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Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer

Amy Scherzer

Amy joined the Times in January 2002 to help launch the weekly City Times edition serving South Tampa and nearby neighborhoods. Her column, Amy Scherzer's Diary, takes readers along as she makes her rounds on the social circuit. Camera in hand, Amy captures the galagoers, wine tasters, Gasparilla kings, debutantes and bay area philanthropists.

Amy earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications and political science at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a Tampa resident since 1978. She and her husband, Robert, live on Davis Islands, proud parents of two grown children. Any free time is spent people watching, entertaining, boating and reading.

Phone: (813) 226-3332

Fax: (813) 226-3381

Email: ascherzer@tampabay.com

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  1. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Tuxes & Tails

    Who could resist Event Show Productions showgirls samba-ing down the Tuxes & Tails catwalk carrying furry homeless pets? With Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister, family restaurateur/event co-chair Andrea Gonzmart and a dozen other "celebs" right behind them showwalking the bigger breeds on leashes.

    Saturday's Rio de Carnaval gala was huuggge for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay: huge crowd (more than 1,000; huge venue (Tampa Convention Center); huge moneymaker ($400,000.) Fox13 news anchors Cynthia Smoot and Russell Rhodes emceed as they have for a decade; Gabriel Butu, auctioneer for the third time, pitched dinner with George Clooney, a guitar of Tom Petty's and other cool stuff. The lively celebration continued upstairs with deejay Arthur Lastras, complimentary cigars, Brazilian coffee and a flambe station while 31 pets were packed up to go home with their new owners....

    Event Show Production dancers strut the runway at Tuxes & Tails to benefit the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on Oct. 14 at the Tampa Convention Center.
  2. Documentary filmmaker Nancy Spielberg speaks to temple sisterhood

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — One imagines lively conversations around the Spielberg family dinner table, undoubtably spurring the creativity of one of the most popular film producers and directors in history.

    Documentary film producer Nancy Spielberg, the youngest of the four children, is likely to reveal some family dynamics and insights of her influential brother, Steven Spielberg, when she addresses Congregation Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood's 16th annual Franci Golman Rudolph Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood Star Event on Monday (Oct. 23) at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza....

    Documentary film producer Nancy Spielberg will address guests at the Star Event, 
  3. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    CITY, Art-a-Porter: Susanne Bartsch

    New York City nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch and seven fashion designers came to disrupt and distort, producing off-the-chain creations from the sublime to the ridiculous, upstaging anything ever seen at CITY: Art-a-Porter, the annual fashion-as-art benefit for Tampa Museum of Art. Coiffed like Olive Oyl and wearing a pink leotard and tulle, Bartsch sent her provocateurs spiraling through the atrium, VIP lounges and terrace Oct. 6, to the crowd's gawking amusement....

    Modeling one of the striking fashions seen at CITY: Art-a-Porter extravaganza for the Tampa Museum of Art on Oct. 6.
  4. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Imagination, A Gala

    From devil crab lollipops to virtual reality games, "Imagination, A Gala" entertained and educated Glazer Children's Museum guests as per the mission, and on a weeknight no less, no thanks to Hurricane Irma, which bumped the cocktail bash to Sept. 28.

    Instead of baskets of "stuff," a Dream It, Be It silent auction offered cool career days parents bought for their kids, such as a Bay News 9 anchor or a Clearwater Marine Aquarium biologist or a museum CEO like Jennifer Stancil....

    Imagination, A Gala guests Chris Chambers, left, and Molbert and John Scrivens support the Glazer Children’s Museum at the annual benefit on Sept. 28.
  5. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Boys & Girls Clubs Steak Dinner

    "Community Hero" Luis Garcia filled four tables with family members as the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay honored his philanthropy and 20-plus years on the board of directors at the organization's 36th annual steak dinner. "I can't do what I do without the support of the family," said Garcia, who came to the United States from Cuba in 1961. A certified public accountant and father of six, Garcia and his wife, Mary, have 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild....

    Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners CEO Darryl Shaw was honored with the Gonzmart Award at the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce Gala on Sept. 23.
  6. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    FARA Energy Ball

    Familiar faces - researchers, scientists, hospitality honchos and 20 Friedreich's Ataxia "warriors" inched closer to a cure for the progressive neurodegenerative disease as the FARA Energy Ball advanced the FA Research Alliance and USF Ataxia Research Center by $1.75 million Saturday, thanks to some bodacious auction bids and $600,000 texted-donations.

    The Rocky theme song thundered across Knock Out FA co-chaired again this year by Janell and Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. "FARA is family and you really fight when it's family," he said, following emcee Wendy Ryan, WFTS-Ch. 28 anchor, up to a boxing ring podium. Hot pink, turquoise and orange boxing glove centerpieces brightened the Marriott Waterside ballroom....

    Chums Tom Bradley, left, Tom Mollick and Tom Pepin support the ninth FARA Energy Ball to benefit Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance and the USF Ataxia Research Center on Sept. 16 at the Marriott Waterside.
  7. With largest kosher inventory in Tampa Bay area, Hyde Park Winn Dixie is a boon to Jewish cooks

    Cooking

    TAMPA

    “Miracles do happen," says Rabbi Levi Rivkin, joyously leading the way down aisle six at the Winn-Dixie in Hyde Park, pointing out dozens of bright blue circles indicating kosher cereals, crackers, soups and such.

