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FVA in Action - Qtr.4 2023

Updated: Jan 11

FVA in Action - Qtr. 4, 2023

Dear FVA members, friends, and readers, again we share with you our FVA meetup events! We now have over 4600 signed up as ‘interested’ in our group and activities. As you can see, we continue to have a variety of opportunities for you to become involved. WHERE ARE YOU? Please join our Meetup, please sign up for events that interest you, then PLEASE attend the events and help the animals! (If for some reason you find that you are unable to attend, please be kind enough to change your RSVP. This will help us to better know what attendance to expect at our events and plan appropriately.)

FVA in the Community /Tablings:

10/1 – TBVF volunteer meeting at Vine Vegan in Brandon

10/21 – TBVF volunteer meeting at Golden Dinosaurs in Gulfport

10/5, 11/2, 12/7 - Vegan Support Groups, Open Forums, held virtually via Zoom.  Join great discussions with some regular attendees and new ones each time. No pressure to chat, but we always like everyone to introduce themselves. Join our hosts: Kimberly Gronemeyer, Psy.D., Myriam Parham, RD, CDCES and Cathy Unruh, Journalist, Author and Animal Advocate.


10/7, 11/11, 12/14 – KARAOKE at Loving Hut in Tampa that included ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BUFFETS! Sadly, December was our last event – After valiant efforts by owner Thu Le, FVA and USF SPEAK students to help promote Loving Hut, their doors closed on 12/21. We Shared lots of fun with USF's student organization, SPEAK (Students Protecting the Environment and Animals thru Knowledge), and our friends at Loving Hut. Thanks to Brittany Livingston for organizing these fun events that help fundraise some extra months of service at Loving Hut! Thanks also to Trevor who donated many hours to helping at Loving Hut the past few weeks. Thu Le, your loving and giving heart will be sorely missed.


10/28 – FVA at the Central Florida Veg Fest (CFVF) in Orlando. Susannah Sherman and Myriam tabled at this FVA supported event. Kudos to Larry Rumbough and his team for a phenomenal event, as usual.


11/3 – Aloft Fundraising event, a pre-Tampa Bay Veg Fest Party benefited two Local Animal Rescues, featured our TBVF guest speakers and emcee Duncan Strauss from WMNF Talking Animals. Our “fun” fundraising featured amazing food from three local restaurants: House of Vegano, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen, and Halelife Bakery. Compassion Kind, represented by Aja Nikiya, and MercyFull Project, represented by Heydi Acuna, raised over $1600 which was shared by the two organizations.   


11/4 – Our 12th Annual Tamp Bay Vegfest, A day of fun and lots of yummy food took place at Harvey Perry Sr. Park. According to park staff, this was the largest event they have seen at the park. A huge success! The day was filled with amazing vegan food vendors, earth and animal friendly vendors, and an amazing group of volunteers! See list in newsletter.


12/2 – Al Lopez Park Cleanup – We had 9 helpers! Tom B, Suzanne H, Laura P, Ron Grey, Kim G, Adam O, Sel, Myriam and Lawrence. THANKS to all!!

Al Lopez Park Year-Round Feral Cats feeding, trapping for medical care and/or sterilizations. Coordinated by Tom Bird, volunteers take turns once a week making sure the cats are fed. Thanks to Tom, Suzanne House, Ron Gray, Laura Pennington, Leslie Pandolfo, Amy Anderson, Gustavo Delavilla and Kenny Echezabal for doing this 365 days a year total dedication!


Media and Other Activities:

10/18, 10/25, 11/1 - Tampa Bay Times – TBVF ads featuring our seal for winning Tampa Bay Times People’s Choice Best of the Best Festival Finalist in 2023


10/26 and 11/2 – Creative Loafing - TBVF ads featuring our seal for winning Tampa Bay Times People’s Choice Best of the Best Festival Finalist in 2023


10/30 – WMNF Sustainable Living Radio program featured our own Dani Hall, who spoke on green eco living and protecting our planet and creatures while promoting our TBVF and our featured speakers.

11/1 – WMNF Talking Animals with Duncan Strauss featured this year’s TBVF keynote speaker, Dr. Faraz Harsini, a biomedical scientist and the CEO and founder of Allied Scholars for Animal Protection, a non-profit that supports students who are serious about advocating for animal and environmental protection, public health, and pursuing careers to help in these areas. Myriam Parham, FVA president and TBVF co-organizer was also interviewed and gave an overview of this year’s Tampa Bay Veg Fest.

11/3 - 12th Annual Tampa Bay VegFest Featured on Channel 10 Bayside News 

In anticipation of the 12th Annual Tampa Bay VegFest , Channel 10 Bayside News recently conducted an insightful interview with Dr. Angela Persaud-Reddy, MD, DipABLM. Board certified in both Internal and Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Persaud-Reddy specializes in disease prevention through plant-based diets. Joining her in the interview was Jacinda Shapiro, RN, BSN, CDCES, DipACLM, the dedicated coordinator of speakers for Tampa Bay VegFest. The program, which aired on 11/4, just before the VegFest, provided valuable insights into the upcoming event and the significance of plant-based lifestyles in disease prevention.

11/3 - Fox News Highlights 12th Annual Tampa Bay VegFest with Chef Thalia Tathan and Jacinda Shapiro: Fox News shone a spotlight on our 12th Annual TBVF, featuring the culinary expertise of Chef Thalia Tathan, the visionary owner and founder of House of Vegano, alongside Jacinda Shapiro, RN, BSN, CDCES, DipACLM, this year's VegFest Speaker Coordinator. The segment showcased a delightful cooking demo by Chef Thalia and offered a sneak peek into the vibrant flavors that awaited the VegFest attendees. During her interview, Jacinda shared the essence of the event—a celebration of all things healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable.

FVA sends donations to local shelters - Sanctuary Monthly Donations:

Nov. - $850 donated to each Compassion Kind and MercyFull Project from ALOFT 11/3 fundraiser.

Dec. - $200 donated to Fluff Animal Rescue, Inc., a dog and cat rescue/foster/rehab in Seminole, that is in the process of constructing a new thrift store and Rehabilitation and Education Center.


FVA Demos for the Animals:

10/28 - Protest SPCA Tampa Bay/Puppy Mill/Pet Store Program – Over 50 people joined FVA protest and campaign to stop SPCA of Tampa Bay and its director Martha Boden’s new program supporting puppy mills and pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs.


10/28, 11/18 and 12/23 - “Go Vegan Demos” at St. Pete Saturday Morning Market, organized by Hussein Mourtada.


11/24 – Fur Free Friday – Trevor Chin, Ann Marie Cansio and daughter, and several others participated in this demo at H&M Westshore Plaza.


12/19 – Justice for Rosie, the raccoon, hearing at Sarasota Courthouse – Alice Kincheloe, charged with 2 felonies for torturing and killing Rosie, was convicted and given house arrest for 2 years, 3 years of probation, must attend Anger Management class, fined $2500 + court costs and will not be able to have animals in her house again. Hearing attended by Laura Weiss, Traci Lipton and several other activists who held “Justice for Rosie” signs at the entrance of the courthouse.


Please check our FVA meet-up calendar to join us at events like these and more so we can get to know each other. Finally, PLEASE support vegan restaurants in your area. Most need your support to survive these difficult times. If you can’t dine in, order take out!!! We hope to see you soon!

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