PINELLAS PARK - The Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged selected Councilor Patti Johnson as its 2016 Elected Official of the Year. She was honored at a Dec. 14 ceremony in Jacksonville.
In addition to being a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board member, Johnson is also a part of Forward Pinellas’ Local Coordinating Board. She’s served as chair of the LCB, which oversees the group’s Transportation Disadvantaged Program, since 2014. The program provides transportation assistance to economically and physically disadvantaged Pinellas County citizens.
Johnson, who is a court-appointed guardian for the 6th Judicial Court and serves as an elder care consultant, says there is a common misconception about what “transportation disadvantaged” means.
PINELLAS PARK - For the first time ever, the Rotary Club of Central Pinellas and the Rotary Club of Pinellas Park are joining forces for the sixth annual Rotary Poker Run.
The event is set for Sunday, Jan. 22. It kicks off at 11:30 a.m. - with registration for motorcyclists beginning at 10:30 a.m. - at Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson, 2805 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg and ends at Quaker Steak & Lube, 10400 49th St. N., Clearwater. Along the way, participants will make stops at Biff Burgers, 3939 49th St. N., St. Petersburg; Red Tiki Bar, 7361 46th Ave. N., St. Petersburg; Finley’s Irish Pub, 13477 S. Belcher Road, Largo; and Big Storm Brewing Company, 12707 49th St. N., Clearwater.
PINELLAS PARK - The city of Pinellas Park’s annual Christmas Parade is ready to roll Saturday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m.
This year’s holiday celebration will feature 120 units, said Ricky Butler, operations director for Celebrate Pinellas Park, the group that organizes the parade
The parade begins at Park Boulevard between 58th Street and 43rd Street, proceeding eastbound on Park Boulevard towards The Shoppes at Park Place. Attendees are encouraged to set up with their lawn chairs and blankets starting at 4:30 p.m.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Fire Department stepped up to help local families in need during Thanksgiving.
They purchased meals for 13 families, spending over $1,000 for the project. Meals included a full-sized turkey, canned goods, dessert, bread and more, said Jason Pickett, the chair of the department’s Benevolent Fund Committee.
“We get them enough that we get each family through a few days,” he said.
He added, “It’s a popular event” for local firefighters. This year, 30 firefighters and their families showed up to assist with the shopping at the Publix on Park Boulevard and 49th Street.
City Council sets moratorium on medical marijuana centers PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park City Council voted three to one to set a moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensing organizations within the city for six months at a special Nov. 7 meeting.
PINELLAS PARK - Two years ago, librarian AnnMarie Flora noticed more patrons of the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library seemed interested in the craft of writing. Often she’d find herself chatting with them about their personal writing projects.
As a librarian, Flora has an obvious love of all things literary. But she is also a writer as well, earning a creative writing degree from the University of South Florida. So she decided to form a writing group for adults at the library.
PINELLAS PARK - Two years ago when librarian Erin Hollingsworth launched Random Fandom: Teen Anime Club at the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library she expected maybe half a dozen teens gathering to discuss their favorite Japanese animation.
Hollingsworth had a personal interest in the art form. Around the same time, the library also created a separate graphic novel and manga collection. So she thought the club might be a good way to draw a few new teenagers to the library.
PINELLAS PARK -The fast-growing Pinellas Arts Village will host its first annual Pinellas Arts Village Holiday Market Saturday, Dec. 17, noon to 6 p.m.
The event will transform the heart of Pinellas Park’s creative district (located within the 5600 and 5700 blocks of Park Boulevard North and Park Station) into a charming outdoor holiday bazaar where visitors will find unique locally made gifts. Shoppers will enjoy live music (performers to be announced) and delicious fare from Surf & Turf food truck.
PINELLAS PARK - The city’s 14th annual Holiday in the Park will kick off the holiday season in Pinellas Park.
The annual family-friendly event will take place Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, 5:30 to 10 p.m., at England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N. Presented by Pinellas Park Police Explorer Post 912 and the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the free celebration will include all of the usual favorites: children’s games, entertainment, the children’s train ride, a hay ride, pictures with Santa and more. Choirs from local elementary schools will also perform, said Det. Benson Dimaculangan.
