Two Clearwater police officers and a Clearwater Fire & Rescue medic were honored recently at a joint luncheon with the Rotary Clubs of Clearwater and Belleair.
Sgt. Dan Devol of the Clearwater Police Department was presented with the 37th annual Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation's Outstanding Police Officer of the Year Award.
Devol received the department's highest honor for saving the life of a woman who collapsed in the lobby of the Clearwater Police Department, administering CPR until paramedics arrived. His award was presented by Karen Crown, representing the Cornelius Family Foundation.
For exemplary off-duty service to the community, police Officer Thomas Lulek and firefighter Chris Maine received 2014 Public Safety and Service Awards from the Rotary Club of Clearwater.
Lulek, who was honored for his work with the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, has been with the department for nearly 15 years and is assigned to District 3 on the city's east side.
Maine is a fire medic assigned to Station 50 in the Countryside area and is an eight-year city employee. He was recognized for helping to provide Thanksgiving dinner to families in need and ensuring that children in Greenwood Recreation Center's after-school program and pediatric patients at Mease Countryside Hospital receive toys during the holidays.
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Seventh-graders at Clearwater's St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School recently visited Pinellas Hope, a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg that provides housing for the homeless. There, the students had the opportunity to learn about the challenges that the homeless face every day.
The class prepared and served lunch for the residents. The meal, consisting of Cuban sandwiches, chips and dessert, was paid for through donations by the St. Cecelia student body. The students also made individual prayer cards before the visit and handed them out with the meal.
After lunch, the seventh-graders toured the facility and visited with the residents.
Opened as a pilot program to provide a temporary respite for the homeless, Pinellas Hope now includes a community center with permanent offices, kitchen, meeting rooms and a covered dining area replacing temporary trailers. In addition to more than 250 individual tent homes on platforms, the community now has 80 apartments for permanent supportive housing as residents of Pinellas Hope prepare to return to regular housing.
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The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office honored the service and dedication of members of the school crossing guard program at an appreciation day event Feb. 7 at Elks Lodge 1525, 1240 San Christopher Drive in Dunedin.
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During the event, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri presented badges and Length of Service certificates to guards who most recently completed their initial Florida Department of Transportation certification.
Guards from North Pinellas with perfect attendance in 2013 are Jack Adler, Robert Allison, Donald Breckley, Beverly Caney, John Donovan, David Dufresne, Dennis Frawley, Maria Gonzalez, Richard Grefe, Stanley Karnyski, Fredrick King, Rebecca King, Rosemary Mayo, Wayne Mayo, Paige Sherry, Eugene Shotrow, Diane Sandiford, Jimmie Waters and Florence Winters.
North Pinellas guards receiving recognition for five years of service are Janet Curnutt and Beverly Weese; 10 years: Donna Ahern and John Donovan; 35 years: Barbara Herzog.
FDOT badges were awarded to North Pinellas guards Robert Allison, Maria Aviles, Priscilla Beard, Scott Berman, Beverly Caney, Andrew Demers, Dennis Dumais, William Garced, Solange Guazzelli, Shirley James, Patrick Neafsey, Charles Perrupato, Joyce Piper, Arlene Robinson, Anne Ruscoe, Kenneth Seabol, Kathy Seaman and Florence Winters.
The school crossing guard program began in 1972 as a volunteer program and over the years has grown to meet FDOT standards. Each guard attends a mandatory six-hour classroom training session and two hours of field training followed by three days of training at the guard's assigned post.
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