Sunstar recognized for EMS work: The American Heart Association recently awarded Sunstar Paramedics a 2014 Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Level Recognition Award. The award recognizes Sunstar's success in implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as an ST elevation myocardial infarction. Sunstar was one of six EMS programs recognized in Florida, based on its efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.
Boy rings Stock Exchange bell for dad's company: St. Paul's School fifth-grader Alec Lucas rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange in May in honor of his father's company, Heritage Insurance, going public. Heritage Insurance, based in Clearwater, offers home, condo and rental property insurance through a large network of independent agents.
Discovery honors St. Paul's teacher: Out of thousands of Discovery Educator Network STARs, St. Paul's School fifth-grade teacher Karen Zilhaver received the DENthusiasm award for her work on the DEN Leadership Council. Zilhaver received a high number of nominations from other STAR Discovery Educators. The awards recognize greatness within the community and those who have gone above and beyond in the field of education. The award was presented to Zilhaver by Kyle Schutt, director of Education Outreach and Curriculum Integration at Discovery Education.
Shopping dream granted: The Children's Dream Fund, in partnership with Tyrone Square Mall, made Dereka Woodson's dream come true. Woodson, 13, was diagnosed with lymphoma in February and had to miss much of her seventh-grade year at Bay Point Middle School. She completed her chemotherapy, her energy increased and her dream came true: a shopping spree at Tyrone Square. Woodson and her mother, Aleria Davis, began the day at 9 a.m. with pedicures at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort Spa. They were taken by limousine to the mall where Woodson received a makeover at Sephora, lunch at Chick-fil-A and shopped at Justice, Macy's, Journeys, Yankee Candle, Skechers, DSW, Bijou Brigitte, Lady Foot Locker, Bath & Body Works and Wet Seal. She ended her day with a celebratory dinner party at Red Robin with family and friends. The Children's Dream Fund is a nonprofit organization that has been helping children throughout west-central Florida since 1981.
Chandlery named top retailer: Caroline Caudill, owner of the Chandlery, with stores in Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg, was named the Florida retailer of the year by the Florida Retail Federation. The award, sponsored by the federation since 1999, honors retailers who blend sound business practices with commitment to their communities, customers and employees. A selection panel of small business owners and retail experts ranked nominees based on their scores in several categories, including community service and business acumen. Caudill founded the Chandlery in 1994.
Eagle Scout honored: Riley Michaels, a junior at Seminole High School, was presented with an Eagle Scout Certificate of Recognition from the Clearwater chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution for outstanding leadership and citizenship as demonstrated by his attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout. SAR compatriot Art Hays presented the certificate at Michaels' Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony in May at the Freedom Square Retirement Community's Roskamp Auditorium. Michaels earned 36 merit badges and held several troop leadership positions, including patrol leader, senior patrol leader and troop musician. His Eagle Scout service project involved planning, organizing and constructing a meditation garden at Bay Pines National Cemetery. This included the installation of a paver brick walkway, two sturdy weatherproof benches and landscaping at the commitment shelter in the cemetery. Michaels aspires to a career as an officer in the military.
Homeless shelter helped by Eagle Scout: Eagle Scout Bernard Anthony Kazmierski III from Troop 431 of Blessed Sacrament Church in Seminole presented a check for $455 to director of Pinellas Hope Pam Long. Located on 20 acres in Pinellas Park provided by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Hope is a temporary emergency shelter for the homeless. The check represents the remainder of funds he raised after completion of his Eagle Scout project, which was to build an enclosed greenhouse. Kazmierski hopes the residents will be able to start seedlings and plants to be transplanted into the gardens at Pinellas Hope.