Clearwater for Youth's 41st Annual Celebrity Banquet draws 300 guests
CLEARWATER — Clearwater for Youth, dedicated to helping youngsters reach their fullest potential through sports, honored an Olympic champion, the city's top cop and a Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster on Saturday during its 41st Annual Celebrity Banquet.
The evening was presented by Bright House Networks at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, and more than 300 guests attended to salute:
• Michele Smith, a two-time Olympic softball gold medalist (1996 and 2000) and women's softball and ESPN analyst, who received the J. Warren Hughes Champion for Youth Award. It's presented to the person whose virtue, character and athletic contribution are an inspiration to today's youth.
• Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway, who received the Frederic E. Fisher Humanitarian Award for his dedication and contributions toward developing youth activities in the community.
• Dewayne Staats, the 2013 Florida Sportscaster of the Year, who received the Outstanding Achievement in Sports Award for his unique and creative coverage and contributions to youth events.
In addition to those honors, the organization will award $30,000 in college scholarships to 10 Pinellas County high school seniors this year.
Now in its 44th year, the nonprofit Clearwater for Youth offers financial aid and enriching, productive activities that encourage character-building, sportsmanship and teamwork. The organization also promotes participation by connecting with local athletes who serve as positive role models for children.