Monday, May 21, 2018
Opinion

Leadership Pinellas and Clothes to Kids join forces

Each year civic groups throughout the Tampa Bay area pitch in to help worthy nonprofits.

This year, the Leadership Pinellas Class of 2014 is stepping in to help with a basic need for low-income children by partnering with Clothes to Kids to collect underwear.

The nonprofit says it has provided more than 80,000 wardrobes to schoolchildren since 2003.

The numbers are staggering: 53,000 Pinellas County public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Lost in the mix are other needs the students face each day.

Leadership Pinellas, along with Clothes to Kids, is celebrating "Drop (off) Your Drawers Month," which is designed to collect new garments and help underwrite the money the nonprofit spends.

Leadership Pinellas, whose annual class includes up to 40 civic-minded leaders, is participating in a 10-month program that is community-focused and targets the development of local leaders. Part of that development is participating in initiatives that help others.

The goal is simple: provide new underwear for schoolchildren during October. If Clothes to Kids' estimates are an indicator, the Leadership group needs to provide 7,000 pairs of underwear.

On Tuesday, their effort will culminate with a "Drop (off) Your Drawers Party" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Clear Sky Beachside Cafe at 490 Mandalay Ave. in Clearwater. The party is open to the public — a package of new youth underwear is the price of admission.

Leadership Pinellas Class of 2014 plans on helping several organizations throughout the county; the Clothes to Kids effort is a good start.

• • •

A few weeks ago, I wrote about several local artists who were using crowdfunding websites to raise money for projects — including efforts to expand their brand at larger art shows.

Well one of those artists has been named a finalist for a prestigious national award.

Wendy Durand, a St. Petersburg ceramic artist, recently learned that one of her ceramic pieces was chosen as a finalist in the 25th annual NICHE Awards. Winners will be announced in January during the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia.

Durand, with the help of 83 funders, raised $5,255 for her project Handmade Sculptural & Functional Pottery: for artful living and artful giving.

• • •

That cold front from the other day made for perfect weather for a bowl of soup — or chowder.

The folks in Pass-a-Grille are planning on adding a new competitive event to the region: a "chowder challenge." The event will feature 26 local restaurants, most from along south Pinellas beaches.

What is a "chowder challenge?" Think chili cookoff, but with chowder. In this new event, chefs will compete for the coveted Golden Ladle. The proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Beaches Historical Museum.

The event is from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at Hurley Park, 1500 Gulf Way in Pass-a-Grille.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at [email protected] or at (727) 893-8874. Follow @StPeteSandi on Twitter.

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