Seen and Heard
Brianna KwasnikTribune staff
It may be October, but Brad Paisley brought Tampa back to summer with his popular hits “Water,” “Riverbank” and “Crushin’ It.”
Despite the threat of rain, a Friday evening breeze picked up, allowing a beautiful night for a nearly full house to enjoy country music at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre.
A countdown clock ticked down to “happy hour” and Paisley’s arrival, and for one lucky group of fans it really was happy hour — they secured seats at an onstage bar.
Tampa has come in near the top of another ranking of U.S. cities.
WalletHub, a consumer website, ranks Tampa as the fourth most livable cities for people with disabilities, with St. Petersburg right behind it at No. 5.
The list, which ranked the top 150 cities, named Overland Park, Kansas, as the top city, followed by two cities in Arizona, Scottsdale and Peoria.
Rio de Janeiro’s famous Carnival came to St. Petersburg on Sept. 26, as more than 400 people attended Rendezvous in Rio at the Coliseum, this year’s annual gala for Great Explorations Children’s Museum.
The event raised more than $150,000 for Great Explorations’ educational initiatives, focusing this year on the museum’s Great Connections program for children with special needs.
Fire dancers, aerialists pouring champagne, samba dancers and drummers entertained guests, who enjoyed Brazilian food, signature drinks, and live and silent auctions.
Almost 200 guests celebrated the opening of the Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library on Nebraska Avenue near downtown Tampa at a Sept. 26 gala.
Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X (also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz), was the guest speaker, and WFLA anchor/reporter Rod Carter served as emcee.
The celebration benefited the R.W. Saunders Sr. Library Foundation, which will provide more programming for the library and children in the community, and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, which works to build leadership skills in youth. Fred Hearns is president of the Saunders Foundation. Carolyn Johnson served as the gala co-chair. Music was provided by Jazz Band 1207.
Guests wearing colorful formal Indian clothing, flowing ball gowns and tuxedos filled the ballroom and reception area of the Hilton Downtown Tampa on Sept. 26 for the annual Banyan Ball.
Sponsored by the U.S.-Indo Chamber of Commerce, the gala featured dinner, entertainment, a fashion show, networking and awards.
Paresh Patel has served as chairman of the organization for four years, and Vick Seth is the incoming chairman.
Cancer patients Ava Raab, Jennifer Mugno and Tony Colton told compelling stories about fighting the disease at the Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s fifth annual PNC Bank Brinner of Hope “breakfast for dinner” on Sept. 24.
Dozens of children and their siblings received a star’s reception at the event, presented by Harris-McBurney Co. at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
The crowd hung on to every word as Dr. Duane Mitchell, director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the UF College of Medicine, spoke about pediatric cancer advancements.
A few days after most Tampa-area skywatchers saw only a sheet of cloud instead of a rare supermoon eclipse, they were treated to an artsy plume from a predawn rocket launch.
A powerful Atlas V rocket blasted off at 6:28 a.m. Friday across the state from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying a Mexican communications satellite. It was the 100th successful launch by the United Launch Alliance.
As it rose over the horizon, those watching and recording images from Florida’s west coast saw what appeared to be a ring and long stripe of vapor as the rocket streaked across the dark sky.
Paul GuzzoTribune staff
With its well-preserved history as an immigrant community, cigar rolling capital of the world, and Mafia hotbed, Ybor City seems ripe for Hollywood.
Ben Affleck agreed, and bought the film rights to “Live by Night” — a novel by former Tampa area writer Dennis Lehane set in Ybor City during the 1920s and 30s about a petty Boston thief’s rise to successful Gulf Coast rum runner.
Unfortunately for Tampa, the absence of state tax incentives for movie productions coupled with Affleck’s wish to work close to home means filming of “Live by Night” will bypass the original.
By Ashley Reams Mistretta
Cloud cover might have ruined most Tampa Bay area vantage points for the lunar eclipse-supermoon-blood moon combo, but other parts of the world got a nice view.
Sunday was the first time since 1982 that a lunar eclipse happened during a supermoon (when the moon is at its closest point to Earth). It also turned the supermoon into a blood moon as light refracted through the edges of the Earth’s atmosphere to illuminate the moon a reddish glow.
The rare occurrence won’t take place again until 2033.
Angie Leonetti and Nikki Stokes have been involved in their local Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. office’s fundraising for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for a while. But, Leonetti said, “We wanted a signature event.”
So together they chaired the first ever Lemon Drop on Sept. 17 at the Rialto Theatre in Tampa, with more than 200 guests attending. Supporters drank martinis, ate finger foods and bid on silent auction items, including jewelry and gift cards.
Many wore blue and yellow, the colors of the foundation, which began when 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, a cancer patient, wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. That was in 2000, and although Alex lost her battle in 2004, the fight has continued in her name, with the foundation funding more than 475 research projects across North America.