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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

    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....

    The Avery family, from left, Suzanne, Alison, Paul and Laurel express their gratitude at the ninth FARA Energy Ball on Sept. 16 at the Marriott Waterside.
  2. With largest kosher inventory in Tampa Bay area, Hyde Park Winn Dixie is a boon to Jewish cooks

    Cooking

    TAMPA

    “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....

    The
Winn-Dixie has close to 2,000 kosher products. Rabbi Levi Rivkin was instrumental in getting the store to expand its selection.
  3. Irma the uninvited guest waylays nonprofits' fundraisers

    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....

    Stephen Koch, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, with Ron and Tami Sheehan-Broadrick of the Broadrick Family Foundations, sponsors of the BBBS Art of Helping Children Gala. [Photography by MamaRazzi Foto (2016)]
  4. Emergency food supplies beefed up during Hurricane Irma

    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....

    Feeding Tampa Bay volunteers gathered Thursday to help put together meal kits for the area’s 700,000 food insecure people.
  5. Hillsborough Society Datebook 2017-18

    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

    September

    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....

    Downtown Tampa skyline on the Hillsborough River [CHERIE DIEZ  | Times]
  6. Scherzer: Social scene still thrills after 30 years

    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. ...

    Iconic singer Tony Bennett entertained the guests at the DeBartolo Family Foundation’s 14th All Star Charity Gala in March.
  7. New millennials connect through Tampa entrepreneur's innovation

    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?...

    Andrew Machota talks with David Wheeler, center, and Erin Ferris during a networking event at Rock Bros. Brewery in Tampa. New Town Connections, a social club Machota founded in 2015 for Tampa newcomers, now has as many as 650 members. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

  8. Model of Excellence

    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....

    The family of the late Joann Torretta Guagliardo, seen here at her Northwestern University 50th college reunion, has endowed an annual School of Communication award in her memory at her alma mater. The class of 1953 broadcasting pioneer and fashion director died July 8.
  9. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    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....

    Bret Watson, left, and Rob Wise dress to party in iconic ’80s style.
  10. Community to honor Monsignor Higgins with statue

    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....

    The legacy of the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins will be immortalized in a 6-foot, 300-pound, bronze statue to be installed on Oct. 7.
  11. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    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....

    Andrew Meyers brought a huge display of Continental Wholesale Diamond jewelry to Martinis for Moffitt to entice raffle buyers to support cancer research and programs.
  12. Sit-down food service ramps up the experience at seven-vendor Hall on Franklin

    Human Interest

    TAMPA HEIGHTS

    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....

    Lindsay Dixon and Jamal Wilson pose for a portrait at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Jul 27, 2017. 

Wilson is the owner and Dixon manages operations for the business [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  13. Tampa Theatre to screen circus documentary aimed at helping domestic abuse victims

    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."...

    Circus Manduhai travels to remote towns in Mongolia to help women in abusive relationships.
  14. New Hillsborough arts council director promotes cultural, economic impact

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    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....

    Martine Collier poses for a portrait in front of the Glazer's Children's Museum in Tampa, Fla. on Thursday, June 29, 2017.
  15. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Heroes Ball

    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....

    Heidi and Casey Gonzmart support St. Joseph?•s Children?•s Hospital Foundation?•s Heroes Ball at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC on June 17.