Leepa-Rattner to offer docent training course

By Times Staff Writer
Published October 25, 2007


The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art will offer a docent training course on Fridays through Nov. 9. The course will be from 9 a.m. to noon in the Fine Arts auditorium on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College. St. Petersburg College art history instructor Michaela Oberlaender will teach the course, which focuses on 20th century art from Impressionism through Post-modernism.

Prospective docents will receive additional training from the museum's staff after Oberlaender's course. For information and to register, contact education coordinator Patti Buster at 727 712-5226. The museum is just west of U.S 19 at 600 Klosterman Road, on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College.


Clothes to Kids needs helpers for store

Clothes to Kids needs volunteers to work weekdays and Saturdays in its store at 1059 N Hercules Ave., Clearwater. Volunteer opportunities include working with clients, answering phones, data entry and re-stocking the store floor.

Clothes to Kids provides new and quality used clothing for free to low-income children in Pinellas County. For information about volunteer opportunities or the organization, call the store at (727) 441-5050 or visit www.clothestokids.org .

Resident is neededto join pension board

The Clearwater City Council has an opening for a Clearwater resident to serve on the city's employee pension investment committee. The appointment is for two years with reappointment possible. The individual will be considered a fiduciary of the pension fund and will be required to attend training and educational conferences. A financial background with a degree in finance or accounting is preferred. For information or to apply, call (727) 562-4093 or e-mail cyndie.goudeau@myclearwater.com


Suicide bereavement group offers support

The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast is forming a suicide bereavement support group for adults who have lost someone to suicide. The group will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday evenings through Oct. 23, at the Hospice Center for Loss and Healing, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Largo. To register, call Hospice at (727) 586-4432, ext. 3451.


Seminar has advice on marketing plans

Take a little time to consider your marketing plan. The Upper Tampa Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce is offering "Strategic Marketing Planning for Your Business" from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4052 Tampa Road. Tom Stauffer, the president and CEO of A&T Resources, a company that specializes in corporate identity, will lead the seminar. The course is especially geared for managers of businesses just starting up. In advance, the cost including breakfast and handouts is $15 for chamber members, $25 for nonmembers. At the door, the cost is $20 for chamber members, $30 for nonmembers. Visit www.utbchamber.com or call (813) 855-4233.


People needed as a voice for children

Nearly 1,000 children in Pinellas County need a caring person to stand up and be their voice in the courtroom and to advocate for them in the child welfare system.

The final training this year to become a certified guardian ad litem will begin Tuesday at the Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater.

Guardians ad litem advocate for abused, abandoned or neglected children and teens in the family courts and the child welfare system. The average time needed is four to six hours a month. As a child's advocate, a guardian ad litem visits the child every month, becomes familiar with the child's case and makes recommendations to the court to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment.

Guardians receive ongoing assistance. To volunteer and arrange to attend a brief orientation, call (727) 464-6528. For more information and an application go to www.guardianadlitem6.org.


Old cell phones can be a lifeline for seniors

Senior Citizens Services welcomes donations of old cell phones to be distributed to needy seniors as 911 emergency phones. The offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and phones are distributed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Senior Citizens Services is in Belcher Commons Office Park at 51 S Main Ave., Suite 308-M, Clearwater. For information, call (727) 442-8104.


Jazz band needs young musicians

Sonny LaRosa's America's Youngest Jazz Band is seeking children ages 6 to 13 who play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar or drums. Vocalists who will consider playing an instrument will also be considered. Call (727) 725-1788 or visit www.sonnylarosa.com.


Free equipment for folks with hearing loss

Florida residents with hearing loss can receive amplified telephones and specialized equipment for no cost at the Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay.

Free hearing screenings, other assisting equipment and low cost hearing aids are also available at locations across Pinellas County.

Call (727) 399-9983 or visit www.ftri.org for locations and information.


Residents pay once, park all year at beach

Clearwater residents can buy annual beach parking permits valid at five lots for only $40 a year. Permits can be bought from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday though Friday at the Municipal Services Building, 100 S Myrtle Ave., Suite 220. Proof of residency and vehicle registration required. Call (727) 562-4704.


So who should open shop in downtown?

The Clearwater Downtown Partnership wants you to tell them. The partnership, which works with a number of local leaders and civic organizations to promote and market the downtown, is asking residents to fill out a short survey online indicating what retailers they'd like to see in downtown Clearwater.

