The West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America presented Distinguished Citizens awards to community leaders Bob Churuti, Jay Fleece and Stephanie Goforth at its 14th annual recognition banquet, held in the Coliseum.
Churuti is a manager of the Hamilton Partnership and Beach Drive Retail. He serves on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, the Morean Arts Center, the Florida Orchestra, the Mahaffey Foundation and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and is president of Creative Pinellas.
Fleece, a founder of BaskinFleece, has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Trend Legal Elite. He is a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a national trial lawyer honorary society; is vice chairman of the All Children's Hospital Board of Trustees; and serves on the board of directors of the Pinellas County Community Foundation.
Goforth, a senior vice president and wealth strategists manager for the West Coast of Florida and Atlanta regions of Northern Trust, is a Certified Financial Planner. She chairs the All Children's Hospital Foundation board and serves on the boards of the University of South Florida, Heroes of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg YMCA.
Also honored were Taj Adams, recipient of the Hubert "Bud" Rutland III Scholarship, and Ashley Cimillo, who earned the Maureen Donovan-Dobiesz Scholarship.
Bill Edwards Presents, AAA Auto Club South and Phoenix Venture Philanthropy Foundation were major sponsors. Event committee cochairs were Dr. Al Geiger, Mary Gardiner Evertz and Dr. Robert Kropp.
Great Explorations Children's Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary in style, bringing supporters to the St. Petersburg Museum of History, which is showing Great Ex's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" exhibit through Dec. 31.
In her "State of the Great" address, chief executive Lisa Negrini noted a new preschool program; a child-care program that features art, science and math plus a computer lab for children; and the return of the popular Touch Tunnel.
She also acknowledged major donors Beth Houghton and Scott Wagman, volunteer Becky Day Wilson, Rebecca Hearn and Animal House and Sean Manning of the Manning Arts project.
Development director Daryl DeBerry, calling the children's organization "more than a museum," honored founders Mary Joan Mann, Carol Holland and Shawn Ulrich. David Ellis, Jean Stacey and Lyn Wood were praised as founders and visionaries who created the concept.
Wagman, who chairs the museum's board of directors, presented plaques to Donna Manguth of the Junior League of St. Petersburg, former board chair Patrick Marston; and board chair emeritus Bill Heller, who with his wife, Jeanne, has made a significant financial contribution to establish the museum's early-education programs.