Church of Scientology Holds National Volunteer Week Recognition Luncheon at Historic Fort Harrison Hotel

The Church of Scientology honored five Florida groups during National Volunteer Week.
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA—The Church of Scientology in Clearwater honored five Florida groups with National Volunteer Week awards at the historic Fort Harrison Friday, April 23.  Recognized at the event were Project Medishare, Feeding America Tampa Bay, United Way Tampa Bay, the United Relief Force Foundation and the Willa Carson Health Resource Center.

Accepting awards and $1000 pledge at a National Volunteer Week luncheon at the Fort Harrison, presented by Church of Scientology Public Affairs Director Pat Harney (center) are (left to right) Annie Tyrell, Executive Director of the Willa Carson Health Resource Center; Ernestine Carson Heastie, daughter of Willa Carson and board member of the organization; Harney; Muhammad Abdur Rahim, Carson Center board member; and Judy Fagerman, head of Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Tampa Bay. The pledge is for the Carson Center 5K and 10K walk/run fundraiser.

“We know the value of volunteers and our parishioners work actively to address drug abuse and crime, clean up the environment, tutor children and adults and do any of the myriad tasks it takes to improve the quality of life in our communities,” said Pat Harney, Public Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater.  “We join other Americans in honoring those who freely give their time and energy to help others.”

Willene Hayward (left), Volunteer Coordinator of Feeding America Tampa Bay, is acknowledged by Pat Harney, Church of Scientology Public Affairs Director, and Judy Fagerman, head of Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Tampa Bay.

Willene Hayward accepted the award on behalf of Feeding America Tampa Bay, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest.  Hayward is volunteer coordinator of the food bank that serves 35,000 Tampa Bay residents.

Also honored were Project Medishare of the University of Miami Hospital, which organized, built and staffed the largest field hospital in history on the airport grounds of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to care for the casualties of the January 12 earthquake; Hands On Tampa Bay, the volunteer network of United Way of Tampa Bay, which coordinates the work of 3,500 volunteers in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties; and the United Relief Force Foundation, formed by Orlando college students in 2007 and providing humanitarian aid, emergency response and disaster relief to countries experiencing natural and man-made disasters. Several of the Orlando group’s members joined forces with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers to help provide disaster relief in Haiti this year.

“This award event was inspired by the founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard, who said, ‘A being is only as valuable as he can serve others,’” said Harney.  The Church of Scientology makes facilities of the Fort Harrison Hotel available to non-profit charity organizations for their meetings and events.

For information or to schedule the Fort Harrison for events, contact Pat Harney at (727) 467-6860 or email her at patharney@flag.org.

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