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Tarpon Kiwanis club receives its charter

Published Sep. 1, 2005

More than 100 people gathered May 30 at the Louis Pappas Riverside Restaurant for the chartering ceremony of the newly formed Kiwanis Club of Tarpon Springs. Among the dignitaries attending the ceremony were state Rep. Gus Bilirakis; Larry Krasulak, state governor of Kiwanis; past state governors John Williams, Larry Kravet and Elwood Hogan; George Hardin, Kiwanis Division 12 lieutenant governor; and guest members from nine area Kiwanis clubs.

Bilirakis, one of the 38 charter members of the new Kiwanis Club, told those attending that he was "very, very excited about being involved with Kiwanis."

The Florida representative presented the club with an American flag that was flown over the nation's capitol in Washington, and was procured for the occasion by his father, U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, who could not attend the ceremony because he was out of the country.

In his absence, his son read this letter: "The world American ends with "I can,'; and as the saying goes, "success comes in cans _ failure in can't.' As Kiwanis members, you not only can _ you do, and you help others to do the same. Seeing need in the community, you are often the ones to step forward to find solutions, continuing the Kiwanis founder's initial statement made Jan. 21, 1915: "have a pure instinct fueled by a sincere desire to help others.' "

Krasulak thanked those who helped found the Tarpon Springs group, including Williams, Hardin and Kravet and the numerous members from area clubs who helped establish the club. He presented a special award to charter member Bell Clement for his efforts in recruiting members.

"For the Kiwanis (Club) of Tarpon Springs, success will be the journey and not the destination," Krasulak challenged, "and we expect great things."

Tarpon Springs Kiwanis joins 8,446 clubs worldwide in 86 countries sharing the goal of serving their communities with an emphasis on helping children. The group meets at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Paul's Shrimp House, 80 Live Oak St., Tarpon Springs. For information, contact Ned Johnson, charter president, at (727) 938-9251 or e-mail at

Soroptimist hold joint installation

A joint installation banquet for Soroptimist International of Upper Pinellas and Soroptimist International of Holiday Isles was held last month at Isla del Sol Country Club. Soroptimist International of Upper Pinellas installed the following officers: Mel Chase, president; Marsha McGrath, vice president; Betsi Lewis, secretary; Minnie Olds, treasurer; and Susan Kinney and Pegi McEneaney, directors.

Holiday Isles officers installed were Marsha Hamil, president; Gail Pletcher, vice president; Marilyn Cisek, recording secretary; Cathy Sue Curant, corresponding secretary; Doris Thompson, delegate; and Charlotte Musser, alternate delegate.

Elks honor youth and community leaders

Several were honored at the recent annual community awards banquet held by Dunedin/Clearwater Elks Lodge 1525.

+ Cadet Col. Moses B. Flores was introduced and awarded a certificate and savings bond as Cadet of the Year by Col. Michael Davis (USMC retired), senior marine instructor at Clearwater High School;

+ Rachel McCarthy and Erica Middleson were presented savings bonds and awards as Honor Students of the Year by Maryann Giacchino, assistant principal, and Janet George, guidance counselor at Dunedin High School;

+ Travis Connolly, selected Cadet of the Year at Dunedin High School, was presented a savings bond and certificate by Gunnery Sgt. Ron Wilson (USMC retired), representing the school's Naval Junior ROTC program;

+ Matthew Patrick Malinski was introduced and awarded a savings bond and certificate as Honor Student of the Year by Chris Bates, assistant principal at Countryside High School;

+ Lt. Dana O'Connor received a plaque as Dunedin Firefighter of the Year from Bud Meyer, chief of the Dunedin Fire Department;

+ Stephen C. Colbert, lead medic, received a plaque as Clearwater Firefighter of the Year, and was accompanied by Pete Huffman, assistant chief of operations for the Clearwater Fire Department;

+ Michael Ireland, named Deputy Sheriff of the Year, received a plaque for his dedication and service, and was accompanied by Capt. Raymond Poole of the Sheriff's Office north district station;

+ and Detective Sgt. George Koder, who was recently named Police Officer of the Year by the city of Clearwater, was awarded a plaque for his leadership and supervision in the criminal investigation division and was accompanied by Capt. Bob Jones of the Clearwater Police Department.

Dunedin Mayor John Doglione congratulated the award winners and presented the lodge with a proclamation.

Bob Caney, the lodge's grand exalted ruler, introduced the following officers and lodge members: Sam Munro, past exalted ruler and banquet coordinator; Joyce Van Eck, auxiliary president; and Charlie Urello, past district deputy grand exalted ruler. He also welcomed visiting guests Joe Schmitt, district deputy and member of Seminole Elks Lodge 2519, and Cliff Dunaway, vice president of the Elks West Central District and member of Holiday Isles Elks Lodge 1912.

Doctor given Service to Mankind Award

The Bicentennial Sertoma Club recently awarded Dr. Gus Stavros its highest honor, the Service to Mankind Award, at the club's 28th annual awards banquet.

Over the past year the group raised more than $21,000 and members donated more than 900 volunteer hours to the community. Donations totaling more than $18,000 were awarded to Cross Bayou Elementary School, Camp Endeavor, the Pinellas County Education Foundation, the Morningstar School and the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center. The club also provided a dictionary to each graduating student at the Cross Bayou School, and winners of the club's National Heritage Essay Contest received plaques and savings bonds.

Clearwater Civitans meet at new time

Clearwater Civitan Club, which for 51 years has met for weekly breakfasts, changed its meeting time to 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday, which started July 1. The meetings are now at the Homeless Emergency Project Community Center at 12260 Engman St., Clearwater. Civitan projects for the summer season include the International Civitan Convention in Ottawa, a health fair scheduled for Saturday, officer training in August and preparation for the Sunshine District Civitan Convention to Sept. 12 and 13 in Clearwater Beach. For information on the club, call (727) 584-0461.

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