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Service club events to help needy children, families


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TARPON SPRINGS — The Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs is seeking community support with two February events that will support needy children and families.

The volunteer projects are part of a larger initiative launched by Rotary International Zones 33 and 34 called Rotary Has Heart. Its goal is having local branches create and organize individual events that help the less fortunate in their respective regions by Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14.

Clubs from eight states and the District of Columbia and 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean will take part.

For its part, the Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs decided to tackle a pair of programs at two city locations.

The first is scheduled for 1–3 p.m. Feb. 9 in partnership with St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church, at 715 E. Orange St. Volunteers will assemble 20,000 meals for the international hunger relief organization Stop Hunger Now. Tarpon Springs Rotarians are contributing more than $3,000 to pay for meals, according to the club’s public relations chair, Peggy Proestos.

Project Suitcase will take place on Feb. 13. Rotary members and volunteers will collect suitcases and personal items for The Haven of RCS, a Pinellas County-based nonprofit agency that assists families facing homelessness return to self-sufficiency and helps empower victims of domestic violence.

The majority of those served at The Haven’s shelter in Clearwater, the Grace House, are women and children. “Many times they show up with nothing but the clothes on their backs, so we’re trying to supply them with things so that they’ll have a few things to start out with,” Proestos said.

Residents interested in participating in the Stop Hunger Now project should call Joan Tobey at (727) 415-7458 or email to joan.tobey@gmail.com.

The contact for Project Suitcase is Jerry Coleman, who can be reached at walktherapy@gmail.com or (727) 505-2979.

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