ST. PETERSBURG — The chefs came armed with their secret ingredients — pork rinds, truffle butter, pork bellies.
They donned their aprons and fired up the stoves.
But this was no typical restaurant kitchen. The chefs, from some of Tampa and St. Petersburg's best restaurants, were chopping and sauteing inside a boxing ring, in front of a live audience.
It was part of the first Tampa Bay Food Fight, a head-to-head cooking competition that raised more than $200,000 for Metropolitan Ministries' culinary school for at-risk students....
The Glitter Queens were shining Sept. 29 at their sixth annual Royal Ball, which raised thousands of dollars for the Beth Dillinger Foundation. Guests wearing colorful swirls, daisies and go-go boots to go with the "mod '60s" theme packed the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater for the event hosted by a group of 31 women who pick a different recipient of the party's proceeds every year. ...
If I loved Burlington, Vt., during a visit with my daughter when the high was 37 degrees, I feel completely comfortable recommending the city as a great destination for fall, when it's considered one of the top leaf-watching spots in the world.
The college town offers history, fine dining, art, music and great outdoor adventures.
I went with my daughter Charlotte in March to check out the University of Vermont, which was on her short list of potential colleges. The day we arrived, we suited up in our borrowed boots and down jackets and strolled the Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian shopping area closed to traffic for several blocks in the center of downtown. ...
While Floridians have been cleaning up the damage Hurricane Irma left behind, hopeful entrepreneurs of Indianapolis; Anaheim, Calif.; East Meadow, N.Y.; Hamilton, Ohio; Cordova, Tenn.; Leon, Iowa; Granite Falls, N.C.; Selbyville, Del.; and beyond have been busy with their own plans to clean up. There are more than 3,000 listings on eBay for Irma-related merchandise.
Someone from Cordova is selling 8-by-10-inch glossy photos offering images of Irma over Florida for $12.99. A vendor in Selbyville has made posters picturing the Florida Gators mascot that read "Florida Strong, Irma 2017." You can have it for $29 plus shipping. T-shirts emblazoned with "Go Home Hurricane Irma You're Drunk" are available for $18 each and can ship from Hamilton on a moment's notice....
A greyhound named Rex strolled down the wide front steps of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club early Thursday morning. Not far behind him came Greta, a German shepherd. The calm canines were just two of the many pets staying at the 91-year-old luxury hotel.
General manager Barbara Readey estimated 100 or more animals have checked into the historic landmark, which normally only allows service animals, since it reopened Wednesday after losing power during Hurricane Irma....
Across the Tampa Bay area Friday, residents displaced by mandatory evacuations began to show up at local shelters, taking advantage of a system put in place long before Irma became a hurricane.
Sunlake High School in Land O'Lakes opened its doors at 11 a.m., ready to house as many as 2,800 evacuees in its classrooms. The accommodations included meals, a pet-friendly area in the dance room and plans to show movies. ...
08/10/17 Human Interest
The Tampa Bay Rays put their good looks to good use, bringing in more than $100,000 at Rays on the Runway recently.
The fundraiser, put on by the Rays Wives organization, was for the Children's Dream Fund, which makes dream vacations and experiences for kids facing life-threatening illness become reality. Planning and taking a trip, such as a Disney cruise or astronaut training at Kennedy Space Center, is a great diversion from hospitals and treatments. Hamming it up on the runway with the Rays also makes for a pretty fun night....
08/09/17 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — Rays player Kevin Kiermaier thanked a group of about 200 youths as they graduated from a YMCA swimming program and enjoyed a pool party at Northeast High School.
"I think he thanked us because we did a good job," said 12-year-old Jacobi Cheedy. "He wants us to do this our whole lives and help others learn to swim and be safe." His sister, Tekoyia Cheedy, 11, said her swimming got a lot better. More than 11,600 kids have been through the YMCAs of Tampa Bay's aquatic safety program called Be Water Smart from the Start since it started three years ago. ...
When Lillian Dunlap moved to Florida at age 52 in 1999 she could finally breathe. The journalism professor from the University of Missouri and Indiana University hadn't been able live openly as a gay woman until then. She had considered coming out before but never did.
"Each time, I thought 'I can't really be out because I've got enough trouble. I'm black and a female, do I really want to add another one so I can actually really get the door slammed in my face?,' " the business consultant and affiliate faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies told a crowd at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum. She was part of a panel discussion titled "Not A Trend: The Truth."...
This year for Father's Day, give Dad a break from standing over a hot grill. Instead of the expected tongs, apron or sauces, try one of these gift ideas.
06/01/17 Human Interest
The Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and St. Pete's Promise held the 13th annual Fischer-Carr Bash at the Coliseum to raise money for Take Stock in Children scholarships administered by the Pinellas Education Foundation. More than 250 people gathered for the Caribbean Night-themed event featuring live and silent auctions under the auspices of auctioneer Blake Kennedy and smooth music by the Lightning Jack Band....
05/25/17 Home and Garden
When Elizabeth and David Samuelson started planning the house they built six years ago on Snell Isle, the couple envisioned a West Indies look with masonry stucco walls and a metal hip roof. As they moved forward, it evolved into something they describe as coastal contemporary.
With distinctive details and views of the water and downtown St. Petersburg from almost every room, the house is stunning but somehow manages to be low-key and inviting. Perhaps it should be tagged as "comfortable, coastal contemporary."...
05/25/17 Human Interest
Fifty-eight years ago Katrina Kaufhold wore short, white gloves to the spring coffee honoring the new crowd of debutantes. Thirty-two years ago her daughter, Kristin Georgevich, wore hose to the same affair when she was a debutante. Fashions have changed.
Last week at the annual coffee, 18 new debs had bare hands and legs, but they still embraced the same traditions of making new friends and learning more about their community....
05/18/17 Human Interest
There's a place where teens can go after school to practice their art— be it dancing, acting, singing, writing, drawing or video production— and escape the pressures of school, life and beyond while getting instruction and inspiration from teachers. The Arts Conservatory for Teens offers arts education to students, especially those at risk and underprivileged, at the Enoch D. Davis Center as well as in workshops at schools including John Hopkins and Tyrone middle schools....
05/05/17 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — Judge Jack Helinger of the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court said this year's recipient of the Liberty Bell Award protects and ensures that the rights of free speech and freedom of the press are preserved as he bestowed the honor on Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Co. and chairman of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
The St. Petersburg Bar Association and the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation have presented the Liberty Bell Award since 1965 to honor a nonlawyer who contributes to the greater good of the community and promotes a better understanding of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the rule of law....