The Tampa Bay area is host to various bands and artists throughout the year. No Clubs Media helps make the events possible by specializing in campaigns and social media.
No Clubs Media Marketing Director, Kristin Stigaard, is a part of a team that creates the shows for concertgoers.
“People don’t realize that we are the people that put on these shows because we don’t really market ourselves,” Stigaard said. “We market the shows.”
According to their website, No Clubs State Media is a promotional company that has brought iconic and original entertainers to the area for the past 25 years. They promote the shows through campaigns and social media.
State Theatre is one of the many venue halls that host the shows promotional companies put on.
“No Clubs is the kind of company where they book the up and coming bands and they keep booking them as they keep rising,” State Theatre Public Relations and Marketing Director Lucy Volpe said. “They start here at State Theatre and keep growing from there.”
Some of their more notable names include: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Carly Rae Jepsen.
“It’s kind of like a community when you’re in a concert setting and you’re singing along,” said Stigaard. “That’s what we do.”
Carrollwood, FL- For some people, YMCA is a classic party song and dance, for many others, it’s a place called home.
Officially referred to as, “the Y” now, this nonprofit organization is still a place of comfort. Whether it be an after school program or a late night gym session after a long day at work, it’s a second home for some.
The Y defines themselves as a nonprofit organization like no other, with locations in 10,000 neighborhoods across the country.
In Carrollwood, the Bob Sierra Family YMCA underwent major renovations using money donated entirely by the public and parents of the children who spend their days there.
Through these generous donations, the Top Flight Gymnastics portion of the Y was built.
Inside these four big walls, children ages 2-17 spend time escaping the real world and its problems by entering a safe place with their friends.
Destiny Garcia is one of the many gymnasts at Top Flight. She uses her time there to escape from anything going on outside the gym.
“It means a lot to me because its very encouraging and it helps a lot of us get through many problems that we have,” Garcia said.
With their friends, these future gymnasts work hard. This place is more than a place to go when school lets out, it’s a second home.
“I’m here 24/7 from 3:30 to, I would have to 7 or 8:30, everyday, Monday through Friday including today, it’s a lot of work, it’s like either you commit or you don’t commit,” gymnast Emma Barton said.
The YMCA is committed to making sure kids like Emma will always have a place to call home.
The USF seal is a significant icon to USF history. It’s the first landmark you see on Collins, and in the middle of the Marshall Student center.
But what does it mean?
Jacob Stephenson, a freshman at USF, voices his opinion on the based on the myth he’s heard.
“Yea, I heard that if you step on it you won’t graduate. That’s a given. So pretty sure no one actually steps on it. I’ve seen people step on it, but I’m sure they’re not going to graduate,” Stephenson said.
Fahad Al Raee is also a freshman, and he heard the same rumor from advisors.
“They told me you should not step on the logo because if you do you will not be able to pass,” Raee said.
The Seal was created by Henry Gardner and was first used in the USF Catalog called Accent on Learning. But besides the myth going around campus about the seal, John S. Allen, the USF’s first president defined its meaning.
“President Allen, he knew a lot of the programs here were studying the earth, everything happening on the earth. He by trade was, by his academic background was an astronomer,” Andy Huse said, from Special Collections. “There’s the sun symbolizing knowledge, light, heat, life. The lamp symbolizes enlightenment. The Green corresponds with the Earth, and the Gold corresponds with the Sun.”
Along West Platt Street, people were profiting for different causes by offering parking spots in private properties.
Sherryl Cook, employment specialist at the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, was one of them. She started at the parking lot around 9:30 a.m.
The Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind is a non-profit organization that offers rehabilitation programs for persons who are blind or visually impaired.
“It usually picks up around one when the parade is going on,” Cook said.
The idea started 16 years ago when one of her coworkers discovered a group of homeless charging people for using their office parking lot during Gasparilla. They decided it would be a good idea create a fundraiser to collect donations to support the organization.
They agreed to a price match with other nearby parking lots to make it fair. This year they charged 20 dollars for each spot.
There were 50 spots, and Cook said she planned to be there until 2 p.m.
Cooks’ plans for the rest of the day were going home and resting after a long morning at the parking lot.
Henry Sutter, 57, was another Tampa resident who decided to make some profit out of Gasparilla.
