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Businesses can both compete and join forces to brighten up downtown for the holidays by participating in the city's holiday pole decorating contest. Business owners and civic organizations are invited to be partners in the "Operation Twinkle" program.

The objective is to dress up downtown and create a festive family-friendly atmosphere. Light poles are to be "adopted" and decorated. Participants will receive a certificate, recognition on Dunedin TV 15 and will be announced during the Old Fashioned Christmas event Dec. 5.

Ribbons will be awarded to the top three contestants in the categories of Best Holiday Spirit and Best Themed Pole. The winner of the Best Overall Pole will be awarded a rotating trophy with name of the business or organization inscribed and kept at the winner's location until following year.

Applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce, the library, the Boxcar and City Hall as well as the Dunedin Community Center, the Hale Center and the Martin Luther King Center. Poles must be decorated between Nov. 5 and Nov. 23. For information call Steven Sherman at (727) 812-4533.


Help needed for bike, toy festival

Old Palm Harbor Main Street is in the final stages of planning for its sixth annual Bike Fest and Toys for Tots Ride scheduled for Nov. 22.

Volunteers and vendors are needed. For information call Old Palm Harbor Main Street at (727) 787-4700 or visit


Tough times: More cats need homes

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo, is inundated with cats looking for homes.

Officials at the SPCA attribute the influx to difficult economic times, according to Marissa Segundo, the organization's public relations manager.

To encourage adoptions, the SPCA has reduced the adoption fee for cats (older than 1 year) to $12.50. The organization is also offering free cat food for one month to new adopters.

Hours are: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For information, go to or call (727) 586-3591.


Woman's Club to give grants to nonprofits

The GFWC Clearwater Community Woman's Club will be awarding grants up to $1,000 to nonprofit organizations in North Pinellas that have demonstrated positive service to the community.

Applications are available through the GFWC Clearwater Community Woman's Club Web site, The awards will be distributed in March.