Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Last hurrah a big one for Pasco Rotarian

Dave Barzelay spreads his photos on the dining room table.

Here he is slogging among tons of garbage at the Guatemala City dump. Here he is in medical greens assisting a surgeon fixing cleft palates in India. Here's his bed in northern Ghana, double screened against malaria-spreading mosquitoes.

The photos may soon make their way into a book he's compiling about these travels, humanitarian adventures that highlight Rotary International's motto: "Service above self.'' But after almost 15 years trekking to some of the world's poorest corners, he has one more project — the biggest yet.

"This is a matching grant on steroids,'' he said.

Barzelay, a member of the Rotary Club of Seven Springs since 1997, has coordinated with Rotarians throughout Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Citrus counties to raise $200,000 for medical equipment for a new children's wing at the nonprofit hospital in Sorocaba, Brazil. This is the ninth international project Barzelay has undertaken with matching support from the Rotary International Foundation. Most have been in the $50,000 range.

"This will make a huge impact in a vital region,'' he said, "and save a lot of children's lives.''

Barzelay's first mission in 1999 matched local Rotarians with a club in Guatemala City. They collected $40,000 to provide a fresh water supply for children living at the garbage dump.

He was hooked. Over the next decade, Barzelay, a professional fundraiser, would use his skills for similar projects. He traveled to India and the United Arab Emirates to assist Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet repairing children's facial deformities.

He joined with the Rotary Club of Jerusalem to open a kindergarten dedicated to bringing together families of all religions. He spent three weeks in desolate areas of Ghana as Rotarians delivered 12,000 medical kits that diagnose malaria in children in the early stages.

Rotary International considers Brazil vital to the world's environmental and economical health. Before this latest project, the Seven Springs club in New Port Richey worked with the East Sorocaba Rotary Club twice to provide cancer detection equipment at the hospital founded by Portuguese missionaries 200 years ago 60 miles west of Sao Paulo. Rotary also paid for equipment that enables doctors to perform micro-surgery on children.

In each case, the donation for equipment included a maintenance contract, "so everything is still working great, saving lives,'' Barzelay said.

When he visits the hospital, he is especially gratified to see a plaque in a wing for diagnosing cancers that strike men. It honors Rotary and longtime Seven Springs member Dick Walker, who died in 2007 of prostate cancer.

"Dick was the model Rotarian for service above self,'' Barzelay said.

Barzelay, 65, retired two years ago as executive director of the foundation that supports the Center for Independence, which offers training to people with developmental disabilities. He had earlier directed the Pasco-Hernando Community College Foundation and directed fundraising for Youth and Family Alternatives. He has been an ordained non-traditional minister since 1972.

He intends to remain active with Rotary, but the trip to Ghana a few years back convinced him it might be time to limit the travel. "Three weeks on those rough roads took a toll on my knees.''

He rose from the dining room table and limped toward the kitchen.

"But I can tell you,'' he said, "Rotary has given me so much. I view it like a secular religion. You find a lot of that same fire in the belly that you find in dedicated church people. I like that.''

Comments
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 2 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 20

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 15, Central 0
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 5 hours ago