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Community news: opportunities to help; holiday news


Planning and Zoning Commission wants you

The city is seeking applications from residents interested in serving as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The panel is a decisionmaking quasijudicial board. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in City Council chambers.

Interested people, who must be either a resident or business owner within the boundaries of Pinellas Park, may obtain an application from the City Clerk's Office at City Hall, 5141 78th Ave. N. For information, call (727) 541-0756.


Recipe contest seeks no-alcohol drinks

Operation PAR is holding a safe driving contest and asking people to submit their favorite non-alcoholic drink recipe. The top 10 entries, determined by a team of judges, will be invited to prepare their drink for a panel of area celebrities who will choose the top three drinks. Celebrity judging will be open to the public at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Shirley D. Coletti Academy for Behavioral Change, 6720 54th Ave. N. Recipes must be submitted by Nov. 28 to Non Alcoholic Drink Contest, Operation PAR Inc., 6655 66th St. N, Pinellas Park, 33781. For information, call (727) 545-7564.


Loan office taking food pantry donations

The OneMain Financial branch at 6479 102nd Ave. N will be collecting nonperishable food this month to help those in need. The collected food will be donated to St. Giles Pinellas Emergency Food Pantry. For information, call (727) 546-5360.


Donate canned goods at Thanksgiving service

Maximo Presbyterian Church, 3200 58th Ave. S, is hosting the 29th Annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at 4 p.m. today. The Rev. Douglas McMahon, director of Campus Ministries and chaplain at Eckerd College, will talk about "Thanks Be to God for Friendship." The St. Petersburg Clergy Association is asking that attendees bring nonperishable food or monetary donations. The offerings will be divided among five local agencies. For information, call (727) 501-3653.


Blood donors eligible for Chili's gift card

Florida Blood Services, Chili's restaurants and Bright House Networks will host the seventh annual "Thanks-4-Giving" blood drive from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at participating Chili's locations. Donors will receive a $5 Chili's gift card, a T-shirt and a wellness checkup, including a cholesterol screening, plus entry into a drawing for a $250 gift certificate toward a Bright House account.

Generally, healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can be blood donors. Identification is required. For information, call toll-free 1-800-682-5663 or visit


Performers needed for Holiday Hoopla Festival

The Gulfport Merchants Association is hosting an outdoor Holiday Hoopla Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10 on Beach Boulevard. The association is seeking school and performance groups to entertain. Participating groups will be offered booth space, where they may hand out materials about their programs and have a fundraiser. For information, contact Suzanne King at (727) 322-5217 or


Fraternity names SPC president Citizen of Year

St. Petersburg College president Bill Law was named Citizen of the Year by the Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The award recognizes his efforts in the community and in education. He is the first non-African American to receive this honor in the 49-year history of the chapter. The chapter recognized his efforts to help Gibbs High School rebound from an F to a C. After learning about the school's dire situation, Law offered access to full use of SPC's resources, including higher education and academic support. The chapter also recognized Law's efforts to prevent the closure of the college's Midtown Campus and his role in its plans for expansion. He was honored during the chapter's Achievement Week public program at the Greater Mount Zion AME Church in St. Petersburg.


Register now for Santa's Sleigh Day at rec center

Registration is open for Santa's Sleigh Day at Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road. The tiny tot theme party will be held for preschoolers from 11 a.m. to noon on Dec. 1. The program will include holiday themed games, crafts and interactive activities. Parents are encouraged to stay for the festivities, which include a special visitor from the North Pole. Cost is $5 per child. Preregistration is required. For information, call (727) 518-3125 or visit


Volunteers needed to prepare tax returns

The AARP Tax-Aide program is looking for volunteers to prepare federal tax returns. The nation's largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation service serves low to middle-income taxpayers with special attention to those 60 and older. Volunteers receive IRS-certified training (five to six days in January), and reimbursement for mileage. Computer knowledge is necessary. A minimum commitment of four hours a week during February, March and early April is required. For details, email

Community news: opportunities to help; holiday news 11/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 19, 2011 3:31am]
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