Local nonprofit walks 31 miles to honor fallen heroes
St. Petersburg residents, Scott and Jennifer Bill, and members of the Brian Bill Foundation recently participated in the 31Miles for 31Heroes walk in Washington to honor to fallen soldiers of Extortion 17. The event honors the 30 active duty military members and one military working dog killed in action when their helicopter was shot down by enemy fire in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. The couple started the foundation to honor Scott’s Bill’s son, Navy SEAL Brian Bill, who was on the helicopter. The Brian Bill Foundation provides therapeutic support to active-duty and retired U.S. Special Operations warriors dealing with post-traumatic stress, mild, traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. The event spanned 13 hours, and began at The Lincoln Memorial and ended in Arlington National Cemetery. The walk successfully raised $16,198 for the foundation, which offers therapeutic retreats to special operators and their spouses free of charge.
St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 members receive 75th anniversary of D-Day medals
On June 6, six members of St. Petersburg Elks Lodge No. 1224 were apart of a group of Elks who traveled and attended the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. Florida Elks past state president Frank Palladini presented them with medals on Aug. 3 on behalf of historical programs, France and the first city U.S. forces liberated, Sainte-Mere Eglise. Those recipients included Rudy Masi, Sr., Dolly Masi, Joanne Matos, Robert Matos, Toni Goodrich and Marlene Evans.
St. Petersburg native exemplifies “We Build, We Fight” legacy of U.S. Navy Seabees
Petty Officer 3rd Class Linda Fitzgibbon, a 2016 Boca Ciega High School graduate and native of St. Petersburg, builds and fights around the world as a member of the naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Miss. Fitzgibbon serves as a Navy utilitiesman, who is primarily responsible for plumbing and HVAC systems.
St. Petersburg native serves on Navy’s forward deployed aircraft carrier
Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Conner Chambers, from St. Petersburg, serves on the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
Largo City Commission celebrates police and fire rescue personnel
The Largo City Commission celebrated the city’s commitment to public health and safety with three ceremonies at their Aug. 20 meeting. The ceremony honored three new Largo police officers, newly promoted Fire Rescue Lrt. Mark Sherwood and recognized Fire Rescue Division Fire Chief Chris McDonald and Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Manning, for completing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program.