Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Mary Jane Martinez Cottage will help runaway girls

Mary Jane Martinez Cottage to help girls

The MJM Admiration Society — that's the Mary Jane Martinez fan club — surrounded the former first lady of the city and the state as Hillsborough County commissioners dedicated a cottage for runaway girls at the Family and Aging Services' Lake Magdalene campus April 12. The Mary Jane Martinez Cottage is a temporary home for up to 12 girls, ages 10 to 17, as they get vital help before returning to their families.

Martinez, a King High librarian and student mentor for 20 years, founded the Youth and Family Foundation of Florida, doubled the number of shelters across the state for troubled youth and created the first toll-free runaway hotline in the nation. More fans and family joined the celebration that followed at the Tampa Yacht Club, hosted by her so-proud husband, former Gov. Bob Martinez.

Karamu XXV

Can it be 25 years since Sally Lowry Baldwin and the late Mason M. Lykes gathered a flock of friends for an outdoor, black-tie dinner at the Lowry Park Zoo? They called it Karamu, a Swahili word for "party," and since then, have raised $3 million for animal care and educational programs. Saturday's gala celebrated the silver anniversary with a "Magic of the Silver Screen" theme, honoring past chairwomen as stars on a Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"Greatest experience ever," said Heidrun Divers, co-chair with husband, Alan Divers, whose animal artwork adorned 12-foot banners decorating the Safari Lodge, along with silhouettes of iconic film stars and classic, black-and-white film clips. The couple cheered when Alan's vivid elephant portrait was auctioned for $14,000 to David Seldin, helping the event net $200,000.

Board chairman Bob Thomas squeezed in some business, surprising former Gov. Bob Martinez by naming a garden in the new animal hospital for him. Bwana patrons party hosts Tready and Thayer Smith, and seven Zawadi party-givers, including Jen and Michael Palermo, Sandy Callahan and Kristy Parker and Shawn and Susan Harrison got big thanks, as did honorary chairwoman Susan Lykes Mueller.

Zoo caterer Ovations' seafood appetizer on plates of molded ice was cool but sloshy. Filet of beef tenderloin with lobster tail succeeded as Mainstream Band kept the 440 guests dancing.

Next up: Karamu 2014 co-chairs are Toni Everett and daughter Henderson Lee, followed by Paola Schifino and Karessa Montgomery in 2015.

HCC Presidential Showcase

Sasha Sierra's outstanding speech created quite a buzz at the 11th annual Hillsborough Community College Presidential Showcase where president Ken Atwater proudly featured talented choir, stage band and culinary students. Sasha is among 18 percent of HCC students who are the first in their families to attend college, learned the 330 guests at the April 11 dinner at the Marriott Waterside, which benefits the First Generation Scholarship Fund.

"My scholarship changed everything," said Eric Bailey, 2013 Distinguished Alumnus, as a video depicted his trajectory to founding partner of CapTrust Advisors, managing client assets of more than $13 billion. Richard Arena, Robert Graves and Vinny Tafuro were named 2013 Outstanding Alums. Tampa General chief executive officer James Burkhart accepted the Champion of Education award for providing clinical opportunities for HCC's medical career programs.

Great to see former HCC president Gwen Stephenson looking well, and to send off Nancy Watkins, who has left the board of trustees after 14 years.

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Woman of Influence luncheon

Hair: natural. Heels: 4 inches, at least. Eyelashes: fabulous. Viola Davis kept it real, raw and revealing as she addressed the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's annual Women of Influence Luncheon at A La Carte Event Pavilion on April 10. The acclaimed actor took 880 guests on what she titled her "The Hero's Path," from birth in a sharecropper's house on a South Carolina plantation to growing up in abject poverty to studying at Juilliard to an Oscar nomination for The Help. Her definition of a hero: "One who infuses life with hope, love and joy to share with the world."

Lunch chairwoman Kathy Werner introduced selection committee chairwoman Robin DeLaVerne to announce Judy Lisi the 2013 Woman of Influence, honored for effecting a $100 million theatrical arts impact as president of the Straz Center. As a Tony Award voter, Lisi made Ms. Davis' day when she said she has twice cast a ballot for her stagecraft.

     
Comments
A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

Subtropical Storm Alberto continued its trek north-northeast overnight and is expected to make landfall in the northern Gulf Coast late Monday.The storm was about 85 miles north of the Dry Tortugas as of Sunday morning, producing winds up to 40 mph a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Published: 05/26/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Published: 05/26/18

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Published: 05/26/18