The request comes as construction crews begin to wrap up work on the streetscape project on Cleveland Street. The next step will be filling the empty storefronts with new businesses.

To take the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=vQ7NK_2fyn82JYk6y_2fXUicUw_3d_3d.


Join the Walking Club for exercise and fun

Exercise your legs with walking and your mouth with laughter with the Walking Club at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Hale Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave. The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays to walk the Pinellas Trail. Call (727) 298-3299.


Print out checklist for disaster survival items

Pinellas County Emergency Management has created a printable disaster survival kit that can make shopping for essential items to have on hand easier.

For information on hurricane preparedness, call 464-3800 or go to www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.


Arbor Day group offers pocket guide to trees

Can you spot the difference between a poplar and pine? What Tree is That?, a 72-page pocket guide to distinguishing trees is available from the National Arbor Day Foundation. For a copy send you name, address and $3 for each book to 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Neb., 68410 or online at www.arborday.org


Group petitioning Congress to help pets

Defend Our Pets is seeking pet owners to sign a petition that will be presented to Congress before the summer session is over in hopes of passing a bill to protect pets through tougher laws and regulations concerning the quality of pet food sold in the United States. For information, visit www.defendourpets.org or e-mail attorney Jay Edelson at jay@blimlaw.com


Brooker educational center needs help

Looking to help out? Friendly, outgoing volunteers are needed at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center as exhibit hall docents and summer camp assistants. Call 453-6800.


Volunteers needed in mentoring program

Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers age 30 and older for its mentoring program. Volunteers are matched with children who need a positive adult role model. There is a need for volunteers for children of all ages. No experience necessary, no costs. Volunteers spend a few hours a week in activities like reading, fishing, baking, teaching a craft or visiting a park. Call 479-1841 or 479-1825.


Don't fall for plots to 'fix' your water

Pinellas County and city of Clearwater officials say they have received complaints that at least one local water treatment company claims to represent the county to gain entrance to homes and inspect faucets or hot water heaters in an effort to sell expensive water treatment systems.

The companies are not endorsed by or affiliated with any government agency, and county utility employees would never try to sell an "upgrade" to a home's plumbing.

Consumers should be wary of unexpected visits or gifts from water companies, sales people who add thickening agents to water to solidify harmless minerals, high prices and scare tactics, officials say.

To learn more about Pinellas County water quality, call (727) 464-4000. To learn more about Clearwater's water, call (727) 562-4600.

To investigate a company's business history, call the Department of Consumer Protection at (727) 464-6200 or visit www.pinellascounty.org consumer and click on "Check a business."

Clearwater officials say residents who feel they have been misled should call the state Attorney General's Economic Crimes unit, 3507 Frontage Road, Suite 325, Tampa, FL 33607 or call the office at (813) 287-7900.


Friends of Libraryseeking donations

CLEARWATER - Before silverfish overrun your old paperback collection, why not donate it? The Friends of the Library Book & Gift Store in Clearwater's Main Library is seeking donations of paperback books in good condition for resale in the store.

Bring your donations to the Main Library or call Judy Bazata at 461-6272 if pickup is needed.

Proceeds from the Friends of the Clearwater Library bookstores are used to enhance the Clearwater Public Library system.

The store also needs volunteers to work certain days and hours. A short training session is required. The Friends Book & Gift Store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Work hours are variable, generally two hours a week. To volunteer call Rosalie Murray at 531-0667.


Are phone books cluttering your home?

New phone books have arrived, so recycle that old one.

Residents with curbside collection in Belleair, Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo and Oldsmar can put their old phone books in their curbside recycling bin. Other residents can go to one of 40 dropoff locations around the county.

Most dropoff sites have bins labeled "phone books." If not, put the phone books in the "mixed paper" or "magazines" bins but not in the "newspaper" bin. For a list of phone book recycling sites, visit www.pinellascounty.org/utilities or call (727) 464-7500.

Pinellas residents discard more than 2-million phone books annually.

To reduce the number of phone books delivered to your office or house this year, call Verizon at toll-free 1-800-888-8448 or Yellow Book at toll-free 1-800-929-3556.


They've got stories waiting to be shared

The Tampa Bay Storytellers Guild Story Swap meets the fourth Sunday of every month (except November and December) to share stories.