Holding a “Best Parking” sign, Sutter started at 9 a.m. working at the parking lot with his wife Patty Sutter, who works as a legal attorney at the Business Law Group, P.A., a community association law firm.
They have done this before for collecting money and donating it to the Boys Scouts or churches. This year they did it if for their own profit.
“This is year is going to my daughter’s college car fund,” Henry Sutter said.
They had 35 spots. They charged 30 dollars per car.
“Once every two or three years, I’m here,” Henry Sutter said. “We rotate turns with other people from the law firm.”
Novemberfest is back in Brandon this weekend. The annual carnival, now in its 46th year, will be held on the grounds of Nativity Catholic Church.
R.J. Brauneker, the chairman of Novemberfest, has been involved with the event for the past 42 years. Brauneker attended the event when he was a student at Nativity Catholic School. His parents were on the committee when he was a child.
“It just seemed right to pay it forward,” said Brauneker. “I’ve enjoyed it just as much as they have.”
Novemberfest has become one of the more popular carnivals in the Tampa Bay area. Thousands of visitors funnel in for the food, countless rides and musical and dance acts.
Some of the rides featured this year are the Ferris wheel, the Moon Raker and the Ring of Fire.
Eighth-graders from Nativity Catholic School enjoy hosting the event.
“Kiddie rides are the best rides,” said one of the students.
“From the top of the Ferris wheel, you can see Tampa,” said another student. “It’s really nice.”
“I’m coming back every year until I pass away,” said another one.
The event is also the church’s largest fundraiser. Kim Rice-Spencer, a volunteer at the event, said that it is about more than raising money for the church.
“For every 50 people that are not a part of parish that come out, if they don’t have a parish or a church home – maybe one will – but even if they don’t, then it’s something we’ve done not just for our parish but for our community,” she said.
Novemberfest is made possible by hundreds of volunteers, like Brauneker and Rice-Spencer, who dedicate many hours of their time to making it a reality.
For more news about the event, follow Nativity Catholic Church’s new Facebook and Twitter accounts.
On Nov. 28th I went to feed the homeless and met some amazing people. We started at Sacred Heart Catholic Church where we prepared the food. Then drove it over to St. Peter Claver Catholic School where we served it to hungry people. While preparing the food I met an amazing woman named Kim, who has been coming every Saturday since she got married and even after her stroke, she still lends a hand. Many people were so hungry they came through the line two or three times. They also received a doggie bag that helps them throughout the rest of the day. I went there to give back but in the end I was the one that received the most.
The Sunset at Pier 60 Daily Festival is located at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. It is a weather permitting event that is every day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It starts two hours before the sun sets and lasts two hours after the sunset fades away.
At this event, skilled crafters and artisans come together to display their handmade crafts and entertainers perform their latest tricks for the public to watch. The Sunset Celebration Festival started on March 17th, 1995 and in 2015 the festival celebrated their 20th Anniversary.
For the past 24 years, St. Joan of Arc Church has hosted the annual St. Joan of Arc Ethnic Festival. The church is located in Spring Hill, and carries a reputation for good food and fun rides. Each year, thousands of people attend the event, and many travel over an hour from other counties. Deggeller Attractions Inc. provides the various carnival rides, while the community supplies the bulk of the food and live entertainment. From singing priests, to greasy funnel cakes, the St. Joan of Arc Ethnic Festival has it all.
The Special Olympics is defined as “A non-profit organization that provides year-round sports training to children and adults, with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Hillsborough County programs offer 17 sports to over 800 athletes, with the assistance of 75 coaches and over 1,000 volunteers throughout the year. These programs are free to athletes.
The Special Olympics also offers various programs such as Unified Sports, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team, and Healthy Athletes, which has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.
However, for Special Olympics athletes and their families, the importance of the organization goes far beyond athletic training and offered programs.
“My favorite part about Special Olympics is playing different sports, make new friends, demonstrate courage, show friendship, and most importantly, to have fun,” athlete Thomas Shervington said.
Thomas plays basketball, soccer, golf, and softball, and just became a part of the Athletes Leadership Program, where he will help spread awareness on how to get involved with the Special Olympics.
