Advertisement
  1. Fun

Here's where furloughed workers can get freebies and help in Tampa Bay

As the government shutdown continues, the Florida Orchestra, Ruth Eckerd Hall, local restaurants and organizations step up to help those without pay.
TAILYR IRVINE | Times Member of the Florida Orchestra rehearse for the Florida Orchestra performance at the Straz Center in November. The orchestra is offering free tickets to furloughed workers to its three Schubert concerts this weekend
Published Jan. 17

Both the Florida Orchestra and Ruth Eckerd Hall are offering free tickets to shows this week for furloughed government employees. It's the latest in a line of local organizations trying to help workers who are going without pay during the longest government shutdown in history.

This weekend the Florida Orchestra is bringing back Joshua Weilerstein to conduct Schubert's Symphony No. 9, often called "The Great," as well as rock star cellist Joshua Roman on Bates' Cello Concerto and Still's Poem for Orchestra. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

Ruth Eckerd Hall will offer have free tickets for furloughed government employees for two upcoming shows.

On Thursday, the avant-garde dance company Pilobolus presents Shadowland: The New Adventure. Employing animation, video and live shadow theater, the show blends science fiction, film noir and romantic comedy. And the Jan. 23 performance of Disney's new a capella singing group DCappella, created by Pitch Perfect's Deke Sharon, will cover favorites including a Whole New World and Let It Go in a new way.

Pick up tickets for both the orchestra and Ruth Eckerd shows 90 minutes prior to show time with valid government ID.

Here's how some other organizations stepping up to help out furloughed workers:

• Feeding Tampa Bay and United Way Suncoast are providing a daily pop-up food bank at Tampa International Airport for federal employees with the TSA, the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Donate to this effort at feedingtampabay.org.

• Gigglewaters in Safety Harbor is offering a free beer and a classic movie in its screening room. Show your badge or pay stub from a government agency. Find a movie schedule at gigglewaters.com.

• The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is offering free pet food to furloughed government workers. The free food is available at the Humane Society's shelter at 3607 N Armenia Ave. in Tampa weekdays from noon-7 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Verification is required.

• Cajun restaurant Happy's Bayou Bites in Dunedin is offering free lunch to U.S. Coast Guard members and their families until the shutdown is over. It's open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 431 Skinner Blvd., Dunedin. (727) 240-1102.

• Sky Zone Tampa is offering free jumps to federal government employees currently without pay. They can get 60 minutes of play Tuesdays through Thursdays through Jan. 31, or until the shutdown ends. The indoor trampoline park is also hosting a food drive with items to be donated to the Feeding Tampa Bay Food Bank. Guests who donate will receive $2 off their jump time Tuesdays through Thursdays. 10137 E Adamo Drive.

• Trinity Cafe: Government workers can get a healthy, three-course meal at their two locations, 801 N Nebraska Ave. and 2202 E Busch Blvd., both in Tampa. Both are open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays and 9-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Nebraska location; Saturday only at Busch location.

• Sylvia's Clubhouse LLC in Clearwater is offering free play in the indoor playground for families affected by the shutdown. And it announced on its Facebook page that it will continue to do so "until one paycheck after the government gets itself back in working order." The clubhouse is also collecting donations and posted a wish list for Coast Guard donations such as gas and grocery gift cards and baby and pet items. Donate any item from the list (found on its Facebook page) and get 50 percent off admission. 25016 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 401-3202 sylviasclubhouse.com.

• Craft Street Kitchen in Trinity is offering half off dinner for the families off all active Coast Guard members. 3216 Little Road. (727) 372-9491.

•Credit unions across the country, including the Suncoast Federal Credit Union, have put together a variety of resources to help members stay fiscally afloat while waiting to go back to work. The help ranges from waived fees for skip payments to lines of credit and financial counseling. suncoastcreditunion.com.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. On Sunday, Zac Brown Band will perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Courtesy of Diego Pernia
    Sing along to Zac Brown Band in Tampa, attend Open Streets St. Pete or stuff your face at Tampa’s Taste of Latino.
  2. Thunderstorms are expected this weekend in Tampa Bay, prompting the cancellation of several outdoor events. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2014)
    MarineQuest and the St. Petersburg Science Festival have canceled their popular Saturday activities.
  3. Chad Mize, left, and Jay Hoff in front of the "Pride and Love" mural they completed with LGBTQ youth as part of this year's Shine Mural Festival. Courtesy of Annie West Ellzey
    The Shine Mural Festival continues in St. Petersburg, ‘Rocky Horror’ star Barry Bostwick hits Tampa Theatre and ZZ Top performs with Cheap Trick in Tampa.
  4. Susan Kelly of West Palm Beach puts the finishing touches on her "Harry Potter" chalk art at the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival in 2017. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times (2017)
    Peruse the chalk art festival in Clearwater Beach, ‘The Last Podcast on the Left’ visits Tampa Theatre and taste the Flavors of the Gulf at John’s Pass.
  5. Billy Joel will return to Tampa for his Feb. 7 show at Amalie Arena. Times (2016)
    Billy Joel, Graham Nash, the Queers, Andrea Bocelli and more.
  6. The 53rd-annual Rattlesnake Festival will be held Oct. 19-20 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The weekend event, kicks off with a prelude concert featuring the Bellamy Brothers on Friday, and raises money for the Thomas Promise Foundation. The foundation provides meals for Pasco County school children who do not have regular access to nutritional meals on weekends when school is not in session. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The annual festival offers a family-friendly outing while raising money to feed school children in need.
  7. Boys II Men perform during at the Grammy Museum gala tribute concert in 2013 in Los Angeles. PAUL A. HEBERT  |  Invision/AP
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday and Hillsborough County fair open, plus the Morean Arts Center presents the “Picture My Life” exhibit and silent auction.
  8. Universal Studios team members walk through the Universal Monsters haunted house at a preview of Halloween Horror Nights 2019. SEBASTIAN ROJAS  |  Courtesy of Universal Orlando
    There are lots of parties this week for both kids and adults, as well as many pumpkin patches.
  9. Hauntizaar, hosted at St. Petersburg venue the Studio@620, will feature Frank Strunk III's Little Creep series of toothy metal smiles on Saturday. Courtesy of Frank Strunk III
    Plus, Zen Glass presents Pendant Palooza and a streetwear popup shop hits Mergeculture Gallery.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) and center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrate a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during a game in Toronto this month. COLE BURSTON  |  AP
    The Bolts are home for games against the Avalanche and Penguins, plus wrestling and volleyball.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement