Pinellas Community News: Clubs partner for Books Across Pinellas project

Pictured are, from left, David Buzza, president of the Seminole Lake Rotary; and Laura Connelly of North Pinellas Women’s Club.

SEMINOLE — The North Pinellas Woman's Club of General Federation of Women's Clubs recently partnered with Seminole Lake Rotary Club for a Books Across Pinellas project.

A book will be donated each week to Seminole Elementary School in honor of the Rotary guest speaker for the week. The first honoree was Laura Connelly, who spoke at the club meeting July 3 on the topic of international service.

Seminole Lake Rotary Club meets Fridays at 7:15 a.m. Guests are always welcome and can join the group in person at Chapel on the Hill, 12601 Park Blvd. N., Seminole. All CDC COVID-19 safety guidelines are followed.

The club also meets via Zoom at the same day and time for those not able to meet in person.

Gulf Coast JFCS announces new board members, officers

Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services Inc. recently welcomed a number of new board members.

The new board members include Dr. Emilie Socash, nonprofit consultant; and Susan Landress, retired, court investigator with Pinellas County Circuit Court and Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Board members will serve a three-year term ending in 2023.

Additionally, the agency welcomes its 2020-2021 board officers:

• Chair, Eric Feder, retired, hospital executive, Bayfront Health System

• Vice chair, Elizabeth Samuelson, physical therapist

• Treasurer, David Pilkington, insurance broker

• Secretary, Karen Raymund Marder, nurse practitioner

“We are pleased to have a great group of volunteer leaders who have made a commitment to support our work and drive the strategic direction of the agency and its programs which serve more than 30,000 Floridians annually,” said Sandra Braham, president and CEO of Gulf Coast JFCS.

Gulf Coast JFCS supports diverse individuals and families of all background through its numerous programs, across 40 Florida counties. Agency values are rooted in the Jewish tradition and include repairing the world, welcoming the stranger, peace, freedom, compassion, charity, respect and truth.

For information, visit

Girls Inc. prepares for STEAM Programming

PINELLAS PARK — Girls Inc. of Pinellas will be launching its Full STEAM Ahead! programming for girls in kindergarten through 12th grade in the fall.

This full 10 weeks of dedicated after-school programming is designed to inspire girls to pursue leadership roles in STEAM-focused fields. Each of the 10 weeks will be focused on a specific area of STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics. Presenters will collaborate with 10 industry leaders for this programming that will take place from Oct. 5 through Dec. 18.

Girls Inc. of Pinellas is seeking proven leaders in each of the respective industries to become one of 10 corporate sponsors. Program information and sponsorship opportunities are conveniently accessible online at

Girls will have experiential learning opportunities that include:

• Training in Girls Inc. STEAM-focused curriculum

• Completing a full project from inception to prototype

• Meeting leaders in their field of interest and gaining an understanding of what a day in the life of a leader in the STEAM industries is like.

Pace Center for Girls of Pinellas to host fundraiser

The Pace Center for Girls of Pinellas will host its Dancy Party with a Purpose, a virtual dance-a-thon, on Saturday, July 25, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The event seeks to raise money for the nonprofit organization’s year-round academic and social service programs. Energetic supporters can sign up to become dancers and collect “pledges” or donations via personal fundraising webpages. Donors can contribute to the cause from the event website to ensure all transactions are safe and secure.

For event details, visit

Since 1997, Pace Pinellas has impacted more than 1,500 young women in the community. The program seeks to help young women who are failing in school, struggling with abuse, combating unhealthy relationships, and a range of other risk factors.

AMIkids Inc. awarded $2.5 million grant

AMIkids Inc. recently was awarded a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration grant. This program will serve 500 16- to 24-year-olds over a four-year period in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

AMIkids is a national nonprofit organization that has been transforming troubled youth into responsible members of the community for more than 50 years.

The program offers nationally-accredited construction vocational certification, as well as job placement services. Recruited participants will be assessed, provided support services, and placed into pre-apprenticeship at AMIkids Pinellas and AMIkids Tampa. This funding will be used to provide pre-apprenticeship occupational training leading to industry credentials, workforce activities, enrollment in registered apprenticeship, and support services to remove barriers to success.

Participants will then be placed in a job with a partner employer and gain facilitated entry through agreements with Construction Trade Registered Apprenticeship Program partner programs. Participants who complete these RAPs will earn industry-recognized certifications and journeyman credentials in their respective occupations.

“AMIKids is a trusted partner in our community with a track record of using federal investments to help our youth succeed and develop into responsible and productive citizens,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. “I look forward to visiting again soon and see the opportunities they are able to provide through the Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant to train young people in Tampa for good paying jobs in industries including manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity, and healthcare.”

As part of the grant requirement, AMIkids Inc. has partnered with several industry employers, apprenticeship programs, workforce development boards, and educational institutions to create pathways for youth into RAPs, including:

• Masonry Association of Florida

• Gulf Coast Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors

• Hillsborough Community College

• Pinellas Technical College

• Florida Department of Education, State Apprenticeship Office

• Florida Masonry Education Foundation

• Career Course Tampa Bay

• Career Source Pinellas

• Lennar Homes

The purpose of the funding is to expand or establish new apprenticeship models for youth while developing a strong youth apprenticeship pipeline for local employers.

For more information, email in Pinellas or in Hillsborough.

Church to host food drive

SEMINOLE — A food drive will be presented Saturday, July 18, 9 a.m. to noon, at Oakhurst United Methodist Church, 13400 Park Blvd., Seminole.

Participants are asked to drive through the church parking lot. Volunteers will collect donations from the trunk.

Demand for food at local food banks remains high. For those unable to shop for groceries, checks or cash will be accepted.

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