Florida halts on-site restaurant dining, alcohol consumption

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis, photo via Facebook.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended all on-premises dining and alcohol consumption at restaurants across Florida in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The governor issued Executive Order 20-71 March 20. It allows restaurants to continue takeout or delivery orders and extends the sales to alcohol with proper I.D., effective immediately.

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Empath Health, Stratum Health System announce merger

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Stratum Health System President and CEO Jonathan Fleece and Empath Health President and CEO Rafael Sciullo. Photo courtesy National Strategies PR.

TAMPA BAY | Empath Health and Stratum Health System announced Feb. 26 that the organizations have entered into formal discussions to merge and become one of the largest nonprofit, hospice-based care networks in the nation.

Empath Health’s nonprofit, integrated network of care supports patients facing chronic or advanced illnesses throughout Tampa Bay. It began in 1977 as Suncoast Hospice and its members include Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), which formed in 2016 after the merger of the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Francis House.

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What does Undetectable = Untransmittable mean for U?

By : J.D. Cerna
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Thomas’ libido was especially high that Thursday night. The Orlando resident, who prefers not to use his real name, met a man at his Grand Bohemian Hotel room on the dating application Grindr.

They became sexual rather quickly and Thomas, lost in the delirium of his sex drive, says he allowed the man to penetrate him without a condom. Thomas snapped, “Wait. I’m not on PrEP, pull out.”

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EPIC raises $17K with Balance Tampa Bay, becomes 5K beneficiary

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Balance Tampa Bay presents EPIC with $17K. Photo courtesy EPIC.

TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay (BTB) and Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) announced Aug. 29 that their annual masquerade ball raised $17,000 for the latter organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

The gathering raised $16,000 last year and has raised more than $80,000 for the nonprofit’s essential services since its inception. The fifth annual event, “Fearless: An Unmasquerade,” was held July 27 at the Tampa River Center.

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PHOTOS: Balance Tampa Bay, EPIC hold ‘Unmasquerade’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay and Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) joined forces to hold “Fearless: An Unmasquerade” on July 27, the fifth annual fundraiser benefiting the latter organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

The gathering took place at the Tampa River Center along the Hillsborough River’s west bank, showcasing downtown Tampa. Style House at Botanica designed the decor and guests enjoyed an open bar along with heavy hors d’oeuvres from Catering by the Family.

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07.11.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In 1905, Sigmund Freud coined the term “childhood amnesia.” It describes the inability of adults to recall our earliest memories, a phenomenon that psychologists continue to research today.

One study found that few adults can remember anything that happened in our lives before the age of three—go on, try it—and determined that memories begin fading at age seven. Research has also shown that emotions play a role in storing our memories and that at a certain age our experiences become more meaningful to us, leading to stronger recall.

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Balance Tampa Bay, EPIC hold fifth annual masquerade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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UNMASKED: (L-R) Chad Daughtrey, Ryan Young and Joy Winheim celebrate the fourth annual masquerade at Armature Works Aug. 4, 2018. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay (BTB) and Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) have joined forces to present “Fearless: An Unmasquerade” on July 27, the fifth annual fundraiser benefiting the latter organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

BTB is a volunteer organization that focuses on promoting fellowship, fun and philanthropy throughout Tampa Bay. The annual masquerade ball has benefited EPIC since the event’s inception, raising more than $80,000 for the nonprofit’s essential services and programs. 2018’s gathering raised $16,000 for the nonprofit.

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Dining Out for Life 2019 raises over $47K for EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY| Dining Out for Life (DOFL) raised over $47,000 for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) in the organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS during its 14th annual outing in April, the organizations have shared.

Founded in 1991, DOFL is an annual dining event that raises money for community-based organizations serving those impacted by HIV. To raise the funds, establishments donate a portion of their sales on a specific date to local organizations like EPIC. 

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Dining Out for Life returns to Tampa Bay for 14th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY | A record number of restaurants and bars will participate in the 14th annual Dining Out for Life (DOFL) in Tampa Bay on April 11, benefiting Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) in the organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

Founded in 1991, DOFL is an annual dining event which raises money for community-based organizations serving those impacted by HIV. To raise the funds, establishments donate at least 25 percent of their sales on a specific date to local organizations like EPIC.

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EPIC seeks to raise awareness, rehome couture creations

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) is seeking a permanent home for a collection of five dresses made from condoms and other materials to raise awareness about the nonprofit’s work with HIV and AIDS throughout Tampa Bay.

The creations were featured at Balance Tampa Bay’s fourth annual masquerade ball Aug. 4, which raised $16,000 for EPIC. Conceptualized by artist and event chair Ryan Young, each design represents emotions an individual receiving HIV or AIDS care might feel while working with the organization.

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Tampa welcomes thousands for 2018 Gay Softball World Series

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Bay will host the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance’s (NAGAAA) Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) for the first time in the organization’s history Sept. 3-8.

Formed in 1977, NAGAAA is an international sports organization comprised of male and female softball players. The 501(c)(3) is dedicated to providing the LGBTQ community the opportunity to participate in organized competitions throughout North America.

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07.26.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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There are moments in our lives that stick with us—defining who we were, who we are or who we want to be.

Among my list of essentials are a summer with my grandmother, probably my favorite person that I’ve ever known. The two of us would take turns telling one another stories we’d make up on the spot, finishing each other’s dangling plot threads well into the wee hours of the night. She also helped cement my role as a night owl.

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