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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
Pasco News

West Pasco Chamber hands out kudos

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NEW PORT RICHEY - Bob Memoli got the Eminent Pioneer honor and state Rep. Mike Fasano got kudos as Outstanding Public Servant at the recent West Pasco Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

Other winners included Tina Shelton, the Rotary Club of Trinity, PACE Center for Girls, Pasco Kids First and Gigi Evans. Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Richard C. Williams and Scott M. McPherson.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, accepted a special award, Spirit of Enterprise, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Moore Hallmark, the southeast region executive director, presented the award.

In addition, Jamie Mick took the helm of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce board. Other officers are Candace Glewen, chairwoman-elect; Paul Friedlander, first vice chairman; Victoria Barley, second vice chairwoman; Tina Shelton, secretary; Larry Schalles, treasurer; and Bruce Mills, past board chairman.

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Memoli, who hails from Manhattan, has lived in west Pasco County for 28 years. Named Chasco Fiesta's King Pithla in 2012, he wore his crown at many local events in the past year.

He was the Leadership Pasco Class of 2005 president and past president for the Leadership Pasco board of directors.

Now serving as chairman of the Take Stock in Children advisory committee, Memoli for the past nine years has mentored Brendan Gorman, a Saint Leo University graduate who will attend the Barry University School of Law in the fall.

Numerous other accomplishments include service as president of the Seven Springs Rotary Club, chairman of the political affairs committee of the West Pasco Board of Realtors, being part of the Seven Springs Rotary for Life team for 10 years and a board member of the Center for Independence.

A deacon at Spirit at Grace Lutheran Church, Memoli was church council president for six years.

Honors include the Rotary Excellence Award, Paul Harris Fellow, Outstanding Young Man of America and the Outstanding Citizen award.

The Outstanding Public Servant honor recognized Fasano, R-New Port Richey, for dedication. Since 1994, he has served as a state representative or state senator.

"We have a true friend in Tallahassee," chamber President Henry "Chip" Wichmanowski said of Fasano.

Fasano is a member and lector at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has served on many local boards, including the Area Agency on Aging, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of Pasco County, AFIRE and West Pasco Youth Soccer League.

As outstanding citizen, Shelton has served as a leader in Keystone Rotary, Trinity Rotary, the Community Service Council of West Pasco, Junior Service League of West Pasco and many more.

She also devotes time to PACE Center for Girls, the Chamber Young Professionals Group, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, United Way of Pasco County, Good Samaritan Nurses Gala Committee and other groups.

Shelton is Leadership Pasco's president, honorary governor of West Pasco and a fundraiser for the chamber and charities.

v v Rotary Club of Trinity earned outstanding service club honors for programs to better the lives of children. Founded 16 years ago, the club has 70 members.

The club works with Metropolitan Ministries to buy underprivileged children school clothes to help build their self-esteem. This year the club began providing food at an elementary school on weekends for 23 families.

The Rotary club supports two Interact Clubs, a Salvation Army soup kitchen and the RAP House for Cook 4 Kids.

As the top youth organization, PACE Center for Girls has 52 young women under its wing, with 12 staff members and 14 volunteers. In the past 15 years, PACE has schooled runaways with a variety of problems.

After leaving PACE, 98 percent had no further interaction with the juvenile justice system within six months and 90 percent improved their school grades. In the transition program, 88 percent were in school or employed three years after leaving PACE.

The 24-year-old Pasco Kids First organization got the nod as an outstanding nonprofit group. More than 30 staff members work to prevent, assess and treat the effects of child abuse and neglect. They evaluate more than 600 children a year and provide in-home parent coaching and child development education to more than 250 families annually. A sexual abuse treatment program provides therapy to more than 300 children and caregivers every year.

As Chamber Ambassador of the Year, Evans helps welcome chamber members through ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

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