Members of the Caladesi Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution are available to assist the public with genealogy research 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday at the Dunedin Public Library, 223 Douglas Ave. Pictured are some of the members who volunteer in this endeavor. Standing are (left to right) Anne Watkins, Joan Evans, Christa Robinson, Mary Kitchen and Julia Noah, and seated are Bonnie Mann and Virginia Rudolph.
• • •
During an awards dinner Oct. 2 at the Countryside Country Club, the Clearwater Civitan Club named Al Ruechel, Senior Anchor with Bay News 9, the Media Person of the Year for his selfless volunteer work in the community. He was also made an honorary Civitan Club member.
In June, nominations from all bay area media, including television, radio and newspapers, were requested by the Civitans. Ruechel's manager submitted a nomination, which came as a surprise to the anchorman.
Ruechel has a long and varied volunteer history. He has coached youth soccer for more than 16 years, volunteered more than 4,000 hours with bay area schoolchildren and, for the past 12 years, has helped the Pinellas County school system with its television interview programs.
He currently is the worship leader at Grace Christian Fellowship, where he also composes and performs original Christian contemporary music. He was a missionary to East Africa for two years and has been involved with Christmas Celebration at Isaiah's Inn Ministry for 14 years.
In addition to serving on a number of advisory boards, Ruechel is a regular speaker at All Pro Dads chapters, promoting positive father-son relationships. He has helped raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society chapter in central Florida and for the past seven years has served as master of ceremonies for the Florida Bandmasters Association high school marching band competition. He also received the Florida PTA Lifetime Achievement Award.
On being recognized as the Media Person of the Year, Ruechel said, "I am humbled to receive this award."
• • •
On Sept. 19, president Diana Byther of the Mary Custis Lee Chapter 1451 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Clearwater presented certificates of appreciation to former recording secretary Mary Kitchen, treasurer Doris Folwell and first vice president Ruth Byther at the UDC Memorial Building in Clearwater, recognizing each for a decade of leadership and service to the UDC.
Byther received the Winnie Davis Medal and Certificate of Award for outstanding contributions beyond the required duties of membership.