Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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 …"

Events

Saturday: Quantum of Solstice Bash benefits Rotary Club of Tampa Foundation; black-tie or James Bond attire; 7:30 p.m., the Vault, 611 N Franklin St. $75; solsticebash.com

Thursday: Fork Fight Gala benefits Feeding America Tampa Bay; 6 p.m., Marriott Waterside. $250; (813) 254-1190.

June 23: Krewe of Zingaro's Uncork the Cure benefits pediatric cancer research; 4-7 p.m., Tampa Club. $50; uncorkthecure.com.

July 20: Martinis for Moffitt benefits advanced prostate cancer collaboration; 7 p.m., Straz Center. $100; bayareaadvisors.org/martinis-for-moffitt.html

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Sneakers Soiree; Danny Glover visits; Bob Gries awards 'Hearts' 06/06/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 1:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Largo commissioners raise ceiling on next year's property tax rate

    Local Government

    LARGO — The proposed budget included a recommendation for the property tax rate to remain the same, but city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase the maximum rate in a move to give city officials more flexibility.

    City Manager Henry Schubert says the city needs to take a look at its operation.
  2. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  3. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  4. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]