    An abundance of kosher inventory makes preparing celebration meals for the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days remarkably easier for the bay area's kosher-observant families....

    Winn-Dixie store manager Sal Cahill poses for a portrait at the Winn-Dixie located at  2100 W Swann Avenue, Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
  8. Irma the uninvited guest waylays nonprofits' fundraisers

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — No one invited Irma to their party last week, but she showed up anyway, waylaying the carefully-laid plans of numerous non-profits counting on achieving significant fundraising goals.

    Instead, community safety was paramount as organizers rushed to inform guests, sponsors and vendors of cancellation announcements. Caterers took their perishable foods to hurricane shelters, florists scrambled to cancel deliveries and decorators stashed their centerpieces....

    Stephen Koch, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, with Ron and Tami Sheehan-Broadrick of the Broadrick Family Foundations, sponsors of the BBBS Art of Helping Children Gala. [Photography by MamaRazzi Foto (2016)]
  9. Emergency food supplies beefed up during Hurricane Irma

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — On any given day, 700,000 people in Tampa Bay are considered food insecure, meaning they lack ready access to adequate and affordable nutrition on a daily basis.

    That number could surge proportionately in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

    Feeding Tampa Bay stepped up to the plate, strategically planning with local emergency management operations to provide vital food and supplies before, during and after one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic....

    Feeding Tampa Bay volunteers gathered Thursday to help put together meal kits for the area’s 700,000 food insecure people.
  10. Hillsborough Society Datebook 2017-18

    Human Interest

    Voila, presenting the annual Tampa Society Datebook, featuring more than 100 nonprofit fundraising and gala events scheduled today through May 2018. Time to start budgeting your time and donations! Compiled by Amy Scherzer

    September

    Sept. 8: Imagination: A Gala to benefit Glazer Children's Museum; 6:30 p.m.; Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza. $125 for ages 21 to 25, other starting at $250; (813) 443-3861 or glazermuseum.org/imagination....

    Downtown Tampa skyline on the Hillsborough River [CHERIE DIEZ  | Times]
  11. Scherzer: Social scene still thrills after 30 years

    Human Interest

    Thirty years on the beat, and I still marvel at the extreme generosity and dedication I witness throughout our non-profit community.

    It took about 10 minutes for the annual Freidrich's Ataxia Research Alliance Energy Ball to reach $550,000 in text-pledges.

    The American Heart Association instantly gained $85,000 with a retail developer's nod to an auctioneer pitching an Anguilla villa vacation. ...

    Iconic singer Tony Bennett entertained the guests at the DeBartolo Family Foundation’s 14th All Star Charity Gala in March.
  12. New millennials connect through Tampa entrepreneur's innovation

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Andrew Machota has made nearly 700 friends in the six years since he impulsively moved to Tampa.

    He'd be glad to have you meet them, too.

    The gregarious certified public accountant from Rolling Prairie, Ind., population 500, knew only one person when he came to town. Mingling at networking events with other young professional millennials could be interesting, but then what?...

    Andrew Machota, left, talks with Will Pedersen, 26, and David Wheeler, 40, during a recent book signing party at Rock Bros. Brewery in Tampa.
  13. Model of Excellence

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — One of Tampa's first female television show hosts and a prominent etiquette instructor, Joann Torretta Guagliardo modeled professionalism, on and off the runway.

    "She crafted character... not just which fork or perfect posture," said her daughter Gayle Guyardo, WFLA-Ch. 8 morning news anchor and "her ultimate student."

    Torretta broke into the broadcast industry right out of college, starting off behind the scenes writing for a television fitness show. By 1957, the Tampa native was on-camera, chipping away at WFLA's glass ceiling as host of Fashions for You....

    The family of the late Joann Torretta Guagliardo, seen here at her Northwestern University 50th college reunion, has endowed an annual School of Communication award in her memory at her alma mater. The class of 1953 broadcasting pioneer and fashion director died July 8.
  14. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    13 Ugly Men '80s Party

    Skaters in spandex, Miami Vice pastels and Top Gun flight suits, parachute pants and fanny packs, some 1,200 MC Hammer and Madonna wannabees dressed to play at the 13 Ugly Men's timestopping '80s party, packing Pattini's Bistro and Skate all night Saturday. DJ Mat the Brat and MTV videos made singalong millennials yearn for the good old days. At midnight, Debbie Deb performed her '80s skating rink jams, Look Out Weekend and When I Hear Music. All that partying raised more than $10,000 for High Risk Hope programs helping families with high risk pregnancies and premature babies....

    Christy Guess, left, and Chris Barlow dress to drink and dance at the '80s Party hosted by the 13 Ugly Men to benefit High Risk Hopes on Aug. 19 at Pattini's Bistro and Skate.
  15. Community to honor Monsignor Higgins with statue

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — In six decades of guiding St. Lawrence Catholic Church worshipers, the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins' leadership also made life better for countless Tampa residents, a legacy that will now be immortalized in a 6-foot, 300-pound, bronze statue to be installed outside Higgins Hall on Oct. 7.

    Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will bless the statue and the city will unveil a sign renaming part of Himes Avenue as Monsignor Higgins Avenue. The public is welcome to attend the 6 p.m. installation which will be streamed live on the parish website, stlawrence.org....

    The legacy of the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins will be immortalized in a 6-foot, 300-pound, bronze statue to be installed on Oct. 7.