New York Yankees Luncheon
Hundreds of autograph seekers filled the Marriott Waterside in downtown Tampa on March 21, seeking signatures from Derek Jeter and other baseball stars at the annual New York Yankees luncheon. The event raised $350,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay, said Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees managing general partner and chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay foundation. He said the organization served 11,000 children in 18 clubs in 2013 — a record. Guests chuckled when Dover Boys & Girls Club member Ayram Valdez offered an invocation that included “And, Lord, bless the New York Yankees so much that they win the World Series.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi spoke about the upcoming season, saying, “The excitement level is there. It has the feel of 2009 all over again.” Gene Smith-Moseley, named Youth of the Year, drew a standing ovation for his story of how the West Tampa club changed his life First on their feet to recognize him were Jeter and Jenny Steinbrenner Swindal, Hal’s sister and a general partner in the Yankees organization.
Women of Distinction Luncheon
If award-winning actress, designer, author and humanitarian Jane Seymour had been a Girl Scout, her sash would be full of badges, said Marion Rich, chairman of the board of Tampa Bay Cares. Rich served as moderator for a reception with Seymour prior to the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s 13th annual Women of Distinction Luncheon. Seymour, the speaker at the March 18 event at A La Carte Event Pavilion, talked about opening your heart and reaching out to help other people. The event honored those who have done so. This year’s Women of Distinction included Leslie Waters, mayor of Seminole; Dotti Groover-Skipper, founder of Tampa faith-based ministry HeartDance Foundation; Molly Crews, president of the Tampa Bay National Day of Prayer Council Inc.; and Nancy Ridenour, volunteer/program presenter for the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay. Heather Barrow, founder and executive director of High Risk Hope, was named the Woman of Promise. The event raised more than $100,000 for the Girl Scout Council.
Gasparilla International Film Festival Opening Night Party
The action at the Gasparilla International Film Festival’s opening night was on the red carpet in front of the Tampa Theatre. Actors, filmmakers, movie critics and guests gathered there to talk about the festival, which ran from March 19 to 23. They wore everything from jeans to suits and evening gowns for the party. Inside the historic theater, guests stopped by food and drink stations from local restaurants before the screening of “There’s Always Woodstock.” Actor Jason Ritter, who attended the event, was a star of the film. A party at Anise Global Gastrobar followed. The festival featured more than 100 independent films shown at locations around town.
Text and photos by LENORA LAKE