Boley Centers unwraps its new headquarters
By LENNIE BENNETT
© St. Petersburg Times,
An open house on Wednesday celebrated the new headquarters of Boley Centers for Behavioral Health Care, with more than 100 supporters and community folks there for tours of the three-story building at 445 31st St. N.
Boley purchased it from Community Blood Services and spent about $115,000 on renovations, most of it to connect the old donor center to the main building and renovate it as a training and community center room, where we gathered for the dedication.
It has been named in honor of Paula J. Hays, longtime president and CEO, who retired recently and has been having what sounds like a fabulous time, creating pottery, taking and developing photographs in her darkroom and traveling. Next up is a hiking and canoeing trip out West.
Board chairman Rutland Bussey (who, I need to disclose, is my cousin) and new CEO Gary MacGrath greeted arriving guests, local politicos such as St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, state Rep. Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, and Pinellas County Commission chairman Calvin Harris. Farkas and Harris are Boley board members. George Cretekos stood in for Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Largo, who, for obvious reasons, could not leave Washington, D.C. Cretekos, who lives in Clearwater, said even his presence had been iffy; he and wife Carolyn were traveling when the attacks occurred, managed to get a flight out of Zurich, Switzerland, then bounced around on several airplanes, finally renting a car and driving home from Atlanta.
Boley guiding light Mary Koenig and daughter Loretta Rooney visited with Sally Poynter, president of Boley Angels and also a board member, Polly Dashiell, and Mary Cross, who recently returned from Germany, where her son and his family are stationed with the military.
Bryan Bartlett and Jack Humburg took me on tours of the upper floors. Actually Humburg, who is the director of housing services with the agency, gave me the full tour. I even got a look at the men's room on the third floor, of which he is justifiably proud since, as a local guru on handicapped accessibility, it is in compliance. It certainly seemed to be, anyway.
Also nice to see were Ginny Battaglia; Nancy Biesinger, back from a trip to the Far East; Rob Shingler; Betty Rutland Bussey (who, I need to disclose, is my aunt); Skip Fraser; Mary Wyatt Allen; Don and Connie Whitehead; Dick Barnard; Jean Breland; Margie Decker, whose mother, the late Margaret Dickins, was a major Boley supporter and for whom the lobby fountain is dedicated; Mark Winn; Mary Meyer; and Carol Ellis.
The Junior League of St. Petersburg officially ended its summer hiatus on Tuesday with its fall dinner. The volunteer group of about 300 women met in the ballroom of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and prepared for a busy year.
President Colleen Russo announced that this league was one of only 20 (there are about 300 worldwide) to get the traveling historical exhibition on loan from the national association. It will be on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of History beginning March 8. Penny Wallace, an organizer for Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, was understandably preoccupied with running miles, not leagues, as was Kristan Schrader, who corraled almost 50 league members to form a Junior League team.
Also busy was Lisa Jayson, chairwoman of the Public Affairs Committee, who is, as you read, in Tampa attending the State Public Affairs Conference held over the weekend at the Tampa Marriott.
In the crowd were president-elect Jane Graves; Kanika Tomalin; Jenny Andrews; Lynn Denson; Georgia Mattern; Kim Tomko; Christina Palmer; Julie Musselman; Linda Hirsch, who spent a good part of the summer in Cape Cod with a fun trip to Nashville and the requisite visit to Graceland; Shannon Arneo; Connie Smith and daughter Shane Smith; Helen Dann; Melissa Dann; Grace Hamilton; Jeanne Roney (loved her Curious George handbag); Allison McDonald; Martha Jameson; Maggie McQueen Anders; Carol Ann Rhodes; and Christine Burrows, Hospitality Committee member who patriotically changed the centerpieces from planned bouquets of flowers to red, white and blue stars.
MILLENNIUM GATEWAY DEDICATION: St. Petersburg Public Arts Commission and city officials invite the public to the official unveiling of the new sculpture that spans BayWalk's Midcore Promenade on Second Avenue N between First and Second streets. Dedication at 5:30 p.m. is followed by refreshments, music and hands-on activities at BayWalk, 6-7:30.
TOWN AND GOWN RECEPTION: The support group for University of South Florida St. Petersburg honors professor Ray Arsenault at a reception at the historic Snell House on the campus. 5:30 p.m. 553-1561.
DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER: The St. Petersburg chapter of the national organization hosts a fundraiser for wetlands conservation. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $65. 579-1233 or 455-8502.
OPENING RECEPTION FOR ASPEC SHOW: The Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College sponsors an exhibition of photographs from the collection of Carol Upham. 4 p.m. Lewis House on the campus. 866-1561.
BOWSER BALL: Pinellas Animal Foundation fundraiser for education programs includes dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions. And awards to some special animals. 6 p.m. Belleview Biltmore, Clearwater. $65. 347-7387.
HERB SNITZER GALLERY TALK: The noted photographer walks visitors through his new exhibit, "Winky Wright and the St. Pete Boxing Club," at the Art Center. 2 p.m. 719 Central Ave. 822-7872.
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