Tampa Bay's Dancing With the Stars 2015
Far more than fancy footwork captivated the audience at Tampa Bay's Dancing With the Stars glitzy dinner and dance-off. Five victims of domestic violence described surviving unimaginable abuse and in five minutes helped Julie and Steve Weintraub raise $20,000 for their Hands Across the Bay foundation, which Tom and Lauren Pepin immediately doubled. The glam frenzy fireballed as 13 pairs of dancers competed for guests' votes and judges' raves Saturday at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. Orlando Davis, Ashley Glass, Ashley Batey and Ian Beckles — spiffy in red beret and red shoes — snagged breathless interviews after each routine.
Combining judges and audience votes earned Elizabeth Manes the Grand Champion title, with William Billups in second place and Rinky Parwani coming in third. Andrew Duncan got the most online votes and Yve Feinberg won People's Choice. Judges named Ashley Hardwick the Best Male dancer and Teena Cardozo the Best Female.
Auctions, raffles, $1 votes and the Ask add up to nearly $300,000, said Julie, who selected three charities —My Hope Chest, Clothes to Kids and the Cypress Initiative — to receive $10,000 each "plus priceless exposure."
Boys & Girls Club Steak Dinner
A standing ovation wowed Trudy Carey, the highlight of the 34th annual Steak Dinner benefit for the Boys & Girls Clubs Tampa Bay. "I've chaired the steak dinner but never expected to be the honoree," said the 2015 Community Hero, surrounded by her daughters Amy Lee and Jill Rintouli, son Billy who flew in from Warsaw, and five of her six grandchildren Sept. 29. The co-founder of Carey Cattle Co. led the funding, along with Joe Garcia, for the Bill Carey Boys & Girls Club in Brandon in memory of her late husband in 2003.
Youngsters from the 18 clubs dined with 500 supporters on steak, mac and cheese and carrot cake donated by Outback Steakhouse at the $300-ticket benefit. The students impressed, starting with the Freddie Solomon Club drumline (FS88) to the Q&A with emcee Jomo Cousins and Hassan Lewis. Since 1981, when only kids ate steak and the adults ate hamburgers, the event has raised $5 million, plus $200,000 this year, according to incoming CEO Chris Letsos.
Florida Inventors Hall of Fame gala
Between them, the seven 2015 Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductees hold more than 430 U.S. patents, and locally, more than 100 belong to Paul Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development. "This is a huge, big deal" said Judy Lowry, director of Outreach and Engagement at USF Research & Innovation, "like the Golden Globes, if not the Oscars."
HSN show host Bill Green emceed the second annual gala induction dinner Oct. 2, letting video biographies introduce Sanberg, auto pioneer Henry Ford, Nobel laureate Robert Grubbs, Nan-Yao Su, Janet Yamamoto and Jerry Pratt. (Robert Holton was unable to attend.)
Now this exclusive club numbers 13 inventors in all, eight living. To honor the legacy of posthumous inductee Henry Ford, Bob and Pam Most welcomed guests in their 1912 Model T Roadster parked in front of the InterContinental Hotel. Proceeds from the $300-ticket event will fund numerous Hall of Fame innovative programs.
Jobsite Theater Gala
Tasty bites of local theater and restaurant treats enticed Jobsite Theater fans to the third annual gala Saturday. Guests previewed the ensemble's next musical, Silence! (Oct. 16-Nov.15) while grazing buffets from Cena, Cru, Fodder & Shine, the Refinery, the Independent, Ulele and others serving samples in the Jaeb Theatre at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. They nibbled on silent auction treats, too, including artwork by Gregg Perkins, Dominique Labauvie and Tracy Midulla Reller, among others, pushing net proceeds close to $20,000.
The Vodkanauts played throughout the evening, pausing to let actor Paul Potenza and director David Jenkins salute benefactors Hinks and Elaine Shimberg and Silver Meteor Gallery owner Michael Murphy and his late father, John.