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Amy Scherzer's Diary: A weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

Published Nov. 19, 2014

Sustainable Buzz

Grow and thrive, but protect and sustain. That's the Sustany Foundation's message, served to nearly 1,000 like-minded folks at its seventh annual Sustainable Buzz. Locally sourced, organic, fresh and natural were the buzzwords as 40-plus restaurants, wine stewards and brewmasters converged at the Straz Center on Nov. 13.

Urban Juice Co. poured its cold-pressed lineup. Squeeze featured a seasonal pomegranate juice they call Santa's Little Helper. Maestro's grilled sustainable amberjack tacos; the Wine Bistro ladled farm-to-table gazpacho; Anise Gastropub curried coconut butternut squash soup. Hydroponic greens enhanced everything made by chef Bryan Gallagher of First We Eat.

Generous pours included Two Henry's blueberry jalapeno beer made with Plant City berries and Barley Mow's Nipperkin, a dark porter brewed just for the event. St. Pete Distillery dashed cinnamon and nutmeg on its pumpkin spiced rum and mango punch.

VIP ticket-buyers got a special treat: a moonlit river cruise on an e-boat with Josh Dohring.

Frankie's Friends, Unleashed for Hope

Lucy and Desi would have enjoyed flamenco dancers, dominoes and cool cocktails at La Tropicana, the fourth Unleashed for Hope benefit. Vintage Havana flavored the historic Rialto Theater on Nov. 7, with tapas from six restaurants and dancing to Orquesta Infinidad, sponsored by Lisa and Nikki DeBartolo, and their parents, Candy and Eddie DeBartolo, for Frankie's Friends, the charitable pet foundation named in memory of the family's greyhound.

Guests barked a bit when a dog catcher nabbed them for the doghouse. The only way out? A donation to help families pay for lifesaving emergency pet care. Auctioning off the dog house at the end of the evening added to the proceeds.

Taste of Ybor

Paella rallied the troops at the Taste of Ybor auction party, chaired for the third year by Sung and Tom Hochhausler for Boy Scouts of America's Gulf Ridge Council. Historic Hospitality catered Nov. 14, along with restaurants Aqua, Red Elephant Cafe and Spain. Buddy Brew's Cubano Espresso and hand-rolled cigars added to the Ybor allure. Five Eagle Scout candidates passed appetizers and six Gold Award Girl Scout candidates made yummy s'mores, impressing the 300 guests at the Tampa Garden Club. Silent, live and Chinese auction bids helped net $50,000 for scouting, venturing and Learning for Life programs in eight counties.

Dessert First, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Chef Gerald Bayona of the Columbia restaurant won the Golden Whisk award at Dessert First, the cookie-inspired benefit for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Judges chose his ice cream Samoa Bombe over six other chefs' entries at the Hotel InterContinental on Nov. 14. The People's Choice vote, tallied from 200 guests, awarded the Silver Whisk to Chef Felicia LaCalle of Roy's Tampa for "Everything but the Kitchen Sink Peanut Butter Pie." Four scouts shared their learning experiences as the event netted countless calories and $30,000 for programs.


  1. Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria, charged with murder in the stabbing deaths of John Travlos and Germana Morin aboard Travlos' houseboat in 2013, takes the stand in his own defense Tuesday. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria, accused of killing two aboard a houseboat in 2013, told a different version of the same story his girlfriend told. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    One of the messages included a picture of a pellet gun, Tampa police said.
  3. The lobby bar at the Current Hotel on Rocky Point in Tampa serves eclectic cocktails and locally brewed coffee. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Take a look inside Tampa Bay’s newest boutique hotel.
  4. Adjunct faculty at St. Petersburg College voted to unionize Tuesday, joining thousands of other adjuncts across Florida who are fighting for better working conditions and pay. [Times]
    The employees are the seventh group in Florida to join Service Employees International Union in recent yeas as it pushes for investment in the state’s higher education institutions.
  5. A pauper's cemetery was established at the northeast corner of property now occupied by King High School in Tampa, location of the school gymnasium (tall building at top left) and the main parking lot. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Conflicting versions emerge of where Ridgewood Cemetery was located. One thing is certain: It was ignored or forgotten.
  6. The University of South Florida ranked ahead of UCF, FIU and FAU in the U.S. News & World Report's Global University Rankings. [USF handout]
    The University of Florida finished 105th, while USF came in at 310. Harvard led the world.
  7. An anti-government protester raises his hands during clashes with police in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The government said Tuesday that 15 people have died in five days of rioting, arson and violent clashes that were sparked by a hike in subway fares and have almost paralyzed the country. RODRIGO ABD  |  AP
    Riot police used tear gas and streams of water to break up marches by rock-throwing demonstrators in several streets of Santiago on Tuesday.
  8. The Florida Bar wants the state’s highest court to immediately suspend the law license of Tampa attorney Jose Angel Toledo, ex-husband of state Rep. Jackie Toledo. FACEBOOK PAGE  |  Su Abogado Hispano
    José Angel Toledo, ex-husband of state Rep. Jackie Toledo, abandoned his law practice, according to the petition from the Florida Bar.
  9. West Palm Beach police spokeswoman Molly Anderson said during a news conference on Tuesday that Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rudelmiro Santizo Perez on Monday in Houston as he tried to flee to Guatemala. West Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook
    Police began investigating on Oct. 3 when a hidden camera was found inside an employee bathroom at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
  10. This Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, photo shows the graded dirt surface where sod will be placed in November inside what will be the stadium for David Beckham’s Inter Miami MLS soccer team that opens its inaugural season in 2020 at the site of the former Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. TIM REYNOLDS  |  AP
    Construction is on schedule, with all signals pointing toward everything being ready for the team’s first home match that’s likely to come in March.