In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, the Rotary Club of Dunedin North presented a $10,000 check to Patti Hanks of Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County in November. A Rotary district grant will match Dunedin's donation and the money will be used to help construct "Shady Groves," a project of up to 14 affordable townhomes to be offered to needy families.
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Clearwater Central Catholic High School freshmen Michael Purcell and Bridget Harrington were each awarded the QSP/Catholic Digest Leadership Award for 2008. Nominated by their eighth-grade teachers and principals, Purcell and Harrington are two of only 29 high school freshmen nationwide to be honored with this award.
Purcell is the son of Dr. Christopher and Carol Purcell of Safety Harbor.
Harrington is the daughter of Jeffery and Alyson Harrington of Tampa.
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Boats from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg took part in the Island Estates Yacht Club Memorial Boat Parade on Saturday evening.
Voted 2008's "Best in Parade" for decoration was Drew Braun in a Ren Marine Prowler 306.
In the 30-foot or larger power boat category, first place went to John Tornga; second place, Bob Griffin; and third place, Gene Williams.
In the powerboats 30 feet and smaller category, Tom Tafelski won first place; David Smart second place; and James Boswell third place.
In the sailboat category, Anton Hopin received first place; Carol Elwood second place; and James B. Thurber third place.
Nearly two dozen businesses contributed money as well as gift certificates and prizes to parade winners.
The event takes place annually the second Saturday of December.
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His design for a new building to replace the existing Francis Wilson Playhouse at 302 Seminole St., Clearwater, won Emmet Van Aken, a second-year student in the University of South Florida's School of Architecture and Community Design, first place and a $1,500 prize.
Second place and a $1,000 prize went to Eric Burns; Natalie Capone was awarded third place and $500; and Ryan Murphy won honorable mention. All are students of USF's School of Architecture and Community Design.
Playhouse board members Graham Jones, president, and Andrew Ruffo, vice president, remarked, "The quality of work was so high that we had great difficulty in judging the presentations and making our final decisions."
Van Aken's winning design will be on display Jan. 31 at Clearwater's Harborview Center, where the playhouse will hold its first capital campaign for the new building.
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