How to describe Hands Across the Bay
It is impossible to adequately describe the impact of Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay (HATB). It is an organization that is totally dedicated to positively effecting the lives of as many Tampa Bay residents as possible. Julie, along with her husband, Steve Weintraub, are the owners of one of the most successful family-owned jewelry companies in the Southeast, Gold and Diamond Source, located on Ulmerton Road in the Feather Sound/Gateway area.
Hands Across the Bay creates, directs, and hosts several fundraising events during the year. The headliner, I think, is Tampa Bay’s Dancing With The Stars (TBDWTS) held each year in October. Attendance is over 600, at a spectacular evening gala, elegance, and intense competition for the “mirror ball” trophy. Record funds were raised in 2017, bringing the total for TBDWTS to $1.75 million. Yours truly was a competitor way back in 2009. The trophy is still on prominent display.
Events Held Around The Bay
The Gasparilla Extravaganza: is held every year in January at the Westin Harbor Island. This year, as always, it provides guests with a front and center viewing station for the annual Tampa Bay Pirate’s Invasion, held on Saturday, January 27, 2018, all day. Proceeds go to HATB to help children and families benefit from HATB programs.
Prevention and Awareness: HATB continuously supports efforts to help the Tampa Bay community deal with major social, health and wellness issues like bullying, suicide, domestic violence, animal abuse, LGTBQ rights and more. HATB is committed to providing schools in the Tampa Bay area with anti-violence presentations. Silence is part of what allows the epidemic of dating and domestic violence to continue destroying people’s lives. They speak throughout the community to educate, inspire, raise awareness and break the cycle of abuse. HATB efforts in these areas reflect their commitment to increase awareness of these issues and, once again, have a positive impact on the lives of Tampa Bay individuals and families.
Back To School Assistance: Reaches hundreds of Tampa Bay students by providing fully-stocked back packs to needy children (K-12) at the beginning of the school year. Volunteers stuff the donated bags with all kinds of pencils, paper, notebooks, folders and hand-sanitizers provided by generous businesses and merchants.
Current Needs: This ongoing, every day resource collects donations in cash, as well as pro bono services to support efforts that include legal counsel and transportation, gift cards to make ends meet, and volunteer services.
Stabilizing Families: Is an effort that focuses on families that through no fault of their own are facing crisis. The focus is on families who are trying hard and need a hand-up to make it.
The Annual Gold and Diamond Source VIP Client Christmas Party: HATB partners with Wheels for Success to provide some extra Holiday cheer to families in need. This celebration showcases the year-long efforts by HATB and the Gold and Diamond Source to kick-off the Wheels of Success “12 Cars of Christmas”. It is a special Holiday party (by invitation only) culminating in providing a gift-loaded automobile to a family in need. That family must demonstrate their ability to maintain the car. Once again, the Gold and Diamond Source, HATB, along with the Wheels of Success, partner to help those who need a helping hand.
Dancing With The Stars and all the other events during the year support the various efforts to change the lives of those in need. The flow through of dollars to the recipients is nearly 100% of funds raised, as all overhead and staff is covered by Julie and Steve’s business.
There is no road map for this kind of benevolence. It is indeed a “work of heart” that comes from a generation of understanding and giving. Our wonderful Tampa Bay community would not be that wonderful without Hands Across The Bay, and Julie and Steve Weintraub.
Thank you Hands Across the Bay
Thanks neighbor for all you do. The dR BACK PAGE is privileged to tell just a small part of the story behind your past, present and future efforts to make things better for those in need in Tampa Bay.
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