09/21/17 Human Interest
FARA Energy Ball
Familiar faces - researchers, scientists, hospitality honchos and 20 Friedreich's Ataxia "warriors" inched closer to a cure for the progressive neurodegenerative disease as the FARA Energy Ball advanced the FA Research Alliance and USF Ataxia Research Center by $1.75 million Saturday, thanks to some bodacious auction bids and $600,000 texted-donations.
The Rocky theme song thundered across Knock Out FA co-chaired again this year by Janell and Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. "FARA is family and you really fight when it's family," he said, following emcee Wendy Ryan, WFTS-Ch. 28 anchor, up to a boxing ring podium. Hot pink, turquoise and orange boxing glove centerpieces brightened the Marriott Waterside ballroom....
“Miracles do happen," says Rabbi Levi Rivkin, joyously leading the way down aisle six at the Winn-Dixie in Hyde Park, pointing out dozens of bright blue circles indicating kosher cereals, crackers, soups and such.
An abundance of kosher inventory makes preparing celebration meals for the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days remarkably easier for the bay area's kosher-observant families....
09/13/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — No one invited Irma to their party last week, but she showed up anyway, waylaying the carefully-laid plans of numerous non-profits counting on achieving significant fundraising goals.
Instead, community safety was paramount as organizers rushed to inform guests, sponsors and vendors of cancellation announcements. Caterers took their perishable foods to hurricane shelters, florists scrambled to cancel deliveries and decorators stashed their centerpieces....
09/10/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — On any given day, 700,000 people in Tampa Bay are considered food insecure, meaning they lack ready access to adequate and affordable nutrition on a daily basis.
That number could surge proportionately in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Feeding Tampa Bay stepped up to the plate, strategically planning with local emergency management operations to provide vital food and supplies before, during and after one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic....
09/07/17 Human Interest
Voila, presenting the annual Tampa Society Datebook, featuring more than 100 nonprofit fundraising and gala events scheduled today through May 2018. Time to start budgeting your time and donations! Compiled by Amy Scherzer
Sept. 8: Imagination: A Gala to benefit Glazer Children's Museum; 6:30 p.m.; Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza. $125 for ages 21 to 25, other starting at $250; (813) 443-3861 or glazermuseum.org/imagination....
09/06/17 Human Interest
Thirty years on the beat, and I still marvel at the extreme generosity and dedication I witness throughout our non-profit community.
It took about 10 minutes for the annual Freidrich's Ataxia Research Alliance Energy Ball to reach $550,000 in text-pledges.
The American Heart Association instantly gained $85,000 with a retail developer's nod to an auctioneer pitching an Anguilla villa vacation. ...
08/29/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — Andrew Machota has made nearly 700 friends in the six years since he impulsively moved to Tampa.
He'd be glad to have you meet them, too.
The gregarious certified public accountant from Rolling Prairie, Ind., population 500, knew only one person when he came to town. Mingling at networking events with other young professional millennials could be interesting, but then what?...
08/27/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — One of Tampa's first female television show hosts and a prominent etiquette instructor, Joann Torretta Guagliardo modeled professionalism, on and off the runway.
"She crafted character... not just which fork or perfect posture," said her daughter Gayle Guyardo, WFLA-Ch. 8 morning news anchor and "her ultimate student."
Torretta broke into the broadcast industry right out of college, starting off behind the scenes writing for a television fitness show. By 1957, the Tampa native was on-camera, chipping away at WFLA's glass ceiling as host of Fashions for You....
08/25/17 Human Interest
13 Ugly Men '80s Party
Skaters in spandex, Miami Vice pastels and Top Gun flight suits, parachute pants and fanny packs, some 1,200 MC Hammer and Madonna wannabees dressed to play at the 13 Ugly Men's timestopping '80s party, packing Pattini's Bistro and Skate all night Saturday. DJ Mat the Brat and MTV videos made singalong millennials yearn for the good old days. At midnight, Debbie Deb performed her '80s skating rink jams, Look Out Weekend and When I Hear Music. All that partying raised more than $10,000 for High Risk Hope programs helping families with high risk pregnancies and premature babies....
08/11/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — In six decades of guiding St. Lawrence Catholic Church worshipers, the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins' leadership also made life better for countless Tampa residents, a legacy that will now be immortalized in a 6-foot, 300-pound, bronze statue to be installed outside Higgins Hall on Oct. 7.
Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will bless the statue and the city will unveil a sign renaming part of Himes Avenue as Monsignor Higgins Avenue. The public is welcome to attend the 6 p.m. installation which will be streamed live on the parish website, stlawrence.org....
08/09/17 Human Interest
Martinis for Moffitt
Uber after Uber after Uber spilled hot and handsome passengers hopping out to party at Martinis for Moffitt, the Bay Area Advisors' 12th summer bash known for attracting attractive, young professionals. Go-go dancers shimmered on pedestals flanking DJ Fresh at the Straz Center where 1,100 guests grazed raw, risotto, mashed potato and ice cream sundae bars scattered amid Tito's Vodka bars and four VIP areas July 22....
07/28/17 Human Interest
The Hall on Franklin is readying for an August opening as a trendy mash-up of food and beverage vendors sharing a century-old former automobile showroom.
Now, instead of model Fords, the draw will be coffee and cocktails, seafood and shakes, gooey sandwich melts and boozy cupcakes, DJs and WiFi.
The seven-restaurant collective joins an enclave of entrepreneurs reawakening the northern edge of downtown Tampa, a lively entertainment district until the streetcars stopped running....
07/17/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — Circus performer/filmmaker Stewart Lippe doesn't clown around on the subject of domestic violence.
"It's a major issue in the world," said Lippe, who gained a global perspective of male aggression when he performed with Circus Manduhai in Mongolia. A gymnast friend, Chimgee Haltarhuu brought the troupe to remote towns to help women in abusive relationships.
"Mongolia is a very traditional, paternalistic society and you don't talk about it," said Lippe. "Some towns refused to let us come … they didn't want the issue brought up."...
07/08/17 Human Interest
Actor, dancer, singer… statistician? That last talent isn't typical of creative types like Martine Meredith Collier, who met with 150 artists, arts organizations, elected officials and community leaders in her first 100 days as the executive director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. The facts and figures she compiled from those meetings helped her simultaneously complete an arts economic impact study and shape a new strategic plan to promote county-wide cultural education and enrichment....
06/22/17 Human Interest
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, be amazed by circus feats, try your luck at the Midway games and help buy a pediatric transport ambulance at the third annual Heroes Ball, urged ringmasters Bob and Lorraine Dutkowsky, co-chairs for St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Foundation on Saturday.
The "Hero" of Under the Big Top, is really a heroine, Joan Steinbrenner, honored for her philanthropy to the Steinbrenner Children's Emergency and Trauma Center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. Even that night, a family donation of a New York Yankees VIP package was auctioned for $19,000, helping the event net $375,000. Party on the Moon kicked off an after-dinner dance bash when a younger crowd joined 600 gala guests at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC....