East Lake firefighters raised $6,600 during their three-day Muscular Dystrophy Association boot drive on Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 and 10.
Event chairman Lt. Michael Porch gives special recognition to Achieva Credit Union of East Lake for its help counting the money. He also recognizes Sarah Lemovitz, who made a donation, then pulled over to the side of the road and helped the firefighters for more than an hour by holding a boot to collect money.
Porch also said that without the support of the Board of Fire Commissioners, fire administration and firefighters, this event would not be possible.
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The number of party guests exceeded the number of candles on Anthony Orsello's cake when the centenarian celebrated his 100th birthday Dec. 20 at Saimira European Grill, Palm Harbor.
The Palm Harbor resident was born Dec. 20, 1910, in Miles City, Mont., the first of nine children born to Italian immigrants Angelo and Amelia Orsello. Three siblings are now deceased.
At age 10, he moved with his family to New Jersey.
In his youth, Orsello raced cars on a dirt track. His girlfriend, Sylvia, didn't care much for the sport and gave him an ultimatum: racing or her. He chose Sylvia, and the couple married Oct. 21, 1939.
He worked as a heavy-duty mechanic and on machinery in factories. He was also employed 13 years as the superintendant for Mountain Lakes Borough, N.J., where he kept the township's infrastructure running smoothly.
He and his wife moved here after his retirement in 1977.
Mrs. Orsello passed away in July 1995.
Orsello has four children, 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
He enjoys coffee and doughnuts every morning and thinks that just might be the secret to his longevity.
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Brian Alexander Lesniak, son of Richard and Nancy Lesniak of Palm Harbor, was named to the Dean's List this semester at Vanderbilt University.
Lesniak, a junior, attends the School of Engineering, where he is majoring in mechanical engineering.
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Twenty-two Pinellas County teachers and seven private school teachers have been awarded Splash! school grants through the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
This year 206 Splash! grants were awarded to educators across the District's 16-county region.
The North Pinellas County award winners include:
• Jill Jackson, Curlew Creek Elementary, 3030 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, will receive $785. Students will plant two gardens: one traditional, one organic. They will compare the gardens and use rain barrels to water them.
• Laurie Windsor, High Point Elementary, 5921 150th Ave. N, Clearwater, will receive $4,474. Students will take educational field trips to observe natural systems and perform water quality tests.
• Susan Carney, Ozona Elementary School, 601 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, will receive $3,571. Students will plant a hydroponics garden on campus, take a field trip to Brooker Creek Preserve and create mini aquatic ecosystems inside the classroom.
• Tracy Staley, Ponce de Leon Elementary School, 1301 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Clearwater, will receive $2,442. Students will plant a water-conserving garden on campus, using rain barrels for irrigation.
• Janice Creneti, Tarpon Springs High School, 1411 Gulf Road, Tarpon Springs, will receive $3,827. Students will take educational field trips to learn about Florida's watersheds. They will evaluate their campus using water quality tests and field studies, and will plant native vegetation.
• Marta Kellam, Palm Harbor Montessori Academy, Nebraska Campus, 2355 Nebraska Ave., will receive $1,749. Students will create freshwater ecosystems on campus and give guided tours of these mini-habitats.
• Kathryn Jewett, St. Cecelia Interparochial School, 1350 Court St., Clearwater, will receive $3,955. Students will take a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, investigate what it means to grow plants organically and examine how the cycle works.
The goal of the Splash! school grant program is to provide hands-on learning opportunities that teach students about their local watersheds and the freshwater resources within them.
Splash! grants provide up to $5,000 per school on a reimbursement basis only and are available to public, private and homeschool teachers.