SEMINOLE - Third-grader Joshua Steijger has always loved playing on the swings. Trips to Largo’s Central Park playground rank high among the 10-year-old’s favorite pastimes. Some days it even rivals his love of wrestling and WWE star John Cena.
But the trips to the park have stopped since Joshua began chemotherapy in December. In November, doctors discovered a tumor on an optical nerve. They began treatment within weeks, before the holidays were even over, in hopes of shrinking the mass and saving his vision.
Though the rocking sensation of the swings soothes him when he isn’t feeling well, the drive to the park, and crowds of children can be overwhelming for him, said his grandmother and legal guardian Maria Vanderham.
SEMINOLE - Seminole Pinch-A-Penny recently awarded three employees for their combined service totaling more than 50 years of experience in the pool and spa (hot tub) industry.
The experts - Tom Acheson, general manager; Chuck Sanders, assistant manager; and “DJ” Johnson, field service technician - attend continuing education courses on equipment maintenance and the latest innovations in pool and spa pumps, filters, cleaners, heaters, automation, and salt systems to the chemistry of pool and spa care.
“In the 12 years I’ve worked for Pinch-a-Penny, I’d say I’ve serviced about 10,000 pools,” Johnson said in a press release. He also is certified by Dimension One Spas.
SEMINOLE - Steve Dayton recently joined the First Home Bank mortgage lending team at the Seminole office, 9190 Seminole Blvd.
Dayton has been a successful mortgage professional in Pinellas County for more than 18 years. For the last six years, he has worked in the community bank environment matching borrowers with the best possible programs to meet their needs.
Dayton earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of South Florida.
SEMINOLE - Artist Carrie Boucher always dreamed of owning a traveling art studio on a bus.
Always a bit of a nomad, in her mind she’d wander the country while creating her art. Each day she’d wake up in a new city; each day she’d sell her work on the side of the road to make ends meet.
These days, the project has become a reality. But the NOMAD Studio - that stands for Neighborhood-Oriented Mobile Art & Design Studio - has taken on a much larger scope and focuses more on the community’s needs than her own. Now, Boucher’s goal is to take her mobile art studio concept into community events throughout not just the Tampa Bay region, but the entire state, and to provide art projects and lessons for everyone, no matter the age or skill level, along the way.
SEMINOLE - Mayor Leslie Waters gave her State of the City address at the April 8 Seminole Council meeting, following the 2013 comprehensive annual financial report from the city’s accounting firm, Wells, Houser & Schatzel, P.A.
And the city is in good financial shape, said Peter Schatzel from WHS.
“I am pleased to say that based upon the results of fiscal year 2013 and based upon the city’s previous financial condition, that the annual financial report does reflect that you are in fact in very sound financial condition at the end of fiscal year 2013,” he said.
SEMINOLE - Caleb Nagel, a member of Boy Scout Troop 431, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on Feb. 10.
For his Eagle Scout Project, Nagel worked with Heritage Village to design and build a preparation table and cabinet for the primitive cooking area. The items were constructed from rough-cut cypress and hand-built to fit into the historical timeframe for Heritage Village. He also built a cooking fire pit, provided a safety fence, and enclosed a water source.
SEMINOLE - Four German municipal staff members toured and studied Seminole and Pinellas County as guests of the City and Councilor Patricia Plantamura in March. The visit was organized through an American Council on Germany exchange program. They came for close-up looks at city and county government facilities as well as St. Petersburg College.
The annual exchange, through the John J. McCloy Fellowship in Urban Affairs, facilitates transatlantic communication about cities’ best practices. Each year, four municipal employees from the United States and four from Germany are chosen to tour several cities in each other’s countries. This was Plantamura’s chance to reciprocate after being hosted in a number of German cities in the program last October.
SEMINOLE - City of Seminole Fire Rescue recently promoted firefighter James R. Lundh to the rank of fire lieutenant.
Lundh, a 13-year veteran of Seminole Fire Rescue, is a Florida state-certified fire inspector, fire investigator and codes officer. He is also a department Hazardous Materials technician, engine driver, squad driver, bunker gear technician, and adjunct live fire trainer.
