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Top honors for Girl Scouts' beautification of bus stop; Marine of the Year named

John J. Piazza Sr. has been named Marine of the Year by the Marine Corps League, Department of Florida.

Courtesy of John J. Piazza Sr.

John J. Piazza Sr. has been named Marine of the Year by the Marine Corps League, Department of Florida.

Good for you | by Nova Beall

As part of a Girl Scout community improvement project, Girl Scout Troop 858 and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority recently partnered to enhance and refurbish an older bus stop along Sunset Point Road in Clearwater, just east of U.S. 19 and served by PSTA's Route 62.

"The girls got together to discuss community projects that they could undertake to earn a Bronze Award," said Scout mom Sharon Akers-Tower.

The award is the highest honor given to Girl Scout Juniors, who are Scouts in fourth or fifth grade. The first step in earning a Bronze Award requires the Scouts to form a team to explore their community and develop ideas for an enhancement project.

"One of the girls noticed that the bench was broken at this stop, which is close to our meeting venue," Akers-Tower explained. "She suggested that the team fix and beautify the stop and the others agreed."

The team contacted PSTA maintenance manager Kevin Hoyt and asked if he would work with them to improve the stop. Hoyt and his staff were eager to help and quickly provided a new concrete pad and bench. The scouts then painted the bench in Girl Scout colors, added their troop number and surrounded the stop with butterfly and hummingbird-friendly plants, flowers and mulch.

"They did an awesome job and the stop is beautiful," said Hoyt. "They're a very impressive group of youngsters."

A ceremonial ribbon cutting for the newly refurbished stop took place the evening of July 25, attended by the Scouts and their families.

• • •

John Piazza Sr. has been named Marine of the Year by the Marine Corps League, Department of Florida at the recent state conference in Kissimmee.

Piazza, who is commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 54 in Clearwater and Largo, has dedicated his time, effort and personal resources to further the success of the Toys for Tots program in Pinellas County as well as community service functions by the Military Order of the Devil Dogs, the honor society of the Marine Corps League.

He has been instrumental in developing and managing a program that provides direct benefits to wounded warriors and their families. He has also led the Department of Florida's program that provides scholarships to the children and grandchildren of league members to help with the rising costs of continuing education.

As founder and CEO of the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, Piazza shares his personal collection of military equipment and items to educate the public about the history and traditions of this country's military and its veterans.

Piazza received the award for his involvement in projects that benefit those in his community, whether they be homeless, veterans, citizens or businesses, and for contributions that reflect the highest credit upon the Marine Corps League.

Send Good For You items to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email

Top honors for Girl Scouts' beautification of bus stop; Marine of the Year named 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:02pm]
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