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Drive to immunize grows into health fair

The fourth annual Family Health Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Clearwater's Long Center has got to be one of this area's most worthwhile events.

Doctors, dentists and other medical personnel, assisted by about 250 volunteers, will be providing free to all children school physicals, eye exams, hearing screenings, dental exams, immunizations (including the hepatitis B shot now required for incoming seventh-graders), spinal exams and fingerprinting, plus video identification to help police locate missing children. The new hepatitis requirement is a series of three shots, so now is a good time to start.

Special Olympics officials plan to bring several hundred of their athletes for physicals.

There will be clowns, magicians, Operation PAR's Disney Muppets, police dogs, the Sheriff's Office helicopter, refreshments and games.

Parents accompanying their children also may take advantage of the medical screenings.

This all began when Kiwanis International several years ago announced a nationwide effort to immunize at least 90 percent of all children. Health Fair chairman Nick DeTrano said his Springtime City Kiwanis Club decided to expand on the idea and include other medical tests.

He said his club first enlisted the help of other Kiwanis clubs in the area and then went to the Council of Service Organizations Upper Pinellas to seek volunteers from all community groups.

It truly has become a communitywide effort of people helping people.

No reservations are necessary. Just come to the Long Center at 1501 Belcher Road N, midway between NE Coachman and Sunset Point roads.

Proceeds from play

benefit free clinic

A sure-fire fun evening each year is the night that the Clearwater Free Clinic takes over the Francis Wilson Playhouse for its pre-opening night performance of a new play. This year, it's MASH at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A $20 donation admits you to the play plus a reception featuring champagne, Hooters wings, desserts, liqueurs and a silent auction.

The proceeds support the clinic's vital work of providing medical care at more than 7,000 patient visits to those who are not eligible for government-subsidized care but can't afford to pay for insurance or private care.

Call 447-1602 for reservations.

Wine tasting raises

money for Abilities

Another sure-fire fun evening is the annual Abilities Wine Tasting & Auction fund-raiser. This year's is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Jet Executive Center hangar at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

Fifty winemakers from California's Napa Valley will be providing samples of their finest, complemented by food from the Black Angus Stockyard, music and a silent auction of autographed sports memorabilia, wines and vacation packages.

The cost is $30 in advance by calling Frank DeLucia at 538-7370, ext. 345, or $35 at the door. Last year's event netted $100,000 for Abilities' programs that trained 477 disabled individuals for mainstream jobs paying more than $6-million.

Podiatrist to speak

about fitness walking

This is for people who may want to start a fitness walking program that leads to better health, not injuries. Dr. Scott Kantro, a podiatrist and sports therapist who is considered one of the country's leading fitness walking consultants, will be at Countryside Mall's Jim Stewart Hush Puppies store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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