Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year filled with many setbacks and obstacles, the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay have met those challenges with amazing resilience and resisted all forms of discrimination.

The individuals selected as Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017 come from many walks of life but all share one thing in common, they all were truly exceptional this year.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: James Keane, Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ Director of LGBTQ Programs and Development

By : Lorraine Langlois, CEO Metro Wellness & Community Centers
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Lorraine Langlois

James Keane has become a remarkable local leader in the Tampa Bay area. He advocates for justice, inclusivity and equality whenever he sees a need.

James joined the Metro team in June 2014 as the Fundraising and Events manager. With a strong event planning background and passion for community he succeeded in making it a great first year. James’ major contributions to our organization and the LGBT community were exemplified in 2016 as his responsibilities increased. He became director of LGBT Programming and Development and he began to work to strengthen existing relationships and to develop new relationships with businesses and other non-profit organizations.

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Metro’s Celebrate 25 Gala raises $65,000 for LGBTQ youth, seniors and transgender services

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Metro Wellness & Community Centers has announced that its Celebrate 25 Gala, held this year on Nov. 11, raised just over $65,000 after expenses for programs and services for LGBTQ youth and seniors.

The event was hosted by comedian Christine O’Leary, nominated by Curve Magazine to be one of the “50 Funniest Lesbians in America,” with additional entertainment provided by local favorites Jennifer Real and DJ Bill Kody. It generated record attendance for the organization, which holds a gala annually to raise funds and celebrate the community, with over 500 attendees gathering to commemorate Metro’s 25th year.

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Metro Wellness & Community Centers celebrates 25 years with the Great Gatsby Gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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(ABOVEMetro’s James Keane gives Watermark’s Tampa Bay team a tour of their expansion project. Photo by Jake Stevens.)

ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness & Community Centers will commemorate its 25th year during their annual gala on Nov. 11, and the community it does so much to support is invited to help celebrate the organization’s landmark anniversary.

Community members can attend the organization’s Great Gatsby Gala, held at the appropriately-titled Gatsby’s, from 7:00-11:00 p.m. in Clearwater. For $50, attendees will enjoy an open bar, dinner, dancing and live entertainment, with collected funds used to support “life-changing LGBT programs for the youth, seniors, and transgender members of our community.”

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Crist comes to Metro: The U.S. Congressman and former Florida governor eyes expansion, promises political strength

By : Samuel Johnson
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(James Keane (L) speaks with Charlie Crist about the Metro expansion in St. Petersburg. Photo by Samuel Johnson.)

ST. PETERSBURG – Charlie Crist came back to his Tampa Bay roost May 30 to survey one of the area’s biggest LGBTQ success stories and to tackle an uncertain healthcare climate.

Crist, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, was given a tour of Metro Health and Wellness’ flagship facility in the city. After all, the 13th district includes a large swath of St. Petersburg where the facility resides. Metro Health and Wellness is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a $5.2 million dollar expansion and renovation. This bay area success is a one-stop location in Tampa Bay for primary care, HIV prevention and treatment, behavioral care, therapy and much more.

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