League of Women Voters Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon
The late Judge Don Castor was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County at its annual luncheon.
Chaired by Linda D’Aquila and Lana Powell, the May 16 event at The Tampa Club drew about 150 community leaders and elected officials.
Castor’s daughter, state Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, said of her father: “He would see this as a wonderful opportunity to visit with everyone he knew and to get to know those he didn’t.”
Other family members attending were Castor’s widow, Mickey Castor; daughter U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor; son Judge Frank Castor, his wife, Rita, and their daughters, Kerry and Katie; and Castor’s former wife and the children’s mother, Betty Castor. Judge Donald C. Evans shared memories of Castor, and Dick Woltmann, executive director of Bay Area Legal Services, founded by Castor, accepted a plaque for the nonprofit’s center.
The event also included the presentation of the Sydney & Thalia Potter Civic Leadership Award to Evangeline (Vann) Richardson Best, with an introduction by Deborah A. Austin.
A community activist for many years, particularly in the East Tampa area as vice chair of the CDC of Tampa, Best told the guests: “From birth, my mother told me I was called to be a servant of God.”
Patel Conservatory Spotlight Awards
Students of the Patel Conservatory and their families and friends gathered May 20 at the Straz Center for the annual Spotlight Awards, featuring dance, music and theater performances.
The program benefits the conservatory, which provides performing arts training in an inspirational setting.
Wendy Leigh, the center’s vice president of education, launched the conservatory about 10 years ago. She said the best part is seeing the joy of the students, families and faculty “discovering their passion and their strengths. The generosity going both ways is infectious.”
Dinner was provided by Tijuana Flats, PDQ, Ciccio’s/Water and Cajun in a Truck.
Stay in Step Fundraiser
About 300 active military members, defense contractors and concerned community members turned out May 20 to help support the building of a spinal injury rehabilitation facility in Tampa.
The event at the Tampa Museum of Art was organized by Todd Schweitzer, CEO of Arma Global Corp., and his staff to raise awareness and funds for the Stay in Step Foundation, a local nonprofit with the mission to open and operate the facility.
“This started out as a little barbecue, but the outpouring of love and support made it grow. People wanted to say thank you and recognize the sacrifice they (military members) made,” Schweitzer said.
Stay in Step was founded by Romigo “Romy” and Gabrielle “Gabby” Camargo, who attended the event. He was paralyzed from the shoulders down in 2008 in a combat attack. They must travel 105 miles to Orlando for needed therapy and want to open the Tampa center for those with spinal cord injuries.
“It is amazing to see this kind of support,” Gabby Camargo told guests. “This center is a need in our community. I’m excited.”