The Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and St. Pete's Promise held the 13th annual Fischer-Carr Bash at the Coliseum to raise money for Take Stock in Children scholarships administered by the Pinellas Education Foundation. More than 250 people gathered for the Caribbean Night-themed event featuring live and silent auctions under the auspices of auctioneer Blake Kennedy and smooth music by the Lightning Jack Band.
Scholarship recipients Alyssa Kyle and Angelina Kincy eloquently spoke about how their scholarship has assisted them in furthering their education. Kyle was valedictorian at Osceola Fundamental High School this year and will be attending the University of Southern California. Kincy is graduating from Florida State University this year after majoring in economics and minoring in business and has plans for graduate school. Stacey Carlson, president of the Pinellas Education Foundation, and Leah McRea, director of education and community development with the city of St. Petersburg, both spoke at the event. More than $100,000 was raised for Take Stock in Children Scholarships during the night.
The Jim Fischer Scholarship Fund was established in 2004 in honor of James Fischer, who passed away in 2004 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The St. Petersburg native was a teacher, lawyer and very involved in bringing Major League Baseball and the NCAA Final Four to this area. In 2008, the scholarship fund was renamed the Jim Fischer-Skip Carr Scholarship Fund to honor one of Fischer's friends, Robert "Skip" Carr, another community leader who served in the local banking industry for 43 years. Since 2004, the scholarship fund has helped more than 267 students to attend college.
The Polywogs presented six local charities with checks totaling $111,000 at their annual spring celebration to thank supporters of their fundraising golf tournament and distribute proceeds. President Mark Chmielewski awarded checks to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, the Children's Dream Fund, the First Tee of St. Petersburg, R'Club Child Care and Ready for Life at a the get together at Freedom Bank in St. Petersburg.
The Polywogs started in 1964 to organize the St. Petersburg Women's Open Golf Championship. It has held various competitions and fundraisers over the years, but keeps the name that derived from the Greek word "poly," meaning many, and the abbreviation for Women's Open Golf. The tournaments and its organizers and volunteers have raised more than $3 million to donate to local nonprofits.