The Straz Center in Tampa was the site of this afternoon’s pep rally for the thousands of Tampa Bay volunteers who will be welcoming and assisting the delegates, media, and visitors who will be in the Tampa Bay area for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and I were there to present proclamations to the volunteers honoring them as the “Faces of Tampa Bay.”
Today, Congressman Bill Young and I participated in a mock convention to kick-off the Florida Blood Services/OneBlood Phillip A. Pint Campaign for blood donations during the month of August and throughout the year. Remember to vote in the primary next week, and please make time to give a blood donation at least once a year.
The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a birthday celebration for members of Air Station Clearwater today. Congressman Bill Young joined the Clearwater City Council, Senator Jack Latvala, County Commissioner Neil Brickfield and representatives from Senators Nelson and Rubio and Congressman Billirakis to honor the men and women of the US Coast Guard. This week marks the 222nd birthday of the US Coast Guard. Air Station Clearwater, the largest in the country, is commanded by Captain John Turner.
Today is Purple Heart Recognition Day, and I was honored to have been invited by the City of Dunedin and its Mayor Dave Eggers to represent Clearwater at the program held at Dunedin’s Purple Heart Park, located at the corner of Broadway and Main Street. The Purple Heart, and its predecessor the Badge of Military Merit, is the oldest award still given to members of the U.S. military.
This morning hundreds joined hands in Indian Rocks Beach to show their support for keeping oil rigs off the shore of Pinellas County and Florida. Thanks to efforts like those of Congressman Bill Young, legislation is in place that prohibits them. But, we must continue to let the federal government know how valuable pristine beaches and no oil rigs off the Pinellas coast are to us. I was able to visit with Indian Rocks Mayor R. B. Johnson and Indian Shores Councilor Bill Smith after the event.
The various recreational facilities throughout the City of Clearwater sponsor summer camps for students. The Long Center hosted today a “Turtle Triathlon” for the campers, and I was asked to speak to the students before the start of the competition and to help present a medal to all of them. Some even wanted to “chest bump”.
The Springtime City Kiwanis Club sponsored today its 19th Annual Children’s Health Fair at the Long Center. The local Kiwanis Club was joined by other Kiwanis members and the Clearwater All-American Sertoma Club and the Clearwater Civitan Club. Morton Plant Mease and the Clearwater Police Volunteers also participated. Children were offered a variety of free health screening tests to prepare for the next school year. I joined the City of Clearwater’s Parks and Recreation Department in promoting the city’s “Health Choices” lifestyle initiative.