TAMPA — Retired banker and philanthropist David A. Straz Jr. adds Gasparilla King XCIX to his list of titles, crowned Saturday night at Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's 99th Coronation Ball. Elizabeth Lykes Carrere was announced as Gasparilla Queen XCIX during the elite Tampa social club's ball at the Tampa Convention Center.
Straz, 69, is ambassador at large and honorary consul general of the Republic of Liberia, chairman of the board of Tampa General Hospital and a member of the Florida Transportation Commission who played a key role in helping secure direct flights between Tampa and Havana. He also is honorary consul general to the Republic of Honduras.
He has chaired the boards of trustees at the University of Tampa and his alma mater, Marquette University, and supports several school projects in West Africa. His philanthropy extends to the performing arts center in downtown Tampa that bears his name, to the University of Tampa, where a dormitory is named for him, and Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, home of the Straz Manatee Hospital.
Carrere, daughter of Elizabeth and Michael Carrere, Gasparilla King the 97th, attends the University of Tampa.