PINELLAS PARK - Following a jam-packed summer, staff at Girls Inc. of Pinellas won’t get much of a chance to catch its breath as the school year starts Aug. 10.
That’s when the organization’s after-school program, “Discovering Women of Invention,” kicks off. The program runs through May 24, the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
The organization, designed to empower girls through academic enrichment including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), literacy, creative arts, healthy living and other curriculum, provides programming to young women in Pinellas Park and surrounding areas year-round.
PINELLAS PARK - For the past 10 years, Stephen Smarowsky has served in various ministry positions at churches in the county.
The Pinellas Park native studied at Trinity College of Florida, an interdenominational Bible college in Pasco County. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in Virginia.
Through all of these efforts, he knew one thing for certain: one day he was going to launch a new church in his hometown.
PINELLAS PARK - In his 30 years of doing hair in Pinellas Park, Mick Ferrari learned early on the importance of embracing and supporting the community around him.
This is a central tenet of Got Split End?, the salon he runs with his business partner and style director, Sarah Jane Collins.
“We like to do our bit and support the community that supports us,” Ferrari said.
Got Split Ends?, located at 4376 Park Blvd. N., does this in a variety of ways.
Recently, the salon hosted Cuts for a Cause July 29. The event focused on individuals donating their hair to children with medical hair loss - hair donated that day went to the Ronald McDonald House and Children with Hair Loss - and also featured a food truck, a DJ and vendors.
PINELLAS PARK - For nearly 20 years, the City Auditorium, 7690 59th St. N., has helped residents and visitors relive the golden era of film through monthly Wurlitzer pipe organ concerts held every third Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Organized by the Central Florida Theatre Organ Society, these events draw various sized crowds, depending on the time of year. During the summer off-season, between 50 and 70 listeners enjoy the free concert, said the society’s president, Cliff Shaffer, a Pinellas Park resident. In the fall through spring, when snowbirds are in town, the crowd swells to as many as 150.
For years, the organization utilized a donate organ that “had seen better days,” Shaffer said.
PINELLAS PARK - The stretch of Park Boulevard just east of the railroad tracks has always been a hub for the city of Pinellas Park, said Debra Rose, director of cultural affairs.
So it’s an ideal spot for an arts district offering a variety of galleries and activities, including a monthly art walk, that draw city residents and visitors to the area.
The city has actively focused on building what’s known as the Pinellas Arts Village, which spans from Park Station through the 5600 and 5700 blocks of Park Boulevard, and located in the Community Redevelopment District, for the past two years.
PINELLAS PARK - John Lucas learned how to pick from his father at a young age.
At age 6, he’d sift through seeming junk with his father in search of treasure, vintage items they could resell at local flea markets. He’d help carry their finds home.
At first, it was just another chore for him. But this attitude changed when he was 10 years old and was visiting his grandmother in Iowa. He was helping bring her garbage to a local dump when he spied an old Sucrets cough drop box. He opened it up and inside were gold rings, a crucifix and coins.
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.”
Clearwater Community Gardens Summer Brunch CLEARWATER – The third annual Clearwater Community Gardens Summer Brunch will take place Sunday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Fort Harrison, 210 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater.
At the brunch, the club will celebrate the success of the community garden. The garden is flourishing with 36 families enjoying friendship, food and fun in a safe environment.
Each year, members gather in the Crystal Ballroom on the top floor of the Fort Harrison Hotel in downtown Clearwater with a brunch to recognize sponsors, friends and other supporters. Dress is casual.
The community garden is funded by donations and contributions, and the Summer Brunch provides more than 50 percent of the annual budget.
This year’s theme is “What’s the Buzz about?”
Mankind depends on bees and other pollinators. In addition to providing funds for the annual budget, this year attendees will help build a pollinator garden habitat at the community garden. The special guest speaker is Christy Linke, director of Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, District 8. Linke will be discussing pollinators and their importance in our lives.
Hebrew reading course ST. PETERSBURG – Rabbi Korf of Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg will conduct the five sessions of Read it in Hebrew beginning Monday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m., at the Chabad Jewish Center, 4010 Park St. N., St. Petersburg.
Cost is $50 before Aug. 13. Cost is $65 after Aug. 13. For information or to register, call 727-344-4900 or visit www.ChabadSP.com.
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.
Classic Radio Drama Hour SAFETY HARBOR – Safety Harbor Library will present Classic Radio Drama Hour at 2 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the library, 101 Second St. N., Safety Harbor. For more information, call 727-724-1525, ext. 4112 or visit www.SafetyHarborLibrary.com.
ESL training sessions LARGO – The Largo Public Library will host English language learning tutor orientation Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and training Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jenkins Community Wing.
The orientation and training will teach ESL teaching techniques that will enable attendees to help others improve their English skills. Tutors commit to two hours per week of teaching and mentoring.
Registration is required. Please plan to attend both sessions.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 727-587-6715, ext. 2547.
AARP driver safety course SAFETY HARBOR – AARP will host a driver safety course from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Safety Harbor Library. At this workshop, attendees will gain the skills and tools needed to drive safely on today’s roads and learn rules and hazards of the road.
The AARP class fee is $15 for members/$20 for nonmembers. Fees are payable by check only in class.
Book Time at Brooker TARPON SPRINGS – Book Time at Brooker will be offered Thursday, Aug. 24, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.
Designed for children ages 3 to 5, this free program connects attendees to the wonders of the natural world. In addition to hearing a great story, children will participate in a craft, game or other hands-on activity related to the story that is read. Space is limited.
Diabetes education program LARGO – The Largo Community Center will host a diabetes education program Thursday, Aug. 24, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The course offer techniques and tips for keeping yourself healthy and active.
The cost is free for members and $5 for nonmembers. Preregistration is required.
Call 727-518-3131 or check the bulletin board to add your name to the interest list.