As I told you last issue, my 30th anniversary of owning and being the editor of the Neighborhood News is February 25 and we will be celebrating with a big, by-invitation-only party on “Leap Day” — Thursday, February 29 — at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center. 

The event will be called “Leaping Into Gary’s Next 30 Years Of Neighborhood News” and will feature “A Taste of the Neighborhood News,” which means that several of my Favorite Restaurants from our last issue will be providing samples that will show everyone in attendance why I actually do love all of them. 

Another really cool thing about the upcoming anniversary party is that the 325-350 theater seats (right photo) used for performances of “Grease,” “Shrek the Musical” and “Dreamgirls” will magically disappear and be replaced with cabaret-style table seating for about 150 people (left photo), which means that seating for this event will be extremely limited, considering how many people in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel I’ve gotten to know and have come to consider to be friends over the past 30 years. And, that’s not to mention so many of my amazing advertisers who have kept — and continue to keep — me in business where too many other publications, including daily newspapers, have gone the way of the dinosaur. 

And, if you attended my 25th anniversary party at Bayscape Bistro at the Heritage Isles Golf Club five years ago, you know that there will be entertainment again for this year’s bash — and yes, that entertainment will again be karaoke, this time provided by mine and Jannah’s friend Tabitha Pollard of Luna Tunes, LLC. Tabitha not only has most, if not all of the songs that Jannah and I like to sing, she also is a bit of a Broadway buff who will surely be providing lots of opportunity for those who want to belt out a hit from anything from “Grease” to “Sweeney Todd.” 

The only thing that will cost anyone any money at the party is the alcohol, which will be a cash bar because of the PAC’s rules. The good news, however, is that we get to select the premium adult beverages that will be offered for sale. 

In other words, it’s going to be a blast! 

Here’s How You Can Attend! 

Despite the fact that there will be plenty of invited guests, one of the things that isn’t lost on me is that I wouldn’t still be doing what I do 30 years later if not for all of you — our loyal readers! 

To that end, if you’re interested in getting your name on the guest list for the “Leaping Into Gary’s Next 30 Years” party, send me an email to with 50 words or less (and yes, that is a hard limit) as to why you want to or should be included, by no later than Friday, February 23. Please include your name, the community you live in (Tampa Palms, Pebble Creek, etc.) and your daytime phone number from your valid email address. I will read all of the emails and choose as many people as I have seats left for, whether that’s two or 22, by no later than Monday, February 26. Please put “I Want To Leap!” in the subject line! 

And here’s the thing — you Gary haters out there are invited to send me an email, too. If I get any good hater emails, I will likely invite those folks to attend because I prefer to meet my haters in person than to allow them to remain anonymous. See (some of) you on the 29th! 

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