Maximo Park boat ramps to be dedicated; Gulfport Gecko Ball is Aug. 24; sign up for swimming lessons

City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation invites the public to celebrate the dedication of seven new boat ramps at Maximo Park, at the west end of Pinellas Point Drive S (or Interstate 275 at exit 16), at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Last year, the city was awarded a $200,000 Florida Boating Improvement Program Grant for the park's boat ramp improvement project. Improvements include a new playground, additional landscaping, a replica Indian temple mound and better accessible paths to the picnic shelters.

St. Petersburg Job Corps Education and Training Center, 500 22nd St. S, is accepting students between 16 and 24 years old. Job Corps students receive hands-on training in more than 100 fields and the program also provides eligible low-income students with room and board, counseling and mentoring services, living allowances and basic medical care. To learn about the program or to contact a center, call toll-free, 1-800-733-5627 or go online to recruiting.jobcorps.gov or facebook.com/doljobcorps.

After-School Youth Employment Program: Boley Centers Inc. is offering its inaugural After-School Youth Employment Program. Funded through the city of St. Petersburg, this program gives city students an opportunity to gain work experience and earn money while working after school in the private sector. Employment is for 40 youths, ages 14 to 18. Positions will begin on Aug. 26 and end on May 16. Applications can be picked up at the city's recreation centers; City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N; Enoch Davis Community Center, 1111 18th Ave. S; James B. Sanderlin Family Service Center, 2335 22nd Ave. S; and Boley Centers, 445 31st St. N. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Aug. 10. For information, contact Daphne Williams at (727) 821-4819, ext. 5243.

After school care: The city of St. Pete Beach will offer after school care for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program is licensed by the Pinellas County Licensing Board and includes homework time, a snack, sports, crafts, games and more. Transportation is provided from Azalea Elementary and Pasadena Fundamental Elementary. The program runs from the end of the school day until 6 p.m. Cost is $150 per month. Discounts for additional children and weekly rates are also available. 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. For information, call (727) 363-9245 or visit spbrec.com.

Tourist Development Council Vacancy: Applications are being accepted for an appointment to the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council. This appointment runs until Oct. 31, 2016. The council and staff of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater are responsible for making recommendations to the County Commission on matters relating to the Tourist Development Tax. This tax is used to strengthen the local economy and increase employment through the promotion and development of the tourism industry. Applicants should have direct involvement in the industry and have demonstrated an interest in tourism development but not be an owner/operator of a hotel or motel. Members of the council must be registered voters in the county. Interested parties should submit an application along with a brief biography or resume outlining their eligibility. Applications are available online at tinyurl.com/m7huv6v. Applications must be received no later than the close of business Aug. 16. Email applications to linnie@visitspc.com or mail to Linnie Randolph, Special Projects Manager, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, 13805 58th St. N, Suite 2-200, Clearwater, FL 33760

Achieving Great Things Community Spelling Bee: The YMCA and St. Petersburg Public Library System will host the bee from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Childs Park YMCA, 691 43rd St. S. The event is for students in grades K-6 (in the 2012-2013 school year). Every child will get a medallion; winners will also receive trophies. To register, call (727) 209-9622 or visit stpeteymca.org.

Learn @ Lunch: The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce will host its July Learn @ Lunch on Thursday at Tampa Bay Watch, 3000 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde. Guest speaker is Meir Ezra, an entrepreneur who has built and runs 24 companies operating in 27 countries. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. and lunch begins at noon. Cost is $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Registration is required. For information, call Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce at (727) 360-6957 or email RSVP@TampaBayBeaches.com.

Heritage Village for children: In this two-hour hands-on program for children ages 4 to 11, groups will spend time in the old Florida pine woods touring historical houses and participating in Enter Action Stations at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, through Aug. 2. $2 per child. Adult supervision and registration required. Call (727) 582-2125. Heritage Village is at 11909 125th St. N, Largo.

Revisit history: The Armed Forces History Museum, at 2050 34th Way N, Largo, will produce "Ride Through History" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 10 and 24. Guests can enjoy military vehicle rides and witness 1st Infantry Division re-enactors from World War II and Vietnam. $10 for adults and $5 for youths 4-12, extra for military vehicle rides. Call (727) 539-8371. Tickets may be purchased at armedforcesmuseum.com.

Swimming lessons: Register for lessons at St. Petersburg pools at 7:30 a.m. for morning classes and 5:30 p.m. for evening lessons on Aug. 1. Lessons are available for infants age 6 months to senior citizens and are taught by certified American Red Cross water safety instructors. Sessions last two weeks with advancing levels upon passing each session. Classes are Monday through Thursday. An Advantage member card is required for registration. Cost per session is $39. Reduced rates are available based on income. For information, call (727) 893-7732 or (727) 893-7441 or visit stpeteparksrec.org.

The YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg is offering a free summer food program. Nutritious meals and snacks are combined with fun activities through Aug. 16. Open to kids 18 and under. For information, call (727) 895-9622 or visit ymca.net/summerfood.

Fitness class for kids: BayCare Wellness Centers will offer children 8 to 14 a chance to participate in Play It Forward, which will teach kids more than 100 exercises they can perform anywhere for life. The program runs through Aug. 15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Carillon Wellness Center, 900 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, from 6 to 7 p.m.; Cheek-Powell Wellness Center, 455 Pinellas St., Clearwater, from 6 to 7 p.m.; and Palm Harbor Wellness Center at 32672 U.S. 19 N from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $35 for children of wellness center members, $45 for nonmembers. Registration is required. Call (727) 953-9877.

Gulfport Gecko Ball: Dust off that polyester leisure suit and the go-go boots for the fifth annual Gecko Ball, which will evoke the 1970s disco era from 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. Call (727) 366-4086 or email dan@igc.orgs.

First-time home buyer assistance: This Pinellas program is available to those who have not owned a home in the past three years. It's also for veterans trying to buy a home. To qualify, you must meet income requirements, have a minimum credit score of 640 and take a required class. Call toll-free 1-800-806-5154 or (727) 464-8210.

Maximo Park boat ramps to be dedicated; Gulfport Gecko Ball is Aug. 24; sign up for swimming lessons 07/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 6:37pm]

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