Champion of the Year

TAMPA BAY

Champion Kick Off Party
Friday, August 25, 2017 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Jackson’s Bar & Bistro; 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602

Gala
Friday, November 10, 2017 6:30 – 11:00 PM
The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina 700 S. Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

Thank You to our Event Chairs
Honorary Gala Chair & USF Head Football Coach, Charlie Strong
Advisory Board Gala Chair, John Schroeder

Ladies and Gents, meet your 2017 Champions!

They’re all friends, leaders, givers and go-getters. But who will be Tampa Bay’s ultimate Champion of the Year?

TAMPA BAY

Champion Kick Off Party
Friday, August 25, 2017 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Jackson’s Bar & Bistro; 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602

Gala
Friday, November 10, 2017 6:30 – 11:00 PM
The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina 700 S. Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

Ladies and Gents, meet your 2017 Champions!

They’re all friends, leaders, givers, and go-getters. But who will be Tampa Bay’s ultimate Champion of the Year for Best Buddies?

Cristina Scaramuzzi

Locale Gourmet Market,
Director of Catering and Events

HAPPIEST WHEN cooking for family and spending time with my children, Joel & Isabelle
MILD OBSESSION any Netflix original series: recently, Friend from College
INSPIRED BY my mom for her strong will and dedication to her family & my dad for his rock solid never ending positive outlook in life
FAVORITE QUOTE “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it — then I can achieve it.” – M. Ali

WWE® Superstar Sheamus®

WWE® Superstar Sheamus®

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/sheamus

LAST SEEN filming Buddy Games with Josh Duhamel
HIDDEN TALENT knocking out bullying
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT my Raw tag team
HAPPIEST WHEN in the ring

Kurt Gleeson

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty,
Managing Broker

INSPIRED BY our amazing buddies, their families, and everyone i’ve met through Best Buddies!
FAVORITE PHRASE “Never underestimate the power of a single act of kindness.”
LOCAL FAVORITES Ocean Prime, Goody Goody Burger, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, Fresh Kitchen and Mr. Penguin
DREAM VACATION Turks & Caicos Islands, Australia, French Polynesia, Ireland.

Norma Torretta

Consultant,
Co-Champion

HAPPIEST WHEN with my family
MILD OBSESSION my daughters; shopping and my dog!
INSPIRED BY my daughters and the Best Buddies kids, especially Sam Piazza!
FAVORITE QUOTE “What you do on this earth, echoes in eternity”- Gladiator

Kailyn Perez

Law Student and Model,
Co-Champion

HIDDEN TALENT ballet dancing and fashion design/styling
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS compassionate, energetic, fun, kind, giving, loyal, hardworking, driven, and always happy!
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT my family and faith
HAPPIEST WHEN when with my loved ones, dancing, and on stage!

Desiree Minder

Catania & Catania, P.A.,
Attorney

TOP BUCKET LIST ITEM completing a triathlon
HIDDEN TALENT  I played college basketball
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT  peanut butter
DREAM VACATION  Bora Bora

Shannon Romine

Blueline Associates,
Director, HR & Administration

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT my pillow
MILD OBSESSION unicorns
HAPPIEST WHEN I’ve slept 7 hours, i’ve worked out and had my coffee
FAVORITE PHRASE “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Rodney Marsh

Tampa Bay Rowdies,
Retired

INSPIRED BY the buddies
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS kind, team player, generous, devoted, positive, energetic
MILD OBSESSION Soccer

Heather Alqinneh

H Enterprise Worldwide,
Director 
Managing Director

INSPIRED BY humanity
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS a ray of sunshine
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT music and candles
HAPPIEST WHEN going on adventures with those I love most
MILD OBSESSION ice cream

Sheba Lucas

Philanthropist

TOP BUCKET LIST ITEM skydiving
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT coffee!!!
INSPIRED BY Oprah Winfrey
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS generous, kind, funny, and intelligent
MILD OBSESSION Cucumber Gimlet

David Schmidt

I4CP,
Human Capital Strategist

LAST SEEN biking the Suncoast Trail
MILD OBSESSION Game of Thrones
DREAM VACATION New Zealand
FAVORITE PHRASE “To whom much is given, much is expected.” — JFK

