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Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer

Amy Scherzer

Amy joined the Times in January 2002 to help launch the weekly City Times edition serving South Tampa and nearby neighborhoods. Her column, Amy Scherzer's Diary, takes readers along as she makes her rounds on the social circuit. Camera in hand, Amy captures the galagoers, wine tasters, Gasparilla kings, debutantes and bay area philanthropists.

Amy earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications and political science at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a Tampa resident since 1978. She and her husband, Robert, live on Davis Islands, proud parents of two grown children. Any free time is spent people watching, entertaining, boating and reading.

Phone: (813) 226-3332

Fax: (813) 226-3381

Email: ascherzer@tampabay.com

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  1. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Grand Slam for Tampa Baseball Museum

    Batter up! Not yet, but later this summer when the Tampa Baseball Museum is expected to open in the Al Lopez House, now on 19th Street after a nearly one-mile move from its original Ybor City location. Curator Elizabeth McCoy shared plans to showcase Tampa's baseball heritage with supporters at a Grand Slam Social organized by Mayor's Neighborhood University alums Heather Delafield and Michelle Gilbey on Jan. 13....

    AMY SCHERZER | Times Tampa Woman's Club president Christine Bonaventura, left, thanks  Steve and Linda Reece for their support at Walk the Plank to benefit the Helen G. Davis Centre for Women on Jan. 14 at Canterbury Tower.
  2. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Taste of the Championship

    Tampa Bay's famed hospitality extended beyond football fans to eight visiting chefs, one from each of the six cities that host major bowl games, plus Tuscaloosa and Clemson, hometowns of the 2017 National College Football Championship competitors. Wayne Kostroski invited them to join 15 local restaurateurs cooking for 800 guests at the Taste of the Championship at the Florida Aquarium on Sunday....

    Felix Cannella, left, Yi-Hwa Outerbridge, Mariya as “Alice,” celebrate with Theresa and Joseph Cannella at the Outback Bowl Gridiron Gala on Dec. 30 at the Marriott Waterside.
  3. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Can we all agree on one thing? It's time to end 2016 and stop rehashing politicians, primaries and polls. Cocktail chatter could get pretty tricky this year, even while socializing for a mutual cause. Thank goodness for all those who used their energy, attention and ideas bringing people together to make life better for everybody. Memories from some of those worthy events jump out as we say "Cheers!" to a peaceful, charitable and happy new year. ...

    Voice Your Body dancers Mario Boskovic, left, Demario Henry, Justin Scott and Ramon Martinez in collaboration with Breakin’ in the Bay wow the crowd at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 15th birthday party May 13.
  4. New Jewish Community Center readies for major impact on social scene

    Human Interest

    WEST TAMPA

    The opening of the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center presented a host of entertaining possibilities, from black-tie galas to birthday parties around the pool. Ten to 2,000 guests can be accommodated throughout the $30 million renovation of the former Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.

    "A new venue this large made an immediate impact," said Jade Futhey Webb, general manager of events. "Especially in this location on Howard Avenue so close to I-275. We had over 70 dates reserved before the Dec. 8 opening, including multiple parties on the same evening."...

    A performer juggles as attendees mingle during a circus-themed party inside the center’s 8,450-square-foot Armory Ballroom.
  5. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    LAMPLighters 27th annual Christmas Silver Coffee

    Members mingled, kids jingled and holiday lights twinkled at the 27th annual LAMPLighters Christmas Silver Coffee. It was Teresa Armas' third time hosting the benefit for the Metropolitan Ministries women's auxiliary. "We lived in a different home each time," she said, arranging LAMPLighter-made hors d'oeuvres and desserts arriving on the requisite silver platters at her new Golfview home Dec. 9. About 30 children temporarily sheltered by Metropolitan Ministries treated the 200 guests to a joyous round of Christmas carols and Christine Long, head of programs at Patricia J. Sullivan Elementary School spoke about their science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) goals. Guests' donations, including State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa's returning her 50-50 raffle winnings, raised $10,000 "for fun stuff for the kids at Christmastime," said president Connie Gage....

    LAMPLighters Silver Christmas Coffee co-chair Connie Gage, left, three-time hostess Teresa Armas, coffee co-chair Debbie Trujillo and honorary chairwoman Donelda Gallagly helped to raise $10,000 for the auxiliary Dec. 9.
  6. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Bow Ties & Clutches

    Expect suave and sophisticated whenever and wherever Lacey B. Smith sets the scene. Finance professional by day, fashionista always — Smith, his brother Tony, business partners Jermaine Levy, David Luckain, Curtis Clarke and the stylish men's Fashion Movement they founded hosted the annual Bow Ties & Clutches party Dec. 3 at the Vault in downtown Tampa. Deejay Dave Luckain, songstress Ashley Smith and pianist Miles Cameron entertained 300 guests, all dressed to sparkle and shine at the late-night festivities featuring Dr. Nekeshia Hammond's book signing, an art sale, dinner catered by Jamaica, Jamaica restaurant and a full dance floor. Funds raised that night will go to Friends of Joshua House to help abused, neglected and abandoned children....

    Bow Ties & Clutches organizer Lacey B. Smith, left, thanks author Dr. Nekeshia Hammond and his brother Tony Smith for their help at the Dec. 3 bash at the Vault.
  7. Amy Scherzer's Diary: WeeklyWrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    11th Martinis for Moffitt

    Vacations get scheduled around it, probably weddings and a few bar mitzvahs, too, as Martinis for Moffitt goes on the summer calendar first.

