08/11/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — In six decades of guiding St. Lawrence Catholic Church worshipers, the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins' leadership also made life better for countless Tampa residents, a legacy that will now be immortalized in a 6-foot, 300-pound, bronze statue to be installed outside Higgins Hall on Oct. 7.
Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will bless the statue and the city will unveil a sign renaming part of Himes Avenue as Monsignor Higgins Avenue. The public is welcome to attend the 6 p.m. installation which will be streamed live on the parish website, stlawrence.org....
08/09/17 Human Interest
Martinis for Moffitt
Uber after Uber after Uber spilled hot and handsome passengers hopping out to party at Martinis for Moffitt, the Bay Area Advisors' 12th summer bash known for attracting attractive, young professionals. Go-go dancers shimmered on pedestals flanking DJ Fresh at the Straz Center where 1,100 guests grazed raw, risotto, mashed potato and ice cream sundae bars scattered amid Tito's Vodka bars and four VIP areas July 22....
07/28/17 Human Interest
The Hall on Franklin is readying for an August opening as a trendy mash-up of food and beverage vendors sharing a century-old former automobile showroom.
Now, instead of model Fords, the draw will be coffee and cocktails, seafood and shakes, gooey sandwich melts and boozy cupcakes, DJs and WiFi.
The seven-restaurant collective joins an enclave of entrepreneurs reawakening the northern edge of downtown Tampa, a lively entertainment district until the streetcars stopped running....
07/17/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — Circus performer/filmmaker Stewart Lippe doesn't clown around on the subject of domestic violence.
"It's a major issue in the world," said Lippe, who gained a global perspective of male aggression when he performed with Circus Manduhai in Mongolia. A gymnast friend, Chimgee Haltarhuu brought the troupe to remote towns to help women in abusive relationships.
"Mongolia is a very traditional, paternalistic society and you don't talk about it," said Lippe. "Some towns refused to let us come … they didn't want the issue brought up."...
07/08/17 Human Interest
Actor, dancer, singer… statistician? That last talent isn't typical of creative types like Martine Meredith Collier, who met with 150 artists, arts organizations, elected officials and community leaders in her first 100 days as the executive director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. The facts and figures she compiled from those meetings helped her simultaneously complete an arts economic impact study and shape a new strategic plan to promote county-wide cultural education and enrichment....
06/22/17 Human Interest
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, be amazed by circus feats, try your luck at the Midway games and help buy a pediatric transport ambulance at the third annual Heroes Ball, urged ringmasters Bob and Lorraine Dutkowsky, co-chairs for St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Foundation on Saturday.
The "Hero" of Under the Big Top, is really a heroine, Joan Steinbrenner, honored for her philanthropy to the Steinbrenner Children's Emergency and Trauma Center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. Even that night, a family donation of a New York Yankees VIP package was auctioned for $19,000, helping the event net $375,000. Party on the Moon kicked off an after-dinner dance bash when a younger crowd joined 600 gala guests at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC....
06/09/17 Home and Garden
When friends in St. Petersburg took the condo plunge, Claude Guidi and Wayne Lewis knew they'd be next to go high-rise. The couple purchased two adjoining Bayshore Boulevard condos in late 2014, enticed by the promise of concierge service, resort-like amenities and above all, amazing panoramic views from the 22nd floor of Monte Carlo Towers.
"Dusk is breathtaking," said Lewis, communications leader for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Tampa. He practically inhales the sunset from his favorite spot, the kitchen breakfast table, although seeing sunrise from the master suite is pretty tough to beat....
06/08/17 Human Interest
Go Red for Women Luncheon
Heart disease ends a woman's life every 80 seconds, said Go Red for Women campaign chairman Connor Lewis joining emcee Allison Kropff of WTSP-Ch. 10 and 300-plus red-dressed guests at the American Heart Association's annual luncheon May 19 at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza. Stroke and heart attack survivors Christi DePrisco, Lauren Evanovich, Yolande Petit-Homme and her caregiver/daughter Jen and 30 other women shared their medical miracles and subsequent lifestyle changes via video. Go Red 2018 chairwoman Linda Simmons set two goals: to move next year's luncheon to "heart month," a.k.a February, and to raise $1 million for research and education. She gets a healthy boost from Circle of Red chairwoman Renee Vaughn who nearly doubled the number of $1,000-and-up annual donors to 77 in her two-year term....
