Friends of Strays receives almost $25K: Friends of Strays Animal Shelter received $24,552.75 from the sixth Annual Fort Knox Charity Golf Tournament. Friends of Strays is a no-time-limit, nonprofit animal shelter in St. Petersburg. The Fort Knox Charity Golf Tournament has given close to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations since 2011.
Largo City Commission recognizes new fire rescue personnel and small business month: Nine new Largo Fire Rescue paramedics and EMTs — Jason Poole, Ian Calderwood, Alana Napier, Carlos Franco, Bernard Aris, Mario Barbara, Thomas Amato, Justin Clarida and Douglas Scott — were recognized and sworn into service earlier this month. November was also proclaimed as Largo Small Business Month to increase awareness of the impact that local businesses have on the quality of life in Largo.
St. Petersburg Church celebrates 101 years: The pastor, officers and members of Moore's Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrated 101 years of service with reflection and a special tribute to Seasoned Saints (church members in their 80s) and couples who have been married for more than 60 years. Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Church is the second oldest A.M.E. church in St. Petersburg.
Two nonprofits receive Gulfport Merchants Association funds: Members of the Gulfport Merchants Association board recently presented $2,000 checks to representatives of two local nonprofit organizations, First Florida Frontiers and the Gulfport Historical Society. First Florida Frontiers plans to use grant funding to develop a series of public interpretive programs by living history performers and artists during local events depicting significant periods in Gulfport history. The Gulfport Historical Society will use the money to create a "Gulfport Register of Historic Places," including locating and designating historic properties, erecting signage and developing self-guided walking tours. The recipients were awarded community grants funded with a portion of proceeds from 2016 GMA-sponsored Gecko events, including the annual GeckoFest, Gecko Ball and GeckoCrawl.
Metro Wellness and Community Centers receive $500,000 gift, will be renamed: Metro Wellness and Community Centers received a $500,000 gift, the largest single donation in the history of the organization, from local businesswomen Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton. The gift allows the location at 3251 Third Ave. N in St. Petersburg to renovate the building and increase intake, exam and treatment rooms from the current eight to 16, and to update the Primary Care, HIV Clinic and Behavioral Health Center. It will also include increasing the size of the LGBT Community Center and the creation of a new Grand Hall with prep kitchen facilities. The Center will be renamed the Kate Tiedemann & Ellen Cotton Metro Wellness and Community Center.
Pinellas Community Foundation names new executive director: The Pinellas Community Foundation named Tampa Bay nonprofit leader Mack "Duggan" Cooley III as its new executive director. Cooley will take the reins from Julie Scales, who is retiring after leading PCF during more than a decade of growth spanning from 2003 to 2016. Despite the downturn in the economy, Scales ensured PCF remained an anchor of stability to the Pinellas County nonprofit agencies that rely on the foundation's support, and increased net assets by more than $40 million. Cooley most recently served as the United Way of Pasco County president and CEO, where he increased the organization's visibility and spurred fundraising growth. He previously led Religious Community Services to increase private fundraising by more than 70 percent, expanding the availability of services to victims of domestic violence, hunger and homelessness by 35 percent during his five-year tenure. Cooley is the former president of Leadership Pinellas. He is also the chairman of the Pasco County Homelessness Coalition and held board positions with the Pasco Economic Development Council and the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger.
Teachers recognized by University of Chicago: Palm Harbor University High teacher Line Mercier and St. Petersburg High teacher Karen Vann were selected for the University of Chicago's Outstanding Educator Award. Each year, the University of Chicago invites students entering their first year of studies at the university to nominate an educator who has influenced them, challenged them or helped them along the path toward intellectual growth.
Crabby Bill's wins Best of Taste of Indian Rocks Beach: The Original Crabby Bill's Seafood in Indian Rocks Beach won the Best of the Taste of Indian Rocks Beach at the 10th Annual Taste of IRB. With more than 25 percent of the votes, Crabby Bill's all-fresh-from-Florida menu included grilled gulf octopus, stone crab sliders, Port Canaveral royal red shrimp, Baja grouper tacos and buffalo oysters.
Divya Kumar, Times staff writer