As I looked out over the 2012 Taste of New Tampa, I made a promise to myself to be more involved with the event next year. With fewer than 20 restaurants participating and fewer than 2,000 attendees for the first time in recent memory (probably ever), I realized that without plenty of restaurants — and yes, beer and wine always helps, too — there is no Taste.

So, the day after the 2012 Taste, which was moved from the Shops at Wiregrass mall to Paul R. Wharton High in New Tampa about a month before the event, I called my good friend and New Tampa Chamber of Commerce president Rachel Haviland and told her that I wanted to make an offer to take control of the 2013 Taste, which just happens to be its big 20th-year milestone anniversary!

I will keep you posted!

A Video Taste & More?

For those who don’t know, my B.S. degree from the University of Florida isn’t actually in print, but in broadcast journalism. I have written everything from radio and TV commercials to a TV pilot based on the renowned world boxer rankings of The Ring boxing magazine, so transitioning the Neighborhood News into a multi-media production company, while imposing from a technology standpoint for me, is actually a dream that I would like to make a reality…soon.

To that end, my crew and I filmed much of this year’s Taste and now have a four-minute recap of the event — and shorter video packages on some of the participating businesses — available for viewing now on our website (

I hope you’ll check out our first foray into video production and call our office manager Nikki Bennett at 910-2575 to set up an appointment to discuss affordable videos and multimedia promotion packages for your business or upcoming event.


Local Relays For Life — April 27 & May 11!

The American Cancer Society (ACS) continues its search for a cure as it helps those afflicted with and those affected by this devastating disease.

The Wesley Chapel & Wiregrass Ranch Relay for Life events will be held at and around the running track at those schools on Friday, April 27 & Friday, May 11, respectively. Both events begin at 6 p.m. Friday and end by noon the next day. Each Relay team has to keep one team member walking on the track through the night in celebration of the ongoing fight to eradicate cancer and to honor the memory of those who have succumbed to this most heinous of illnesses.

At our press time, there were 196 Wesley Chapel Relay participants on 26 teams that already had raised more than $18,000 with four weeks still to go until the event is held. Meanwhile, more than six weeks before the Wiregrass Ranch Relay, there were 111 participants on 28 teams that had raised more than $7,000.

To join or start a team, make a donation or for more info, visit and type in your zip code as your location.


Rotary PigFest May 5!

The Rotary Clubs (the original breakfast club, noon and evening) of New Tampa, as well as the Tampa North, Temple Terrace and Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary Clubs, are all so proud to present the ninth annual New Tampa Rotary PigFest on “Cinqo de Mayo,” Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at St. Mark Catholic Church on Cross Creek Blvd. in New Tampa.

PigFest co-chairs Peter Gambacorta and Robert Garofano are promising to deliver 2,000 attendees — more than twice last year’s recordof more than 900 attendees. In addition, this year’s event will have a focus on “woman-owned businesses” — nine BBQ teams slow-roasting pigs and competing for great prizes, a huge classic car and bike show, entertainment all day, cash prizes and so much more.

Rotary PigFest attendees pay $25 to get in, but that admission price includes chicken, pork and lots of “fixins” from Lee Roy Selmon’s and beer and wine for adults. One child under 12 gets in free with each paid adult admission. In addition, attendees can purchase All proceeds benefit more than 40 nonprofits and schools.

For sponsor and vendor applications and more info about this year’s PigFest, visit

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