“Him being in the Special Olympics has affected our lives so greatly,” Thomas’s mother, Buffie Shervington said. “He’s not only playing sports, but able to make new friends. My son got to thrive, grow, become confident and do all the things kids do.”
“He’s just a completely different person than he was before the Special Olympics. He’s my inspiration.”
Many know the Oxford Exchange as a relaxing place to dine in, have coffee or shop, but what many don’t know is how the Oxford Exchange became what it is today.
The building, located at 420 West Kennedy Blvd., has gone through numerous changes over the past decades. It was originally built in 1891 as a stable for the Tampa Bay Hotel, now the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall. The Oxford Exchange opened in 2012.
“The owner, Blake Casper, went to college in London and was inspired by the university libraries and the old clubs, all the architecture there. He really thought that sense of community was missing here in his hometown of Tampa,” said Sarah Dyles, the director of public relations.
The idea started with a small bookstore and soon took off from there. The owner and his team have done their best at preserving as much of the old material as they could.
“The original brick walls are exposed,” said Dyles. “The original wood floors are actually above us on the ceiling. We found old horse shoes and milk bottles that were left behind from over a century ago.”
The building has an authentic, historic appearance. Its unique architecture and design helps draw people in.
“I would say the most unique thing is the space, all the different facets,” said sous chef Rachel Bennett. “They have the commerce club, the atrium, the conservatory and the retail shop. There are not very many restaurants where you get to have all these different kinds of elements.”
Coffee and tea are common favorites. Many people enjoy sipping their beverages while lounging on the big, comfortable, leather sofas.
“I really like coming here on Fridays after my yoga classes,” said Daniella Salgueiro, a University of Tampa student. “The environment is very soothing and relaxing. I like to have my coffee here in the morning, and sometimes I’ll have a little treat.”
In the center of the building is the atrium, a simple gathering space. The Oxford Exchange does not offer Wi-Fi. They prefer people are not staring at their phones all day long, but rather are interacting and collaborating with one another.
“They’re doing things with people, the way they did back when this building was originated,” said Dyles.
ORLANDO – Growing up in Puerto Rico, Celivette Diaz always dreamed of visiting SeaWorld.
“All of my cousins would come to Florida and talk about SeaWorld,” Diaz said. “They would tell me how amazing it was and I was always so jealous.”
Luck seemed to be on her side, because a few months ago, her parents surprised her with a trip to Florida. It just so happened that her trip would fall during a time where SeaWorld hosted their annual Wild Days event.
According to SeaWorld’s website, “Wild Days connects guests to the wild and wonderful world we all share, with educational and interactive shows that give guests the opportunity to meet leaders in the world of animal rescue, rehabilitation and preservation.”
“I didn’t know anything about Wild Days,” Diaz said. “I’m happy I managed to make it to the second weekend because I love penguins.”
This year, Wild Days takes place every Saturday and Sunday on the last three weekends of January. Each weekend has a different theme to it. Diaz visited on the second weekend, which was Penguin Lovers’ Weekend.
Only for this weekend, SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina hosts a special penguin focused event where you can meet a penguin.
“I’ve had a lot of fun today,” said Diaz’s sister, Valeria. “They give you a map with spaces to get stamps from different places in the park. Once you get them all you get a free key chain.”
Wild Days is not just a one-on-one with animal experts. People of all ages can take part in various interactive games, up-close experiences and interesting, learning sessions at the 14 zones scattered throughout the park. Once inside select zones, guests can collect one of six stamps that leads to a free key chain and a behind-the-scenes tour of SeaWorld’s rescue area.
One of Diaz’s favorite places in the theme park was the Dolphin Cove area. This part of the park is where SeaWorld houses their dolphins and has them available for underwater viewing.
“Dolphins have always been my favorite animal,” Diaz said. “I would always see them on the television, but to see them so close to you is wonderful.”
Wild Days always draws in the crowds at SeaWorld. Even though the high today was 56 degrees, park hours were extended by 30 minutes because of the popularity of the event.
“It’s crazy how busy the park is right now,” Kendall Starke said, an employee at one of SeaWorld’s attractions. “Usually now we’re in the middle of post-Christmas time slump.”
SeaWorld aims to educate people on the ways to keep animals and the environment safe. They have a special show that aims to teach guests about the care that their orca’s receive on a daily basis.
