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The Scottish American Society of Dunedin celebrated the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns with a traditional meal and dance.
The Scottish American Society of Dunedin celebrated the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns with a traditional meal and dance.
Published Feb. 12, 2015

POET ROBERT BURNS CELEBRATED: The traditional Scottish formal dinner honoring Scotland's beloved poet and lyricist Robert Burns was hosted by Dunedin's Scottish American Society on Jan. 24, honoring Burns' birth in 1759. Adhering to the traditional Burns Dinner format, the evening began with a welcome to the men in formal kilts and the ladies in tartan gowns adorned with clan scarves and sashes by Scottish American Society President Diane Burke. The evening's star attraction was the haggis, considered Scotland's national dish, served with "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes) seasoned with a dram of Scotch whisky.

Following a rendition of Burns' famous Address to a Haggis by Bill McMahon, along with other Burns poems and lyrics, guests were treated to numerous traditional toasts to the "ladies" and "lassies" by Stewart and Maire Nicholson, and a traditional bagpipe selection.

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH: Each month, the Rotary Club of East Lake Sunrise recognizes students as Student of the Month from Brooker Creek Elementary and Cypress Woods Elementary. Christina Tsaousis of Brooker Creek Elementary is in the fifth grade and was nominated by her teacher, Pam Bender. Lauren Ulewicz of Cypress Woods Elementary was nominated by her teachers Kim Hardgrove and Kate Paulson. Parents and school staff members attended the breakfast to celebrate the students' awards.

IB PROGRAM ARRIVES: St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School has announced that it has become an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School. This program provides an intellectually challenging environment that encourages students to become critical and reflective thinkers. St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School has been providing families in Clearwater and surrounding communities with dedication to excellence to education for more than 65 years.

DONATION FOR THE DOGS: The district deputy of the West Central District of the Florida State Elks Association, Rudy Masi Sr., joined the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for a ceremonial check presentation to Canine Estates, an animal rescue shelter in Palm Harbor. The check was funded from proceeds from an auction for a rug that was misprinted, reading "In Dog We Trust." The auction ended with a final bid of $9,650.

Upon hearing this final bid, a local Elks member decided to rally his fellow members to make the proceeds an even $10,000. Masi called a meeting of the district and put together a $500 donation, raising the final total donation to $10,150.

CREATIVE HONOR FOR GENERAL MANAGER: Tampa-based Ovations Food Services, the exclusive catering provider to Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol Theatre since 2012, presented its on-site food and beverage general manager, Brandon Huskins, the 2014 award for Most Creative General Manager.

In his third year at Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol, Huskins continues to keep Ovations' food and beverage operation fresh and exciting by offering guests rotating seasonal menus, it was noted. His dedication and attention to detail has helped grow the food and beverage program, increasing concession sales by 31 percent and catering by 45 percent in 2014.

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"Brandon joined us as we were adding another venue to the chain. His dedication, ability to learn so much so well, plus his calm leadership bodes well for Ovations and their attention to new clients. Brandon is a game changer," said Zev Buffman, president and CEO of Ruth Eckerd Hall.