The public is invited to attend and share their stories.

Each program has a theme.

The programs are at 3 p.m., the fourth Sunday of each month, at Pinellas Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd.

For more information, call Billie Noakes at 647-8057.


Make a differenceand mentor a child

Gulf Coast Community Care needs volunteers age 30 and older for its mentoring program. Volunteers are matched with children of all ages throughout Pinellas County who need a positive adult role model. Many of the children are in foster care or live with a single parent who is going to school and working. No experience is necessary. There are no costs. Volunteers spend a few hours a week doing simple activities such as reading, fishing, baking, teaching a craft or visiting a park with a child. For more information, call Beverly at 479-1841 or Bonnie at 479-1825.


Hearing-impaired program expanded

The Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay has expanded its no-cost telephone loan services, which include amplified telephone and equipment usage, at the following locations: Largo Library, Clearwater Library, Palm Harbor Library, Dunedin Senior Center, Safety Harbor Library, the Upper Tampa Bay Library, St. Petersburg Sunshine Center, Gulfport Senior Center and the Gulf Beaches Library. Call (727) 399-9983 for dates and times.


Hellenic association offers scholarships

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association has applications available for more than $5,000 in high school and college scholarships awarded by AHEPA's Pinellas Chapter No. 356 and the Daughters of Penelope, Pelias Chapter No. 186. Applicants must be 2007 high school graduates or current college students. Applicants do not have to be of Greek descent, but they must be a family member of a current member of the Order of AHEPA or the Daughters of Penelope. Call chairman John Tsagaris at (727) 791-1040 for an application or visit www.ahepad2.org or www.ahepa.org.


Bothered by litter? Call this number

Keep Pinellas Beautiful has a new 24-hour litter reporting hotline residents can use to report litter problems: (727) 210-4663.

The litter hotline is designed for large-scale litter problems or those that pose a public safety hazard, such as cases where items could create traffic problems. Examples include:

- Road or environmental hazards.

- Illegal dumping.

- Areas with major litter problems, such as storm drains with shopping carts or bulky items in them, or places like businesses with widespread litter problems.

The hotline is not for reporting code enforcement problems such as overgrown lawns or minor instances of littering.

Action to remove the trash/litter is taken by Keep Pinellas Beautiful Staff or coordination with the appropriate city or county department.

Callers will need to provide a street address or intersection, description of the litter problem and a contact phone number. Keep Pinellas Beautiful will coordinate with the appropriate city or county departments to address litter reports.

For more information, call (727) 210-4663 during regular business hours or visit the Web site at www.keep pinellasbeautiful.org.


Teen volunteer guide is now available

In an effort to promote youth volunteerism and help students complete service projects, the Volunteer Action Center and 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares has published the Pinellas County Teen Guide to Service Learning.

The guide lists 26 agencies in Pinellas that have volunteer opportunities for teens who need to complete 75 hours for the Bright Futures scholarship or for other programs.

For a free copy of the guide, call 211 or visit www.211tampabay.org. The 211 information line has information on health and human services in Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus counties. To reach the information line from a phone that's blocked from making three-digit calls, call 210-4211.


Small business program upgraded

Pinellas County has revised and renamed what used to be known as the Small Business Assistance Program.

Under its new name, the Small Business Enterprise Program allows qualified vendors to bid for county purchases from $2,000 to $10,000.

The program is designed to benefit all small businesses principally located in Pinellas County, regardless of the gender or race of their owners, with sales and staffing below established limits. Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees and annual gross revenue of less than $2-million are eligible.

To learn more, call 464-3148 or e-mail businesshelp@pced.org An online application is available at www.pinellascounty.org/ purchase/sbap1.htm.


Sign up to help collect for Tampa Bay Harvest

Tampa Bay Harvest is an all-volunteer organization that collects food from restaurants, supermarkets and other sources to donate to food pantries and other local organizations that help feed the hungry. Volunteers are needed to transport food, help with coordinating and record-keeping, and assist with food-collecting events. Call 538-7777, ext. 1.


