Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Sneakers Soiree; Danny Glover visits; Bob Gries awards 'Hearts'

City of Tampa Black History Gala

Actor-activist Danny Glover brought fans to their feet when he addressed guests at the city of Tampa employees' Black History Committee's 25th anniversary Scholarship Gala. Known for roles in Dreamgirls, The Color Purple and Lethal Weapon, among many others, Glover told nearly 300 guests not to fear the past, but to celebrate historic economic, education and voting acts that changed their lives. Glover, 67 next month, spoke of his family's long involvement in the civil rights movement. Three of the seven college scholarship recipients ($20,000 this year) were thrilled to ask Glover for academic and career advice.

BayNews 9 anchor Erica Riggins emceed the formal affair at the Wyndham Tampa Westshore on May 25. Men of Vision ushered; the On Que Players jazzed; and Ursula Odom dramatized the life of Mary McLeod Bethune. "Pay it forward, invest in the life of others," urged committee chairman Frank Crum.

Heart of a Champion scholarship dinner

Skill and endurance make a competitor, but it's maturity, guts, perseverance and passion that constitute "heart" for financier Bob Gries Jr., who endowed and hosted the first Heart of a Champion awards dinner May 16.

Overcoming adversity, abuse, illness, poverty and bullying are some criteria for the $1,000 scholarships he awarded to 66 Hillsborough County high school athletes. Coaches nominated students, who submitted essays to Gries, who chose one male and one female from 27 public and six private schools. "Let their inner eagle fly," read poet laureate James Tokley, adding his artful presence.

Plant High's Robert Weiner, Berkeley Prep's Randy Dagostino and Brandon High's Russ Cozart shared coaching insights with 400 students, parents, business leaders and professional athletes, including Darrelle Revis, Josh Freeman, Derrick Brooks and Gary Sheffield at A La Carte Event Pavilion.

Third annual Sneaker Soiree

Tampa Bay Rays coach Joe Maddon laced up Under Armour; Bucs coach Greg Schiano wore Nike; and new Lightning coach Jon Cooper stepped into Reeboks for the Sneaker Soiree hosted by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. Perched on bar stools Cheers-style, "where everyone knows their game," the trio swapped stories until the "waiter," retiring Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber, called closing time. Just then, Mayor Bob Buckhorn arrived, presenting him the key to the city "from a grateful Bucs Nation." Barber was stunned to see his mother in the May 23 crowd at TPepin's Hospitality Centre.

Sports commission executive director Rob Higgins lured an impressive roster, from WWE's Titus O'Neil, in yellow bikini trunks and red necktie, who picked Higgins up like a chew toy, to the Rays' Evan Longoria, the Bolts' Martin St. Louis and wakeboarder Parks Bonifay. All the teams' mascots goofed around as hotel developer Joe Collier plucked a banjo and sportscaster Jenn Brown emceed.

"Can we wear sneakers to every gala?" asked Chad Chronister, representing DeBartolo Foundation to give the Freddie Solomon Moral Courage award to Strawberry Crest High School basketball player Kevin Garcia. Coach Maddon called Kevin back up later to ask him to present Rays' pitcher David Price's award in person at the Trop the next day.

Two other local legends were remembered: The Tom McEwen Community Advocate Award was accepted by Tami Karl on behalf of her late father, Fred Karl, and the Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award went to Outback Steakhouse founders Chris Sullivan and Bob Basham.

Pepin Distributors' Bill Gieseking drew Chad Hickman's name to win the first King of Tampa Bay Sports raffle: two tickets to every area sports franchise's home games, plus assorted annual sports events, 200 in all. Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan couldn't resist a baseball stadium in Tampa pitch, hitched to a thank-you to Longoria for supporting Belmont Heights Little League. "One of these days …"

     
 
Comments
Joe Henderson: Farewell to Eddie Card, sports enthusiast, gentleman and friend

Joe Henderson: Farewell to Eddie Card, sports enthusiast, gentleman and friend

There was an empty seat in the pew at the back of my church Sunday. It was where Eddie Card used to sit.That’s where I would see Eddie and his wonderful wife, Joan, nearly every week. He would always extend his hand and give mine a firm shake.He woul...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. He was 9...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Forecast: Warm weather persists in Tampa Bay, but slightly cooler weekend ahead

Forecast: Warm weather persists in Tampa Bay, but slightly cooler weekend ahead

Tampa Bay has broken record high temperatures since Monday, and Thursday should be no different.Happy Thursday! We are rolling through the week and once again temperatures will be near record highs this afternoon. If we break the record high of 85° t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Here is the 2018 day-by-day Grapefruit League schedule. Check out the Tampa Bay Times’ 2018 Spring Training Guide for stadium locations, contact information, team-by-team schedules, ticket information and more.Thursday, Feb. 22U. of Tampa vs. Philade...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after Hillsborough County deputies say his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was received ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Rubio taken to task; Romano on the GOP lobby; St. Pete’s World Liquors sign finds new home; what if Rays know what they’re doing?

The Daystarter: Rubio taken to task; Romano on the GOP lobby; St. Pete’s World Liquors sign finds new home; what if Rays know what they’re doing?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Temperatures peaked Wednesday, but don’t expect cooler air to return just yet. Highs will remain in the mid 80s through next week, according to 10Weather WTSP. And it will re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Gun advocates are absolutely right about this:A ban on assault weapons will not end school shootings.How do we know?Because there was a federal ban on assault weapons for 10 years, and mass killings persisted. That’s because a ban deals only with fut...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Supercross brings athletes — not just motorcycle riders — to Tampa

Supercross brings athletes — not just motorcycle riders — to Tampa

TAMPA — When breaking down the competitive skill in Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series event at Raymond James Stadium, you won’t find an analysis of 40-yard dash times, bench-press weights or vertical-leap measurements...
Published: 02/22/18

Ernest Hooper: Andrew Young, in Tampa for award, holds up crown of inspiration at 85

Theologian and Morehouse College graduate Howard Thurman, a man who influenced many of the nation’s civil rights leaders, once issued a challenge to students at the famed Atlanta school.Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she...
Published: 02/22/18
PolitiFact: Donald Trump falsely says he never denied Russian meddling

PolitiFact: Donald Trump falsely says he never denied Russian meddling

The indictments of 13 Russians detailing how they used Facebook and Twitter to undercut Hillary Clinton and promote President Donald Trump spurred a flurry of tweets from Trump over the Presidents Day weekend."I never said Russia did not meddle in th...
Published: 02/22/18