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Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
South Tampa News

Celebrity luncheon to honor prep coach Minahan

Special correspondent
Published:
YBOR CITY -

Retired coach Bill Minahan will be honored at a celebrity luncheon while raising funds for those seeking an organ transplant or handling post-transplant expenses.

Minahan, a 27-year kidney transplant survivor, will be recognized by longtime friends and community leaders at the fifth annual “Coach Minahan Celebrity Lunch” 11:30 a.m. April 19 at the Columbia Restaurant. The event is open to the public.

Minahan was one of the most successful prep football coaches in the Tampa Bay community, coaching at Jesuit, Plant and Jefferson high schools. Many former players attend the event as well as current coaches and longtime friends of Minahan and his wife, Martha. The couple live in Hunter’s Green.

Speakers at this year’s event include Mike Boza, a Plant High teacher; David Epstein, owner of State Vacuum; Tommy Tonelli, Wharton High coach; and Robert Wiener, Plant High coach.

“Twenty-seven years. That’s unreal,” Minahan said recently, adding he was “honored and so proud” of the annual fundraiser.

“It is the greatest thing that happened (getting the kidney) and now I have a chance to help others with raising money to help them with their medication costs after the transplant,” he said.

The LifeLink Legacy Fund is the sponsor and guests will be asked to make a donation following the complimentary buffet, provided by Columbia owner Richard Gonzmart, in the Siboney Room. The event has raised more than $40,000.

“The best thing about the luncheon is it talks to the success of organ translation,” said Dennis Heinrichs, LifeLink Foundation’s president and chief operating officer.

“There is no greater proponent (than Minahan) who has had 25 years more of a full and rich life,” he added.

The event also includes numerous door prizes, many donated by Brandon area merchants, according to event organizers.

Reservations are needed by calling (813) 253-2640 ext. 1216 or email Heidi Grogan at heidi.grogan@lifelinkfound.org

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