PINELLAS PARK - The Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N., launched its summer reading program with a kick-off celebration June 3.
The Friends of the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library has also offered readers a summer challenge: read more books to help the group build another Little Free Library in Pinellas Park. Children can earn LEGOs to build the model for the Little Free Library and also will have the chance to vote on the park where it will be located.
This year’s summer reading theme is “Build a Better World” with an emphasis on three areas: nature, technology and creativity.
PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Orchestra is hosting its Summer Strings Seminar series on Mondays, 7 p.m., through August, at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, 4951 78th Ave. N., Pinellas Park.
The seminars are directed by Madge Ladd, arts director. The instructor is Julie Paradies, concert master of the orchestra. Featured music includes pieces by Mozart and Vivaldi.
The seminars include violin and other string instruments, such as viola, cello and bass. Instruction covers topics such as bowing and fingering.
PINELLAS PARK - The city of Pinellas Park is poised to purchase vacant parcels located at 58th Street and Railroad Avenue.
Two of the parcels are owned by John Adamek, while the third parcel, with the building, is owned by the Betty F. Adamek Family Trust, said Debra Rose, the city’s director of cultural affairs. The property was most recently leased to A+ Burke Painting.
At its May 23 meeting, the Community Redevelopment Agency - which is the Pinellas Park City Council acting as a separate body that oversees activity in the city’s Community Redevelopment District - authorized the purchase of the property for $850,000.
PINELLAS PARK - Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, Dr. Daniel Strauss, National University of Health Sciences dean of the College of Professional Studies, was part of a large family.
He was one of 62 kids - 54 of them foster kids.
“My parents were very loving and giving,” he said. “So I understand the satisfaction of giving back. I was immersed in this very large family with a lot of love. It really emboldened me in adulthood.”
These lessons he learned from his parents’ sense of giving every day, still. He’s enmeshed in the Pinellas Park community. In addition to his work with NUHS, he’s also the incoming president of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce, chair of its Pinellas Park Medical District and sits on the board for the Vincent House.
PINELLAS PARK - When Ray Neri, a longtime friend, died earlier this year, Vice Mayor Rick Butler knew Neri would leave a seat vacant on the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County.
So Butler decided to apply for the job, partially as a tribute to his friend, but also because the board, which has a mission of investing in children and children’s issues throughout the county, is in line with his own priorities.
“They do a lot of kids stuff all over the county and I really wanted to be on there,” he said. “I applied for it and was lucky enough to get it.”
PINELLAS PARK - For the past 1 1/2 years, the Foundation for Sustainable Families has slowly been working to rehab the property of an historic 78th Avenue home.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” said Ashley Rhodes-Courter, who founded the nonprofit organization with her husband, Erick Smith. “But it’s a start.”
There’s a world of difference between the acre lot - “a piece of old Florida” - now and when the foundation decided to move in, she added. But it’s taken a significant amount of work. There was trash throughout the yard, which was overgrown to the point “where you couldn’t even see in the back. It was pure jungle,” she said.
PINELLAS PARK - Like many who live in Florida, Jim Bubenheim isn’t originally from here. The Ohio native moved to New Smyrna Beach after leaving the Navy.
So his memories were important to him. When he moved, he brought a treasure trove with him - photographs, yearbooks and other items. He stored them in the laundry room, out of reach of his then toddler. But when a pipe burst, he lost it all.
“It ruined everything,” he said. “Things that I’d been carrying around all these years, gone. I was devastated.”
PINELLAS PARK - “You either have it or you don’t,” said Drew Griffin, referring to the flea market business.
He should know. He essentially grew up at the 49er Flea Market, 10525 49th St. N., which was founded by his grandparents, Ned and Pat Burket, in the 1970s. As a child, he and his cousins helped his grandmother collect the $1 parking fee from shoppers. There is no fee, today, Griffin added.
“That was when it was really booming,” he said. “It used to be booming Saturday and Sunday. It was crazy out there.”
KENNETH CITY - Old Time Pottery, a Tennessee-based retailer, recently announced the opening of its Kenneth City location, set for May 11.
The 47,000-square-foot store at 4665 66th St. N. will mark the 15th store in Florida for the home décor retailer.
During the store opening, the Kenneth City location will host a grand opening ribbon-cutting on Thursday, May 11, 7:30 a.m. Old Time Pottery will offer a free gift to the first 500 customers who shop when the store opens at 8 a.m. Plus, Old Time Pottery will be giving away $50 Gift Cards to customers every 15 minutes on grand opening day.
PINELLAS PARK - Mr. Pool Inc. recently was selected for the 2017 Best of Pinellas Park Award in the Local Business category by the Pinellas Park Award Program.
