tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Friday, Jul 28, 2017

Charity event showcases talent, raises awareness

Life Amplified, a tri-annual community, all-ages, spoken word and variety showcase for charity, will have its ninth and last show of 2015 on Saturday.

The event, Life Amplified SADDLE UP, at the Carrollwood Players Theatre, 4333 Gunn Highway, features 20 acts to entertain patrons and raise awareness.

SADDLE UP focuses on Casey’s Healing Hooves, the nonprofit organization that uses rescued horses to help children with autism and Asperger’s and former members of the military struggling with PTSD as well as for drug and alcohol recovery and healing troubled adults and teens.

Emceed by Tampa radio personality Dr. Chuck Stevens, the showcase features three spoken word artists poets: R. Mona Leza, CiCi Keenan and Samira Obeid; and eight singers, including Topher Warren, Erica Garraffa and Dennis Johnson, who have become regulars to Life Amplified. It also features two young dancers making their debut; four local comedians; and a teenage guitarist.

Singer/songwriters and newest Hard Rock Café Ambassadors, Natalie Claro and the Cruz Brothers, round out the lineup.

Featured performer Justin Myers will give an exhibition in mind reading, telepathy and suggestion.

Life Amplified began in 2013 with what was supposed to be a single event. That first event, held at the Tampa Pitcher Show for Redefining Refuge and their fight against human trafficking in Tampa Bay, has since evolved into a pay-it-forward movement.

“For the last three years, I am extremely humbled by the outpouring of love and support I receive for Life Amplified,” said coordinator Deborah Kelley. “I choose only small grassroots nonprofits that need a helping hand. If Life Amplified educates or helps someone make a connection, than I’ve done my job and the audience just happens to get entertained in the process.”

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