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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


  1. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest


    Access to excess. The multifaceted Quintessence granted just that with look-sees at luxury transportation, fashion, cuisine and entertainment. Guests climbed aboard boats, planes, cars and RVs parked at Davis Islands' Peter O. Knight Airport. Bars surrounded swanky lounge seating and buffets of antipasto, seafood, Steak Diane, Cajun kabobs and more from Cafe L'Europe on a chilly Jan. 16. Dipping fondue and grilling fancy s'mores warmed the crowd, but the party didn't heat up until the 300 guests were inside the hangar, greeted by a violinist, aerial acrobats and a fashion show of J. McLaughlin styles. Sisaundra Lewis, a contestant on NBC's sixth season of The Voice, performed one song before the band Bus Stop tried to draw dancers back outside....

    Tina Richey and Randy Lay represent Quintessence sponsor Lazydays RV at the first-time, triple-charity benefit.
  2. 'Quintessence' fundraiser an evening of luxury

    Human Interest


    Access to excess: that was "Quintessence," a multifaceted fundraiser offering look-sees of luxury transportation, fashion, cuisine and entertainment.

    Guests climbed aboard boats, planes, cars and RVs parked at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa.

    Bars edged swanky lounge seating and buffets of antipasto, seafood, steak Diane, cajun kebabs and more from Café L'Europe on a chilly evening....

    Judy Green, CEO of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, left, Kurt Gleeson, Lena White and Tracy Eisnaugle at “Quintessence” on Jan. 16 at Peter O. Knight Airport.
  3. Couple to recall childhood struggles at Holocaust Remembrance event

    Human Interest

    YBOR CITY — Dr. John Rinde turned 7 in the Lvov ghetto, confined there with all the other Jews from his town of Przemysl, Poland.

    Rinde said unlike most, his family managed to flee to Lublin, Poland, where they forged identity papers and lived as Catholics "with a more Polish-sounding name until the summer of 1944." They chose Lublin because it was a bombed-out city where government birth records were largely destroyed....

    Dr. John Rinde and his wife, Toni, were able to escape the Nazi persecution of Jews by pretending to be Catholic in Poland.
  4. From This Day: Krista Dietrich and Ian Koteles


    TAMPA — She rides, he rocks. Each spending countless hours at the stable and band practice, traveling to competitions and gigs, in addition to managing their day jobs.

    How did an equestrian and a musician pony down the path to matrimony?

    "We care about the same things — our families, friends, and serving our community," Krista Dietrich said.

    "And we make each other laugh every day."...

    Equestrian Krista Dietrich and musician Ian Koteles married at the Chattooga Club in Cashiers, N.C., overlooking the Smoky Mountains.
  5. Amy Scherzer's Diary, a weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Person of Vision

    Rarely, if ever, has the intent and title of Prevent Blindness Florida's annual Person of Vision award been a better fit then when Jeff and Penny Vinik took the honor Jan. 8. Emcee Brendan McLaughlin of WFTS-Ch. 28 was first to thank them for making their home in Tampa Bay, followed by Mayor Bob Buckhorn and USF president Judy Genshaft, both calling Vinik's development plan for Tampa's waterfront district "transformational."...

    The Beaudoin family, from left, Doug, University of Tampa instructor Colleen and Brice show off their gingerbread house creation at the annual American Red Cross decorating brunch at UT.
  6. Amy Scherzer's Diary: weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Outback Bowl

    Auburn fans left the Outback Bowl bummed by the 31-34 overtime loss to Wisconsin, but buoyed by a weekend of beachcombing, bowling, Busch Gardens thrills and much more.

    For sure, no one left hungry. Two particularly tasty events: the Coaches' Wives luncheon at Roy's Pacific Rim Cuisine restaurant Dec. 27, where Polynesian dancers fired up the friendly rivals.

    And always a monster hit: the Gridiron Gala on Dec. 30, a colorful Brazilian bash with Carnivale dancers kicking it up for 1,600 guests at A La Carte Event Pavilion. Bloomin' Brands hosted buffets — Outback Steakhouse, Fleming's, Bonefish Grill and Carrabba's — in every corner. A La Carte Catering created a dessert "rainforest" near the terrace packed with Thompson Cigar smokers....

    Sandy Cross, left, and fiance Sandy MacKinnon at TGH Foundation’s annual benefit on Jan. 2.
  7. Bring it, 2015! Amy Scherzer's Diary looks back at the 2014 Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    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....

    USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon guest speaker swimmer Diana Nyad visits with  Carol Morsani, co-founder of WLP, at the annual luncheon Oct. 17 at A La Carte Event Pavilion.
  8. From This Day:


    SOUTH TAMPA — If courage could be measured by the bucket, Lindsay Hance and John Kenyon would have boatloads.

    "He's the hero," she says of her firefighter husband. "He risks his life every day."

    No way, John shakes his head. "She's the brave one ... surgery after surgery after surgery."

    On this both agree: Their shared strengths make the newlyweds an invincible team.

    Although acquainted since middle school, the two scarcely saw each other after graduating from Plant High in South Tampa. Then, in July 2012, they both landed on a midnight shark-fishing outing at the invitation of some former classmates....

