Overheard in Tampa Bay: Pride & Passion says ‘Thank you!’

By : Anonymous
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Almost like Christmas
The impressive guys and girls of Balance Tampa Bay donated their time and energy to help out a worthy cause on June 21. More than 60 volunteers painted 1,200 wooden toys for The ToyMakers and donated $1,000 to the non-profit. That money will help the charity rebuild after a fire destroyed a workshop, equipment and supplies in April. This is the second time Balance Tampa Bay has helped out the ToyMakers and president Scott Kligmann said this year the group painted nearly twice as many toys as in 2013. The ToyMakers provide painted, wooden toys to children in physical or emotional distress and have done so since 1982. And Balance Tampa Bay, founded in 2011, will be the charity of choice at the next Watermark Wednesday social, scheduled for July 23 at Stageworks Theatre in Channelside.

All about fun!
If you missed the two shows of the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project’s All About Steve at American Stage the last week of June, you missed a laugh-riot. The hilarious, musical spin on the classic Bette Davis film All About Eve starred Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel (actors who also portray the hilarious Scott & Patti) and helped raise money for local residents battling HIV. In this version of the story, Steve, played by Daniel, is an up and coming drag queen who idolizes, then eclipses, Margo Channing, played by McGee. Musical numbers lampoon current events and, with very little rehearsal, screw-ups had sold-out audiences rolling during both performances on June 23 and 29. Garry Breul, who started Suncoast AIDS Theater Project, welcomed guests both nights and thanked them for their generosity as he explained the importance of helping those living with the disease. Talk about mixed emotions! Next year, rumor has it they’ll skewer Maleficent. Let’s hope that holds true!

10 years already
It’s hard to believe, but it was only 10 years ago that Bob Devin Jones and Dave Ellis decided to open an artistic space in St. Petersburg that allowed up-and-coming artists a chance to be seen. But on June 21, the business partners celebrated the 10th anniversary of the space with a birthday bash, that not only packed the house, but included a parade of cakes! Volunteers and board members marched through the packed venue with cakes of all types after a video showing locals applauding the anniversary showed on the big screen. Included in that video were St. Petersburg Rick Kriseman and former council member Leslie Curran—among many, many others. Congrats to Studio620! Here’s to 10 more years and beyond!

A special thank you
The organizers of Pride & Passion held a special reception to thank sponsors at the Tampa Museum of Art on June 25. Nearly 50 people attended the special cocktail reception and enjoyed access to the museum’s two newest exhibits, Poseidon and Chinese Artists. Event chair Kevin Reder spoke briefly at the reception and noted that more than $70,000 was raised and more than 300 annual memberships were secured for the museum. With that kind of momentum, he said the community can bet Pride & Passion will continue to grow and be more ambitions in 2015!

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