Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WHO .... we want to thank!

Were you there? Last week I posted about Women Helping Others, an organization founded by locals Karen Errico, Lisa Kothe, Julie Brannon, Irma Cardoso and Amy Stinsman.

WHO is a group of women who meet four times a year to have some fun and help a local organization that is doing good in our community. SHAMc was fortunate to be the chosen WHO charity for the first gathering of 2016.

One-hundred sixty-five women attended the event, which was held at Whimzey, to raise funds to purchase a glass door for the art and music center. Kiaralinda had hoped enough women would attend so that we could raise $2500 to cover the door, but that  amount was pleasantly surpassed.

In a thank you email from WHO, Karen Errico wrote:  "We raised $4,432.00! (That included mailed in donations, opportunity drawing tickets, and donations at the event.) WHO bought that door and a lot more--thanks to you ladies! It was a great evening to enjoy the art and fun of WHIMZEY House. It is indeed an honor to have your support and your caring for charities in our community. What a great bunch of gals!"

So yes, thank you. Thank you all! Many of you have been on this journey with us from the day Kiaralinda and Todd thought of turning the property into a center for the arts, and many of you have joined us along the way, including many brand new to SHAMc through WHO. But no matter how long you've been part of the dream, it is finally happening, thanks to your support.

WHO had a sign-up sheet at the event, so if you added your email to a list that evening, you will receive announcements for upcoming WHO gatherings. If you were hoping to sign up for the SHAMc or Song Fest email list, or to volunteer, please head to our website and do so there. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we sure don't want to lose touch with all of you amazing 
"For all who attended, who sent in donations, Todd and I want to thank you profusely for the difference that you are making and for including us in your vision of ‘giving back to the community.’" -Kiaralinda

               Peace and Love to you all!  -Laura

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Calling all women! You're invited to Girls' Night Out with a Purpose!

Karen Errico moved to Safety Harbor almost three years ago and immediately got involved in the community.  Now she, Irma Cardoso, Lisa Kothe, Amy Stinsman and Julie Brannon are a volunteer team leading others to help our community, and guess what? SHAMc is next on their list!

The Women of WHO aren’t exclusive. They want to meet other women whose desire is to make something small turn into something big, and all by spending an evening out with other women. 

“I went through the Citizens Academy," Karen says. "Janet Hooper spoke and gave the statistics regarding poverty in Safety Harbor.  I kept thinking, ‘I want to do something, but what can one person do?’”

Now, just over a year after the first WHO gathering,  WHO―Women Helping Others―has raised much needed funds for five groups and/or non-profits based in Safety Harbor. 

“WHO Safety Harbor is a girls’ night out with a purpose,” Karen says. “And it has grown bigger than I ever imagined it would.” 

Thirty-eight women attended their first gathering and they raised $695 for the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center. That was in November of 2014. Only a year later, 54 women attended and they raised $1249. for Safety Harbor Elementary School classrooms. Karen says the next WHO gathering might attract more than 100 women if all goes as planned. 

The way it works is that each woman who attends donates $20 at the door. The gatherings are four times a year and each one benefits a specific non-profit or organization in Safety Harbor. Besides the donation, women are asked to bring a bottle of wine or a dish to share. 

If you are looking for a way to help our community, to connect and make new friends, join us at Whimzey on Friday, February 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. We will be raising money for the WHO door—a glass garage door that connects the Rigsby house to the music pavilion. The door costs $2400., so everyone hopes at least 120 women will come out for the evening. 

“I am thrilled that WHO has been so well received,” says Karen. “The women of Safety Harbor, they want to help and do something for others, and they are willing to give. Many times WHO women have given more than the $20 donation we ask for. They have such good hearts.”

Besides the food, wine and fun, there is also a table full of donated baskets, gift certificates and merchandise donated by local businesses and residents. Tickets are only $1.00 or six for $5.00. 

“It's just fun,” Karen adds. “It's a feel good group. You’re meeting women and having a good time and at the same you are helping your community.”

Special thanks to Karen, Lisa, Irma, Julie and Amy for all their hard work, the fun they’ve created, and for all the great things they have in the works for the future. By the way, if you have a daughter, granddaughter, or young friend between 6 and 14, who wants to get involved, the group has already formed a Junior WHO. Check out their website for more information and we hope you’ll attend the Whimzey WHO event on February 5. 

