Even though the 2017 Taste of New Tampa at Florida Hospital Center Ice earlier this year didn’t raise the most money ever for a Taste, it was a hugely successful event that attracted around 2,000 people to Florida Hospital Center Ice (FHCI).
The way I see it, the 2017 Taste, sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Tampa (which meets Fridays at 7 a.m. at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club) was an amazing event that fell short of its nonprofit-organization-benefiting fund-raising goals because of two main reasons — 1) not enough sponsorships and 2) people’s concerns about the event being held indoors, especially in a venue that we all assumed would feel a whole lot colder than it did on that fun Saturday in March (photo).
Well, considering that I have attended and/or been part of the committee putting on 20 of the first 21 Tastes, I can tell you that FHCI is by far the best venue we’ve ever had for the event — a fact that I believe most of this year’s attendees would agree with — even though there are quite a few things we learned we could do better next time.
The first organizational meeting for the 2018 Taste will be held later this month and New Tampa Rotary president and Taste event chair Karen Frashier says that once the Taste 2018 committee chairs have met, we will be looking for additional volunteers. We’re not interested in people hoping to pad their “community resumes,” but folks who are willing to roll up their sleeves and actually work to help make the 2018 Taste — which will be held on Sunday, March 25, noon-5 p.m., at FHCI — even bigger and better than this year’s event.
“(FHCI’s) Gordie Zimmerman and George Mitchell have been amazing to work with,” Frashier says. “And, they were really happy with the quality of the sponsors, the food and beverage providers and the people who attended. We’re all looking forward to next year!”
To that end, the Rotary Club already is pre-selling Taste tickets at a 20-percent discount through Feb. 1 at TasteofNewTampa.org!
And of course, look for Taste 2018 updates in just about every issue of New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, at NTNeighborhoodNews.com, on the “Neighborhood News” page on Facebook and on WCNT-tv’s YouTube channel!
Speaking Of WCNT-tv…
By the time you read this, WCNT-TV (Wesley Chapel & New Tampa Television) will likely have surpassed my first two goals.
I created WCNT-tv with a partner back in June of 2016 and in the 17 months since then, I have produced and “aired” about 100 segments, including more than 30 WCNT-tv “News Desks” with yours truly and Susanna Martinez as the co-hosts, and two dozen Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) Featured Business segments with host Mollyana Ward, who also has hosted our first four “Today’s Fashion Focus” segments featuring Sarah Rasheid of the Tampa Premium Outlets (TPO).
WCNT-tv also has featured exclusive interview segments, slide videos featuring everything from Pasco County animal shelter dogs to Zammy the Sheepadoodle visiting Tampa’s Shriners Hospital for Children, and from the Wesley Chapel Jazz Festival to the “Symphony in Lights” at the Shops at Wiregrass.
My initial goal for WCNT-tv was to have the show reach one million people on Facebook and a combined viewership of 500,000 on YouTube and Facebook.
And yes, at our press time for this issue, we have inched ever closer to both of those numbers, as all WCNT-tv segments combined to date have now reached 983,000+ people on Facebook and have been viewed nearly 470,,000 times on YouTube and Facebook (combined), including nearly 340,000 views on Facebook and nearly 130,000 views on YouTube.
I promised to throw another WCNT-tv party — this time for the general public — when we reached those milestones, so look for that announcement very soon.
And, just in time (we hope) for businesses looking to increase their exposure among the residents of New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, our new 2018 Media Kit, which gives you discounts for advertising in the Neighborhood News, on WCNT-tv and on NTNeighborhoodNews.com, is now available on our website, social media and by calling our advertising sales rep, Tom Damico, at (813) 910-2575.
My page 3 editorial last issue had the desired effect — it’s gotten people talking about what I believe is the much-needed connection of Kinnan St. in New Tampa to Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel.
Some in Meadow Pointe II have told me I have no right to be voicing my opinion because I don’t live there, but most (including a few Meadow Pointe residents) have told me to keep fighting the good fight on this topic.
I’ll give you three guesses as to which option I’m going to choose.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.