Published September 30, 2006

Guardians ad litem needed for children

About 1,800 children in Pinellas County need someone to be their voice in the courtroom, and the county's guardian ad litem program hopes that could be you. You can learn about becoming a guardian ad litem by attending a one-hour orientation held each week on Thursdays. The time of the orientation is varied to accommodate the schedule of prospective volunteers. Guardians ad litem speak on behalf of abused, abandoned or neglected children in Pinellas County courts. As a child's advocate, a guardian ad litem becomes familiar with the child and case and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment. Guardians ad litem receive training and ongoing supervision to help them make a positive difference in the lives of children. Call 727 464-6528 to sign up for an orientation. For information, go to www.guardianadlitem6.org.

Water skiing team performs show for free

OLDSMAR - The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team will perform a frete show at 6 p.m. today on Tower Lake.

Tower Lake is behind the Oldsmar Flea Market. To get to the show from Tampa Road, go north on Race Track Road, left on Douglas Road and left at the small ski team sign.

The show and parking are free, and there's a covered grandstand area. Call (727) 397-8904 or (813) 265-9685.

Dog Training Club offers variety of classes

CLEARWATER - The Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club, a nonprofit organization, offers beginning through advanced classes in agility, clicker training, conformation, junior handling, obedience and puppy kindergarten.

The club also offers trials and provides opportunities to show your dog. The air-conditioned indoor club, 2101 Logan St., is near the Long Center. Call (727) 449-8738 or visit www.usdtc.org.

Big Brothers Big Sisters needs volunteers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County seeks volunteers willing to spend as little as an hour a week with local children who need mentors.

Volunteers must be at least 18 and have a valid driver's license.

For information, call (727) 518-8860 or visit www.bbbspc.org.

As part of the state's mentoring initiative, some employers allow an hour or so per week of administrative leave for employees to mentor.

Visit www.volunteerfloridafoundation.org to find out more about the program.

Area Zonta International chapter formed

North Pinellas business executives have launched a chapter of Zonta International, a service organization that works to advance the status of women.

Zonta clubs support their communities through service projects, fundraisers, advocacy and community support. For information on the new Top of the Bay Zonta Club, representing Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Trinity, East Lake, Oldsmar and Westchase, call Mary Fletcher at (727) 781-5949.

VFW sponsoring essay contests

SAFETY HARBOR - Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10093 will sponsor essay contests this fall with cash prizes for students receiving public, private and home-schooled educations.

For applications and guidelines, contact Ann Crum, chairman, P.O. Box 342, Oldsmar, 34677 or (813) 855-1182.

Commission to hold 2nd hearing on ordinance

CLEARWATER - The Pinellas County Commission's second public hearing on a proposed ordinance regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia has been scheduled for Oct. 10.

The meeting was postponed to accommodate the commission's second hearing on the proposed 2006-07 county budget on Sept. 19.

The Oct. 10 County Commission meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the assembly room on the fifth floor of the Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St. To read the Pinellas Drug Paraphernalia Abatement Task Force's report to Commissioners, go to www.pinellascounty.org/PDF/DPTF-FINAL-Report.pdf.

Palm Harbor costume ball set for Oct. 27

PALM HARBOR - Old Palm Harbor's First Hocus Pocus Ball is scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 27.

This costume-themed ball will be held at Old Palm Harbor Main Street's Harbor Hall, 1190 Georgia Ave.

The event will feature music, prizes for best costumes, door prizes, food and a cash bar. Costumes are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Tickets are $25 per person prior to the event and $35 per person at the door. A total of 200 tickets are available.

For tickets or information, call Kathy Govola at (727) 787-4700 or e-mail ophms@verizon.net Proceeds benefit Old Palm Harbor Main Street, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the redevelopment of historic downtown Palm Harbor.

Clearwater Red Cross is seeking volunteer drivers

CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Red Cross is seeking volunteer drivers and dispatchers to operate its Transportation Program in North Pinellas, based at 2481 Sunset Point Road. Drivers and dispatchers are needed to fill assignments from 7:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Volunteer drivers will use Red Cross vehicles to drive those who have no other means of getting to critical medical and dental appointments.

For information, call the Clearwater Red Cross branch at 446-2358, ext. 234.

Mentors needed for kids in single-parent homes

Make a lasting difference in the life of a child by volunteering as a mentor. Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers 30 and older to be matched with children from single-parent homes who need adult companionship and positive role models. No experience is necessary and there are no costs to participants.

To learn more, call Nancy at 479-1813 or Beverly at 479-1841.

Learn about phone options for deaf

PALM HARBOR - A representative from Florida Telecommunications Relay will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of the month at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., to offer special phones and ring-signaling devices to qualified deaf or hard-of-hearing residents.

Call (727) 399-9983 (voice) or (727) 399-9422 (TTY) for details.

Italian Americans hold dinner-dance Tuesdays

CLEARWATER - The Italian American Club of Greater Clearwater, 200 McMullen-Booth Road, has a pasta dinner and dance from 5 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday. Tickets are $7 for members, $9 for nonmembers.

The club also holds dinner-dances from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. every other Saturday. Tickets are $13 for members, $16 for nonmembers. Call (727) 791-8698.

Kids, adults can register now for art classes

DUNEDIN - The Dunedin Fine Art Center's Gladys Douglas School of the Arts is registering for fall classes. Instruction is available for children, teens and adults, with discounted tuition rates for Art Center members. Daytime, evening and weekend classes are available, as well as one-day to week-long workshops in a variety of media.

Register now for the six-week Fall II session, Nov. 6 to Dec. 17.

Call (727) 298-3322 to register or visit the Art Center at 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. Complete class information is available on the Web at www.dfac.com.

Junior Achievement seeks volunteers

Junior Achievement of West Central Florida is seeking volunteers for the 2006-07 school year. Junior Achievement offers programs from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it teaches young people about business, economics and free enterprise. The time commitment varies from a single half-day session to weekly one-hour visits for five to 10 weeks. To volunteer, call (727) 530-0884, ext. 34 or visit www.jawcf.org.