Our Heroes Luncheon
First responders from across Hillsborough County were honored May 28 at the 20th anniversary Our Heroes Luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center.
The event, which began with 350 guests, has grown to more than 1,000 each year to recognize law enforcement personnel and firefighters for their service.
“This is the premier event that lets us say ‘thank you,’” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, adding that for those first responders, “There is no such thing as a routine day.”
The annual event was started by John and Susan Sykes, who were honored and presented with an American flag surrounded by captains’ badges in memory of John Sykes’ father, Coy L. Sykes, who served the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Police Department for 35 years.
Eight students received scholarships at the luncheon, which was chaired by Andrea Thomas. Her husband, John Thomas of ABC Action News, and radio personality Mason Dixon were the emcees.
Feeding America Tampa Bay Fork Fight
About 500 guests at the May 29 Fork Fight at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa were able to provide a million meals to others through Feeding America Tampa Bay. Guests dined on a four-course meal, with wine pairings, from some of the finest chefs in the area.
Suzanne Luecke served as chairwoman of the event, which featured silent auction items including theater tickets, gift baskets, yoga classes and more. A live auction featured chef packages for dinners and parties at area restaurants and stays at area hotels.
Lawyers for Autism Awareness sponsor Cocktails for a Cause
Guests of all ages turned out May 31 for Cocktails for a Cause, a fundraiser at the Columbia Restaurant at the Tampa Bay History Center.
Sponsored by the Lawyers for Autism Awareness Foundation, the event raises money for children with autism whose families are unable to afford basic therapies. Since the first event in 2011, almost 400 children have attended the organization’s Sensory Friendly Santa event at the Hillsborough County Bar Association building, said Luis Viera, foundation president.
The event has three supporting groups: the Phelps-Dunbar law firm, the Tampa Firefighters and the Tampa Hispanic Bar.
It included a silent auction with sports baskets, tickets to games, original art, jewelry and other items to entice the 150 guests.
Text and photos by LENORA LAKE
Scene & Heard begins its summer schedule this week. The next column will appear June 22. Email information about Tampa Bay area community and social events to firstname.lastname@example.org; mail to Scene & Heard, The Tampa Tribune, 202 S. Parker St., Tampa FL 33606.