TGH Foundation's 23rd Night at the Circus
A time-tested formula of fun and games raised more than $210,000 for the Children's Medical Center at Tampa General Hospital, with sponsors receiving circus tickets for their support of TGH Foundation's 23rd annual Night at the Circus.
A playful patrons party preceded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's performance Jan. 4, with all the usual tricks — face painting, DJ dancing, balloon twisting. Clowns and stuntmen stopped by, and Lipi the juggler entertained 500 adults and kids in the Chase Club at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Lightning Foundation sponsored the family-friendly buffet of coconut shrimp, pork sliders and a taco bar before the 114th edition of the Greatest Show on Earth.
Athletes + Causes
Tampa Bay Lightning finance guru Rob Canton recruited a huge roster of sports buddies to support a mutual cause Tuesday: Type 1 diabetes. Canton, the Lightning's B.J. Crombeen, former Tampa Bay Ray Sam Fuld and Tampa Bay Buc Tom Crabtree, whose wife, Chelsea, has the disease, turned the Chase Club at the Tampa Bay Times Forum into a man cave over the ice for Athletes + Causes a benefit for JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Deacon Blues Band and singer Nicole Desrosiers, also a diabetic, entertained; eight other sports charities set up displays, including Bucs Care, the Toby Hall Foundation, Davin's Dream Team and Derrick Brooks Charities.
Spotted mingling with 300 fans: the Lightning's Ben Bishop, Ryan Malone, Steve Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula; Rays Matt Moore and manager Joe Maddon; and the Storm's Jeff Gooch. Best photo props: the Bucs' Vince Lombardi trophy and Evan Longoria's Gold Glove.
Shoulder and elbow surgeons from 12 countries and throughout the United States came to Tampa to lecture, learn and celebrate at Orthopalooza.
Doctors Mark Frankle and Mark Mighell welcomed 100 guests Saturday at the Hilton Tampa Downtown, including 10 past presidents of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgical association.
As "sawbones" who understand limited mobility, organizers offered to raise $30,000 to build a handicapped-accessible entrance to Metropolitan Ministries' outreach center that serves hundreds of visitors in wheelchairs.
"Not to mention all the moms with strollers," said Metropolitan Ministries CEO Tim Marks.
Ten bucks bought a caricature, photo booth strip or photo taken with Tampa Bay Buc cheerleaders. One donor's pledge got Frankle and Mighell on stage for a duet, singing Jackson Browne's appropriate hit, Doctor My Eyes. A $1,000 donation compelled Tampa Bay Buc linebacker Dekoda Watson to sing Outkast's Hey Ya! and the Temptations' My Girl. That sure got the crowd on the dance floor.
Cattle Barons Ball patrons party
Cattle Barons Ball founder and cancer survivor Gloria Giunta lassoed her third patrons party at a Tampa Bay Times Forum concert Jan. 17, scoring Billy Joel to provide the soundtrack for sponsors of the American Cancer Society's upcoming Western benefit.
Before singing and dancing in their seats high up in the Chase Club, guests were treated to crab cakes, rack of lamb, made-to-order pasta and petite desserts.
"The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation graciously sponsored our 2012 patrons at a Bruce Springsteen concert and our 2013 supporters got to hear Bon Jovi. Now it's the Piano Man," said "Uptown Girl" Giunta.
Bright House Networks general manager Carlos del Castillo talked up a "little red wagon" race planned for the Cattle Barons Ball on Feb. 28, which will feature country superstar Josh Turner at the Forum. Competing "wagoneers" will donate $1,000 toward the goal of $1.5 million for cancer research.