Wednesday, October 17, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Cut it or Keep it for USF Health; FARA Energy Ball for ataxia

Cut it or Keep it for USF Health

Much to his mother Lee's dismay, South Tampa veterinarian Hansel Leavengood is hanging on to the ponytail he has worn for 20 years. This summer, the lifelong diabetic vowed to get a haircut if it meant money for local diabetes research and programs.

Friends voted — cut it or keep it — with donations, said Leavengood, 56, who was diagnosed at 22 months old. By Sept. 10, about 130 people had their say: Cutters amounted to $4,250; keepers to $5,530.

"To be matched by the Patterson Foundation of Sarasota," said Nicole Johnson, executive director of Bringing Science Home at USF Health, as supporters toured the new Diabetes Home for Healthy Living, offering lab tests, retinal scans and classes at West Shore and Kennedy boulevards.

"I wasn't really worried," Leavengood said. "I knew I could always write the last check."

5th annual FARA Energy Ball

Call it FARA fervor. Fired up guests at the FARA Energy Ball generated $1.5 million for Friedreich's ataxia research.

"We're so close we can taste it," said Paul Avery, who created the Sept. 7 benefit to fund the epicenter of clinical trials: the Ataxia Research Center at the University of South Florida, run by the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA). Daughter Allison Avery, a sophomore at Elon University, spoke via video about living with the energy-depleting, mobility-impairing disease.

Avery packed A La Carte Event Pavilion with friends ready to make substantial contributions, like Sandi Sullivan's $50,000 bid for an Alaskan fishing trip for Outback Steakhouse hubby Chris, who was out of town. Palm Beach pal Bill Finneran bid $31,000 to visit the Averys' 10,000-acre Bell Cross Ranch in Cascade, Mont., as well as $10,000 for a yellow Lab puppy.

Tampa Bay Lightning honchos Jeff Vinik and third-time FARA Ball chairman Tod Leiweke enticed $1,500-and-up donors with two party suite tickets to the Eagles concert at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. That added up to $258,000, enough to fund at least 1,000 FA patients.

No dance floor, so what? The Black Honkeys got the crowd dancing between tables. "I'd rather have over 800 guests here than a dance floor," said sponsor Paul Jacobs, pleased at the squeeze. "More people, more funds for FARA."

Big Brothers Big Sisters' Art of Helping Children gala

Beneath puffy clouds and dangling umbrellas, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay's annual Art of Helping Children gala showered guests with entertainment from 1952-Hollywood classic Singin' in the Rain. Was that Gene Kelly swinging from a lamppost backed by long-legged dancers in yellow slickers? A fun riff on Donald O'Connor's Make 'em Laugh did just that.

WTSP-Ch. 10 anchors Heather Van Nest and Reginald Roundtree recognized three pairs of Bigs (adult volunteers) and Littles (children they mentor) as Big Sisters of the Year. But the biggest thrill for the 550 guests was surprising Davone, 13, one of 600 kids on the mentoring agency's waiting list, with a Big Brother, Daniel Petrilla.

Singing and dancing continued Saturday with American Idol contestant and Blake High student Shannon Magrane and Blake's band at A La Carte Event Pavilion. Auction bidders Cindy and Robert Buchanan and Peggy and Rick Warner walked away with Sonoma Valley vineyard trips for $10,000 each.

The most successful gala ever, say board chairman Brian Auld and CEO Stephen Koch, with net proceeds of $300,000.

     
 
Comments
Searing heat continues to remain intact across Tampa Bay

Searing heat continues to remain intact across Tampa Bay

Another October day, another potential record-high temperature in Tampa Bay.
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Casey Levy adds an edge to Clearwater Central Catholicís ground game

Casey Levy adds an edge to Clearwater Central Catholicís ground game

CLEARWATER — Casey Levy can absorb pain. Two years ago, he was helping a friend chop down a tree with an axe. Suddenly, the steel blade flew off the wooden handle, striking Levy in the knee.The cut required about 10 stitches."I'm not allow...
Updated: 1 hour ago
John Romano: Liberals are dreaming when it comes to holding on to Floridaís Supreme Court

John Romano: Liberals are dreaming when it comes to holding on to Floridaís Supreme Court

This was a smackdown, no doubt about it.The state Supreme Court just rendered the judicial equivalent of a loud guffaw regarding Gov. Rick Scottís claim he is entitled to replace three retiring Supreme Court justices before he leaves office.And yet, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Best pizza in the U.S. comes from this Boston restaurant, TripAdvisor says

Best pizza in the U.S. comes from this Boston restaurant, TripAdvisor says

TripAdvisor offered its views of the best pizza restaurants in the country, and while New York can claim one big victory, it fell short of the ultimate prize -- the best pizzeria in the land.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Michael’s most vulnerable evacuees make Pasco shelter their new home

Michael’s most vulnerable evacuees make Pasco shelter their new home

HUDSON — Linda Wood lay on a metal cot, closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep Monday night. Pictures of her Panama City apartment some 300 miles away kept flashing through her mind. The nearly blind 71-year-old envisioned her chocolate-c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Hereís a look.

Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Hereís a look.

ST. PETERSBURGDr. BBQ needed a beer. Mission accomplished: A sip of Green Benchís Dr. BBQ Pale Lager dispatched, he was ready to start the tour. See that teal tufted couch against that wall? Itís like something from Girl & the Goat in Chicago. The wo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

It can be tough to figure out why insurance companies charge some more than others for auto coverage. But a recent analysis by the Consumer Federation of America suggests that a driverís neighborhood could be a factor. The analysis, released Monday, ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Daystarter: Pasco welcomes Hurricane Michael evacuees; how long will the Panhandle be without power?; long-awaited debut of Dr. BBQ is today

The Daystarter: Pasco welcomes Hurricane Michael evacuees; how long will the Panhandle be without power?; long-awaited debut of Dr. BBQ is today

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē Highs in the low 90s, though a tad cooler along the coast. No chance of rain, so expect a dry afternoon as well, according to the National Weather Service. The temperatures will start...
Updated: 4 hours ago
What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A recent trip to upstate New York provided the perfect excuse to try the renowned chef’s restaurant, and a once-in-a-lifetime meal.
Published: 10/17/18
‘The Oath’ is a political satire that’s ripped, like a Band-Aid, from today’s headlines

‘The Oath’ is a political satire that’s ripped, like a Band-Aid, from today’s headlines

This blistering political satire may reopen a political wound that has barely had time to heal.
Published: 10/17/18