U.S. Naval Sea Cadetsoffer youth programs

If you're a student between the ages of 11 and 17 and interested in learning about naval traditions through participation in activities on and off the water, the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, a nonprofit youth organization, and part of the U.S. Navy's youth program, offers valuable life and work skills like teamwork, leadership and citizenship. There are two types of programs, the Navy League Cadet for ages 11 to 13 and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets for ages 13 to 17. All cadets must be U.S. citizens, be in good moral standing, have a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average, be active in the community and be enrolled in school. Visit www.suncoastairsquadron.org for information or call (727) 796-7322.


Pay for misdemeanors, infractions at kiosks

Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke has introduced payment kiosks for fines in misdemeanor and felony cases, municipal and county ordinances, and boating and traffic citations.

The kiosks are at the clerk's North County and Tyrone branches at 29582 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater and 1800 66th St. N, St. Petersburg. You can pay fines, plus a 3.5 percent service charge, with a debit or credit card or by using a checking account number to pay by electronic check.

You also can pay fines by calling (727) 464-4846 or visiting www.pinellasclerk.org and clicking on the "Make a Payment" link.

To learn more, call the branches at 464-8700 in Clearwater, 582-7681 in St. Petersburg or the clerk's office at (727) 464-7000.


No insurance? Free care is available

The Pinellas County Human Services Department provides free medical care on evenings and weekends to residents of Pinellas County who don't have medical insurance.

Services are provided on the county's Mobile Medical Unit at different sites throughout the county. Evening hours are 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Services available to uninsured residents during evening visits include basic primary care, lab services and prescriptions. The staff can also provide referrals to dental, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Emergency services are not provided.

Care is provided regardless of income or citizenship status.

For information on locations and times, call (727) 582-7595. Go to www.pinellascounty.org/humanservices/services.htm#mobile for a monthly calendar.


Low-cost spaying, neutering offered

More than 60,000 unwanted animals are euthanized in the Tampa Bay area each year, so the nonprofit group Stop Pet Overpopulation Together (SPOT) is teaming up with local veterinarians to offer low-cost spaying and neutering for any cat or dog at least 8 weeks old.

The prices are $35 for male cats, $40 for female cats, $40 for male dogs and $45 to $90 for female dogs, depending on the weight. SPOT offers low-cost spay/neuter vouchers online at www.SPOTusa.org. Call (727) 545-3463.


Cadet Squadron seeking members

The Civil Air Patrol Palm Harbor Cadet Squadron is looking for new members 12 to 21 and for adults older than 21 to be senior members or supervisors.

The Palm Harbor chapter, which also covers Tarpon Springs, especially welcomes middle school students.

Young people in the program attend military camps, practice search and rescue techniques in the forest, can earn scholarships to become pilots and perform community service.

Adults interested in joining as senior members must go through extensive background checks.

The cadets meet from 6:30 to 9 p.m. the first, second and fourth Mondays of the month at All Saints Episcopal Church at 1700 Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs. On the third Monday of the month, the group meets at Tarpon Springs High School at 1411 Gulf Road.

For more information, check www.phcadet.com, call Capt. Robert Downing at (727) 686-8357 or e-mail downingfl438@aol.com


Kits available to help find missing children

Child Photo ID and Fingerprint kits help parents or guardians assemble identification information needed to search for a missing child.

To order a free kit, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the nonprofit Missing Children Awareness Foundation, 13094 95th St. N, Largo 33773. Call (727) 585-5360 or toll-free 1-800-741-7233.


$5,000 reward offered in shooting death

A local company has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robber who shot to death an unarmed hotel security guard on Sept. 22, 2006.

Critical Intervention Services (CIS), which employs about 150 security guards around Tampa Bay, offered the reward in the slaying of William T. Williams at the Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Williams, 64, of New Port Richey worked for Janas Security Services in Tampa - not CIS - but CIS executives wanted to do something to help because he was a security officer. Williams was shot at the hotel at 3070 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. when he walked into the lobby as the robber held up the front desk.

Police have posted a video of part of the robbery online at www.clearwaterpolice.org/news/hotelrobbery.htm in the hope that someone might recognize the killer. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Police Department's tip line at (727) 562-4422.


Volunteers sought for two centers, museum

Tarpon Springs officials are looking for people to assist at its Performing Arts Center, Cultural Center and Safford House museum.

The Performing Arts Center needs ushers and backstage assistants.

The Cultural Center seeks front-desk receptionists, hosts and gallery assistants to help with exhibits, programs, performances, special events and in the gift shop.

