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Tarpon Campus Celebrates Veterans Day

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“Carry on the story” SPC Tarpon Campus Celebrates Veterans Day with Can Food Drive

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Article written by Robert Gale, student at SPC Tarpon and owner of Rob Gale Photography & Photo Booth LLC.

On a warm November 10th 2015, St. Petersburg College’s Student Government Association (SGA) and the Veterans Administration (VA) hosted their annual canned food drive for Veterans Day. This event was held in the front lawn center of the Tarpon Campus from 12:30pm – 2:00pm. The purpose of the event was to show appreciation and awareness for veterans from all campaigns throughout the 20th and 21st century. The color corps stood proud as the Pledge of Allegiance was said. A patriotic speech was held after the pledge in front of about 35 people. Former State and United States Congressman Michael Bilirakis was the keynote speaker and his message was about the importance in remembering each veteran who served and who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

SPC Tarpon Vets Can Drive_26I was able to speak to Former Congressman Michael Bilirakis when he was on break after his speech. My question to him was: “How important is it to give awareness to students to support the veterans?”

His answer was: “The veterans want more kids and students to talk more about them and to remember their service to ‘carry on the story’ by informing more of their peers. Veterans want them to know that freedom is important in all stages of every American life and ‘freedom is not free’.”

Bilirakis’ words are very true, and we need to “carry on the story” so it may ring on in the ears of future generations.

Ryan Robinson, vice president of Student Government Association, mentioned that the cans collected from students will be dropped off at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic for homeless veterans. In return, donators received “free SPC swag”. Each of the students who participated at the event received a free lunch of sandwiches and small desserts.

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic is a multi-service, independent, not-for-profit human services agency providing our community neighbors assistance with food, shelter and health care. They have been caring for the underserved facing temporary emergency needs throughout Pinellas County since 1970. For more information about donating money or food, contact them directly at (727) 821-1200, contact them through, or visit them at 863 3rd Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

At the event, there were several tents consisting of the Tarpon Springs Rotaract Club, the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Department, Student Government Association, MAX Club, the Veteran’s Association, Heroes Relief INC., Latinos United, and the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. All of these groups wanted to spread the great importance of veteran support and to promote more involvement so more veterans can get the care they deserve and for students to show their appreciation.

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As students chowed down, several students talked about how they can serve more veterans. Evan Thorton, a current student said, “I feel that students, and the society, should be more aware of the duty and sacrifice that veterans did for our country. Students should serve the veterans and to spread the word that we have freedom because of their service.”

Eric Clark, the president of MAX club and peer advisor wants more of these events to be open to the public so people can thank the veterans. He stated that, “I want more students to learn more how to serve the needs of the brave men and women who served our country.”

Overall, the event was a success in showing awareness for the support of all veterans. With this upcoming 2016 presidential election in little less than a year away, the American people need to stand united as a country to support current active members of the Armed Forces, as well as former members who bravely served and even died for our freedom, regardless of who will be our next Commander and Chief will be. Without the service and countless sacrifices from our brave men and women, the nation would not able to enjoy its liberties. Freedom is not free and giving awareness on Veteran’s Day is important to “carry on the story”.

Photography by Robert Gale owner of Rob Gale Photography & Photo Booth LLC.

Photography by Reece Corarito, SPC student and owner of Reece C. Photography.


Heroes Relief Inc: “Our main goal is to take care of the ones who took care of us. We are here to help Veterans in need as well as their family members, whether someone is in need of food, shelter, clothes, and/or something as simple as an outing, we will be there.”

  • Trisha Bryant-R. (727) 678-3482 or /
  • Carl Pallone (727) 542-6317 or

Veterans of Foreign Wars: Available to assist Veterans getting any necessary benefits and other matters. Contact if you are a Veteran that needs help.

  • Gene Dale:

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Announcements:

  • If you are a new voter that wishes to vote for the presidential primary elections, you must register to vote by Feb. 16, 2016. Presidential primaries are on March 26, 2016.
  • If you wish to vote in the primary election, new voters must register by August 1, 2016. Primary election is August 30, 2016.
  • General election is on Nov. 8, 2016. Registration deadline is Oct. 11, 2016.
  • You can register online at


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The Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College affirms its equal opportunity policy in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Educational Equity Act and all other relevant state and federal laws, rules and regulations. The college will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or against any qualified individual with disabilities in its employment practices or in the admission and treatment of students. Recognizing that sexual harassment constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and violates this Rule, the college will not tolerate such conduct. Should you experience such behavior, please contact Pamela Smith, the director of EA/EO/Title IX Coordinator at 727-341-3261; by mail at P.O. Box 13489, St. Petersburg, FL 33733-3489; or by email at


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