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Medalist marks big day child style

By MARY JANE PARK
Published July 27, 2005


Paralympic sailing medalist Jean-Paul Creignou celebrates a big birthday Tuesday. Friends and neighbors, knowing he would be in France next week, put together a surprise celebration and bon voyage party for him Friday evening.

Hosts were Lynn and David Cox, Kally and Bill Harvard, Bonnie and Paul Hargrett and Trish and Bill Thomas, who gathered more friends, neighbors and sailing buddies and suggested they subtract a zero from Creignou's age and bring gifts appropriate for a 5-year-old. The "Elmo" theme brought lots of giggles.

The crowd gathered at the Hargretts' included Creignou's cousins B.J. Hardman and Anne Von Rosenstiel; Diane Fowler; Mary Potter; Patricia an d Michel Guaveia; Liz Curry; Jillian Doyle; John an d Sheila LeFors; Duane and Trina Kaufhold; Murray Beairsto; Shannon and Tony Arnao; Georgia Mattern; Richard and Patrick Hughes; Deb McLane; an d Bill Marois.

Sailors Jennifer French of Tampa; Linda Merkle of Snellville, Ga. ; Hugh Elliott of Alexandria, Va. ; an d Serge an d Roxanne Jorgenson of Sarasota were in town for a meeting of the International Federation of Disabled Sailing, which convenes in Denmark at the end of August.

Bonnie Hargrett said the celebration caught Creignou completely unawares; he had expected a quiet weekend dinner before departing to his native France, where he'll visit family and friends.

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St. Petersburg debutantes decorated signature picture frames at Bisque-itz pottery studio on Saturday before joining their parents at a dinner party held in the home of Dav and Glenn Mosby. Carol Russell led the group activity at the ceramics studio, where debs created one-of-a-kind mementos.

Dinner was a casual, informal event that featured paella couscous salad and grilled chicken, with key lime pie for dessert.

Hosts, in addition to the Mosbys and Mrs. Russell, were Lennie Bennett, Martha Buttner, Mary Anne and Ward Boston, J.C. Russell and Kim and Murray Silverstein.

Earlier this month, the young women served a Tex-Mex dinner to residents of the St. Petersburg Ronald McDonald House. The service project took place July 13.

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If you haven't already seen the Travel Channel episode Outrageous Lawn Ornaments, there's still time.

On several occasions this week, the cable television network showcases Pinellas County yard art, including that outside a house that overlooks Roser Park Drive S in St. Petersburg and the driftwood sculptures Pinellas Point resident Mary Alice Harley creates from found materials.

"I love the yard, and the yard is an extension of me," Mrs. Harley said in an interview for the program. "I think I could not live without my yard."

Tom Barrett and Len Johnsen, who refurbished the Mayor Bradshaw Mansion, are generally credited with the turnaround of the once-neglected Roser Park and Ingleside areas. Fountains and statuary created for them by architectural sculptor Jerry Karlik are featured in the show, in which Pinellas Heritage co-founder Chris Kelly has a cameo.

Additional Pinellas landmarks highlighted are the Spencer House of Themes in Pinellas Park and the Whimzey House in Safety Harbor. The latter is also known as the Bowling Ball House.

Look also for the Peanuts character statues in St. Paul, Minn., and pink flamingo flocks embedded in New England snow.

Outrageous Lawn Ornaments, an hourlong program, airs again at 7 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday.

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The Woman's Service League, which raises money through its annual fashion show and Promenade, is accepting grant applications from Pinellas nonprofits.

Additional information and applications may be received by calling 392-4500 or 866-0202. Sunday is the deadline for applications.

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Sunday also is the last day to submit information for the 2005-2006 Social Calendar. Please send information regarding social and charitable events to me at one of the addresses below.

Please include sponsoring group, date, time, venue address, ticket price and a publishable phone number.

Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail park@sptimes.com P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.