The 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday poster was unveiled this evening at a reception held at Lokey Motor Company in Clearwater. The 4 day festival begins on October 13th, and the line-up will be announced at a later date. My Clearwater City Council colleagues Hoyt Hamilton and Doreen Caudell were able to preview the poster prior to its unveiling.
The Clearwater Yacht Club welcomed back its member and 2016 Paralympian Brad Kendell on Friday, June 10th. Brad learned to sail at the club and after losing his legs in an airplane accident, he became involved in paralympic sonar class sailing. In 2015, the Kendell and his team won the Sunbrella Golden Torch Award at Sailing World Cup Miami. His team was the first adaptive team ever to win the honor. Kendell also operates the Never Say Never Pirate Camp to involved children with disabilities in sailing. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games are in September, 2016.
Whether you have recently graduated from high school or college or earned an advanced degree, congratulations! The city manager and I were honored to have been asked to participate again this year in the commencement of the Clearwater High School Class of 2016 on Thursday evening. We extended the city’s best wishes to those seniors, and know that all of the residents of the City of Clearwater hope that many successes come all graduates way in the years to come.
The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance and the City of Clearwater dedicated the Florida Veterans Memorial Plaza at Crest Lake Park on May 29th. The plaza features the U.S. Flag surrounded by the flags of the v armed services of the United States and the MIA/POW flag. The plaza’s Circle of Honor provides space for individual plaques honoring current, retired, or deceased military personnel. The second phase of the plaza is scheduled to include bronze statutes of military personnel from various encounters. The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization, and information for donations to the expansion of the plaza or for orders of the commemorative plaque can be made by contacting the organization through its website at www.tampabayveteransalliance.org.
Pinellas County’s Habitat for Humanity had dedicated on Wednesday three house for families in Clearwater. The homes are the first in the county to be served with natural gas, which will be provided by the Clearwater Gas System. As in all dedication ceremonies, the families were given various gifts, including their first piece of mail, cleaning supplies, and a flag flown over the US Capitol by US Representative David Jolly. Funding and labor for these houses was provided by Hooters, Frenchy’s Restaurants, and Clearwater Toyota.
The Clearwater Citadel Corps of the Salvation Army has been serving Clearwater and Upper Pinellas County for 90 years. On May 12th, the local corps held its 3rd annual “Doing the Most Good” dinner to recognize the Dimmitt Automotive Group with the Salvation Army’s “Others” Award. Richard Dimmitt, chairman of Dimmitt Automotive Group, accepted the award which I, as last year’s honoree, presented to him. Bruce and Deidra Livingston were the first recipients of the local Salvation Army’s “Others Award.” Samantha Harris, entertainment journalist and former host on Dancing with the Stars, was the keynote speaker.
On May 7th, the 6th annual Clerwater Festival of the Chariot (Ratha Yatra) was held on Clearwater Beach. The festival celebrates Lord Krishna’s return to Urindaban. It is believed that this commemoration dates over 5000 years to Jagannatha Puri in India. A decorated, canopied chariot is pulled with long thick ropes is pulled by devotees who are chanting and dancing along the beach route near Pier 60. Afterwards, there were food, dancing, chanting, and readings at the Pier 60 pavilion.