06/08/17 Human Interest
TAMPA — Hillsborough County leads the state in its share of millennial residents, with the so-called "Digital Generation" — ages 20 to 40 — making up 29 percent of the population.
Fortune magazine ranks Tampa as one of the 25 "hottest cities" for startups, and Tampa topped Realtor.com's national ranking of cities where people are moving.
The data points to Tampa as a city on the rise for millennials....
05/25/17 Human Interest
In gratitude for lifesaving research and treatments, former Moffitt Cancer Center patients, their loved ones and inspired donors raised a record-smashing $4 million at the 24th annual Magnolia Ball, an elegant, $1,500-ticket dinner in a Tuscan garden setting Saturday at the Marriott Waterside.
How'd they do it? The Hyer Family Foundation pledged $1 million in honor of Tracy's doctors; Julie "I'm back and I'm bulletproof" Wooley matched a $500,000 challenge and HSN host Amy Morrison's testimonial video impelled the 750 guests to fund further research, education and the Magnolia Lodging Program. Ball co-chairs Frank and Christina Capitano celebrated by bringing Matchbox Twenty lead singer/composer Rob Thomas to the stage for a solo concert. ...
05/17/17 Human Interest
Fashion Funds the Cure
Tampa Bay Buc Gerald McCoy and pediatric cancer survivor Joshua Fisher flexed their biceps and the crowd went wild at the 14th annual Fashion Funds the Cure starring young models fighting cancer and a lively group of alumni happily recognized from previous National Pediatric Cancer Foundation's fashion shows. Former Gator quarterback and T he Bachelor contestant Jesse Palmer emceed as the kids escorted their career role models, like super cute Millie and Supermodel Kelly Gale and actress Carla Corvo. Anya Harvey, who wants to be Batman or a police officer with a cape, hit the runway with Hillsborough Sheriff Col. Chad Chronister. Dillard's dressed the kids in the latest spring styles which they got to keep....
05/11/17 Human Interest
Tampa General Hospital Foundation Gala
Everyone knows the Cowardly Lion got his courage and Scarecrow got a brain, but who knew 75 people a year get a ventricular assist device (VAD) implant at Tampa General Hospital, the first and biggest heart transplant center in the state. No. 421 was Bill Ismer who played piano at the Wizard of Oz gala Saturday as co-chairs Theo and Phil Carroll and Lesley and Fred Dobbins greeted witches, good and bad, Totos, Tin Woodmen and ruby-slippered guests in a sparkly Emerald City ballroom at the Hilton Downtown Tampa....
04/28/17 Human Interest
LAMPLighters' Lights Fashion Hope
Salsa dancers, cool cocktails and hot models conjured Havana Nights for the LAMPLighters annual Lights Fashion Hope benefit for Metropolitan Ministries families and Joshua House children. Aramis Sol Caribe set a tropical beat for sultry fashions from Kit's Well Dressed and a pair of Fred Astaire North Tampa dancers as 275 guests sampled restaurant stations, bars and casino games while taking in the waterfront view at the Straz Center on April 20. Co-chairs Elena Wagner and Kate Wilson and LAMPlighter president Connie Gage dedicated the evening to the late Elaine Newman, a longtime member who staged many fashionable fundraisers for Tampa charities....
04/19/17 Human Interest
Around the World with St. Jude
Two patient testimonials took Around the World gala guests from tears to cheers for the medical care provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Adorable Ayden, 7, who survived 17 surgeries before age 1, sang out his gratitude, helping co-chairs Mike and Gennie Swenson and her parents, honorary co-chairs Tom and Holly Malouf, raise $300,000 for the Memphis hospital where no family receives a bill for treatment and where the pediatric cancer survival rate is up to 80 percent. Anchors Wendy Ryan and Denis Phillips of WFTS-Ch. 28 emceed, while DeLeon Entertainment kept the 500 guests dancing at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina on April 8....
04/19/17 Human Interest
On the four-year anniversary of the auto accident that took the life of her daughter Amanda, Laurie Pierce went to Lakeland to dance.
The grief was no less profound, but unlike in previous years, Pierce had a reason to get out of bed.
Garrett Leopold was nervous but happy to join her that March afternoon. Twirling through their choreographed lesson, the young man leaned closer so his dance partner could hear the beat of his heart....