This celebration honors area residents with presentations in three categories:
Alice B. Tompkins Community Service Award
Non-Profit of the Year Award
Maureen Krzanowski Scholarship
As keynote speaker, Jeff Eakins, Superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools, took the stage, and the audience prepared for a wonderful presentation. The 2017 Community Affairs Dinner highlights local concerns while bestowing awards to several worthy recipients.
Mr. Eakins shared his story. As a newly appointed principal at a local high school with a poor grade, he implemented a program requiring students to begin volunteering. The idea was met with resistance. Fortunately, as things progressed, the pupils not only enjoyed working for service hours, but their grades improved, as did the school’s rating. A positive unintended outcome was that discipline issues essentially disappeared. He complemented the Roundtable’s Community Service Forum, and supports it, because the event benefits Hillsborough County students, their parents, guidance counselors, and Brandon charities.
Tony Del Castillio, Advertising/General Manager for the Tampa Bay Times hosted this year’s event as The Community Roundtable distributed their annual awards.
The Maureen Krzanowski Scholarship was awarded to Melissa Chin, a senior at Riverview High School. Her choices for her career are forensics and bio-medical science. Her parents were concerned about her first field, but she jokingly reassured them that anything one does in forensics can’t hurt the patient. Miss Chin has been a member of the Homecoming Court, a flutist in the Concert Band, and established the Best Buddies club at her school.
The Non-Profit of The Year was awarded to the Portamento of Hope Café. Lela Lilyquist recognized the need to assist Brandon’s homeless families leading to the creation of this soup kitchen. Donations from grocery stores and fundraisers in addition to partnering with other food pantries keep these people fed. Over 75,000 pounds of food are served annually.