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Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer

Amy Scherzer

Amy joined the Times in January 2002 to help launch the weekly City Times edition serving South Tampa and nearby neighborhoods. Her column, Amy Scherzer's Diary, takes readers along as she makes her rounds on the social circuit. Camera in hand, Amy captures the galagoers, wine tasters, Gasparilla kings, debutantes and bay area philanthropists.

Amy earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications and political science at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a Tampa resident since 1978. She and her husband, Robert, live on Davis Islands, proud parents of two grown children. Any free time is spent people watching, entertaining, boating and reading.

Phone: (813) 226-3332

Fax: (813) 226-3381

Email: ascherzer@tampabay.com

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  1. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Magnolia Ball

    In gratitude for lifesaving research and treatments, former Moffitt Cancer Center patients, their loved ones and inspired donors raised a record-smashing $4 million at the 24th annual Magnolia Ball, an elegant, $1,500-ticket dinner in a Tuscan garden setting Saturday at the Marriott Waterside.

    How'd they do it? The Hyer Family Foundation pledged $1 million in honor of Tracy's doctors; Julie "I'm back and I'm bulletproof" Wooley matched a $500,000 challenge and HSN host Amy Morrison's testimonial video impelled the 750 guests to fund further research, education and the Magnolia Lodging Program. Ball co-chairs Frank and Christina Capitano celebrated by bringing Matchbox Twenty lead singer/composer Rob Thomas to the stage for a solo concert. ...

    Storybook Ball guest speakers Jason and Beth Rehberg help son Tucker, 2, try his hand at drumming.
  2. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Fashion Funds the Cure

    Tampa Bay Buc Gerald McCoy and pediatric cancer survivor Joshua Fisher flexed their biceps and the crowd went wild at the 14th annual Fashion Funds the Cure starring young models fighting cancer and a lively group of alumni happily recognized from previous National Pediatric Cancer Foundation's fashion shows. Former Gator quarterback and T he Bachelor contestant Jesse Palmer emceed as the kids escorted their career role models, like super cute Millie and Supermodel Kelly Gale and actress Carla Corvo. Anya Harvey, who wants to be Batman or a police officer with a cape, hit the runway with Hillsborough Sheriff Col. Chad Chronister. Dillard's dressed the kids in the latest spring styles which they got to keep....

    The crowd cheered wildly for cancer survivor Joshua Fisher, left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Gerald McCoy at the 14th annual Fashion Funds the Cure.
  3. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Tampa General Hospital Foundation Gala

    Everyone knows the Cowardly Lion got his courage and Scarecrow got a brain, but who knew 75 people a year get a ventricular assist device (VAD) implant at Tampa General Hospital, the first and biggest heart transplant center in the state. No. 421 was Bill Ismer who played piano at the Wizard of Oz gala Saturday as co-chairs Theo and Phil Carroll and Lesley and Fred Dobbins greeted witches, good and bad, Totos, Tin Woodmen and ruby-slippered guests in a sparkly Emerald City ballroom at the Hilton Downtown Tampa....

    Tampa General Hospital Foundation gala sponsors John and Letitia McKibbon have some fun before dinner and dancing.
  4. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    LAMPLighters' Lights Fashion Hope

    Salsa dancers, cool cocktails and hot models conjured Havana Nights for the LAMPLighters annual Lights Fashion Hope benefit for Metropolitan Ministries families and Joshua House children. Aramis Sol Caribe set a tropical beat for sultry fashions from Kit's Well Dressed and a pair of Fred Astaire North Tampa dancers as 275 guests sampled restaurant stations, bars and casino games while taking in the waterfront view at the Straz Center on April 20. Co-chairs Elena Wagner and Kate Wilson and LAMPlighter president Connie Gage dedicated the evening to the late Elaine Newman, a longtime member who staged many fashionable fundraisers for Tampa charities....

