City of Clearwater employees began the new Fiscal Year by participating in the United Way’s Day of Caring program. Employees volunteered their time to work at various social service agencies facilities and shelters throughout the city. They cleaned, painted, and mulched. Employees also helped reorganize closets and supply closets, built flower beds, and even laid a sidewalk. The city manager, councilmembers, and I visited all of the sites to thank the participants and to lend a hand.
The new Countryside Library is scheduled to have its grand opening on October 17th. Staff has been getting the library ready, and over the weekend, the Clearwater Library Foundation held a “First Night in the Stacks” fundraiser at the new location, which is adjacent to the Countryside Recreation Center. The new 22,500 square foot facility features separate children’s and teen areas, additional computers, group study spaces, and a community room with kitchen facilities.
The Clearwater Tornadoes took home the first “Clearwater Centennial Cup” football trophy with a convincing win over the Countryside Cougars Friday night. The Tornadoes scored first and never looked back in the 35-7 victory at Jack White Stadium. The win broke Clearwater’s 13-game losing streak to Countryside. The City of Clearwater sponsored the trophy presentation in honor of its 100th anniversary, and the cup will continue to be part of the rivalry between the two schools. I presented the trophy to Coach Don Mesick and Principal Keith Mastorides after the players from the two schools shook hands at midfield.
On the last day of summer camp at the Long Center, campers and parents are invited to a pizza party. Pizza is served by the camp counselors and “counselors in training.” There is also a slide show presentation of the activities the campers did during the course of the summer. Highlights included attending a Rays baseball game, visiting Clearwater Beach, going kayaking, and playing miniture golf. Clearwater summer camp programs at the city’s recreation centers also include character building and stress traits such as honesty, self-control, teamwork, respect, and leadership.
Pollack Shores Real Estate Group and Matrix Residential Management held a grand opening for the new multifamily apartment community located at 2855 Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater on Thursday. The development consists of 426 units spread over 37 acres overlooking Tampa Bay. Conveniently located between US Highway 19 and McMullen Booth Road, the development contains one, two, and three bedroom apartments, some with garages. More information is available at www.livesolaris.com.
To honor the City of Clearwater’s 100th anniversary, the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed Clearwater residents with discounted tickets to yesterday’s game with the New York Mets. The festivities started when I was asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch that caught the inside corner of the plate (for a right-handed batter). Steve Geltz was my catcher. Clearwater’s Northwood Presbyterian Church’s Summer Youth Choir sang the National Anthem. Chris Archer and the Rays’ staff followed with 13 strikeouts as the Rays won 4-3 after Richie Shaffer hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Rays the final margin of victory.
This morning I participated in the graduation ceremony for the Clearwater Yacht Club’s Intrepid Sailor Summer Camp program. This was the last of three sessions the club hosted over the summer, and I joined former Pinellas Sheriff Jim Coates and Vice-Commodore Johnny Cardosi in congratulating the young sailors not only for their sailing skills, but also for the character traits that were instilled in them by Father Bob Wagenseil, the camp’s director. Brad Kendall, a native of Clearwater, who is attempting to secure a spot on the 2016 US Paralympic sailing team, also inspired the campers before each was presented a graduation medal.