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. The boy was screaming with 7 hours left to fly. Then she held out her hand


    She's a shy Jewish woman from Charlotte. He's a little boy, apparently African and Muslim, who was screaming aboard a transatlantic flight.

    Bentzion Groner posted photos on Facebook of his wife, Rochel Groner, comforting a wailing boy on their transatlantic flight. [Bentzion Groner Facebook]
  2. Detectives investigating after body found in vacant Tampa lot


    TAMPA — Detectives are investigating after a man was found dead Tuesday in a vacant lot in north Tampa.

  3. Rays can't wave white flag



    Buck Showalter and his Baltimore Bladders were back at it against the Rays on Tuesday night at the Trop, where, the whole world knows by now, there is no bathroom in the visitors bullpen. Showalter, who mentioned it after the Orioles won Monday, agreed with us before the game: They ought to have a …

  4. Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed to serve in U.S. military


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving "in any capacity" in the U.S. armed forces.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. [Associated Press]
  5. 'Wonder Woman 2' gets a release date


    The sequel to Warner Bros. massive superhero hit Wonder Woman has a release date.

    'Wonder Woman' starring Gal Gadot was a box office smash hit.