The Safford House, an 1883 National Register historic house museum, is looking for volunteers as docents, collection assistants, researchers, and gardeners.

Call (727) 937-0686.


Nature preserve is looking for volunteers

Volunteers are welcome to help restore the biodiversity of the Ozona Nature Preserve. Adults interested in working in the preserve can call volunteer site coordinator Reggie Hall at (727) 784-2131 or e-mail Hall at visionmanagement@verizon.net


Want to adopt? SPCA has special cat or dog

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay has more than 80 dogs and 155 cats in need of adoptive homes. Adult dogs and cats are available for $25. The adoption fee includes vaccinations, including rabies; spaying or neutering; county license tag; microchip for identification; and free obedience classes for canines. The main shelter is at 9099 130th Ave. N. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Adoptable pets are also featured at www.SPCATampaBay.org or call the shelter at (727) 586-3591.


Dog Training Club offers varied classes

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 helpers

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.


Learn about phone options for deaf

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 holddinner-dance Tuesdays

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.


Support group for mental illness open

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Pinellas County, invites the public to attend an education meeting and support group at 7 p.m. the first and third Thursday of every month. There is no charge.

NAMI is the nation's largest nonprofit, grass roots, self-help support and advocacy organization of consumers, families and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. Through its affiliates and volunteer members, NAMI works to achieve equitable services and treatment for the millions of Americans living with severe mental illnesses and their families.

Call (727) 791-3434.


Volunteers needed to work at food bank

Religious Community Services Food Bank is looking for volunteers to sort, deliver and pick up food, interview clients and distribute food to families in need two to four hours a day, one day a week during the Food Bank's regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Youth groups are encouraged to participate.

Call (727) 443-4031 or visit www.rpantry@tampa.rr.com


Group aiding homeless in Haiti seeks help

For Haiti With Love, a nonprofit organization that provides free homes for the homeless in northern Haiti and free emergency medical program and food for the hungry, needs tax-deductible cash contributions for bulk purchasing of medical supplies and food. For information, call (727) 938-3245 or mail contributions to For Haiti With Love, P.O. Box 1017, Palm Harbor, FL 34683.


Nonprofit needs items for homeless clients

CLEARWATER - The Homeless Emergency Project Inc. is a nonprofit organization that assists needy individuals and families with children and serves more than 1,000 people each year.

A Bring Items of Necessity project created and launched in June allows local businesses to serve as collection sites for food, clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies and other essential items used by HEP's clients.

A number of bay area businesses have had great success in raising awareness and needed items for the charity.

The public can get a list of BIN themes and drop off locations by calling HEP community relations coordinator Rebecca Lett at (727) 442-9041 or by visiting www.ethep.org.


Civitan club recruiting volunteers for groups

The Clearwater Civitan Club is recruiting volunteers at least age 18 to help others either in group projects or individually.

The Civitans offer leadership opportunities and support new ideas and projects that improve the quality of life in this community, state and nation.

The club offers volunteer assistance to local organizations such as Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens, Deaf Services Center, Clearwater Little League, Horses for the Handicapped, Meals on Wheels, La Clinica Guadalupana and the Homeless Emergency Project.

The Clearwater Civitan Club meets regularly at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Community Center of the Homeless Emergency Project, 1260 Engman St., Clearwater.

Call (727) 584-0461 or (727) 791-3861.


SPCA seeks weekday volunteers for office

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay is seeking weekday volunteers to serve as office assistants for various shelter departments. Help is needed with graphics, Web design and data entry. Animal lovers will enjoy a volunteer opportunity that is vital to saving homeless pets and will meet and network with fellow animal lovers with similar interests.

Volunteers can build their resumes and gain practical experience by working with the SPCA's professional team. Call (727) 586-3591, ext. 127.


Volunteers needed for various library tasks

Do you like working with people, enjoy reading and have a few hours a week to spare? If so, the Palm Harbor Library is looking for you.

The library needs volunteers to help shelve books, movies, tapes and CDs and to assist with checking materials in and out. Call volunteer coordinator Cecile Creely at (727) 784-3332, ext. 308.


Donate old cell phones for emergency use

Got an old cell phone you want to get rid of? The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Inc. and its Senior Victim Advocate Program are collecting used cell phones for their 911 Senior Safety Phone Project. The phones are collected and then distributed as 911 emergency-only or "safety phones." Largo has a new collection site at 13225 101 St. SE. Call (727) 584-8172. For other collection and distribution site information, call (727) 570-9696, ext. 279.


