Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

Tampa Bay Heart Ball

Jaws dropped, hearts nearly stopped at the Tampa Bay Heart Ball when the bid reached $55,000 for a one-week vacation at a 15th-century villa in Florence, Italy, donated by Jarrett and Veturia Preston on behalf of Obsidian International. Real estate developer Bob Schmidt made the bid, surely a local record, even though the package didn't include airfare or food. Elated co-chairs Trey and Nina Traviesa celebrated their 16th anniversary raising $1.3 million for the American Heart Association.

Bids continued to soar, including $16,000 for a weeklong catamaran voyage and a seven-night Mediterranean cruise donated by Tom and Lauren Pepin sold twice for $19,000. The official Red Sofa went to Debbie and Lee Arnold for $12,000. Clearly, the auctioneers, Florida Sen. Aaron Bean, R-District 4, and retired broadcaster Don Germaise earned their dinners Saturday at the Marriott Waterside. WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Stacie Schaible emceed for 650 guests as the Aerial Dragons acrobats performed high above the $500-ticket gala.

An arresting video of Charlie Curtis, 17, surviving a heart attack at Plant High two years ago opened the "Charlie is Why" donor appeal. "We forget it happens to young people," said his mother, Lisa, before DJ Bash lured dancers to the after-party at the far end of the ballroom.

13th annual Fashion Funds the Cure

Every day, more than 40 children are diagnosed with cancer, making the dozen cherished patients on the Fashion Funds the Cure runway all the more inspiring. Another 50 fashion show alumni in remission joined them Saturday in a Port Tampa cruise terminal packed with nearly 1,000 National Pediatric Cancer Foundation supporters. Chairmen Christopher Carrere, Jay Langford, Jeff Maxwell and Alex Sullivan pulled the crowd from the busy bars and stand-up hors d'oeuvres from 10 restaurants to hear CEO David Frazer's rebranding update. Sponsorships, three live auction bids and an appeal to fund new drugs pushed net proceeds to $630,000.

Celebrity host Giuliana Rancic, a mother and a cancer survivor herself, enjoyed spending time with the kids, each outfitted by Dillard's and paired with a career role model, including Sheriff David Gee, fashion designers Sigrid Olsen and Tracy Negoshian, oncologist Dr. Damon Reed, nurse Sarah Haines, NPCF co-founder Melissa Helms and firefighters, beauty queens and newscasters.

 

Community Tampa Bay: Transformations

Every speaker made a powerful impression at Transformations, an annual Community Tampa Bay benefit introducing the 2016 Silver Medallion Award recipients, four champions of diversity and inclusion. Molly and Brian Auld, president of the Tampa Bay Rays, live those values personally and professionally as he leads the first major sports team to formally support marriage equality, and she chairs Project Prosper. Machelle Maner, Wells Fargo vice president of community development, spoke of authenticity, stressing that "diversity doesn't mean squat without inclusion." Florida State student Ana Gomez credited Anytown youth leadership week for utterly transforming her beliefs.

Other students sharing "transformations" with the 200 guests April 21 at Maestro's at the Straz Center included Maya Barrett describing the eye-opening "Privilege Exercise" and Amirah Rivers' intense poem on tempering rage with self-awareness. Dennis Amadeus Lemmermann and Liz Prisley riveted the room with a Hunger Games analogy, now on YouTube. Proceeds of $70,000 will fund three Anytown sessions this summer.

Sunday in the Arts

Such a talented bunch, those members and friends of Las Damas de Arte who exhibit and sell their work to fund grants and scholarships for art students. The annual Sunday in the Arts party impressed with 45 women artists, including two fabric artisans: Carolyn Kossar's Artical Silk scarves and Leeann Kroetsch's Threaded Art Wear silk chiffon felted wraps. Carolyn Gaynor and Teri Willis co-chaired and Pane Rustica catered the creative affair April 24 at Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa.

     
                       
Comments
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated ba...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

ST. PETERSBURG — One of the more important programs in the Florida Orchestra’s season combined Antonin Dvorak’s best known symphony with the debut of a major commission. Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, better known as the "New World," reaches to the roots o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

The 13 Turpin siblings gained their freedom last month after one of them escaped through a window and called 911, ending years of imprisonment under parents accused of starving and chaining them to their beds in a putrid home not far from Los Angeles...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

TAMPA — Initially, Tampa's Paige Howard was a little reticent about joining the pre-dawn throng at the starting line of Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.On a morning when temperatures began in the mid-60s and climbed, Howard's ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

After the Parkland school shooting that horrified the nation, a Miami father told police he was worried about his son’s disturbing posts with guns on Instagram and Snapchat.So he gave investigators his son’s smartphones — and they found child porn, c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

WASHINGTON — Once again, it was the images of children that propelled President Donald Trump to act. Trump spent the first days after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida fixated on the grieving and anguished students and parents. While at his Flor...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

The Tampa Bay Times will be there for every step of this year's Gasparilla Distance Classic. Whether you'll be walking, skipping, jogging or sprinting across the 5K, 8K, 15K or half-marathon finish, join us by using #gasparillarun.(function(d, s, id)...
Published: 02/24/18