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59-year-old art society awards first college scholarships

Judy Whitney of the American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter, accepts a donation check from AmeriLife chief executive officer Timothy North.


Judy Whitney of the American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter, accepts a donation check from AmeriLife chief executive officer Timothy North.

Good For You

Two visual art students from Pinellas County received scholarships from the Pinellas Park Art Society during a reception the evening of June 1 at Park Station in Pinellas Park.

Gabriella Schmid of Oldsmar was awarded a $1,500 scholarship, based on artistic abilities. An art major in her second year at the University of Florida, she shares a passion for ceramics, graphite pencil drawings and watercolor and has her own art studio. The judging committee said it enjoyed Schmid's variety and use of materials, her versatility and knowledge of art, and feels her work shows direction and focus.

Anna Cooke of St. Petersburg, a recent graduate from Osceola High, also received a $1,500 scholarship. Cooke plans to attend Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers as a studio art major.

Fourteen applications were received. The judging/scholarship committee was made up of eight Pinellas Park Art Society members with backgrounds in visual arts, including the group's president, Richard Jansen, who taught art for 38 years in New York schools.

This is the first time the society has awarded scholarships in its 59-year history. The nearly 200 members, along with the community, supported the effort with donations of money, time and materials. Even artist Robert Lewis, one of the original Florida Highwaymen, donated one of his paintings for raffle to benefit the scholarship fund and has offered to teach a workshop in 2014.

Scholarships are open to any student attending a Pinellas County school with intentions of pursuing a visual arts education at an institute of higher learning, and to any Pinellas County resident currently enrolled in a college-level visual arts program.

• • •

Hundreds of Clearwater-based AmeriLife employees were quick to respond to the tornado devastation in central Oklahoma by contributing $4,550 to a storm recovery and relief project for victims of the EF5 tornado that displaced more than 10,000 Oklahomans.

In exchange for a contribution, AmeriLife employees were able to wear blue jeans and casual attire to work for a week.

"Our motto for this project was, 'We will make a difference,' " said AmeriLife CEO Timothy North. "I'm confident that the compassion and generosity of our employees will do just that — make a difference."

The funds were donated May 29 to Judy Whitney of the American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter, who routed the donation directly to the storm-stricken area.

"We are very appreciative of the financial support of the AmeriLife employees," said Linda Jorge Carbone, CEO of Florida's West Coast Region of the American Red Cross. "It is this kind of generosity that makes it possible for the Red Cross to help hundreds of thousands of families impacted by disaster each year."

• • •

Award-winning literature is being created in Clearwater, thanks to Madison Chase, who just finished first grade at St. Paul's School.

Her tale of a family living with a naughty penguin was entered into the national PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest and selected as the WEDU-Ch. 3 first-grade winner.

My Naughty Penguin, at 102 words and six pages that include original illustrations, describes the trials and tribulations of life with a pet who makes messes when she eats, is "very sneaky" when her owners aren't looking, steals candy and sleeps in the freezer. There is a happy ending as the title character, Hermione, returns to her home and visits her former family every winter.

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, produced by PBS KIDS and managed by WNED-TV with corporate funding from Easy Student Publishing and promotional support from Highlights for Children, is open to students in grades K-3 who want to write and illustrate their own stories.

A panel of children's authors, illustrators and content experts will judge the contest and winners will be notified on or before Aug. 31.

To read stories by the 2012 winners, visit

Send Good For You items to Nova Beall at Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100 A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email

59-year-old art society awards first college scholarships 06/22/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:20pm]
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