More than 13,000 children were nominated for the annual Kohl's Kids Who Care Scholarship Program and Palm Harbor resident Patrick Pedraja, 13, was selected as one of the 10 national winners earning a $5,000 scholarship. In addition, Kohl's will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization of Patrick's choice.
Patrick, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10, founded the Driving for Donors program and traveled with his family to 32 cities nationwide educating people about the need for marrow donors. As a result, 6,500 people were added to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program Registry. Patrick also raised more than $150,000 by selling advertising space on his bald head to pay for donor registration fees. So far, his efforts have helped save three lives through bone marrow matches.
"This type of awareness has helped to educate so many people who most likely didn't know anything about the need for marrow donors before," said Claudine Andrews, Patrick's mother and nominator. "Patrick showed great initiative in this effort by thinking of others instead of himself during a really difficult time in his life."
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Salvatore and Vincenza Cutrona's enduring relationship began as a match encouraged by a relative and was fostered through photographs and letters that spanned the Atlantic Ocean.
The Clearwater couple recently celebrated 70 years of marriage with a renewal of their vows and received a special blessing at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Clearwater, followed by a luncheon at Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse.
Mr. and Mrs. Cutrona are originally from the same town in Sicily, Italy. While he remained in the old country, she came to America at age 3 with her parents.
An aunt encouraged Mrs. Cutrona to begin writing to the young Mr. Cutrona and the couple eventually fell in love through their correspondence. With the same aunt as a chaperone, the bride-to-be made the trip to Sicily, where she and Mr. Cutrona were married Aug. 6, 1938.
They honeymooned in Venice, Florence and Rome, and were fortunate enough to catch one of the last steamships to America before World War II shut down all commercial cruises across the Atlantic.
In New York City, Mr. Cutrona worked as a tailor. During World War II, he found work on a farm on Long Island, N.Y., and eventually began his own construction company in Deer Park, N.Y.
Mrs. Cutrona was schooled in fashion design and worked in the garment industry.
The couple retired here in 1984 from Deer Park.
Both are members of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Clearwater.
The Cutronas have two sons, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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Darlo G. and Kay Boone of Palm Harbor are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on a cruise to Alaska with their children and grandchildren.
The couple met in Kingman, Ariz., where Mr. Boone was serving in the Air Force. They married in Kingman on Aug. 10, 1958.
Mr. Boone graduated from Iowa State University, and was employed by the Gillette Co.
Mrs. Boone is a homemaker.
The couple came here in 1990 from Lynnfield, Mass. They live in Lansbrook and were some of the original residents of President's Landing.
The Boones enjoy traveling and golf and have been members of Cypress Run Golf Club since retirement.
They have two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson.