Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Cougars of Florida 2013 calendar benefits Quantum Leap Farm of Odessa

CLEARWATER — For some, the term "classic beauties of Florida" may conjure images of swaying palm trees or white sandy beaches.

Once the third edition of the Cougars of Florida charity calendars go on sale, that may change.

The calendars — this year with the theme "Classic Beauties of Florida" — feature women over age 40 who are "curvaceous and community minded," according to the Cougars of Florida organization. Month by month, these classic beauties are transforming the stereotype of what it means to be a cougar.

"To me, cougars are mature, financially independent women who are comfortable in their own skin," said Michele Yeager of Tampa, one of two women returning to model this year. "I'm happily married with children. I do this because I believe in doing work for charity. Cougars of Florida have always chosen charities that touch me and that I wish to support."

The group's first calendar, for 2010, featured a dozen Clearwater women and raised $11,000 for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The second calendar expanded to the rest of Tampa Bay and raised money for Big Cat Rescue.

Part of the proceeds from this year's calendar sales will benefit Quantum Leap Farm of Odessa, a nonprofit, nationally recognized equestrian program that serves injured and disabled adults and children, military service members and their families. The equestrian program began more than 12 years ago, and its participants range in age from 3 to 92.

The 2013 calendar has a new look, with horses and sports cars as backdrops, and a new team. Besides 10 women who are first-time calendar models, there's a new hairstylist and photographer. All of those involved donate their time and creativity.

"It's been a lot of work, but it's enormously rewarding," said publisher Kathleen Slaven, Cougars of Florida Inc. president. "And all the women are so willing to give of their time to in-person calendar signings."

Each page in the calendar highlights a cougar who radiates beauty and self-confidence.

"I think that the calendar, as well as the whole concept, celebrates women's beauty at any age," Yeager said.

The women not only modeled for the calendar, they will make numerous appearances to promote the calendar and raise donations. After Veterans Day last year, the organization shipped 400 calendars free of charge to soldiers overseas, receiving thanks from them by email.

The recipient of this year's proceeds was chosen after Slaven, who has owned horses for 25 years, came upon a Quantum Leap Farm brochure. She loves horses and their special connection to humans, so the idea of donating to Quantum Leap Farm immediately clicked.

"I spoke with Edie Dopking, Quantum Leap Farm founder, and she adored the idea," Slaven said.

Calendars can be ordered now online for $12.50, which includes shipping. The 2013 calendar will be formally launched Sept. 26 with an in-person signing at Zen Bistro Grill & Sushi at International Plaza in Tampa beginning at 6 p.m.

"We will have 2,000 calendars for sale, and I hope to have to reorder," said Slaven. "In this tough economy, it's especially important to help worthy charities."

Correspondent Theodora Aggeles can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

A storm system in the Caribbean Sea could grow into a tropical cyclone within five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.Forecasters give the system a 50 percent chance to develop.The storm’s low-pressure center on Tuesday was nestled betw...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

VERO BEACH —Academy at the Lakes waited two weeks to play in the Class 2A state softball tournament in hopes of winning what has been an elusive title.The Wildcats completed the first task Monday, cruising to a mercy-rule win over Fort Pierce John Ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

TAMPA — By now there are no more secrets. After six games over 11 days, the Lightning knows all the Capitals' habits , and the Caps know all the Lightning's.To Lightning coach Jon Cooper the outcome of tonight's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

The young couple whose story traveled around the world after their dream voyage ended early at the bottom of John’s Pass is ready to try again.Three months after the Lagniappe sank, Nikki Walsh, 24, and Tanner Broadwell, 26, said they set sail Tuesda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

Updated: 3 hours ago
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

TAMPA — After Allison Huffman slammed her car into a tow truck driver who had stopped to help a pair of stranded motorists on the Howard Frankland Bridge, she drove to a hotel and got out to look at the damage.She saw shattered glass, a bare tire rim...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

ST. PETERSBURG — It took more than an hour for a 25-year-old man to break into a restaurant, pry a safe out of the wall, drag it through the back and then wrestle it into his car, according to police.That was last week. Michael Murphy was arrested Tu...
Updated: 4 hours ago
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Updated: 4 hours ago