Local help for a Bloomingdale teen

The 18-year-old girl raped and beaten at the Bloomingdale Regional Library in April has drawn on outpouring of support from strangers, who all want to help.

Upon learning that she loved to wear pearls and lost her only real pair in the attack, three readers offered to replace them. One man wanted to give her a custom-made $17,000 wheelchair that once belonged to his son.

All over the Tampa Bay area, people are planning fundraising events, including a concert in Riverview featuring some of the biggest acts of the 1950s and ’60s, a talent show in Wesley Chapel and a fashion show at the Tampa Convention Center.

Jim Brady, an entertainment promoter, is coming out of retirement to put on a concert Nov. 1. Brady has lined up big names from the doo-wop era to perform, including Bill Pickney’s the Drifters and Ken Brady, the lead singer for the Casinos.

Every penny from the benefit, titled “Tears for a Flower,” will go to the girl’s family, Brady said.
“It made me so angry,” he said of the attack. “Being raped would have to be so devastating in itself. Then to get beat up and left for dead, it’s unspeakable.”

Here are some of the fundraisers around the area:

SATURDAY : Tampa Has Talent — A Variety Show, 7 p.m. at the Wesley Chapel Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel High School, 30651 Wells Road. $10 donation. To reserve seats, call (727) 277-2596 or e-mail library victim@yahoo.com.

Sept. 27: Helping Hand Charity Event for Westchase and surrounding areas, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Park Village Park on Montague, south of Linebaugh Avenue. For information, contact Richard and Lourdes Hector at (813) 263-6171 or Claire Clements at (813) 293-3719 or e-mail helpingneighbors2008@gmail.com.

Sept. 27: Fashion for Compassion, with entertainment, food, beverages and a fashion show, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. Tickets are $20 online at www.fashionforcompassion.eventbrite.com ; $25 if purchased at the door. The organizers are looking for sponsors. Contact Michelle Phan at (813) 943-6305.

Sept. 29: Bleu Salon in Valrico will donate all money from haircuts, mini-manicures and pedicures, 15-minute massages and waxing, noon to 5 p.m., Lithia Crossings Plaza, 3472 Lithia-Pinecrest Road. Visit www.bleusalonandspa.com  or call (813) 651-4020.

Oct. 3: Fundraising dinner, 7:30 p.m. at Kobe Japanese Steak House, 14401 N Dale Mabry Highway. Sponsored by the Vietnamese Association of Tampa. $50 a person. For information, call (813) 846-0164.

Oct. 18: Spaghetti dinner in Hudson hosted by Brentwood Estates Activities Committee and American Land Lease. Suggested donation is $10. The open house will be from noon to 6 p.m. at the Brentwood Estates clubhouse at 9920 Princess Lane in Hudson. For information, contact Linda Jankowski at (727) 862-6922.

Nov. 1: Tears for a Flower concert, noon to 6 p.m., Showman’s Club in Riverview. $25. Call Jim Brady at (727) 822-0164.

The family also has a fund set up at SunTrust Bank. To make a donation, go to any SunTrust branch and ask that the money go to the Bloomingdale Library Assault Fund.

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