Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

LAMPLighters Silver Coffee and other Tampa social events

Red Cross Gingerbread House brunch

Creativity knows no bounds at the Red Cross annual Gingerbread House decorating brunch. Saturday's artisans went way beyond licorice rooftops and candy corn gables. Mike Gautreau slid dry ice down a graham cracker chimney for a smoky effect. Daughter Taylor, 14, decked her design with battery-powered twinkling blue lights. Their collaboration won Best Family house.

Elise Sierra earned the People's Choice award; her daughter, perennial winner Gina Sierra-Townsend, won Most Original for a purple Halloween house. Their cousin, Sonia Spot, won for Best Elf decor. (Last year, Gina won Best in Show and Sonia earned People's Choice.)

Lisa Marie Garcia won for Best Red Cross theme, her 11th year as a prizewinner. Daughter Brittany Lee Garcia's fondant Charlie Brown characters won her Best in Show. Her prize: a gingerbread house made by Culinary Arts Institute student judges.

Other notables: Most Traditional, Reagan Hering, 15; Best Youth, Colleen Markee, 5, and Cookie Rookie Amanda Killey.

David Weiss brought something special: a check for $600,000 for Superstorm Sandy victims, raised via his website, HelpMe Donate.org. "We've raised $4.6 million online for the Red Cross since 9/11," Weiss said.

St. Joseph's Women's Hospital celebrity fashion show

Georgette's Boutique's professional and celebrity models zipped down the Hyatt Regency runway in trendy graphic tops, fur vests and leggings, bikinis and ball gowns by the dozen to support St. Joseph's Women's Hospital. Event Show Productions danced with holiday cheer between style segments.

In the past 24 years, Georgette Diaz's lively fashion shows (with daughter Tashia) helped the hospital foundation raise $200,000, earning her the 2012 Philanthropic Small Business award from the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This year, 650 guests raised $55,000.

Mother-daughter duos prevailed Nov. 29, including co-chairs Cherie Schon- brun and Amber Schonbrun McDonnell and models Jaimi Hovan and twins Caylinn and Cecelia, 4, and Tracy Halme and daughter Campbell, 7.

Philanthropic Women of HARC gala

"There's nothing like being part of an original,'' said actor Holly Robinson Peete, who helped Ava Napoleon and Barbara Hobbs launch Philanthropic Women of HARC (Hillsborough Achievement and Resource Centers) during a Hollywood Glam gala Nov. 30. The network will pool its donations to help adults with developmental disabilities. Peete and her husband, Rodney, a former NFL quarterback, also founded the HollyRod Foundation to help families living with autism and Parkinson's disease.

A mother of four, "one a twin who stopped talking one day," Peete reminisced about her sitcom roles on 21 Jump Street and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, and recent slot on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice. WTVT-Ch. 13 personalities Charley Belcher and Laura Moody emceed; Bobby G. Summers played keyboard for 125 HARC supporters at TPepin's Hospitality Centre.

LAMPLighters Christmas Silver Coffee

Christmas savories, sweets and sounds filled Teresa Armas' sunny Harbour Island home where LAMPLighters and friends gathered Dec. 7 for the 23rd annual Silver Coffee. Metropolitan Ministries Partnership School children sang poolside as the women nibbled on Renee Furlong's apricot ham scones; Ginny Jopek's salmon bites and Helen Raterman's goat cheese tartlets and an array of homemade specialities organized by Peggy Nichols, maker of the marvelous madeleines.

The late Cynthia Conaty was to be the honorary chairwoman, said president Nancy Leach, hugging the devoted member's husband, Don Conaty, who came to thank the group for their support. "Cynthia's legacy is the many kids who are in college or in business because of what you do," added Metropolitan Ministries president Tim Marks.

With $35 donations requested at the door, and sales from Laura Wyatt's Ooh la la boutique, the 150 guests raised nearly $10,000 for Metropolitan Ministries.

     
 
Comments
Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

Bubba Wallace emotional after Daytona 500 runner-up finish

DAYTONA BEACH – No, Bubba Wallace did not win the 60th running of the Daytona 500.But you wouldn't have known that after seeing his emotions after he placed second – the highest finish ever by a black driver in the Great American Race.Wal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

OCALA — In mid-2016, a regional task force that spent almost two years exploring ways to improve safety on a crowded Interstate 75 decided to take a conservative approach: make changes to the highway rather than build or expand other roads. Then Hurr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Facebook turns to postcards to snuff foreign ads

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections: the post office. Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to try to sway the U.S. presidential campaign, Facebook’s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEEAhundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement.Their demand: that Florida legisl...
Updated: 3 hours ago
EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

EPA chief Pruitt cancels visit to Israel

WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has canceled a nearly weeklong trip to Israel, agency officials confirmed Sunday.Pruitt, who had been scheduled to leave this past weekend for an extensive tour of the Mideast al...
Updated: 3 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 3 hours ago