The Children's Dream Fund celebrated its 30th anniversary with presentations from Cynthia Lake, its executive director, and former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker at a luncheon held in the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park.
Founded in 1981, the nonprofit organization fulfills the desires of children ages 3 to 18 who have life-threatening illnesses.
Dr. Jerry Barbosa, a hematology and oncology specialist at All Children's Hospital, received the 2011 Dreammaker Award, presented each year to people who have touched the lives of seriously ill children through their professional accomplishments and personal giving.
Chad Horne and Branden Aken were guest speakers. Charley Belcher was master of ceremonies.
When the founders of Academy Prep Center called for community support to help establish the school, one of the first leaders to whom they looked was Jack Painter. The retired advertising executive, businessman and civic leader died in 2004. The school dedicated two outdoor pavilions in Painter's memory at St. Petersburg's Joan Fortune campus, which opened in 1997.
"Jack Painter was the force and inspiration for us all during the early years of Academy Prep," said Ben Fisher, who is executive director of the Academy Prep Foundation.
The multipurpose pavilions are used as open-air eating areas, for physical education classes, recreation activities, rehearsals and performances.
Additional speakers at the dedication of the Jack Painter Memorial Pavilions were Linda Marcelli, who chairs Academy Prep's board of trustees; Tom James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial; and onetime St. Petersburg Mayor David Fischer, president and chief executive of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
Family members including Donna Painter, Mr. Painter's widow, were in attendance.
Academy Prep, which has campuses in St. Petersburg and Tampa, is a private, nonprofit middle school for students in Grades 5 through 8 who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Alumni receive graduate support through high school and college.