In what everyone is saying is a first for Clearwater and the upper Pinellas community, at least eight service organizations are joining forces to raise $50,000 to $100,000 for the Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens (UPARC). This money will go toward UPARC's $2-million commitment to the Center Foundation, whose Belcher Road complex will become UPARC's new home.
Members of Kiwanis, Rotary, Sertoma, Jaycee, Lion, Civitan, Optimist and Soroptimist clubs in the area have agreed to participate, but other organizations are welcome to join the effort. They should call Cathy Holland, executive director of the UPARC Foundation, at 443-0315 and send representatives to the next meeting at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Members of all these organizations will be accepting $5 donations toward the chance to win a 1990 Mercedes Benz 190E, which is being provided at a big discount by Lokey Mercedes.
You'll be seeing these service club volunteers in action all over the place for the next five months _ at their own events, such as the Soroptimists' fashion show Saturday; at most events where there are a lot of people, such as Fun 'n Sun Festival activities, art shows and Fourth of July celebrations; and in area shopping malls.
The winner will be announced when UPARC moves into the Center Foundation complex this summer.
That complex, by the way, will include a "Service Club Room" that will be available for use by all of the participating clubs. And with the UPARC-run cafeteria in operation, that use can include small breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings.
A plaque in the room will feature the logos of the participating organizations.
A small task force has been brainstorming this project since early October. It didn't like the idea of simply asking each club for a donation, but also didn't want to put on a big fund-raising event that might conflict with events already sponsored by the various clubs.
The Mercedes "giveaway" seemed like a good compromise. If these clubs collectively can get 2,000 of their members obtaining 10 donations each _ bingo! _ you've got $100,000.
Caladesi book reprinting
Myrtle Scharrer Betz of Palm Harbor will turn 95 on Thursday, and the way her friends are celebrating her birthday is by raising money for a reprinting of her book, Yesteryear, or I Lived in Paradise.
This book is a history she completed in 1982 that tells about the 35 years she lived on Caladesi Island, where she was born. Several hundred copies were printed at the time.
The goal now is to raise $7,500 to print 5,000 copies so more people can read what it was like living on an island off Dunedin at the turn of the century.
The Palm Harbor Junior Woman's Club, which is coordinating the effort, has received a $2,500 challenge grant from the Pinellas County Historical Society and a $100 pledge from Sun Bank.
Checks should be made payable to the Henry Scharrer Fund and sent to the woman's club at P.O. Box 290, Palm Harbor 34683, attention Susan Latvala.
Proceeds from the sale of the book will go into the Henry Scharrer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Henry, who was Mrs. Betz's Swiss-born father, homesteaded 150 acres on the island in 1886.
Largo Kiwanis Club restart
The Largo Kiwanis Club was a community mainstay for many years, until falling by the wayside a year ago. John Williams, lieutenant governor for this Kiwanis district, is leading an effort to start a new club and already has signed up 20 of the 30 members needed.
Call him at 799-5624 if you're interested. An organizational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. March 1 at the Largo Library.