zelonka, Jennifer Gonzales-Bonhert, and Doreen Halliwell were presented at the luncheon.
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Eighth-grade students of Dunedin Academy were honored May 24 for winning a first-place national award in the Junior American Citizens Contest, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The entries were judged in Washington, D.C.
The students designed and produced a banner with the theme, "Preserving America's Past," and had previously won first place with it at Caladesi Chapter, Florida State Society, and Southeast District.
Jane Turner, Caladesi Chapter Chairman of JAC, presented certificates and blue ribbons to Riley Stevens, Jonathan Davis, Anthony Buchino, Mellissa Hashey, Breanna Weiss and Victor Russo. Tenth-grader Caitlyn Burchett was also honored, receiving a second place certificate and red ribbon for her short story on the same theme.
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LIADO, the Italian-American Women of Today, announced 12 recipients of its 2011 scholarship program. Those from Pinellas county include Elizabeth Prather of St. Petersburg, attending Villanova University; Gabriella Schmid of Oldsmar, attending the University of Florida; Gina Novakovich of Clearwater, attending the University of South Florida; Jonathan Montesi of Palm Harbor, attending the University of South Florida; Kenneth Robert Bowers of Indian Rocks Beach, attending the University of Florida; Stephanie Hepp of Clearwater, attending the University of Richmond; and Trezure Zagers of Oldsmar, attending the University of Central Florida.
The LIADO scholarship program was established in 1993 to assist students in achieving their goals of higher education. In 18 years the LIADO scholarship program has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships to students of Italian-American descent.
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The Dunedin-Clearwater Elks Lodge 1525 hosted its annual community awards banquet May 18 at the lodge, 1240 San Christopher Drive, Dunedin.
The affair was conducted and coordinated by Exalted Ruler Sam Munro, lodge officers and members, and was attended by dignitaries from the Elks West Central District, high schools and their JROTC programs, fire and police departments and the Sheriff's Office.
Haley Shockley from Countryside High and Ashley Gilroy from Dunedin High were named Students of the Year. Each received a $200 Patriot Bond and Certificate of Merit.
Saxton Letcher of the Clearwater High JROTC program and William "Will" Rogers from Dunedin High's JNROTC program were named Cadets of the Year. Each received a $200 Patriot Bond and Certificate of Merit.
Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 along with a Certificate of Merit were awarded to Jeffrey G. Massar and Mark F. Hettig, both from Countryside High; Aundra Williams II from Dunedin High; Valiece T. Long from Clearwater High; Christina A. Ford from Clearwater Central Catholic High; and Meghan T. King from Tarpon Springs High.
Christian Schuele from Clearwater Fire Department and Eric Rodriguez from Dunedin Fire Department were named Firefighters of the Year; and Officer Shannon Anderson from Clearwater Police Department and Sgt. Chris Laughlin from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office were named Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff of the Year. All four received plaques of recognition.