Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Amy Scherzer's Diary | Year in review

Bring it, 2015! Amy Scherzer's Diary looks back at the 2014 Tampa social scene

There was sobering news at the end of 2014: More than a half-million households in the Tampa Bay area can't afford the cost of basic living. Against that backdrop, the generosity of those who are able to help others shines brightly. It takes clear vision and a real belief in charitable giving to keep the organizations that mend the rough edges of our society in working order. The personal commitment demonstrated by these givers and doers has not gone unnoticed. Supporting social causes at social occasions restores my belief that Tampa will remain a wonderful place to live for generations to come. We start the new year with a glance back at last year's generous charity scene.

Photos by AMY SCHERZER | Times

Philanthropic faces of 2014, clockwise from upper left:

Philanthropists extraordinaire: Pam and Les Muma, here supporting the Broadway Ball at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 18, deserve a standing ovation for supporting myriad causes, including donating $25 million to the University of South Florida College of Business, which now bears their names.

Hottest headliner: Sherre and Jeff Smith of Bloomin' Brands met singer Josh Groban at the Starlight Gala, An Evening in New Delhi, to benefit Florida Hospital Foundation on Nov. 9 at Amalie Arena.

Unsinkable speaker: USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy fall symposium speaker Diana Nyad, left, impressed co-founder Carol Morsani with her never-quit zeal Oct. 17 at A La Carte Event Pavilion.

Most personal: Alison Avery, who has the neuromuscular disorder Friedreich's ataxia, and her dad, Paul Avery, put time, energy and love into finding a cure at the sixth FARA Energy Ball, raising a whopping $1.6 million Sept. 6.

Biggest bucks: Moffitt Cancer Center's annual Magnolia Ball perennially tops the fundraising chart. Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky and his wife, Lorraine, raised $3 million May 3 at A La Carte Event Pavilion. The 2015 co-chairs Don and Mary Anne Shula aim to exceed that with musical help from Earth Wind & Fire on April 18.

Well -dressed: Tampa Museum of Art drew a palette of the most trendy donors to CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture, its annual Neiman Marcus fashion show, including Caitlin Martini, left, Margo Heilbronner and Penny Vinik on Sept. 19.

BoLLYWOOD BASH: Children Without Borders founders Vick and Sharmila Seth hosted movie stars and locals at a lively Bollywood benefit for their global foundation April 25 at Oxford Exchange.

Tough act to follow: On Feb. 28, Gloria Giunta, founder and chairwoman emerita of the Cattle Barons' Ball, raised $1.1 million at her 17th — and last — country western bash for the American Cancer Society. The hoedown returns to Amalie Arena on Sept. 12.

Events

Thursday: Person of Vision dinner benefits Prevent Blindness Florida; honorees Jeff and Penny Vinik; $150 and up; 6 p.m.; Tampa Marriott Waterside; (813) 874-2020.

Jan. 14: Elegant Evening soiree series benefits Brighter Tomorrows, 7:30 p.m.; Davis Islands Garden Club; $50; featuring St. Petersburg Opera; (813) 926-3760 or brighter

tomorrows

tampa.org.

Jan. 16: Quintessence red carpet soiree benefits three charities;

6 p.m.; Peter O. Knight Airport, Davis Islands; $200; quintes

senceflorida.com or (727) 269-9462.

Jan. 17: Fusion, Stageworks Theatre annual gala; 6 p.m.; Centro Asturiano, $200; (813) 784-6832 or stageworkstheatre.org.

Bring it, 2015! Amy Scherzer's Diary looks back at the 2014 Tampa social scene 12/30/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 5, 2015 9:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Florida scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their SEC rival 6-1 Tuesday night to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  2. Fatal crash closes westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N in Pinellas Park

    Accidents

    Westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N are closed at 62nd Way N in Pinellas Park following a fatal crash late Tuesday night.

  3. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman and Baker pull no punches in first forum

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  4. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]