    Lindsay Hance and John Kenyon were wed Nov. 8, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tampa. A reception at the Tampa Firefighters Museum followed.
  9. Amy Scherzer's Diary: A weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Jingle Jangle Jam

    Henry "The Fonz" Winkler said his humor comes from bad parenting. His father spoke 11 languages and called him dumb in all of them, the actor told 400 guests at Eckerd's seventh annual Jingle Jangle Jam. Joking around hid his humiliation until age 31, when he figured out he was dyslexic That lack of support made him a different kind of parent, one who has written 29 books about children with learning challenges....

    Eckerd board chairwoman Nancy Eckerd Nichols, left, joins family members Jessica Swann and grandfather Jim Swann at Jingle Jangle Jam. Nichols’ parents founded the agency.
  10. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    March of Dimes' Signature Chefs Auction

    Every eighth child is a premature birth, March of Dimes supporters were interested to learn at the annual Signature Chefs Auction. And all were aided by research, education and legislation funded by the organization.

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper emceed and Blake Kennedy auctioned during the Dec. 2 event at A La Carte Event Pavilion. Guests sampled bites of gorgonzola-crusted lamb chops from Brio Tuscan chef Ahmed El; smoked salmon from Joan's Catering and baked ziti and fettuccine Alfredo from Maggiano's. Other favorites: Hotel Zamora chef Ted Dorsey's tuna poke and tomatillo lychee salsa and Cooks' Club of Tampa Bay's pumpkin quinoa stew and ginger snaps....

    Photos from Gallery Studios Georgette’s Boutique Holiday Fashion Show co-chairs April La Cava, left and Lisa Pearson used celebrity glamour to advance St. Joseph’s Children’s Heart Center on Dec. 5 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
  11. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    H.B. Plant Museum Society Victorian Christmas Stroll Party

    Oysters on the verandah, roast pig near the stage and in-between, a buffet of homemade hors d'oeuvres and desserts vied for attention at H.B. Plant Museum Society's holiday party and Victorian Christmas Stroll preview Nov. 21.

    Beyond Marie Preston's liver pate and Robin Gonzalez's pralines, members and guests were to see the restoration under way in the Music Room, made possible by the estate of Emmy and Ashby Moody....

    Tim and Nancy Lorenzen, from left, visit with Melinda and Ham Moshell, president of the H.B. Plant Museum, during the Victorian Christmas Stroll preview cocktail party Nov. 21.
  12. Holiday home tours in Hyde Park, Brandon set for Saturday

    Human Interest

    HYDE PARK — A Craftsman bungalow. A Sears, Roebuck & Co. mail-order design. A Colonial Revival. Six architectural gems in all will be open to visitors of the annual Old Hyde Park Home Tour along the 700 and 800 blocks of S Orleans Avenue on Sunday.

    Of course, they've all been adapted with modern amenities — central air and heat, high tech kitchens and expanded bathrooms, even swimming pools. Sleeping porches have been enclosed and small bedrooms turned into walk-in closets. But homeowners stayed true to the history of the century-old neighborhood, known for its walkability and proximity to Bayshore Boulevard and downtown Tampa. ...

    Leslie and Hampton Stephens’ S Orleans Avenue home  will be open Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. for the Old Hyde Park Home Tour.
  13. New women's business center named for longtime legislator Helen Gordon Davis


    TAMPA — Helen Gordon Davis couldn't make it to Monday's opening of the new women's business center that bears her name, but the former state senator's son said she was cheered by its debut even as she lives out the "last stages of a very busy and rewarding life."

    The center's small-business finance, management and marketing training programs geared to women entrepreneurs honor her legacy of helping women achieve equal earnings....

    The Helen Gordon Davis Women’s Business Centre is housed in a historic Hyde Park Mansion. 
Officials including U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and County Commissioner Sandra Murman were at the ribbon cutting to mark the opening Monday.
  14. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Wine Women & Shoes

    Cram 540 women in a corridor with a dozen pop-up shops and wine bars, add 50 "Sole Men" refreshing their glasses and you've arrived at Wine Women & Shoes, a national event branded locally to benefit the Children's Cancer Center. The Nov. 20 fashion frenzy continued in a small ballroom at the Marriott Waterside where co-chairwomen Christa McNamara and Tara Knauss-Wilga ticketed seating by the view: cozy lounges, high-top tables or chairs facing a BCBG MaxAzria runway show....

    Red Cross Angels president Renee Vaughn, left, thanks Silver Coffee host Marsha Dickey and Red Cross regional CEO Linda Carbone for their help. 
  15. From This Day: From spontaneous kiss to matrimony


    TAMPA — She went with a couple of girlfriends; he flew to the Bahamas with a buddy. By Saturday afternoon, they were part of a pack of 20 Tampa singles lounging around the Atlantis resort, drinking, splashing, gambling. And kissing.

    "We hadn't even met yet when he just popped up from behind and kissed me on the lips," Michelle Burrell said.

    Renier Gobea grins, owning up to spontaneous poolside passion....

    Renier Gobea took Michelle Burrell to Havana to see where he grew up, to meet relatives he hadn’t seen in 30 years — and to ask her to marry him. The South Tampa couple wed Sept. 26 at Durham Ranch in St. Helena, Calif., in the Napa Valley.