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Studio@620 celebrates 10th anniversary with awards


St. Petersburg's Studio@620 celebrated its 10th anniversary in grand style at the Coliseum, recognizing five couples in an evening it called "Magic of Community."

And magic it was, including performances by Czyk, aerialists, stilt walkers, an accordionist and a Frank Sinatra-inspired performance of My Kind of Town delivered by Mayor Rick Kriseman.

The evening was dedicated to David and Astrid Ellis. Dave Ellis helped to create the studio in 2004 and became its artistic director emeritus in 2009. Astrid Ellis spent her career as an administrator in health care with emphasis on obstetrics and pediatrics and is the studio's current treasurer.

Receiving Studio Honors awards, created by glass artist Duncan McClellan and introduced by Kanika Tomalin, St. Petersburg deputy mayor, were:

Dr. Susan Betzer and Peter Betzer: Susan Betzer is a volunteer physician at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, having retiring from her family medical practice in 2013. Peter Betzer, president of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership since 2008, previously was dean and professor in the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.

David Warner, editor in chief of Creative Loafing, and Larry Biddle, director of the LGBT Welcome Center Development for Metro Charities.

Dr. Nancy Bryant, an ophthalmologist, and Dr. Kenneth Bryant, a urologist.

Peter Meinke, St. Petersburg's poet laureate, and Jeanne Meinke, an artist and illustrator.

Richard Rice, Eckerd College director emeritus, and Mimi Rice, actor and founder of the Radio Theatre Project and the Studio@620 Radio Theatre Project (RTP Live!).

Cassidy Mae Routh received the Ola Mae Jones Emerging Artist Award, created in memory of co-founder and director Bob Devin Jones' mother. Routh is entering her senior year at Florida State University, where she is president of the Student Art League.

More than 400 patrons attended the event, which featured food from restaurants throughout the community.

Sherry Sacino and Michele Routh co-chaired the event committee, which included Jones, Robin O'Dell, Alizza Punzalan-Randle, Bill Felice, Bonnie Agan, Catherine Woods, Dr. Karen Monroe, Lisa Powers, Colleen Vieux, Matt Cowley, Marcia Crawley, Gail Eggeman, Diane Bailey Morton, Diane Shelly, Sandra Gadsden, Scott Schecter, Matt Donahue, Derek Keys, Michelle Bauer, Hal Freedman and the Studio staff.


After heavy rains kept some guests away from the recent outdoor gala for Great Explorations, organizers regrouped and presented "Great Extravaganza: The Garden Party (Take Two!)" at Sunken Gardens.

More than 100 guests took dance lessons, played outdoor games and tasted food and drink from local restaurants and breweries.

The 1920s-themed event showcased several automobiles from the era and brought in more than $10,000, officials said.


Members of the West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America honored four community leaders at its annual Distinguished Citizens Award presentation, held in St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater.

Recognized were businessman Bill Edwards, who was introduced by Stephanie Goforth, who received the award in 20011; lawyer Lucas Fleming, introduced by 2008 recipient Scott Wagman; dermatologist Dr. Christopher Nelson Jr., introduced by his brother Dr. Andrew Nelson; and banker Andy Williams, introduced by Bob Rohrlack.

Kelli Cliff, a student at St. Petersburg College and an employee of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and Kelley Butterfield, a student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and a member of Law Enforcement Explorer Post 900, received the 2014 Maureen Donovan-Dobiesz Scholarships.

Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser Dick Crippen was master of ceremonies.

Mary Gardiner Evertz and Dr. Robert Kropp were co-chairs of the presentation committee, which included John Baringer, William M. Davis, Lucas J. DeVicente, Donald Geer, Dr. Al Geiger Jr., John Green Jr., Jim Henderson, Greg Holden, Dr. Andrew Nelson and Dr. Chris Nelson Jr.

Tom Stoner, president of the West Central Florida Council, and Bill Davis, Scout executive, also were presenters.

More than 600 Scouts from throughout the area spent that weekend at Fort De Soto Park, sanding and repainting picnic tables and benches.