Do The Ripe Thing blood drive Select Sweet Tomatoes restaurants will sponsor a Do The Ripe Thing blood drive on Monday, Jan. 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Donors can share their power to save lives by giving blood and enjoy a $10 Sweet Tomatoes gift card. For a list of participating Sweet Tomatoes locations, visit oneblood.org/sweettomatoes or call 888-936-6283.
Appointments will be honored and walk-ins are welcome. All donors also will receive a wellness check-up of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, including a cholesterol screening. Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. Photo ID is required. To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit oneblood.org.
Calibrate: The Worship Team Event Tour CLEARWATER – Tampa Bay will be one of three national stops on the Calibrate: The Worship Team Event Tour Jan. 23, featuring Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, Laura Story, Mark Lee of Third Day, Zach Williams, Jason Ingram and Caleb Miller.
This is a one-day conference for worship teams around Tampa Bay and beyond to learn and be challenged from some of the biggest names in worship music. Often times worship teams in churches give and give to their congregations, but don’t find opportunities to gain and grow as a community.
The conference will take place Monday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Countryside Christian Center, 1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Worship teams will have an opportunity to hear from, and be taught by, the men and women who write many of the songs they sing week after week in their churches. Mark Hall and Casting Crowns have been producing and leading worship for many years, while Zach Williams, with his hit song “Chain Breaker,” is a newer artist who will give a fresh view to leaders.
Pinellas Park Garden Club meeting PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Garden Club will meet Monday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m., at Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd.
This month’s guest speaker will discuss orchids, including potting them, fertilizing and caring for them. There will also be some orchids for sale. Attendees are also encouraged to bring in a small plant for a raffle. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tai Chi and Qigong classes ST. PETE BEACH – Tai Chi and Qigong classes are presented Mondays, 11 a.m.; and Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach.
This class is designed to reduce stress, inflammation and disease associated with stress, as well as improve postural alignment and flexibility. The class combines specific movements, coordinated breathing and a calm focused mind used in traditional Chinese medicine, Tai Chi and Qigong practices that will improve health, vitality and longevity.
No prior experience is necessary. The cost is $5 for adults or free for SilverSneakers. Visit www.spbrec.com or call 727-363-9245 for more information.
Tampa Bay Senior Expo ST. PETERSBURG – More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand Monday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the Tampa Bay Senior Expo at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Admission is free and no preregistration is required.
Attendees will be able to meet local professionals to learn how to live better, longer and happier. Information will be provided on the latest in alternative medicine, nutrition, organic foods, financial planning and home improvement, among other topics.
Ukulele society workshop SAFETY HABOR – The Tampa Bay Ukulele Society will host a workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 at Safety Harbor Library. For more information, contact 727-724-1525, ext. 4107, or visit www.SafetyHarborLibrary.com.
AARP Seminole chapter lunch meeting SEMINOLE – The AARP Seminole chapter will host Ernie Bach, executive director of the Florida Silver Haired Legislature, at its lunch meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24, noon, at Freedom Square’s Roskamp Auditorium, 10800 Johnson Blvd. For more information, call Kathleen Mosher at 727-393-0561 or FSHL at 727-585-1111.
Alzheimer’s support group LARGO – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Ruth’s Promise Adult day program are sponsoring a Practical Grace in Alzheimer’s support group, meeting fourth Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m., in the Prince of Peace Chapel, 455 Missouri Ave.
The group will next meet Tuesday, April 26.
Practical Grace in Alzheimer’s Care is a support system designed by Dr. Cate McCarty, dementia coach, to close the gap between maintaining meaningful faith membership while navigating Alzheimer’s and related dementias. As a follow-up to the recent Practical Grace seminar at Prince of Peace, Ruth’s Promise has expanded their ministry to offer this support group to Alzheimer’s caregivers.
The adult day program is available for respite during the meeting provided caregivers.