Pinellas Technical College Culinary students and staff celebrated Martin Luther King Day by serving a specially prepared hot breakfast buffet to volunteers, city workers and dignitaries at the start of the 2017 Martin Luther King Day parade in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is an event that draws thousands of citizens from all around Pinellas County to cheer parade marchers, including local area high school bands and the world renowned marching bands of Florida A&M and Tuskegee Universities.
"PTC's participation in the MLK Day annual parade was an opportunity to highlight the college's award-winning Culinary program and the outstanding culinary skills of our students,” said Carl Lavender, a Senior Consultant for Capacity Building Strategy at Pinellas Technical College. "Their work sets the bar for future years as hosts of the Mayor's Table for VIP Service,” he added. The students from the PTC Culinary program on the St. Petersburg campus that participated in the event included Lauren Nobles, Jaspreet Virdi, Era May Angeles, David Miller, Landria Adams, Torah Evans, Shelby Shoon, Matt Allende, and John Brady. They worked under the guidance of PTC instructors Chef Bill Kittell and Chef Lennox Preudhomme. The Suncoast Haven of Rest Mission helped transport the food and equipment for the event.
While the culinary students catered to some 80 guests, they also had an opportunity to meet several local and state dignitaries including, State Senator Darryl Rouson, Pinellas County Commissioners Charlie Justice, Janet Long and Dave Eggers, and the President of the NAACP’s St. Petersburg branch, Maria L. Scruggs.
Before the parade began, some participants also had the opportunity to meet Tampa Bay’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston who was the parade’s grand marshal.
Pinellas County School Board member Joanne Lentino, Superintendent Michael A. Grego, Ed.D, School Board Chairperson Peggy L. O’Shea and School Board Member Rene Flowers, rode and walked the parade route waving to the cheering crowd.
Two decorated Pinellas Technical College vehicles followed with Mark Hunt, the Executive Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education for Pinellas County Schools and Boe Norwood, the Director of the PTC St. Petersburg campus, handing out beads and greeting participants along the way.