    "We sold out three weeks in advance, over 1,000 tickets," said Kostas Stoilas, speaking for the Bay Area Advisors, the charity-minded, young men's professional network that has grown its annual benefit into one of Tampa's most anticipated events....

    AMY SCHERZER | Times photo Scott Cumby and Heather Perez danced at the 19th annual Celebrate Sinatra on Aug. 13 at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club;
  8. New MacDonald Training Center CEO brings upbeat attitude to role

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Only good news should be spread on Fridays, to Karenne Levy's way of thinking.

    "You can't do anything about bad news until Monday anyway," says the newly hired president and CEO of the MacDonald Training Center. "So my rule is save it for Monday."

    The Kingston, Jamaica, native cites her own empirical data, including a biopsy 10 years ago on a Friday afternoon that indicated the possibility of cancer....

    Fridays are good news-only days,?ˆš“ says Karenne Levy, president and CEO of the MacDonald Training Center. ?ˆš’You can?ˆš•t do anything about bad news until Monday anyway.?ˆš“
  9. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    'The Infiltrator' world premiere at Tampa Theatre

    What a coup for the Tampa-Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission to score actors Bryan Cranston and Benjamin Bratt to the red carpet premiere of The Infiltrator at the Tampa Theatre. And what charm and patience they showed when 500 VIPs lined up for an hour of photo ops July 6. "They fell in love with our theater when they filmed here," said film commissioner Dale Gordon. "Cranston really wanted to do a screening for us." After gifting the stars with Tampa Bay Rays jerseys, Gordon noted another special guest, Bob Mazur, "the hero among you" was tucked into the audience. The former FBI agent whose life inspired the film still lives incognito 30 years later and didn't join 10 other feds from the Pablo Escobar sting called up to the stage that night....

    Jean Lecante, left, and Paul Augereau attend the Bastille Day fete on July 15 at the Red Door #5 in Tampa Heights.
  10. Times seeks entries for annual social calendar

    Human Interest

    For more than a decade, the Tampa Bay Times social calendar has helped nonprofit organizations and charities planning annual fundraisers and awareness events reach a generous community. Advance notice of dates and details serves both organizers and supporters throughout Tampa's philanthropic social scene.

    Fashion show luncheons and black-tie bashes are examples of the "gala" events included on the September through May 2017 calendar, to be published in the Hillsborough regional editions Sept. 9. Listings don't have to be formal, "snooty" affairs — winetastings work, silver coffees shine, as well as testimonial, scholarship and awards banquets. The gatherings are generally open to the public and net proceeds reported as promptly as possible....

    Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay supporters dance at the Storybook Ball.
  11. Advocate pumps fundraising for the arts

    Human Interest

    Art Keeble bangs the drum daily for the arts, seeking a steady flow of support in an unsteady economy. The grant-giving director of the Hills­borough County Arts Council for 27 years has seen his budget shrink from $819,500 in 2006 to $235,000 this year.

    That led Keeble and the council's board of directors, all appointed by the County Commission, to create a nonprofit arm called Hillsborough Arts that can accept tax-deductible donations. The first fundraiser, set for Nov. 3, scored renowned artist James Rosenquist as guest speaker. Keeble is also excited to present the first Heart of the Arts award at the luncheon to a person who exhibits hands-on dedication to an arts endeavor. ...

    Art Keeble, 67, poses with the 2011 Heart of the Arts Award, created by Tampa artist Susan Gott. It will be presented Nov. 3 to the county’s most outstanding cultural arts contributor.
  12. Amy Scherzer's Diary:

    Human Interest

    Eye Ball, a Gala With Vision

    Two tragic deaths gave life to many, said parents Rose Mary and Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Gainesville, and Carolyn Glaspy, honorees at the fifth Eye Ball hosted by the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research Foundation. Their traumatic experiences brought tears to 300 guests at the black-tie dinner overlooking the end zone in Raymond James Stadium's Pirate's Cove on Saturday....

  13. PDQ rustles up chicken entrees, former Buc stoked about stogies; spa softens stress

    Retail

    PALMA CEIA — Nary a burger will be seen at PDQ. Only chicken and turkey sandwiches, tenders and salads roost at PDQ, opening Pretty Darn Quick on south Dale Mabry Highway, just north of Plant High.

    Principal owners Bob Basham, an Outback Steakhouse co-founder, and Nick Reader are targeting Oct. 31 to open the first of what they hope will be many of the "fast-casual" restaurants, combining speedy service with the characteristics of a served meal. The partners adapted the concept from a chain called Tenders in the Carolinas....

  14. Toffee to Go makes sweet move and Shaquille O'Neal stops by new South Tampa pizzeria

    Retail

    PALMA CEIA — Expanding Toffee to Go into a renovated building on Bay to Bay Boulevard is a sweet move for owners Lisa and Jim Schalk, who opened the enlarged factory and sales outlet Oct. 5.

    "The new location is three times the size, with better retail visibility,'' Lisa Schalk said. Jim Schalk and operation manager Anne Hazen designed the 3,000-square-foot space with separate areas for retail, cooking and shipping. Previously, the business, which specializes in corporate gifts, operated on El Prado Avenue....

  15. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Hospice's Island Night, Night of the Iguana, Dancing with the Stars

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars

    "Grueling and wonderful,'' said Sarah Jon Porreca, grand champ of Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars 2011, describing learning to fox-trot with Michael Housel of Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Housel estimates the company donated $50,000 worth of lessons to get the 13 contestants prepped for the dance-off sponsored by Julie Weintraub's Hands Across the Bay at TPepin's Hospitality Centre on Oct. 1....