From her first draw of a bow across violin strings, Telleta Bourne Atwell of Dunedin has lived a life driven and enhanced by music.
To celebrate her milestone birthday, the 100-year-old was honored at three parties. It was at the third gathering Oct. 11 that she joined with friends from the Tampa Bay area and fiddlers from New York for an afternoon of old-time music.
She was born Sept. 7, 1909, in Rome, N.Y., to Jesse and Bertha Bourne.
Her love of music began with violin study at age 7. She received a master's degree from Syracuse University and for 32 years taught instrumental music to students at schools in the Catskills and New York's Westchester County.
Two bands under her instruction were invited to perform at the World's Fair in New York, first in 1939 and again in 1964 when the band opened the New York pavilion with then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.
She was a violinist with the Utica and Syracuse symphony orchestras; organized several dance bands and chamber music groups; and was a regular at fiddler's gatherings.
In 1984 she helped co-found the Clearwater Symphony, now known as the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra.
A year earlier the North American Fiddler's Hall of Fame, an organization that recognizes outstanding fiddlers throughout North America, inducted her into its hall of fame.
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Winners of Clearwater's Downtown Holiday Wreath Decorating Contest, one of the highlights of the Downtown Holiday Light-Up and Miracle on Cleveland Street, have been announced.
First place and the People's Choice Award went to Lanie Walker, who won $100 for her entry made from thrift store items she and her daughter bought.
Entries were judged on workmanship, use of materials, creativity and originality.
"We were especially impressed with Lanie's entry because she and her daughter recycled used items while supporting a worthwhile charity," said downtown manager Courtney Orr. "It was a totally green idea, so we weren't surprised that she took the People's Choice Award, too."
Cheryl Colledge was awarded $50 for second place, and Jeanne Rickett took home $25 for third place.
Walker donated her wreath to the city. It is on display at Clearwater City Hall, 112 S Osceola Ave.
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St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School recently dedicated a soccer field to Monsignor Michael Devine of St. Brendan's Catholic Church. The event included a ribbon cutting and blessing of the field by Devine, who has a passion for soccer and has coached teams at the school over the past 30 years.
On hand for the dedication were Clearwater City Manager William Horne, longtime school supporter Cedio Saltarelli and alumni.
Following the dedication, students played an inaugural soccer game to celebrate the field's opening.
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Girl Scout Daisy Troop 354 won Best Child Unit Presentation for its entry in Dunedin's 2009 "Holiday Around the World" parade. The 6-year-old Scouts, under the guidance of troop leaders Cynthia Downing and Jennifer Vercamen, created an original walking nativity unit, made costumes and seasonal posters and, at parade's end, performed an a cappella rendition of Silent Night for paradegoers.
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