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Church of Scientology Celebrates Nonprofit Organizations at First Annual Charity Coalition Anniversary Banquet

CLEARWATER, Fla., Oct. 05, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On September 30th, the Church of Scientology hosted 260 community leaders for the Charity Coalition anniversary banquet. The event was held in the Grand Ballroom of the historic downtown Clearwater Fort Harrison, welcoming guests from over 100 organizations including the Juvenile Welfare Board, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Hillsborough Education Foundation, The Florida Orchestra, Clearwater Audobon, Homeless Empowerment Project and Children’s Home Society of Florida.

“With the guiding words of humanitarian and Church of Scientology founder, Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, ‘A community that pulls together can make a better society for all’ we have been honored to work with you to make this a stronger community,” said Jennifer Webb, Community Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology. She then updated the guests on the activities of the Church’s six humanitarian programs and their new headquarters located in downtown Clearwater.

The centers offer tools and educational materials on societal ills. Ms. Webb covered some of these programs and their partnership with like-minded organizations in the community. She relayed some of the successes of the programs such as, the rescue of dozens unnecessarily held against their will in psychiatric wards; thousands educated on their inalienable Human Rights and hundreds of youth made aware of unvarnished and correct facts about drugs through the Truth About Drugs program.

Other speakers followed. Ms. April Jones, President of Saving Our Students Foundation of Tampa Bay (SOS), a mentorship program for under-privileged youth, spoke of finding out about The Way To Happiness program at one of the Charity Coalitions. The Way to Happiness is another humanitarian initiative, aimed at building moral character. It is supported by the Church of Scientology and housed in one of the newly dedicated downtown facilities. Ms. Jones shared her success of implementing The Way To Happiness in her mentorship program. She told of the young bully who changed into a contributing student in her class upon watching one of the precepts from The Way To Happiness Book on Film.

Neil Brickfield, Executive Director of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (PAL), gave the history of PAL and their humanitarian activities in the community, specifically in the high-crime neighborhood of Lealman.

“I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to be part of this Coalition,” said Mr. Brickfield. “I can’t tell you the number of partnerships I have started; I can’t tell you the help that I have gotten; there are lots of organizations out there. But one of them called me and said, “How can we help?” and that’s the Church of Scientology.”

The keynote speaker was Carly Crutchfield, one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and self-made multi-millionaires. Ms. Crutchfield said that she believes in giving back to her communities and spends over a third of her time on charitable activities.

She spoke of her experiences as one of the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers (a global independent relief force) during the tsunamis and earth quakes that hit south-east Asia during the mid to late 2000s. Sharing visuals of the tragedies, her message was one of bringing hope and help to those in need, and the importance of doing so no matter where or to what extent. The uplifted audience gave her a standing ovation.

The next Charity Coalition will be held in the Fort Harrison. If you would like to be added to the mailing list and receive an invitation, contact Jennifer Webb at (727) 467-6860.

About the Church of Scientology:
The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 nations. Scientologists are optimistic about life and believe there is hope for a saner world and better civilization, and actively do all they can to help achieve this. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in many humanitarian programs, such as anti-drug campaigns, human rights campaigns and global education programs. To learn more, visit www.scientology.org

THE FORT HARRISON:
Since its construction in 1927, the Fort Harrison has been the home to many charitable organizations. Its latest owner, the Church of Scientology, completed a top to bottom restoration of the Fort Harrison in 2009—and since then has hosted over 300 community events there.

Pat Harney 727-467-6860

Source:Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization