Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Well-known name isn't enough to win Mr. Clearwater

Alan Bomstein of Dunedin was named Mr. Clearwater for 1991.

Alan Bomstein of Dunedin was named Mr. Clearwater for 1991.

CLEARWATER — Every year for the last half-century, one worthy person has been named Mr. or Mrs. Clearwater.

It's the most prestigious award given by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. It recognizes exceptional community service. And the title has a lot of history — past honorees include Jack Eckerd, Dr. William Hale, Dan Carlisle, Gus Stavros, Charles Rutenberg and Ed Droste.

But for whatever reason, the chamber isn't getting many nominations for this award anymore. They hope to get more in the next few weeks.

We talked to Alan Bomstein, who was Mr. Clearwater in 1991 and is a member of the award's selection committee.

Why are you getting fewer nominations?

It seems as though in recent years there has been less of an interest. We send direct mail to every local not-for-profit organization seeking nominations. I don't know whether they're too preoccupied with other things. But I'm sure there's still significant leadership in this community.

What are the criteria to be Mr. or Mrs. Clearwater?

This person is active in civic affairs and organizations, performs voluntary services not pertaining to his or her business or profession, and could represent Clearwater with distinction. The nominee should not hold a public office and lives within the greater Clearwater area.

So does this person have to be a local big shot?

No. It goes beyond those who have a big public profile. People might think, "Oh, it'll probably be a former chamber president or somebody like that," but that's not the case.

Ray Murray (Mr. Clearwater 2005), through his philanthropy, has quietly endowed more things than anyone could possibly imagine. Fred Casale (the 1986 honoree) personified the role of Clearwater's "Officer Friendly" — the guy was so good at being outgoing.

Otis and Barbara Green (1998) made their Homeless Emergency Project a permanent fixture in this town by themselves, with little help. Marion Rich (2003) is a volunteer who's done a lot of good in the community.

This award is given at the chamber's annual banquet in January, and the winner isn't told about it beforehand. Do they really not know?

It is always a surprise. I do not know, in my lifetime, anyone who had a clue they were going to get it. They're invariably shocked. Their family's offstage, waiting in the wings.

What's it like to win?

I've received a lot of awards over the years, and the Mr. Clearwater designation always surfaces to the top. There are people who see me on the street and say, "Hey, it's Mr. Clearwater." It's one of the things that sticks to you. The title has a lot of glue.

What are you really looking for?

The ultimate criteria is, this is somebody who has left a mark in this community. This is a better place because they were here.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.

>>fast facts

Mr. or Mrs. Clearwater

To nominate someone for this award, call the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce at 461-0011 and request a nomination form. The deadline is Nov. 14.

Well-known name isn't enough to win Mr. Clearwater 11/03/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 5:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence


    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  2. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017


    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion." 

  3. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again


    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  4. Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honors Memorial Day (w/video)


       Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honored those that served during their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with …

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor.
  5. Authorities release name of Tampa woman killed in Temple Terrace apartment fire


    TEMPLE TERRACE — Authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a fire that destroyed a dozen units in an apartment complex here Sunday.

    Firefighters battle an early-morning fire Sunday that claimed the life of 28-year-old Tenecia Renee Brannon and left about 30 others homeless. [Temple Terrace Fire Department]