01/30/15 Human Interest
Who knew a civic prank — businessmen pretending to invade Tampa during the 1904 May Festival — would evolve into the city's signature event, lending its name to festivals, a road race and conjuring the mascot of a pro football team a century later? Since those pirates, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, mixed Mardi Gras style and marketing savvy, the "invasion" and parade have grown exponentially, spawning a multimillion-dollar impact, 60 krewes, 9,000 parade participants and 300,000 spectators along Bayshore Boulevard and downtown streets. • With a fledgling start, wars and one infamous cancellation causing the festivities to skip certain years, this is the 100th procession. We honor it with 100 doubloons of history....
01/27/15 Human Interest
Fusion, Stageworks Theatre gala
Fusion fit as theme and philosophy for Stageworks Theatre, whose collaborative culture rocked its ninth annual gala. President Simone Barefield's welcome and board member Chris Brown's experiences as an inner-city kid in Jersey City put guests in a giving mood Jan. 17 at Centro Asturiano. Wells Fargo and the Duckwall Foundation led off the Dare to Hope appeal with $5,000 each, followed by 25 other donors, driving gala net proceeds to $67,000....
01/22/15 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....
01/22/15 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....
01/20/15 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....
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."...
01/15/15 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."...
01/08/15 Human Interest
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....
12/30/14 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....
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....
12/17/14 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....
12/09/14 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....
12/05/14 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....
12/03/14 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. ...
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....