Even though she has always been a huge SeaWorld fan, Diaz was a bit disappointed in the company back when the documentary “Blackfish” came out. She, like many, believed that SeaWorld was mistreating their orcas.
“I was angry at them for a long time after watching the movie,”Diaz said. “But being here today and seeing how much love and care they give their animals tells me everything I need to know.”
The last weekend of Wild Days will occur on Jan. 30 – 31.
St. Petersburg, Fla – It’s a semicentennial celebration and the proud colors are green and gold. USF St. Pete campus is celebrating its 50th year of operation in 2015.
The campus kicked off the year’s celebration in June with a ceremony and street renaming. Those who attended the event included USF President Judy Genshaft, Regional Chancellor of USFSP Sophia Wisniewska, Mayor Rick Kriseman, students and alumni.
“It marks 50 years of extraordinary students, brilliant faculty and dedicated staff.” said Sudsy Tschiderer, USF St. Petersburg Alumna. “It’s about our students that are here now and up to 50 years ago.”
The school campus has a rich history that lies with the students and the buildings on campus. The campus features three main colleges. The College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, which is currently being built.
Student life has grown over the years of the university’s operation. When first opened in 1965, the school welcomed 260 students bused in from local cities. The student body population has expanded to an average of 6,000 students per semester. Even with the expansion, USF St. Petersburg has a vast size difference compared to the Tampa campus.
“I love that the class sizes are a little bit smaller so the teachers are into their students.” said Nicole Ward, a USFSP student. “It’s definitely a more intimate setting that I need in a class.”
Through the remainder of the year USFSP will host several events and seminars reflecting on the anniversary.
“Since I’ve been at this campus there are so many things that I love and I’m so glad I’m here to participate in this special year.” said Tschiderer.
For more information on upcoming anniversary events and celebrations visit USFSP.org/50years
Hope for the Homeless at USF organized their first Trick or Trot 5k Costume Fun Run on Oct. 24. The goals for the 5k were to have people have fun while running the trail and to raise as much money as possible. The money collected supports local homeless people with care packages for the holidays. The organization had a raffle drawing with prizes and a costume contest. Winners received prizes from local supporters.
Tarpon Springs High School’s marching band program is a National Pilot Program that focuses on building leadership skills through the arts. The marching band has won many state and national competitions as well as a world competition. Two years ago, the marching band had the honor to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
As they approached the finish line, it was unclear whether Superman or the Ninja Turtle would get there first.
Eventually Superman edged to victory over Michelangelo, closely followed by Minnie Mouse, a pumpkin and a 6-foot Viking. This was all part of the Trick or Trot 5K Fun Run, which was held Oct. 24 by Help for the Homeless at the University of South Florida’s Fitness Trail.
“I think a lot of people had fun, and it was great with the music and with the raffle,” Stephanie Radu, president and founder of Hope for the Homeless at USF, said.
Radu, a biomedical sciences major, founded the organization in January of this year, with this being its first event. Each runner paid a $15 fee that was donated to the Ybor Youth Clinic.
“The money is going toward care packages that will all go to the homeless,” Radu said. “We will put a lot of effort into making and distributing them.”
Cameron Purvis of Florida College won the race with a time of 16:27 and was awarded a Halloween-themed trophy in the shape of a skull, despite not wearing a costume for the event.
“I actually kind of forgot about dressing up,” Purvis said. “Once we were on our way we were like ‘wow we forgot our costumes.’”
Purvis said he had not been training for this race in particular but decided to sign up when he saw the money raised was going to a good cause.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of mileage this season and was looking for a good race to sign up for,” Purvis said.
Over 100 people signed up for the race, which raised over $2,500 via donations and raffle ticket purchases. Radu’s goal was $3,000, but she was pleased with the result.
“I’m a little optimistic so I’m happy with $2,500,” Radu said.
Radu believes that not enough was being done for the homeless in Tampa, which is why she set up this organization.
“I feel very passionately about helping the homeless community,” Radu said. “We’re trying to get rid of that bad stigma that’s around them. There’s a lot of homeless youth in Tampa.”
After their first event, Radu is optimistic there will be many more. “We hope to hold another event in the spring and to make this event an annual one,” Radu said.
