Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Awards Final Round – Tampa Bay

By : Watermark Staff
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Our WAVEs 2020 vision has gotten a bit clearer. You nominated, we counted and now we have your Top 3!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more. In each category, we asked our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. You have spoken and here is the final round. Now tell us your favorite from the Top 3.

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Awards Final Round – VOTE NOW

By : Watermark Staff
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Our WAVEs 2020 vision has gotten a bit clearer. You nominated, we counted and now we have your Top 3!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more. In each category, we asked our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. You have spoken and here is the final round. Now tell us your favorite from the Top 3.

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The Last Page: Samantha Ponzillo, photographer / filmmaker

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Samantha Ponzillo Media owner and #HashtagLunchbag Sarasota co-organizer Samantha Ponzillo. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce unveils new name

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, LGBT Chamber of Commerce President Justice Gennari and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unveil the chamber’s new name Jan. 17. Photo by Dylan Todd.

TAMPA | The Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce, formerly the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, unveiled its new name and branding Jan. 17 at the Centre Club during its annual State of the Chamber luncheon.

The chamber has served Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community since 1983, representing businesses, groups and individuals throughout Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. As an affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), it provides LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTE) certification to LGBT-owned businesses and promotes equality for all.

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Sarasota Pride marks 30 years with first January outing

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride will be held Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at J.D. Hamel Park, the first January outing in the celebration’s 30-year history.

Sarasota Pride, Inc., its organizing nonprofit, exists to encourage visibility for members of the LGBTQ community living in Sarasota and throughout Florida. It promotes the elimination of prejudice and defends civil rights through community activities like this year’s Pride in the Park.

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PHOTOS: Watermark Wednesday benefits EPIC at Postcard Inn

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark’s bi-monthly Tampa Bay social Watermark Wednesday benefited Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) Jan. 15 at Postcard Inn on the Beach, also serving as the 2020 Remarkable People Reunion.

EPIC is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care supporting those challenged by chronic and advanced illnesses. They offer support to help clients maintain healthy, self-sufficient lives and provide HIV testing and education throughout Tampa Bay.

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Kristin Chenoweth covers, duets with fellow legends

By : Gregg Shapiro
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On “For The Girls,” the legendary Kristin Chenoweth’s most contemporary, pop-oriented studio album in nearly 10 years, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning performer pays tribute to several of her musical icons.

The list includes Judy Garland, Eydie Gorme, Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton.

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Local trainers share tips to keep you on track with your 2020 health goals

By : Jeremy Williams
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If you are looking to make some changes in your life now that we’re in 2020, you are not alone. Making a New Year resolution is as American as apple pie, baseball or any other U.S.A. cliché you can think of. In fact, according to a YouGov survey, nearly seven out of 10 people make some sort of New Year resolution for themselves as they say goodbye to the past year and look ahead to becoming a more focused and determined person.

Each year, the list of the most popular resolutions include spending less money, quitting smoking, getting more sleep and spending more time with family. However, the resolution that tops every list and survey is losing weight.

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Straz to host ‘Golden Girls’ drag brunch, puppet parody

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody,” photo courtesy the Straz Center.

TAMPA | The Straz Center for the Performing Arts will hold a “Golden Girls Drag Diva Brunch” at Maestro’s Restaurant on Jan. 26 ahead of “That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody.”

“Grab a slice of cheesecake while sipping bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys in true Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia style,” organizers shared. “Trust us — there’s no buffet in St. Olaf’s as scrumptious as what we have planned for you. Bring your best one-liners and we’ll do the rest.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Dolly Ferraiuolo and Katie Shrum

By : Tiffany Razzano
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In the fall of 2011, Katie Shrum was working full-time and taking night classes at St. Petersburg College. One was an introduction to sociology class at the Clearwater campus. She liked the professor so much that she followed her to the Tarpon Springs campus the following semester for the follow-up class.

“It was really far, but I was like, why not? Turns out, it was fate,” she says.

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01.09.20 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In “Star Trek: First Contact,” the finest film in the popular franchise’s more than 50-year history, the eternal Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard beams into theaters to lead the U.S.S. Enterprise into battle against the sci-fi staple’s deadliest threat. No, not reboots – the Borg.

The Borg are chilling, cybernetic aliens linked to a hive mind known as “The Collective.” They forcibly transform individuals into zombie-like drones through the process of assimilation, linking their victims to a collective consciousness and erasing all traces of their individuality in the process.

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Project No Labels launches mental health initiative

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Project No Labels (PNL) officially began its mental health initiative “Dear Self, You Are Worth It” Jan. 6, designed to make mental wellness attainable for all.

The nonprofit’s pilot program is a collaboration with Dr. Katie Schubert, a licensed mental health counselor and board certified sex therapist in Florida. She is also a nationally certified counselor and has worked with private practice clients since 2015 on a myriad of subjects, specializing in sex and gender therapy.

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