The Clearwater Junior Woman's Club honored a local volunteer and awarded three Helping Hands Community Grants during its Community Awards Dinner in the UPARC cafeteria in the Long Center in Clearwater. Anne Dougherty and Colette Runge, leadership co-chairwomen, presented the club's annual Community Service Award to Tom Cooney, a volunteer for Pinellas County schools.
Cooney, who is deaf, visits area schools and teaches the children the sign language alphabet and some popular phrases.
"He captivates the children with his description of life as a deaf person," wrote Sue Potter, publicity chairwoman for the club. "He also fascinates the students with stories of his meetings with numerous famous people, including Helen Keller, several U.S. presidents and famous sports heroes."
Nancy Zimmerman, a home economics teacher at Pinellas Park Middle School and a former Community Service Award winner, nominated Cooney who is a single parent of two teen-age sons.
The club presented three Helping Hands Community Grants from money raised in its "Christmas Under the Oaks" arts and crafts festival held each year in November. Grant recipients were selected by the club's 32 members from more than 130 applicants.
Community grants chairwoman Gail Berry presented a $2,000 grant to Bettie Bowen, first vice president of the American Association of Kidney Patients, Suncoast Chapter. The grant will be used to send six children with end-stage kidney disease to Kidney Kamp this summer in Gainesville.
A $3,000 grant was presented to Reginald Braswell, director of the Food Pantry of Religious Community Services in Clearwater. It will be used to purchase infant formula for needy families in the area.
Girls Inc. of Pinellas County received the $5,000 grant. It is to be used to provide a tutor for the girls (ages 6-18) at the Mid-County Club in the Ridgecrest area.
Linda Lamons-Baker, executive director of Girls Inc. of Pinellas County, accepted the grant.
Members of the Clearwater Junior Woman's Club planted a tree recently at the Condon Garden Girls' Club and afterwards treated the girls to ice cream. The tree-planting was in keeping with the tradition of planting a tree, at the site of the mother's choice, when a member of the Woman's Club has a child.
The club also donated books to four local elementary school libraries. Schools receiving books were Eisenhower Elementary, St. Cecelia Catholic School, Leila Davis Elementary and Ponce de Leon Elementary.
The Clearwater Junior Woman's Club is a non-profit group for women over 18. It assists the community through education, service and financing. For information, call 797-9683.
Couple plans anniversary
Rosemary and Ed Dobyns of Seminole plan to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a party Saturday at the Seminole Lake Country Club Estates clubhouse.
The Dobyns were married June 3, 1941, at the Holy Redeemer Church in Madison, Wis. They came to Sarasota in 1974 and to Seminole in 1975.
Before retiring, he was a foreign service officer with the State Department in Washington, D.C. His last position was consul general at Monterrey, Mexico, from 1971 to 1974.
The Dobyns met in 1939 while he was a student at Georgetown University. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1938 and she moved there after graduating from the University of Wisconsin.
They have three children and a grandchild.