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Pinellas Genealogy Society member Charlie Grandmaison has been tapped to receive the nationally coveted FGS Distinguished Service Award presented to volunteers who have distinguished themselves going above and beyond the norm of volunteerism.  He was one of two individuals nationally to receive this prestigious award!

“Indexing” (Charlie's favorite task) the substance of Charlie's life as a volunteer over the past eleven years reads as follows:

 Immensely involved as a member and volunteer of the Pinellas Genealogy Society, Friends of Largo Library and Collection Management Department of Largo Library. Accomplishments as volunteer have been sandwiched between such time consuming “extracurricular” responsibilities as serving PGS Vice President - 2 years; President - 2 ½ years; and currently Finance Trustee - 4 years.  Charlie also serves as Treasurer to the Greater Largo Library Foundation.

Charlie has participated in canvassing Lincoln Cemetery, Royal Palm and  Memorial Park Cemeteries.  Memorial Park and Royal Palm are two of St. Petersburg’s largest cemeteries.  He has logged in 450 hours in cemetery canvassing over the past two years.  As a result of Charlie’s enthusiasm for data entry, the database for Royal Palm Cemetery recently been presented to the Tombstone Project on the web.  There are over 22,000 interments in this database, representing some 800 hours at the computer.  Charlie even worked at data entry while vacationing in Nova Scotia last year!

In 1997 Charlie saw the opportunity to enhance the functionality of the microfilmed Pinellas Pioneer Project by creating a computerized index to the more than 25,000 handwritten pages, containing more than 50,000 pioneer names associated with the first 100 years of Pinellas County history.  Two years and 1500 hours later the project was complete. In March 2003, the Pinellas Genealogy Society uploaded the index to the Pinellas Pioneer Project to the Rootsweb WorldConnect site, making this an invaluable tool for those who research their Pinellas County roots.

Throughout the year Charlie devotes two hours on Saturday once a month to teach classes or hold workshops for the Pinellas Genealogy Society on topics among which are, Family TreeMaker, Beginning Genealogy and Canadian Research.  He has been guest speaker at the Society’s monthly meetings also.

At each and every Pinellas Genealogy Seminar we find Charlie Grandmaison as a class instructor, volunteering for jobs such as food preparation and presentation, even setting up tables, chairs and equipment for use during our all day seminar.  We should also remember the five or six hours he spends, behind the scenes, walking door to door soliciting items from local merchants to be used as door prizes at our seminars.  Last year Charlie walked the streets of downtown St. Petersburg soliciting merchants to provide items for the Florida State Genealogy Society’s 2002 Seminar; some lucky attendee actually received a Day Cruise for two, thanks to Charlie!  Of course, he was also present to help during the FGS Seminar.

Charlie spearheaded the successful Brigham Young DNA Collection Project in Pinellas County, which was held February 10, 2001 at our local LDS Stake.

A great deal of Charlie’s “free time” is spent writing articles for publication in the Pinellas Genealogy Society’s quarterly, The Pinellas Genealogist, and several other society quarterly publications throughout the United States and Canada.

The Veterans History Project also has Charlie’s imprint; it was he who duplicated all of the Pinellas Veteran’s oral history interview tapes to be sent to the Library of Congress.  A copy was also provided to each Veteran who participated in the project.

Two days a week one will find Charlie in the Collection Management Department of Largo Library where he spends the day as a volunteer classifying and cataloging books.  As part of this function he ascertains the value of rare books donated to the library by working closely with such book dealers as Abe Books.  Charlie has established an online sales program through which collectors will be able to acquire books from the library’s rare book collection via Abe Books and eBay.  Charlie’s is such a familiar face at the library that everyone is convinced he must be living in a secret room hidden within the library!  Through his volunteer efforts, Charlie helped construct a bridge of mutual respect and association between the Pinellas Genealogy Society and Largo Library.  From all of us Charlie - Congratulations!

Click here to return to the PGS Awards page.