Each year, the Pinellas Park Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and the community. These exceptional companies help make the Pinellas Park area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Pinellas Park Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Pinellas Park Award Program and data provided by third parties.
PINELLAS PARK - In an effort to reach younger residents, the city of Pinellas Park has launched a new app offering a variety of information about the city.
“For the new generation, it’s everything,” said Lana Beck, the city’s government relations administrator. “If they can’t get it on their phone, then they might not get it at all or they might not care about it. The goal is to engage our younger population.”
Available for both android and Apple devices through Google Play and the Apple App Store, respectively, the app is “a one-stop guide to the city of Pinellas Park,” Beck said. In addition to access to city services, residents who have downloaded the app also can purchase tickets to upcoming events, learn about the city’s history, view the city’s television programming, tour several areas of the city and access a local business directory.
Coloring group meeting PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Senior Center, 7625 59th St. N., holds Color Me Calm, coloring get-togethers, every Tuesday, noon to 3 p.m. Colored pencils will be available at the center. Call 727-369-5694.
Friends of Clearwater Beach Recreation Center, Library, Pool meeting CLEARWATER BEACH – The Friends of Clearwater Beach Recreation Center, Library and Pool will host a meeting at noon on June 27 at 69 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach.
The group is seeking information or pictures on the following topics: the Clearwater Historical Society, Sand Key (Dan's Island), Caladesi Island, Island Estates, Memorial Causeway and the Clearwater Marina.
Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Breakfast Club of Seminole meets on the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 7:15 a.m., in the third floor card room at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd.
The group features speakers from different organizations.
Visit kiwanisseminolebreakfast.com or call 727-319-8343 for more information.
Sam’s Club, Walmart blood drives Select Sam’s Clubs and Walmart stores are serving the community by hosting summer blood drives where donors can give life by donating blood and enjoy a $10 Walmart gift card.
The blood drives will take place Friday, June 23, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Sunday through Tuesday, June 25-27, 1 to 7 p.m., at select Sam’s Club and Walmart stores. For locations and appointments, visit oneblood.org/walmart 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.
Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meeting SEMINOLE – Seminole-SPC Toastmasters meets Tuesdays, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m., at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St. N. Guests ages 18 and older are welcome. This event is free and open to the public.
This personal development program is ideal for supervisors and leaders – or those aspiring – to learn vital leadership and communication skills.
Contact Dennis Hamel at 727-374-2612 or visit www.seminolespc.toastmastersclubs.org.
Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 meeting LARGO – Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 invites new members to its weekly meeting on Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:05 p.m., at the Young Rainey Star Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road No. 120.
The club is open to all residents and workers in the Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole areas.
A Toastmasters club provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their oral communication and leadership skills. Come watch as members present speeches, develop leadership skills by serving in various club positions and participate in Table Topics sessions in a relaxed yet structured one-hour setting.
Rotary Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Rotary Club of Seminole meets weekly on Wednesdays at noon at the Seminole Lake Country Club, 6100 Augusta Blvd.
Email email@example.com for more information.
Seminole Historical Society meeting SEMINOLE – Author Lu Vickers will speak about the impact of Cypress Gardens on Central Florida at the next Seminole Historical Society meeting Wednesday, June 28, 7 p.m., at the Seminole Historical Society Museum, 7464 Ridge Road.
When Dick Pope transformed the swampland on the edge of Lake Eloise in Winter Haven into Cypress Gardens, he created an attraction that would become world famous, and in the process, cemented Florida’s reputation as the land of sun and fun. He achieved these feats with the unlikely combination of flowers, water skiers and Southern Belles.
Vickers’ talk on Cypress Gardens will feature a slide show of vintage photographs from the Garden’s archives that will take the audience on a journey through Cypress Garden’s history from the 1930s to 2009, when it was sold to Legoland. Vickers will discuss the creation of the world famous waterski show, the Gardens, and the iconic Southern Belles, and will explain how Pope, Cypress Garden’s flamboyant owner, became known as the “Man who Invented Florida.”
Vickers will sell and sign copies of her book on the topic.
For more information, call President Michele Abramo at 727-399-0587.
Health benefits of cooking with coconut oil SAFETY HARBOR – Safety Harbor Library will host a workshop on the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil at 6:30 p.m. on June 29. Caroline Blesson of Cooking with Incredible Spices will lead the discussion. The library is located at 101 Second St. N., Safety Harbor. For more information, call 727-724-1525, ext. 4112.
Healthy cooking program SAFETY HARBOR – A free program on the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil will be presented Thursday, June 29, 6:30 p.m., at Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N., Safety Harbor.
Caroline Blesson of Cooking with Incredible Spices will demonstrate how simple it is to eat healthy and not spend hours in the kitchen, using simple recipes and incorporating coconut oil as an alternative for healthy food. Samples will be provided to the first 30 attendees.