    AMY SCHERZER | Times          Ryne Gallien shows off the lovely chapeau he made to wear at the Mad Hatter's Tea & Brunch benefit for FrankieÕs Friends at Eddie VÕs on April 23.
  5. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Around the World with St. Jude

    Two patient testimonials took Around the World gala guests from tears to cheers for the medical care provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Adorable Ayden, 7, who survived 17 surgeries before age 1, sang out his gratitude, helping co-chairs Mike and Gennie Swenson and her parents, honorary co-chairs Tom and Holly Malouf, raise $300,000 for the Memphis hospital where no family receives a bill for treatment and where the pediatric cancer survival rate is up to 80 percent. Anchors Wendy Ryan and Denis Phillips of WFTS-Ch. 28 emceed, while DeLeon Entertainment kept the 500 guests dancing at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina on April 8....

    Rhea Law, left, presents the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce 2017 Women of Influence award to Robin DeLaVergne with luncheon chairwoman Debbie Sheridan at the Hilton Tampa Downtown on April 13.
  6. Heart transplant bonds families of young donor, recipient

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    On the four-year anniversary of the auto accident that took the life of her daughter Amanda, Laurie Pierce went to Lakeland to dance.

    The grief was no less profound, but unlike in previous years, Pierce had a reason to get out of bed.

    Garrett Leopold was nervous but happy to join her that March afternoon. Twirling through their choreographed lesson, the young man leaned closer so his dance partner could hear the beat of his heart....

    Laurie Pierce, left, lost her daughter Amanda in a March 2013 auto accident outside of Tallahassee on the very day that Garrett Leopold's heart failed after seven months on a transplant waiting list. One family's tragic loss became the other family's lifesaver, a story they will share at the Tampa Bay Heart Ball on April 29 at the Marriott Waterside.
  7. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Cheers for Charity

    Lutz, not Napa, set the scene for Cheers for Charity, a lavish wine dinner in support of Ron and Tami Broadrick's family foundation, served in the Italian Cypress-lined driveway of the mansion they designed to showcase their vast art collection. The 100 guests toured the galleries and living spaces of Villa dei miei Sogni, oohing and aahing at every turn before sitting down to poached lobster and pork belly appetizers; mushroom ravioli; shredded duck confit and waygu veal cheeks prepared by Grassroots Catering. Saturday's temperature couldn't have been better for dining al fresca, but there was a fleece blanket on every female guest's seat, should they feel a chill....

    Elizabeth Raines and her mother Susan model in the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show Luncheon.
  8. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    A Night at the Tropicana

    Luana and Alex Paloma hosted A Night at the Tropicana to further pediatric oncologist Dr. Cameron Tebbi's development of a childhood leukemia vaccine. "Prevention, not cure... we're very close," he said at the Latin nightclub-themed benefit in memory of his patient, Luana's little brother, Lawrence A. Martucci. Since 2012, the foundation named for him has donated more than $100,000 to pediatric cancer research through the 1Voice Foundation. After nearly 50 years of patient care, Dr. Tebbi will work in the lab full-time starting June 1....

    GFWC Temple Terrace Woman’s Cub President Mary Jane Neale, left, and Spring Boutique & Luncheon chairwoman Elaine Coniglio check out the fashionable options March 31.
  9. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    DeBartolo Family Foundation All Star Charity Gala

    If there's ever a Gala Hall of Fame, the DeBartolo Family Foundation's All Star Charity Gala is a shoo-in. Saturday's score: elegant Tony Bennett entertaining 800 fired-up guests, including 70 athletes, actors, musicians and random "stars," — too many to name here — dining on osso bucco at candlelit tables topped with exotic florals at the Marriott Waterside. The lovely Strings Unlimited opened dinner; DJ Michelle Pesce spun down the after-party....

    Hollywood director Sofia Coppola, left, and Straz Center president Judy Lisi share their affection for Maestro Anton Coppola at the Opera Tampa Gala.
  10. Girl Scouts flip for Retton, Women of Distinction

    Human Interest

    TAMPA —- The first woman to be on a box of Wheaties, tiny Mary Lou Retton, overcame tremendous odds to win America's first Olympic Gold Medal in gymnastics in 1984.

    Cheering a highlight reel as if it were a live performance, 800 guests rose to the familiar Olympic Fanfare theme song at the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida's annual Women of Distinction luncheon Tuesday.

    "I like watching it, too," said the 4-foot-9 gymnast who took home gold in the individual all-around. "I look so big when it's projected on a big screen."...