Jessica Endrzejewski

First American Title,
Branch Manager & Licensed Title Agent
Managing Director

DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS great personality, motivated, brave, first-class, and helpful
MILD OBSESSION cheese
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT music
FAVORITE QUOTE Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

John Schroeder

The Center for Special Needs Trust,
Director of Operations

DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS loyal, hardworking, and kind
TOP BUCKET LIST ITEM trip to Bora Bora
MILD OBSESSION sneaker collection
INSPIRED BY my mother and our buddies

Natasha Perry

Chain Store Guide,
Senior Research Editor

Co-Champion

LAST SEEN volunteering
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT cheese
HAPPIEST WHEN with my buddy, Rosie.
FAVORITE QUOTE “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”

Ryan Bass

10 News WTSP,
Sports Director

Co-Champion

DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS driven, passionate, and persistent, especially when it comes to my career.
MILD OBSESSION soup
HAPPIEST WHEN I’m out on the water or at a country music concert
FAVORITE QUOTE If you can conceive it and believe it, then you can achieve it.
INSPIRED BY industry greats like, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt

Renee Adams

Business Owner,
Champion

HAPPIEST WHEN I’m with my krewe
INSPIRED BY Our buddies
CURREN GOAL to build an accessible Gasparilla float

Toby Hall

The Toby Hall Foundation,
CEO

LAST SEEN raising funds for my miracle league
MILD OBSESSION Baseball
INSPIRED BY the participants
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT my family

Jessica Boksen

Philanthropist
Managing Director

DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS outgoing, giving, and passionate
MILD OBSESSION coffee
HAPPIEST WHEN I’m teaching
LAST SEEN at Target
INSPIRED BY Martin Luther King, Susan B Anthony and Mother Theresa

Kevin Fitzsimmons

Mandelbaum, Fitzsimmons, Hewitt, & Cain, P.A.,
Attorney

TOP BUCKET LIST ITEM  return to Rancho Santana for an extended stay
LAST SEEN at Angry Chair Brewing in Seminole Heights
DESCRIBED BY OTHERS AS loyal and passionate
FAVORITE PHRASE It’s a fluid world.

Nell & Audrey Abram

Freelance Journalist & Student,
Co-Champions

TOP BUCKET LIST ITEM dive The Great Barrier Reef (Audrey); Seeing the Northern Lights (Nell)
HAPPIEST WHEN I’m camping and exploring the natural world (Nell)
MILD OBSESSION Outback cheese fries (Audrey)
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT my phone (Audrey); my children (Nell)
DREAM VACATION Italy and Greece (Audrey)

Beth Ann Hill

The Press Box,
Owner

aging Director

DESCRIBED AS funny, loyal and a ball; bouncing in whatever direction I go
MILD OBSESSION animals, especially my 2 dogs. I hope to have a farm when I retire
INSPIRED BY Best Buddies and their volunteers.
HAPPIEST WHEN with my family, at home, traveling, or at our beach cottage

What is Champion of the Year?

It’s a friendly(ish) fundraising competition between a group of champions.

Whoever raises the most money wins bragging rights and a boatload of prizes (maybe even a boat). The best part? All funds – 100% of them – go to Best Buddies in your community.  If you’re not quite sure why that’s awesome, ponder this:

We all love our best friends, right?

We talk on the phone, meet for coffee, catch a movie, crack corny jokes and eat too many nachos. In a nutshell, we do life together. But not everyone has a best friend. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can struggle to make connections on their own.  The need for belonging is essential – without it, there’s nothing but loneliness and isolation.

Best Buddies is here to make sure everyone has a sidekick.

Someone who knows your favorite ice cream flavor, surprises you on your birthday, picks you up when you’re down, and knows what makes you amazing. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Our champions are here to raise the funds needed so that everyone can have a best friend.

Best Buddies Logo Color CMYK CVC

Guess what? You can get in on the fun!

Kick off

Come raise a glass to our Champions and officially launch the contest

Donate

Support your favorite Champion (or Champions – you can have more than one!)

Party

Eat, drink, and be merry – celebrate all our Champions and crown the winner

We love our sponsors!

We change the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated employment

Best Buddies International is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit

For event inquiries and sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Shane Fletcher, Area Director
(813) 254 – 9025 x 301
shanefletcher@bestbuddies.org

Jaclyn Clark, Development Coordinator
(813) 254- 9025 x 303
jaclynclark@bestbuddies.org