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

Champions for Children past presidents Peter Lewis (2012), from left, Ann Gormly (2013), Kim Renfroe (2014) and Bill Snowdon (2016) support the Dream Keepers Ball on March 4 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
Published Mar. 8, 2017

Dream Keepers Ball

Liz Kennedy and a junior league committee dreamed up the Child Abuse Council in 1976, beginning with parenting education in a trailer parked behind Tampa General Hospital. In three months Paul D'agostino was executive director, expanding programs to keep children safe and thriving. Re-named Champions for Children and led by Brian McEwen since 2012, the agency celebrated "40 Years of Keeping the Dream" at the second Dream Keepers Ball on Saturday. Dining at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 200 guests viewed videos of kids and parents helped through the decades, tuned to the music of each era. They bid on auction offerings to continue the dream for 40,000 people a year. Lucky Michael Shimberg won the drawing for a week's stay at Ron and Sherry Sacino's villa in San Sano, Italy.

Equality Florida Tampa Gala

Congratulations to Tech Data executive John Tonnison whose efforts to help his employer create a "diverse, safe and welcoming" workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees earned him the 2017 Voice for Equality award at the annual Equality Florida Tampa gala.

Hot 101.5 FM deejay Miguel Fuller emceed Feb. 25 and Paul Wilborn and Blue Roses got the dance floor bopping at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. Performing as Miss Daytona Continental Elite 2017, drag queen Amy DeMilo sang a mix of her favorites and Aaron Berger auctioned six artworks, boosting the gala proceeds over $300,000.

Also honored that night: Ariel Zavala for starting Alonso High's Gay-Straight Alliance to support other transgender students and Scott Moore whose countless volunteer hours were recognized with the Charlie Hounchell Spirit of Service & Leadership award.

League of Women Voters Lifetime Achievement Awards

Calling former Fla. Sen. Arthenia Joyner's life a "chronicle of the struggle for equal justice," the Hillsborough County League of Women Voters presented its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to the county's first black female attorney. "Mentor, sister, fierce defender... and the wind beneath the wings of hundreds," is how Deborah Austin introduced her March 1 at the Doubletree by Hilton.

A 25-year role in the restoration of our aquatic ecosystem earned Holly Greening, executive director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program the 2017 Sydney & Thalia Potter Civic Leadership Award. The "ecological pioneer" always knew she wanted to be a marine scientist or a mermaid, said her colleague Rick Garrity, who received the same award last year.


Athletes and their supporters (get it?) huddled at Athletes + Causes' annual sponsor party, circulating between a sports memorabilia auction and tailgate fare Feb. 24 at the Tampa Museum of Art. The host organization, which manages non-profit foundations for professional athletes, will share the proceeds with four charities, said CEO Rob Canton, naming the Ryan Callahan Foundation, Lance McCullers Foundation, Sonya Bryson Voices of Hope and NowUp.


  1. Amber Carr, center, wipes a tear as her sister, Ashley Carr, left, and attorney Lee Merritt, right, listen to their brother Adarius Carr talk about their sister, Atatiana Jefferson during a news conference Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 in downtown Dallas. The family of the 28-year-old black woman who was shot and killed by a white police officer in her Fort Worth home as she played video games with her 8-year-old nephew expressed outrage that the officer has not been arrested or fired. (Irwin Thompson/The Dallas Morning News via AP) AP
    The white, former Fort Worth police officer has been booked in jail on a murder charge for the shooting of a black woman through a window in her home.
  2. Tikerria Nashay Bell, 21, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    She fled with their 18-month-old daughter, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
  3. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    Police say it appears the girl was accidentally left inside the Jeep on Monday morning.
  4. The Tampa Bay Times' annual Medicare Guide explains how the program is set up, helps you compare options available in the Tampa Bay area, and points the way toward help, including free, one-on-one assistance. This illustration will grace the cover of LifeTimes on Oct. 23, when the guide will be published in print. RON BORRESEN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    As the open enrollment period begins, it’s time to review your coverage.
  5. The Medicare Handbook for 2020 is a good resource to have as the annual open enrollment period gets under way. The government usually mails beneficiaries a copy. Find a PDF version to print at, or call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) to order a copy. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The open enrollment period, which lasts into December, is a time for millions of beneficiaries to review, and possibly change, their coverage.
  6. Medicare's online Plan Finder has been redesigned and is available at THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The most-used tool on will look different this year.
  7. Jim Tolbert, left, staffs a booth at a senior expo for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, a state program that answers Medicare and other insurance questions. The program has scheduled a number of events around the Tampa Bay area during Medicare's open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Times (2015)
    About 500 volunteers statewide are at the ready. They work for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, now in its 28th year.
  8. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Fort Myers woman stepped in front of the plane and was struck.
  9. James Dailey, 73, is set to be executed on Nov. 7 for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Left: Dailey at his 1987 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Middle: Dailey in 1993, when he was again sentenced to die. Right: The most current photo of Dailey on Florida's Death Row. Tampa Bay Times
    James Dailey’s execution remains set for Nov. 7. On Monday, a judge denied efforts to overturn his death sentence after a former prosecutor testified.
  10. Investigators are collecting evidence at the scene of a fatal stabbing on the 4000 block of 68th Street N. The victim was trying to break into a house, the Sheriff's Office said. KATHRYN VARN   |   TIMES  |  Kathryn Varn
    The dead man had sneaked out of a group home a block away. It’s unlikely charges will be filed, the Sheriff’s Office said.