Volunteers needed for library gift store

Volunteers who like to be around books and people are needed at the Friends Book & Gift Store at the Clearwater Main Library. A short training session is required. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To volunteer, call Rosalie Murray at (727) 531-0667 or Rita Garvey at (727) 446-3845.


Kiwanis Club seeks new members

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Clearwater is looking for new members. The club meets at 7:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Golden Coin Restaurant, 1844 N Highland Ave., Clearwater. Club projects include Head Start, YWCA and an annual UPARC fishing trip. Call Adam at (727) 934-2085 or Walt at (727) 441-4196.


Children's club meets to explore nature

The Investigators of Nature kids club meets from 4 to 5 p.m. Mondays. The club for children ages 6 to 12 explores nature through hikes and hands-on projects. Cost is $1 with Dunedin rec card, $2 without. Call (727) 298-3271.


Retired greyhoundsavailable for adoption

Retired Derby Lanes greyhounds are available for adoption from noon to 2 p.m. Sundays at PetsMart, Clearwater Mall, 2625 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. Anyone interested in adopting, providing a foster home or volunteering can call Greyhound Pets of America/Tampa Bay at (727) 595-7852 or visit its Web site at www.greyhoundpets.com.


Foster parents needed for 4,500 children

Imagine being taken away from your home, not knowing where you will go, leaving behind your favorite things. Now, imagine this through the eyes of a child. There are more than 4,500 dependent children in Pinellas and Pasco counties because of child abuse, neglect or abandonment. Many of them need loving foster parents. For information on becoming a foster parent, call the Safe Children Coalition recruitment line toll-free at 1-866-271-4705 and press 7.


HEP Thrift Store sells clothing, furniture

The HEP Thrift Store, 1212 N Betty Lane, Clearwater, has vintage pieces, used furniture, brand name clothing, jewelry and knickknacks. The thrift store is part of the Homeless Emergency Project, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and supportive services for homeless individuals and families. Call the HEP office at (727) 442-9041 or visit the Web site at www.ethep.org.


Eyeglasses sought to help those in need

Used eyeglasses can be dropped off at the Vision Center at Wal-Mart Supercenter, 23106 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. The glasses will be given to the needy. Glasses can be mailed to Gary Benson, in care of the Lions Club, 1856 Cameo Way, Clearwater FL 33756. Those who are HIV-positive and need glasses can call the AIDS Community Project at (727) 449-2437.


Elder affairs program in need of volunteers

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, a division of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, is a statewide volunteer program that advocates for residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

The program needs volunteers in Pinellas County. Anyone can apply, but the program needs specialized volunteers such as pharmacists, elder law lawyers, registered dietitians, social workers, nurses, physicians and individuals of all cultural backgrounds. Fluency in multiple languages is a plus. The governor's office approves each applicant. Training is provided to investigate complaints and conduct inspections of facilities.

Call (727) 588-5912 or toll-free 1-888-831-0404.


Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boating classes

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering public education programs throughout the year. Courses will be on boating and sailing fundamentals, using a global positioning system, chart reading and navigation. Programs are at the Clearwater Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Blvd., Sand Key.

For information, call (727) 469-8895 or visit www.uscgaux.org/~0701101/PublicEducation programs.htm.


Volunteer your time to help out UPARC

The Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens needs volunteers to work at the Ribbon Tree Gift Shoppe and other programs.

Other volunteer opportunities also are available, including mowing lawns at UPARC group homes, office administration and computer data entry.

For information, call (727) 799-3330, ext. 7632.


Free clinic open to treat children

A pediatrician and a family practice nurse practitioner are available to treat children from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at the Clearwater Free Clinic.

The clinic provides the service for children from infancy to age 18 who are not covered by private health insurance or government assisted programs.

The clinic's nurse practitioner will see children from ages 5 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. All children must come with a parent or legal guardian. New pediatric patients must have their birth certificates. The clinic is at 707 N Fort Harrison Ave. For appointments, call (727) 447-3041.


Worknet Pinellas to help train veterans

Worknet Pinellas will help place and train military veterans. All career fields are eligible, and training is done by the employer on site. This program is designed to give assistance in training funds as well as provide support in getting needed uniforms, tools and supplies for the job. Active duty reserve and National Guard veterans are eligible. Call (727) 524-4344.


Aquatic classes can help with arthritis

Physiotherapy Associates, 35111 U.S. 19 N, Suite 100, offers aquatic classes for those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and chronic back and neck pain.

The classes, approved by the Arthritis Foundation, are also appropriate for those with diabetes, postrehabilitation needs or weight loss requirements.

Classes are conducted as part of a nonprofit program. They take place in a heated indoor pool and offer range of motion, flexibility and strengthening exercises.

Participants do not need to know how to swim.

To register or for information on fees and schedules, call (727) 210-0760.


Literacy Council seeks volunteers

The Palm Harbor Literacy Council seeks volunteers to help adults, many of them recent arrivals to the United States, learn to read, write and speak better English.

The literacy council provides free one-on-one tutoring for residents of Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Oldsmar and Tarpon Springs, though no one is excluded for living outside the immediate area.

The council has more than 100 certified tutors but needs more for students on its waiting list.

After training and certification, it is recommended that tutors spend two 90-minute sessions each week with their students.

For information or to volunteer, call (727) 784-3332, ext. 211 or sign up at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.


Adopt a grandchild needs mentors

Gulf Coast Community Care's Adopt a Grandchild program needs volunteers to mentor children.

Children from birth to age 17 come to the program and are matched with a volunteer mentor. The mentors work four hours a week for a year. The children come from all backgrounds including those who need personal attention and those coming from an abusive home. Call (727) 538-7460, ext. 3041 or 3013.


Orchestra needs experienced musicians

The Pinellas Community Orchestra needs musicians with orchestra or band experience. They perform in local nursing homes, churches and civic organizations. Rehearsals are from 1:30 to 3:30 Friday afternoons at Anona United Methodist Church, Indian Rocks Road, Largo. Call (727) 595-1978.


Recreation, nature center to offer classes

A variety of homeschool classes are being offered at Highland and Southwest Recreation Complex and McGough Nature Center. Classes include physical education, crafts, drama, science and nature for youths in grades K-6 and nutrition and fitness for grades 7-12. For information on dates, times and fees, call (727) 518-3016.


Literacy Council can help improve English

The Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas has certified tutors available to teach individuals who wish to learn English or those who need to improve their reading and writing skills.

Sessions are free, and hours are flexible. For information, call the Literacy Council at the Dunedin Public Library, (727) 298-3080, ext. 242.


Business analyst offers help sessions

The Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is hosting free and confidential sessions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the third Thursday of every month. Mario Iezzoni, Pinellas area manager and certified business analyst for the University of South Florida's Small Business Development Center, will run the sessions at the chamber, 301 Main St.

Iezzoni can address questions about starting or expanding a business, marketing, finances and funding, human resources and more. The hourlong sessions are open to anyone. To make an appointment, call the chamber at (727) 733-3197.


Families of mentally ill meet in support group

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill holds support group and education meetings at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Thursday of each month at Directions for Mental Health Inc., 1437 S Belcher Road, Clearwater.

The alliance is a family support organization for those who have loved ones with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There is no charge for attendance. For information, call (727) 791-3434.


Volunteers needed at two state parks

Park staff at Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park need volunteers to help with the day-to-day operations, equipment and grounds maintenance, administrative duties and special events. Work days and hours are flexible.

For volunteer information at Caladesi Island, contact Steve Collier at (727) 469-5918 or steve.collier@dep.state.fl.us For other information, contact Karen LeBlanc at (727) 638-2334 or karen.leblanc@dep.state.fl.us


Online program helpsparents keep kids safe

Duracell and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have developed the Power of Parents program, a nationwide child safety preparedness program designed to help families protect their children. The program helps to dispel the most common safety myths and reminds families of the importance of keeping an up-to-date photo of their child. To download the program, visit www.duracell.com/parents.


Use Guide to Giving directory to give back

The Girls Guide to Giving is a directory of nonprofit agencies throughout Pinellas County offering volunteer opportunities.

Groups of young women can participate in projects such as peer interaction, service learning and "how to" projects.

The guide lists agencies, contact information, group capacities and minimum age requirements and is available online at www.211tampabay.org or by calling (727) 210-4233, ext. 4557.