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Goals high for Pride Center's 30th year

This is a big year for Clearwater's Community Pride Child Care Center. It is the center's 30th anniversary and the year when center supporters hope to get a $525,000 fund-raising campaign back on track.

The right track is what this small but proud institution is all about. It serves infants and preschool children who come primarily from low-income and sometimes stressful households. The program is geared toward starting them on the right track toward productive school years, not dropout dead ends.

The center also helps their mothers get on the right track by caring for their children while they go to classes or jobs.

All Community Pride alumni and interested members of the community are invited to a 30th anniversary celebration Saturday at the National Guard Armory, 706 Missouri Ave., near Jack Russell Stadium.

A social hour will start at 4:30 p.m., a program at 5:30 and a dinner of fish or chicken at 6:30. Tickets, $7.50 for adults and $5 for children, can be obtained by calling the center, 443-0948.

The Community Pride children will sing their theme song, The World Is A Rainbow, and alumni in the audience who remember the words will be invited to sing along.

The center, on Holt Avenue near Clearwater's North Greenwood Branch Library, serves 86 children ages 2{ to 5, and an additional 28 children are served at a branch in the South Greenwood area. Fifty children from 2 months to age 3 are cared for in 12 private homes supervised by Community Pride.

The fund drive's $525,000 goal amount is to build and furnish a 4,300-square-foot "infant center" north of the present building. The campaign, which has been sort of sidetracked because of personnel problems, has $150,000 in hand and another $50,000 in pledges.

That figure does not include an additional $150,000 in pledges that require the center to raise matching amounts. An anonymous donor has pledged $100,000 as a challenge grant, meaning an additional $100,000 must be raised to qualify for the first $100,000.

Meanwhile, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation of Winter Park has made a similar $50,000 challenge grant, which must be met by the end of the year. This money then could be used to help meet the other challenge.

Frances Breeden, whose parents, Ralph and Harriet Richards, were the primary organizers of the Community Pride center 30 years ago, has labored long and hard on this fund drive. She has written to foundations all over the country and got the president and vice president of the Edyth Bush Foundation to visit the center last fall.

That's all it took.

If you want to learn more about a local institution that some have nicknamed "The Pride of Clearwater," you can start by attending Saturday's celebration.

A "Henderson special'

That means it is free _ a comprehensive health screening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Anona United Methodist Church, 13233 Indian Rocks Road, Largo.

The program sponsored by Sun Coast Hospital and the church, will include tests of pulmonary function, blood pressure, pulse, hearing, fitness and percent of body fat; screening for glaucoma, arthritis, anemia and hernia; foot and spinal exams; and urinalysis.

Also available will be a coronary risk profile for $10, which requires a 12-hour fast.

Call 587-0023 for reservations or information.

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