Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

Starlight Gala

Newsies hawking the Chicago Tribune, fedora-topped gangsters, deep dish pizza and hot dogs served on Cubs napkins —all the Windy City passions flavored the Starlight Gala, "An Evening in Chicago" benefit for the Florida Hospital Foundation. But Sunday's big score came when Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Chicago blasted onto the Marriott Waterside stage, thrilling the nearly 900 guests with a private concert composed of 50 years of hit singles. Getting to rock a drum solo with them on "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" was a bucket list dream come true for Florida Hospital Tampa chief of staff, cardiologist Mitch O'Hara, the first guest to do so, they said.

In the red-lit ballroom dotted with red roses and iconic Chicago scenes, emcees Jamison Uhler and Lisette Campos of WFTS- Ch. 28 helped auction sporting event and shopping spree trips. All the sudden, Uhler recognized the voice vying for the Tuscany cooking experience belonged to his wife Amber. Her winning bid: $15,000; the expression on his face: priceless; gala results: $1.275 million for inpatient and emergency room pediatric care at five Tampa Bay area hospitals.

Lend A Hand Luncheon

Raised in squalor then abandoned by alcoholic parents, Skye now awaits admission to med school. Brooklyn spoke of foster care demons and deplorable living conditions before Starting Right, Now brought mentor Michelle Shimberg into her life. Jarian said without Vicki Sokolik's organization, he would never have pursued a hospitality degree at FIU and internship at Ulele. And they are just three of 200 teens getting help with housing, tutoring, jobs, scholarships and medical and dental care.

"These kids were amazing before the program, but without Starting Right, Now's intervention, they wouldn't have made it," said board chairman Matt Silverman, president of the Tampa Bay Rays.

"Failure is not an option," said emcee WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Stacie Schaible as the 600 guests grabbed tissues and donation envelopes at the annual Lend A Hand luncheon Oct. 13 at Higgins Hall. Honorees included Hillsborough County commissioner Sandra Murman who received the Soul Award and Lotus Award recipients Richard Gonzmart and Elizabeth Fowler whose Triad Foundation added $75,000 to bring event proceeds to nearly $300,000.

Ryan Nece Foundation's Power Plate Luncheon

Former NFL player Ryan Nece formed his foundation 10 years ago to fund various Power of Giving community efforts. Gradually, the mission evolved into a two-year student leadership development program turning teens into capable and compassionate citizens, like Power Plate luncheon speakers Richard Gonzmart and Judge Catherine McEwen.

The foundation taps a broad range of social issues, "creating an invaluable ripple effect," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, noting several students traveled to Flint, Michigan to help residents dealing with the lead-contaminated water crisis. "Our staff and board members roll up their sleeves" to model public service and accountability, said Nece, proud new father of 6-week old son Elijah. The Oct. 14 luncheon at the Ferguson Law Center raised more than $13,000.

     
                     
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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: 2 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: 3 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...
Updated: 5 hours ago
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 ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
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...
Updated: 5 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: 6 hours ago

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...
Updated: 6 hours 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: 6 hours ago

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...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago