Overheard in Orlando: Aid an ally

By : Anonymous
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You know where you are?
You’re in the Jungle Baby, and you’re gonna dance! The new gala-fundraiser for the Center gets a brand new name, Welcome to the Jungle, a Savage Soiree, previously titled Jungle Fever has a new name and will be held on June 17. The event page on Facebook promises a night of dancing (courtesy of DJ Twisted Dee), silent auction, casino and surprise performances. The invite also suggest that costumes are not required but highly suggested, and although a location has yet to be named, we’re already picking out various animal print patterns for the big night.

Zebra Hopes-ta Win-a
The Zebra Coalition is hoping you share their post and hashtag it #WinABellaGala. By doing so, you will increase the chances for the Zebra Coalition to win a $25,000 gala thrown by the beautiful Bella Colina. The venue, popular in the wedding markets and seen in our 2015 LGBT Wedding Guide, looks like it was plucked right out of Tuscany and placed in the beautiful hills of Monteverde, FL – minutes outside from Downtown Orlando. On February 17, The Bella Collina met with the Zebra Coalition as they were in the running for the Win a Bella Gala. Visit the Zebra Coalition’s Facebook page and share and hashtag the post to increase their chances to win.

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LGBT tech hero Carlos Carbonell hailed at Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year gala

By : Billy Manes
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Betwixt the rain, the rush-hour traffic and a packed concert next door, the Orlando Sentinel held its first Central Floridian of the Year event on the evening of Jan. 28 at the Pegasus Ballroom within the University of Central Florida’s student union. Hosted by everybody’s favorite “aw, shucks” political columnist Scott Maxwell, and attended by all of the mucky-mucks and the editorial board members that have crossed them at one time or another (plus Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and his entourage … oh, and the amazing philanthropist Harriet Lake, who left the house for the first time in a long time despite her illness), the catered soiree was just about what you would expect it to be. We had the stuffed chicken.

What we didn’t expect, however, was the presence of LGBT tech entrepreneur Carlos Carbonell, who was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the prestigious Sentinel award. We’ve known other winners and nominees in the past, and you’re not allowed to talk about it. What happens in the paper’s mahogany boardroom STAYS in said boardroom.

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The Footlight Players 40th Anniversary Reunion Show

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Parlianment House is celebrating their 40th anniversary.

PH kicked off the week of parties with The Footlight Players Anniversary Reunion Show featuring more than thirty alumni.

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Taste of Pride comes back to St. Pete

By : Steve Blanchard
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A sold out Taste of Pride returned to the Salvador Dali Museum on March 21 and once again offered samples of food from a variety of area restaurants.

Organizers said more than 600 tickets were sold to the annual event, which serves as a fundraiser for St. Pete Pride, the state’s largest LGBT Pride celebration.

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WAVES Party 2015: Tampa Bay

By : Watermark Staff
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Georgie’s Alibi was the place to celebrate the best of the best in Tampa Bay and Sarasota at the 2015 Tampa Bay WAVE Awards Party.

Miss Comedy Queen 2014, Kathryn Nevets, emceed the festivities March 12.

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Equality Florida raises $350K at 2015 Tampa Gala

By : Steve Blanchard
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Tampa – More than 600 supporters of Equality Florida packed TPepin’s Hospitality Center for the organization’s annual Tampa Gala Feb. 21. As organizers continued to calculate the night’s success, it was determined that more than $350,000 was raised for the LGBT organization.

It was a celebratory night and speakers discussed the changes brought about within one year—specifically marriage equality. But the message of the night was clear—there is still a lot more work to do.

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January 2015 Watermark Wednesday

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Watermark Wednesday returned to Quench Lounge to celebrate a new year with the Tampa Bay Bears on Jan. 21.

A crowd of nearly 65 helped raise nearly $450 for the organization. Group organizers spoke to the crowd about plans for 2015, including an upcoming fundraiser the Bears will hold to benefit Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBT Welcome Center. For details, visit TampaBayBears.org.

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TBGLCC Diamond Awards 2015

By : Steve Blanchard
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On Jan. 17, the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce held its first-ever Diamond Awards Dinner to honor businesses, individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the LGBT business community. The celebration was hosted by the Holiday Inn on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater and brought out leaders from throughout Tampa Bay. Winners, who were chosen by the membership of the chamber by private ballot, were announced on stage and each was invited to speak briefly to the audience.

Winners of the 2014 Diamond Awards were: Watermark Media as Business of the Year, Watermark Editor-in-Chief Steve Blanchard as Business Person of the Year, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as Community Champion of the Year and The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay as the Non-Profit Business of the Year.

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: The importance of the Chicken & Biscuit

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

Michael Wanzie

I was discussing New Years plans with George Wallace, The Executive Director of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, who shared that his mother, “a hot mess in the kitchen” cooked only one dish that anyone thought to be of any quality. That dish was a secret recipe meat pie which he intended to make for his own New Year’s celebration this year.

This topic brought to mind a story from my youth revolving around a chicken potpie of sorts and the part it would play in a New Year’s gathering hosted by none other than Katherine Hepburn. After regaling George with this tale, he insisted people would be willing to buy a book of my short stories. Of that, I am surely not convinced. But since I was just about to sit down to write this column with nothing in mind as a topic, I decided to relate the incident herein to the readers of Watermark to test viability of short story-telling skills.

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LGBT Welcome Center Ribbon Cutting

By : Steve Blanchard
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It’s official, the new LGBT Welcome Center is open for business along St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.

Metro Wellness and Community Center celebrated the grand opening of the center with a ribbon cutting on Dec. 12.

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Red & Green 2014

By : Steve Blanchard
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A capacity crowd filled Sunken Gardens on Dec. 6 to celebrate the beginning of the holidays and raise money for St. Pete Pride.

The annual Red & Green party returned to the popular venue and this year and simulated snow gave it an extra special holiday feel.

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Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer

By : Steve Blanchard
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A large group of chamber members celebrated the holidays and raised money for The Francis House during its Holiday Mixer at Crumb and Cork in downtown Tampa Dec. 4.

Nearly $400 was raised to assist the charity’s food pantry, which is in especially high demand during the holidays.

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