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Tampa nonprofit raises $700,000 for pediatric cancer

The Tampa-based National Pediatric Cancer Foundation recently raised $700,000 to fund childhood cancer research at its Fashion Funds the Cure event. The ultimate goal is identifying less toxic, novel therapies to treat pediatric patients. Local children battling cancer expressed their hopes for the future and walked the runway at the event.

St. Pete-Clearwater International named Airport of the Year

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) name St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) its 2022 Airport of the Year in the small to medium-sized category. PIE beat out 333 similar-sized airports to receive the recognition. TSA officials credited “outstanding team achievements” for creating “measurable improvements, superior performance and low passenger wait times while successfully navigating through record-breaking passenger volume.”

TGH makes history with living donor liver transplant

Tampa General Hospital has conducted its first living donor liver transplant, making it the first such surgery to occur on Florida’s West Coast, according to TGH's Tuesday announcement. Donations from living donors expand access to lifesaving liver transplantation for patients with end-stage liver disease and liver cancer, and typically results in a better outcome for those who receive organs from deceased donors. The process involves a healthy person donating a portion of their liver to an individual with a poorly functioning liver. Kiran Dhanireddy, vice president and chief of the TGH Transplant Institute and surgical director of the Comprehensive Liver Disease and Transplant Center at the TGH Transplant Institute, performed the recipient operation earlier this month. 

JetBlue exec to receive Tony Jannus Award

The Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society in Tampa Bay has named JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty as this year's Tony Jannus Award recipient. Geraghty will be the second woman to receive the 59-year-old award that is presented annually to someone who has made a significant mark in the aviation industry, according to the society's announcement. Geraghty is responsible for JetBlue's operations, commercial performance and safety, helping JetBlue obtain a strong reputation in customer service and its corporate culture. She will receive the award Nov. 2 during the society's banquet at the JW Marriott Tampa hotel. 

Local organizations partner for career, resource fair

Officials with CareerSource Pinellas and the Lealman Exchange Community Center are hosting a career and resource fair Wednesday, May 24, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Participating employers - all located within a five-mile radius - include BayCare, Coke Florida, Jabil, Pinellas County Government and several others. Community partners will also provide onsite wraparound services and resources. To register, visit the website here.

Tony winner Idina Menzel to headline Pride concert

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel, from the original Broadway and stage productions of Rent, and Broadway’s Wicked, will headline the 2023 St. Pete Pride Friday Night Concert June 23 at Jannus Live, the evening before the St. Pete Pride parade. Menzel also voices the role of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen movies (“Let it Go” has become her signature song). Tickets (18+ only) are available here.    

SPPD increases roadway safety efforts

The St. Petersburg Police Department is conducting an Enhanced Law Enforcement Engagement program in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7 leadership through October. Officers will increase their presence along state roads with high crash rates and bolster public awareness. The announcement states that 11 fatal crashes have occurred in the city, compared to 20 at this time last year.

USF to offer free mental health course to employers

In partnership with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida's College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is offering a free online course designed to help managers and employees address mental health in the workplace, according to a Monday announcement. Starting next month, the new seven-session course, Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace, will cover symptoms of some of the most common mental and behavioral disorders, how to identify behaviors that may suggest an impairment and how to approach the employee. "Every year businesses lose billions of dollars due to mental and behavioral health issues experienced by members of their workforce or their family members. These financial losses can be attributed to absenteeism, a decrease in productivity and medical claims,” Julie Serovich, dean of the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, said in a statement. 

Rays’ owner pushes back against rumors

A report published Sunday by a prominent sports publication stated that prospective ownership groups have inquired about buying and relocating the Tampa Bay Rays. The Athletic’s article, citing anonymous sources, also noted that Tampa-based Dex Imaging Chairman Dan Doyle Jr. is among those interested in an ownership stake. However, team owner Stuart Sternberg issued the following statement: “I expect we will build a ballpark in Tampa Bay that will keep the Rays here for generations to come. I also plan on remaining the Rays owner.”

Local beach remains among best in U.S.

Florida International University coastal scientist Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman recently released his 33rd annual best public beach rankings, and a Pinellas County amenity made the top five. Caladesi Island State Park, located near Dunedin, fell from second to fourth on the latest list. George Island State Park in the Florida Panhandle placed first, and three Hawaii beaches made the cut.

St. Pete brewery ranks as nation’s most dog-friendly

Pet product retailer has named St. Petersburg’s Pinellas Ale Works (PAW) as the nation’s most dog-friendly brewery. The company notes that in addition to offering 40 different beers on tap, PAW features a weekly “yappy hour” that supports animal-focused charities. The canine-centric brewery at 1962 1st Ave. S. recently celebrated its seventh anniversary.

Help name Tampa Bay’s new women’s soccer team

Tampa Bay will soon be home to a new professional women’s soccer franchise, and the USL Super League club needs a name. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is calling on the community to help decide the team’s moniker, colors and crest before it debuts in August 2024. Residents have until midnight Friday, June 16, to submit their ideas online at

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