Whimzey  is located at 1206 3rd St., Safety Harbor, FL - (One block north of Main St., 12th Ave and Okeechobee St.) Cash or checks only please. Receipts will be available. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Founder of the Poetry Slam Movement to visit Sideshow

MARC KELLY SMITH is the founder of the international Slam Poetry movement that began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987. He's the guy who's spread an appreciation for stories and performance poetry throughout the world, to over 1000 cities in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Todd and Kiaralinda brought him to Florida to host Open Books at Whimzey in the spring of 2013, and he was the emcee for the first Song Fest in 2014. I had the opportunity to spend an evening with him after Open Books, and he's been one of my favorite people ever since. There are times I catch myself smiling at memories of that evening with him and Todd, Kiaralinda and Heather. All five of us squished in the car, laughing and just enjoying each other.


If you've ever watched that viral YouTube video where a young man recites a moving poem about a life altering event, you've experienced the influence of Marc Kelly Smith. (Hint: there are hundreds of those types of videos.)

Smith is part of this year's Palm Beach Poetry Festival and will stop in Safety Harbor before heading back home to Chicago. We get him for one night, Tuesday, January 26. He'll teach a workshop at Sideshow, 737 Main Street, Safety Harbor, at 6:00 p.m. which will be followed by a performance at 7:30. Both the workshop and performance are free. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase and proceeds benefit SHAMc. Donations are not required, but are gratefully accepted.

Join us! You don't need to be a poet to attend, but you'll probably feel like you are one by the time it's over.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Song Fest 2016 Big Reveal!

Song Fest 2016 is happening April 2 and 3 at the Safety Harbor Waterfront Park. Now in our third year, plans are moving smoothly and the organizers are excited!

For those of you who attended last night's 2016 BIG REVEAL PARTY, you were part of the magic: trees swagged in lights and flowing draperies, candlelit tables, patterned umbrellas, a huge LED movie screen on the side of a truck, tasty brews provided by Crooked Thumb Brewery, and even a red carpet!

For those who weren't able to make it, Todd and Kiaralinda asked me to post the line up here, so be sure to watch their videos bygrab a snack and put your feet up.

Real quick, though. We want to give a shout out to Luna Guitars (who SHAMc and SongFest hope to work with in the near future), to Judge PR (a group of very talented public relations gurus), and to all of our volunteers who were there helping last night and who we know will be there to support us at SongFest and other events. (NONE of this could happen without you!)

Also, we have a new Song Fest YouTube Channel, so please subscribe to it. You'll be able to say you were one of the first!

OK, friends, here it is, the SONG FEST 2016 LINE UP! Click this link and you'll be able to watch our BIG REVEAL VIDEO.

Love & Theft
Matt the Electrician
David Jacobs Strain
Shook Twins
Tall Heights
Dan Rodriguez
Daphne Willis
Otis Taylor
Ben Sollee
Bros. Landreth
Anne Harris
Joe Craven
Chris Gelbuda
The Mastersons
The Vespers

Who are you looking forward to seeing most? 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Song Fest 2016 Big Reveal Party - this weekend!

How many of you are counting down the months until Song Fest 2016? Are you wondering which artists will perform on April 2 & 3? Our Song Fest team has been meeting and making plans for Safety Harbor's third annual music festival to be the best one yet and they invite you to join us at Sideshow, 737 Main St., Safety Harbor, Friday night, January 8th, from 7 to 9 p.m. for the 2016 Song Fest Lineup Announcement Party! 

Make plans to eat at one of our wonderful downtown restaurants before or after we gather at Sideshow. We'll have plenty of seats for the BIG REVEAL - videos of scheduled bands played on a Mobile Movie Marquee.

This is a free event, but beer, wine and sodas will be available for purchase and sales support SHAMc.

Kiaralinda wants to encourage you to do your homework because she and Todd have FUN Song Fest Trivia planned. Since you have read this far, we'll give you some hints:
  • One of the artists is part of one of the best selling groups of all time.
  • One year one of our artist's CDs was named the best of the year.
  • One artist has both banjos and acoustic guitars named after them.
  • This artist and band rode their bikes hundreds of miles to play at Bonnaroo.
  • Kiefer Sutherland has produced and starred in this artist's videos.
  • Most artists coming are related in some way, including brothers, sisters, twins, husbands, wives, mentors, students. . ..
  • One of the acts coming has won a Juno award and also album of the year in their native country.
  • This group won emerging artist of the year in 2014.
Bring your friends, share this blog and spend an evening in downtown Safety Harbor! For those of you with a restaurant recommendation, comment below and let us know where you're going to eat on Friday night. 

See you at Sideshow!