Published Dec. 14, 2011

Cher Hubsher was crowned Miss Clearwater USA 2013 on Dec. 3 at the Tampa Convention Center.

The Palm Harbor University High graduate grew up watching Miss America and Miss Universe pageants on TV.

"I chose to enter a pageant in order to become a positive role model for the community," explained Hubsher.

"I was so excited and happy for her because she loves to give back and do for others," said Dawn Hubsher of her daughter's accomplishment. "Now she can actually represent her home town."

Hubsher's parents, Mason and Dawn, moved the family from Miami to Clearwater in 1991 when she was a year old.

During her teens, she was featured on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 and Blingest Bashes, and starred on MTV's Exiled, a program that whisked her away to Panama where she spent a week living with the Embera tribe.

Hubsher says the television shows made her realize she's truly happiest when doing something good for others.

The 21-year old vegetarian is enrolled at the University of Florida's College of Nursing where she's scheduled to graduate in May 2012. "I would love to be able to one day go back to Panama and provide health care to the tribe members."

As part of Hubsher's commitment to the crown, she plans on participating in Clearwater Chamber of Commerce events and possibly hosting other pageants, said her mother, Dawn.

She will represent Clearwater in July at the Miss Florida pageant in Hollywood.

- - -

John and Irene Tsangaris of Tarpon Springs celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a cruise to New England and Canada.

The Tarpon natives were introduced at an early age. "We met when John moved in next door to me when he was 8 years old," explained the former Miss Sarris. "We've been together ever since."

Both graduated from Tarpon Springs High, she in 1950 and he a year later.

The couple eloped to Folkston, Ga., where they tied the knot Oct. 6, 1951. They renewed their vows with a church ceremony May 5, 1952 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Tarpon Springs.

John served with the Army's 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion from 1951 to 1953. After military service, he worked in steel mills in Gary, Ind. Upon returning to Tarpon Springs, he held positions as an orderly, a recreational aide and maintenance worker at Anclote Manor Psychiatric Hospital. He later worked as a patrolman for the Tarpon Springs Police Department and also spent a year with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department. He worked 31 years with the U.S. Postal Service in various locations, and retired as a supervisor from the Dunedin office.

Irene worked 30 years at various health care facilities as a bookkeeper and office manager and 11 years for Jester Kids Clothes as office manager. Her career in office management continues with part-time work at a condominium complex in Tarpon Springs.

John is a member of Tarpon Masonic Lodge 112, Scottish Rite, Egypt Shrine Temple, Kentucky Colonels, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Association.

Irene is a member of the Symian Society.

Both are members of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

They have two children, Stamie McNally of Plymouth, Mass. and Irene Renoula LaStarza of Orlando; and four grandchildren John Perryman of Palm Harbor, Irene Perryman of Clearwater, and Nicholas LaStarza and Jacob LaStarza, both of Orlando.

- - -

Jessie Hayes, a student at St. Cecelia Catholic School, won second place in Clearwater Public Library's Teen Read Week short story contest. The event was held in October and solicited stories or personal narratives from children in grades 6-8 from Pinellas County.

Hayes' original work, The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs, earned the young author a $50 Target gift card and the story will be posted on the Clearwater Library's website.

- - -

Snuggles 4 Paws, sponsored by Pit Stop Bully's Rescue, made a delivery of blankets, sheets and towels to the Humane Society of Pinellas in Clearwater to keep pets warm this winter. Each year PSBR gives back to the community and this year the Humane Society is one of their chosen benefactors.

The shelter relies solely on donations and community support and will use the donated items for its adoptable animals in outdoor kennels.