SUNSTAR PARAMEDICS COLLECTS TOYS, FOOD: Sunstar Paramedics, the 911 ambulance transport service for Pinellas County residents, stuffed an ambulance with toys and canned food as part of a Toys for Tots Tampa Bay and RCS Food Bank this month. Sunstar collected an estimated $5,000-$6,000 worth of toys and about $250 of food.
TAMPA BAY BEACHES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RECOGNIZED: The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce became a Visit Florida Certified Travel Information Center this month. Visit Florida research indicates that visitors who stop at official information centers stay longer and invest more money into their Florida vacation based on the information and experience they receive at one of these facilities.
INNER WHEEL RECEIVES $2K GRANT FROM ROTARY CLUB: The Rotary Club of Dunedin awarded a $2,000 grant to Inner Wheel of Dunedin North for the Inner Wheel U.S.A. Foundation Myoelectric Limbs Program. The Myoelectric Limbs Program provides myoelectric upper limbs for children who were born without limbs or lost them at a young age due to illness or accidents.
ST. CECELIA STUDENTS DONATE TO SOUP KITCHEN: St. Cecelia Catholic School students collected food that was donated to the St. Vincent DePaul soup kitchen. The kitchen serves hot meals to the homeless of Clearwater on a daily basis.
COFFEE FUNDRAISING EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR CHILDREN IN NEED: Blessings in a Backpack Pinellas held its Coffee for a Cause Fundraising event at Belleair Coffee Company, Belleair Bluffs, raising more than $200 to help feed children in-need with six full meals and snacks over their weekend, where food might not be readily available.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHOIR CELEBRATES MASS AT ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY: The fourth-grade choir class at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School celebrated Mass with the residents at Mease Manor Assisted Living facility. The students sang as choir with Father Gary Dowsey as celebrant.
PALM HARBOR MUSICIAN AWARDED VANS SCHOLARSHIP: Kyle Knudsen, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter, poet and multi-instrumentalist from Palm Harbor is the 2016 recipient of the Vans Berklee Off the Wall Scholarship, which covers four years of tuition and room and board at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Knudsen is a founding member of Denim Blue & Miclain Keith. He wrote the electronic duo's entire first album, The Abyss, which caught the attention of Tampa's commercial alternative rock radio station 97X. After several cuts from the album became popular among listeners, the duo was invited to play the 2015 97X BBQ alongside Panic! at the Disco and AWOLNATION. Later that year, DBMK won the station's local band search and earned the opening slot on the 97X Next Big Thing Festival, performing in front of 20,000 people alongside Walk the Moon, The Neighborhood, and Twenty One Pilots. DBMK's latest release is Sleep, released in 2016. Knudsen spent several summers in Grammy Foundation music camps in Tampa, New York and Los Angeles. He has also attended Berklee's summer songwriting workshop.