Pasco News

West Pasco Chamber holds annual banquet

The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce chose David Parris its Eminent Pioneer for 2014. while Farrell Roofing was named large business of the year award during the chamber’s annual banquet.

Spartan Manor and Kemp and Ruge Law Group both took home Small Business of the Year honors.

Other winners are RAP House, Junior Service League, CARES, Susan Dillinger and Ginny Pierce.

Parris has lived in Pasco County for 23 year. A member of Rotary Club of New Port Richey, he has received numerous awards for his work with the group, including the rare Rotary International Service Above Self Award.

Parris volunteers at the Good Samaritan Health Clinic, sits on the Sheriff’s Charities board of directors, was a past board member of the Rotary Camp of Florida, and is a graduate of Leadership Pasco 2004. He was selected as King Pithla this past March.

He was instrumental in the building of the Rotary Pavilion at Safety Town.

Starting with four employees in 2006, Farrell Roofing has grown to 60 employees within eight years. The firm has sponsored more then 200 different events in the past year alone. Tina and her husband Steve have created a business environment that is family and community oriented and well respected.

The vote was so close that the selection committee decided to bestow two Small Business of the Year awards.

At Spartan Manor, Jimmy and Judith Koutsos started in 1970 with four employees. The banquet hall seated 72 people at first and has expanded to 550 seats. It received the First Beacon Award from the Lighthouse for the Blind.

Kemp and Ruge Law Group stared with three employees in 2008 and expanded staff to the current 14 employees. They have assisted more than 50 different nonprofit groups, local schools, and outreach programs.

Earning the Outstanding Area Youth Organization award, Youth and Family Alternatives has 325 members and has been established in Pasco County for 44 years. The RAP House opened in 1982 and serves youth who are runaways, homeless or in need of short-term placement because of family conflict. RAP is licensed for 18 beds and accepts youths 24 hours a day.

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Service Club Award is the Junior Service League. Formed in 1971, the league now has 34 active members. The signature event, Dancing with the Local Stars, raised more than $20,000 this year. Two major projects will benefit PACE Center for Girls and a homeless shelter in Hudson.

As Outstanding Public Servant Award, Susan Dillinger serves as the New Port Richey library director and just completed a long tenure as interim city manager. She belongs to the chamber, Rotary Club of NPR, West Pasco Historical Society, Friends of the NPR Library, Pasco AMIKIDS and Beacon Square Civic Association. She was just recently named the 2014 Florida Library Associations Librarian of the Year.

The Outstanding Citizen Award recipient, Ginny Pierce, has lived in Pasco for the past 25 years. She has provided leadership for, among others, St. Petersburg College, Boys and Girls Club of Pasco, Generations Christian Church, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Good Samaritan Health Clinic, Chasco Fiesta and Lighthouse for the Blind.

As Outstanding Non Profit Organization, CARES’ mission is to enable older adults to stay at home, stay independent, stay informed and stay connected to others.

In operation since 1973, CARES has 185 employees and 265 volunteers. Last year CARES had 10,134 participants in its program.s

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