Some of the sponsors of the event had representatives at the race handing out free treats to participants. Amazon representatives, for example, were at the event giving out water bottles to runners after they had completed the race. They also donated items that were used as prizes in the raffle that took place.
There were many volunteers at the race who ensured everything went as smoothly as possible. The DJ, the referees and the event managers all volunteered to set up and run the event.
The DJ gathered a lot of attention after the raffle took place, playing “Cupid Shuffle” that made around 20 of the runners join in with the dance.
To some, basketball may be just a sport. For Jean Carlo Rivera, it is a passion and skill he wants to share with all of Tampa Bay.
At the Harbour Island Athletic Club and Spa, Rivera has developed a basketball skills training program. After just a month and a half he has established a clientele ranging from high school students to professional players.
Rivera has been studying the game of basketball for years. He played four years of collegiate basketball at Florida College. Then he played professionally overseas in Puerto Rico.
He wanted to share all that he learned from his experiences. This helped spark the idea for his training program.
“Me training on my own, just, I wanted to help kids get better because nobody helped me get better, you understand,” Rivera said. “I had to help myself. So everything that I learned, I want to pass on to kids for the next generation, the next generation, the next generation.”
Rivera’s main focus is to develop his client’s basketball skills. He runs different drills with his clients that incorporate various techniques such as dribbling and passing.
“Being a basketball skills developer you do pretty much every type of drill. We do ball handling, shooting, rebounding, passing, post moves,” Rivera said.
Johnathan Gray, a professional player overseas, values Rivera’s training because it helps him focus on the little things.
“He really breaks down my footwork in terms of my shooting, my balance, and stuff like that that I really, you don’t really think about naturally,” Gray said.
This program is just the beginning for Rivera. He plans on expanding his program and growing basketball in the city of Tampa.
Don’t Stop St. Petersburg just came back for the event’s third year in the Arts District of downtown. Over 40 local and regional musicians came out to play on the streets showcasing some of the raw talent this city holds.
The event was crowded with people checking out all of the musicians, artists and other vendors that volunteered for the event. There was a wide variety of art styles and food, representing the artistic diversity in St. Pete. The event served as a great venue for bringing the community together for the day.
Several successful bands such as Underoath and Sleepwave have come out of St. Pete, and events like this are a great way for local musicians to get noticed and supported. The same thing goes for the other vendors that are hoping to grow their businesses.
Don’t Stop St. Petersburg was a great success, and there is no doubt that we will be seeing it come back again next year.
New Beginnings of Tampa strives to be a light in the community. With their ability to feed and house the homeless, they also provide a program for a community that is often overlooked: veterans.
“We have about a total of 200 in the program now, and about 50 of them are vets. Most of the vets come as a referral from Veterans Affairs, or sometimes they just come right off the street,” says founder, Tom Atchison, “The most important thing is, is they have a clean environment, a safe environment to stay, a good three meals a day and snacks, it’s very important for their well being.”
New Beginnings is willing to whatever it takes to keep veterans off the street.
“I came down and they had a bed for me and that was a week ago today,” said veteran Kenney Farley.
New Beginnings doesn’t just provide housing for their veterans, they prepare them to get back into the real world.
“Right now we’re running very close to 100 percent as far as getting jobs. There’s plenty of jobs out there for those that will be responsible, show up on time to work and so sometimes that takes a little life training skills on how to hold a job,” Atchison said.
New Beginnings wants their veterans to feel at home, but also assigns them duties to make sure their quarters are clean and tidy to help create good habits and responsibility.
“I seem to get along with everybody, they’re pretty friendly, you know. I’m happy,” said Farley.
So it seems to be a happy ending for everybody at New Beginnings.
Even veteran, Leif Dereng is ecstatic about earning his new housing voucher. He explained how happy he was and laughed saying, “no more woods.”
Many of the veterans stay at New Beginnings between four to six months, where they work to get back on their feet and out into the workforce again.
Fitness enthusiast Tyler Butler is training to compete in the 2015 Strength Camp Challenge in late November. He has put in hard work and dedication, hoping it will pay off in winning the $10,000 prize. Butler aspires to be a good role model to family and friends and tries to inspire them to lead a healthy lifestyle.