Dinner, program honor veterans: Veterans were honored with dinner and a special program during Constitution Week at the Seminole Elks Lodge. The Veterans Appreciation Dinner was co-hosted by the Boca Ciega chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Elks Lodge No. 2519 with help from the Dixie Hollins High School Jr. ROTC. More than 150 guests were treated to dinner, posting of the colors by the U.S. Marine Corps., songs, speakers and demonstrations by the Jr. ROTC. Some of the guests included three World War II veterans, a woman who was the seventh female to ever join the U.S. Marine Corps. and Michael Fineo, who survived the Sept. 11, 2001, attack while working in the first tower of the World Trade Center. Fineo was presented with a flag that had been flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C. ROTC members honored the veterans by presenting them with an American flag and saluting them. U.S. Army veteran Raymond Eanes earned a special tribute for his flag work at Memorial Park Cemetery and making sure no veteran was forgotten on Memorial Day.
Brothers make eagle scout: Brothers Nicholas and Andrew Szemer both earned Eagle Scout ranks Aug. 11 for Troop 334. They both started as Cub Scouts when they were 7 years old at Clearview United Methodist Church. Nicholas, 14, built two picnic benches at Cathedral School of St. Jude for his Eagle Project, and was also a member of the National Junior Honor Society and Principal's List at his middle school. He is now a freshman at St. Petersburg Catholic High School. Andrew, 13, replaced two cement benches in the grotto at Cathedral of St. Jude Catholic Church for his project. He is in eighth grade at St. Jude and is also a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Principal's List and received First Honors for his good grades. Both brothers are altar servers and Junior Sacristans at St. Jude. They plan to continue membership with Troop 334.
Two win Santa Fe opera awards: Jenna Siladie and George Kielty, both of St. Petersburg, were recipients of Outstanding Apprentice Awards from the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. Siladie was given the Campbell Wachter Memorial Award. Of the 43 singers in the program, 16 received awards. Each season, talented young singers from around the world get coaching, lessons in diction, period music and performance in the Apprentice Singer Program. Siladie graduated as a Master of Music from Yale University and will debut at Gotham Chamber Opera in the fall. Kietly received the Craig J. Miller Memorial Award, given in memory of the late lighting designer, for exceptional work in the electric department. Talented production technicians from around the country participate in the Technical Apprentice Program working with renowned designers and directors in all aspects of opera production.
Shorecrest graduate returns: Dr. Reid Graves of St. Petersburg recently came back to St. Petersburg to join St. Pete Urology. Graves was the valedictorian for Shorecrest Preparatory School in 2000. After graduating from Shorecrest, he attended Georgetown University, then medical school at the University of Miami. Graves completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania followed by a robotics fellowship in Melbourne, Australia.