In addition to his many fire service responsibilities, Lundh has been involved with the local community, coaching youth soccer, and volunteering for his daughter’s school, as well as being active in Firefighters Local 2896.
Daughters of Italy meeting CLEARWATER – The Daughters of Italy Lodge 2825 will have its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 24, at the Clearwater Community Church, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin, in Room 206 of the education building.
Italian and non-Italian women are invited to attend. Coffee and dessert is served at 6 p.m., followed by a short general meeting. The guest will be a hospice worker, and the cultural program will include Italian regions that celebrate Italian Carnevale.
Extension garden tours LARGO – Vegetable, herb and tropical fruit garden tours will be offered Thursdays, April 10 and 24, 9 a.m., at Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road.
The free tours will offer guests the opportunity to explore the vegetable garden and compost demonstration areas and learn how to grow food in home gardens.
The tour will include an array of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, trees and flowers in the enclosed herb garden; the Egyptian, Mediterranean, Asian and beverage plantings; and tropical fruits that do well in the Florida climate including many varieties of bananas, figs, papayas, mangoes, avocados, sugar cane and citrus.
Attendees will learn about how featured plants can be in homes and will discover little-known fruits not usually considered by the home gardener including Jackfruit, Carambola, Buddha’s Hand and Pomegranate.
The tours will showcase a diversity of plantings including a wide variety of ground covers, bromeliads, palms and power-line friendly trees that can be used in the home landscape.
Tours are limited to groups of four to 16 people and are recommended for adults.
Free CPR and First Aid classes SEMINOLE – Seminole Fire Rescue is offering free basic CPR and First Aid classes. The next CPR class is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, 7 p.m. and the next Basic First Aid class is set for Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m.
All classes are taught at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N.
Designed to help a person gain the confidence to help during an emergency, these classes are easy to understand and focus on the skills required to help save a life. The classes are not intended for professional certifications, but for the average individual.
Call 393-8711, ext. 210 for advance registration and information. Space is limited.
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., at Freedom Square’s Town Hall.
The group’s next speaker will be Breanne Zsiga, from Career Academies of Seminole, discussing on her steer project.
For more information, call Terry Carr at 394-2582.
LARGO – A Overeaters Anonymous group meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., at Aldersgate Methodist Church, 9350 Starkey Road.
Overeaters Anonymous is a program of recovery for eating disorders.
For information, call Jeanette at 392-3108. There are no dues and no fees and a list of meetings may be viewed at oapinellas.org
Palm Harbor Toastmasters meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Toastmasters Club meets Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Centre, 1500 16th St.
The club is open to all who are interested in perfecting their public speaking skills.
For more information, contact Jack Lynch at 542-6100 or email email@example.com.
Ribbon cutting TREASURE ISLAND – The Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce plans a ribbon cutting Thursday, April 24, 4 to 6 p.m., at Coastal Properties Group and Christie’s International real estate office, 260 107th Ave.
For more information, call 360-4121.
Talent show auditions TARPON SPRINGS – The city of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division will host auditions for its annual Recreation Division Talent Show on April 22 and 24, 4 to 7:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 400 S. Walton Ave.
There is no charge to audition and all ages are welcome. Auditions for all talents are welcomed, including instrumental, vocal, drama, comedy, improv, or dance. All performances must be family friendly. The talent show is scheduled for Friday, May 9, 7 p.m., at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 E. Pine St.
UPARC luncheon CLEARWATER – The UPARC Foundation Champion of Hope Luncheon featuring Gene Chizik, a former head football coach of Auburn University, will be Thursday, April 24, noon, at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road.
To RSVP, call 797-8712. Chizik is the author of “All In: What it Takes to be the Best.” A book signing with Chizik will take place before the luncheon with a $150 contribution to the UPARC Foundation.
The luncheon will feature the Champion of Hope Award presentation, honoring those who exemplify the passion, integrity and community commitment of Dr. William E. Hale, UPARC Foundation founder.