    One of the 2017 Women of Distinction, Rosemary Armstrong posed for a headshot during the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida annual Women of Distinction Luncheon on Tuesday March 21, 2017, at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, in Tampa, Fla. The honorees were chosen for success in their fields and for serving as role models for local girls.
  11. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Stop, Drop and Roll the Dice

    Retired Tampa Fire captain and president of the Tampa Firefighters Museum Bill Wade welcomed department newbies, retirees and other supporters to Stop, Drop and Roll the Dice where they placed their bets to better the 106-year-old station in downtown Tampa. Blackjack, roulette and poker tables fit between exhibits and a buffet of Cubans and empanadas, fruit and sweets from Catering by the Family. Guests turned their play money winnings into tickets to win all sorts of things, including an AR-15 pistol donated by Blue Collar Guns. Money raised at the March 10 benefit goes to museum maintenance, except the hot-selling Women of Fire Rescue 2018 calendar, sold by a few of the models themselves that night, to help out Camp Hopetake and other charities....

    Sheron and Ken Bass, from left, try some casino games with retired Tampa Fire Capt. Bill Wade to support the Tampa Firefighters’ Museum’s annual Stop, Drop and Roll the Dice benefit on March 10.
  12. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival

    Actors, writers, producers, directors and the audiences they seek converged at the 11th annual Gasparilla International Film Festival, opening March 2 at Tampa Theatre and continuing throughout the week at AMC Classic Centro Ybor with nearly 150 features, shorts and documentaries, panel discussions and parties. Among the highlights: Actor Patrick Wilson picked up a Career Achievement Award for Hollywood and Broadway roles ranging from Phantom to Fargo. "I feel like it's more of a halfway award," he said. "With thirtysome films, I'm just getting going." Wilson's proud St. Pete entourage included parents Mary K and retired WTVT-Ch. 13 anchor John Wilson, brothers Paul and Mark, their wives and kids. "I call them the Von Trapps of Tampa Bay," board member and longtime friend Frank Robertson said of the talented family during the Q &A he led. ...

    AMY SCHERZER | Times Isaac and Oliva Ruiz Carus, from left, and MJ Garland enjoy opening night of the Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival at Tampa Theatre on March 2.
  13. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Dream Keepers Ball

    Liz Kennedy and a junior league committee dreamed up the Child Abuse Council in 1976, beginning with parenting education in a trailer parked behind Tampa General Hospital. In three months Paul D'agostino was executive director, expanding programs to keep children safe and thriving. Re-named Champions for Children and led by Brian McEwen since 2012, the agency celebrated "40 Years of Keeping the Dream" at the second Dream Keepers Ball on Saturday. Dining at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 200 guests viewed videos of kids and parents helped through the decades, tuned to the music of each era. They bid on auction offerings to continue the dream for 40,000 people a year. Lucky Michael Shimberg won the drawing for a week's stay at Ron and Sherry Sacino's villa in San Sano, Italy. ...

    Civil Rights advocate, former Sen. Arthenia Joyner, left, and ecological pioneer Holly Greening celebrate the health of Tampa Bay and the electorate at the League of Women Voters awards luncheon March 1 at the Doubletree by Hilton.
  14. Chiselers' gently used treasures fund restoration of treasured University of Tampa landmark

    Human Interest

    TAMPA - All year long, the Chiselers, Tampa's preeminent historic preservationists, dig, sift and sort through thousands of "oldies but goodies" to sell at Saturday's fundraiser, the 54th annual Chiselers' Market.

    Now they're loaded and ready, filling the main floor of the University of Tampa's historic Plant Hall with estate sale-quality donations — dishes, glassware, silver, jewelry, art, books and furniture — at garage sale prices....

    Chiseler’s member Gail Dee Russ moves silver on display in one of Plant Hall’s hallways during preparation for Saturday’s market.
  15. Texas artist takes top prize at Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

    Human Interest

    Perfect springtime temps and a tempting array of artwork kept crowds circulating at downtown Tampa's Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park throughout the weekend during the 47th annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.

    Thousands converged on the waterfront Saturday  and Sunday , roving between rows of 235 artists’ displays in a dozen mediums: painting, photography, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, wood and mixed media....

    "African Queen," a drawing by David Bjurstrom of Austin, Texas, won the $15,000 Raymond James Financial Best of Show Award at the 47th annual Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.