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    Clearwater Bar bestows its awards

    Among those honored are Circuit Judge George W. Greer and the founder of the Greenwood Community Health center.

    By CHRISTINA K. COSDON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 8, 2001


    CLEARWATER -- Circuit Judge George W. Greer of the family law division and Willa Carson, founder of the Greenwood Community Health Resource Center in Clearwater, were among those honored at the Clearwater Bar Association's 40th annual Law Day awards and installation luncheon.

    In addition to the induction of new officers and directors, the program Friday at the Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa included the presentation of the John U. Bird Distinguished Jurist Award, the Liberty Bell Award and President's Awards, as well as cash awards and a trophy to local high school students who participated in the association's annual Great Debate.

    The bar association includes members from the Largo area north to Pasco County.

    Greer received the Judge John U. Bird award, which honors judicial competence and service, high ideals and personal character. The award was established by the Clearwater Bar Association in 1986 in memory of Bird, who was a Pinellas County prosecutor from 1916 to 1920, county judge from 1921 to 1927 and circuit judge from 1927 until his retirement in 1963. Bird died in 1964.

    Greer was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but grew up in Dunedin, graduated from Clearwater High School and received his law degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville. He was in private practice from 1969 to 1992 and served as a county commissioner from 1984 to 1992, when he was elected judge.

    Mrs. Carson, who received the Liberty Bell Award for outstanding community service, is a Pinellas County native. She received her nursing degree from St. Petersburg Junior College and a master's in nursing from St. Leo College in Dade City. She organized a Black Nurses Association in Clearwater 20 years ago and also established Friends of Nursing to raise money for loans and grants to student nurses at SPJC.

    Among other community contributions, she founded the Greenwood Community Health Resource Center in 1995. The clinic provides free medical care to anyone in need, with services donated by doctors, dentists and pharmacists. It opened in an apartment and later expanded to two apartments. Last year, with financial assistance from the state and grants, a building was constructed to house the clinic.

    Immediate past president Andrew B. Sasso presented President's Awards for significant contributions to Susan Demers for her work in putting together a People's Law School and Partnership Series sponsored by the association and SPJC, Robert C. Dickinson III for his work as association treasurer from 1999-2001 and to Kinnear Smith for her work as editor from 2000-2001 of the association newsletter.

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