Chamber to hand out awards
NEW PORT RICHEY - While the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce might not roll out a red carpet for local celebrities Friday night, the annual banquet serves as the business group's equivalent to the Oscars. Hundreds of people are expected to gather for the occasion that starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. Henry G. "Chip" Wichmanowski, chamber president, will help announce names of award winners. A highlight of the night could be the Eminent Pioneer award, which could go to Emile Laurino, Bob Memoli, David Parris, Harry Helmrich, Ed Hancock, Greg Armstrong, Tim Sherrell, Ginny Pierce or Dee Thomas.Nominees for Outstanding Public Servant are New Port Richey interim Police Chief Kim Bogart; state Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey; Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano; Harry Schwettman Education Center Principal Randy Koenigsfeld; and retired Pasco County Administrator John Gallagher. Eight people are vying for Outstanding Citizen. They are Sean Kline, Allison Corsones, Lisa Kanos, Dana Ratliff, Sandy Barley, Laurel Robinson, Amanda Murphy and Tina Shelton. Outstanding Service Club candidates are Daughters of Penelope, Rotary Club of Trinity, Rotary Club of Holiday, Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity-FL Alpha Lambda Chapter and Community Service Council of West Pasco. Spectators can root for their favorite among Outstanding Nonprofit nominees Connections Job Development, Center for Independence, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, Pasco Education Foundation, Red Apple Schools, Pasco Kids First and West Pasco Pregnancy Center. Choices for Outstanding Area Youth Organization will come down to Trinity Mustangs and the Pasco Police Athletic League, Genesis Prep Interact Club, Rotary Club of Trinity, PACE Center for Girls, New Port Richey Parks & Recreation Youth Advisory Board and Gulf High School Interact Club. Chamber Ambassador of the Year nominees are Eric Anderson, Gigi D. Evans, Chris Masseo, Tony Nalli and Tony Vannata. Also, chamber board chairman Bruce Mills will hand over the gavel to his successor, Jamie Mick with Prudential Commercial Real Estate FL.