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Tampa Bay Chapter News for Black Gator Gazette Second Edition

Author: Unknown Publication Date: Thursday July 07, 2011

Since the last edition of the Black Gator Gazette, the members of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the ABA have been mentoring local youth, volunteering, networking, and supporting ABA members in their personal/professional endeavors.

Youth Outreach

On Monday, March 21, 2011, TB-ABA Regional Director Tiffany Chatmon and ABA Communications VP Rachael Nickie spoke candidly with parents and admitted UF students at the Destination Gainesville reception held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tampa. TB-ABA and UF staff encouraged minority students to enroll in UF’s incoming freshman class, provided insight into student life and what to expect in the Gainesville community.

On Thursday, March 31, 2011, TB-ABA members and volunteers attended the Department of Juvenile Justice Field Day & Awards Ceremony organized by TB-ABA member Michael L. Oliver, Jr., Lead Teacher of Detention East – Youth Services. This event was held in order to educate youth about fitness and health while encouraging them to strive for larger life goals. Special guests included:

  • A. Rocky Cusseaux- Actor/Comedian (Tampa ABA member)
  • Patrick "Tango" Hunter - Reality TV show "I Love New York"
  • Rendrick Taylor- Tampa Bay Buccanneers -Fullback

Rocky Cusseaus, Patrick Hunter, Rendrick Taylor

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, TB-ABA hosted a College Chat session featuring Scholar Athlete Roche’ Woodard, son of TB-ABA Assistant Regional Director Patrese Canty, at Macfarlane Park in Tampa. Woodard spoke from the heart about the importance of God, mentors and family in his success on and off the mound. In August 2011, Woodard will take his talents to Miami as an FIU Panther.


TB-ABA Gator Club Liaison Chalette Davis led the way as TB-ABA joined the Tampa Gator Club on International Gator Day. Gator alums and their families participated in a kickball tournament and other activities with the youth from the Joshua House—a safe haven for abused, neglected and abandoned children in Tampa Bay.



On Saturday, February 19, 2011, TB-ABA joined other Gator alums and current UF minority students at the ABA Greek Challenge mixer and Florida Invitational Step Show in Gainesville.

On Thursday, March 10, 2011, TB-ABA hosted a networking event at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Hotel, featuring Gator Alum & St. Petersburg Times Columnist Ernest Hooper. Hooper discussed media relations in the black community—citing media coverage of the “manhunt” and arrest of the black teen who murdered a St. Petersburg police officer, as one example. Also, he discussed how we, as readers/viewers, can impact how the media covers stories about blacks and the black community. “Don’t just comment on stories you dislike. It’s also important to give feedback on positive black media coverage, so news agencies know you want to see more of it,” stated Hooper. TB-ABA registered new members and collected donations in support of ABA Scholarships.

Supporting ABA Members

On May 13, 2011, TB-ABA and other UF Black Alumni supported Life Member & Downtown St. Petersburg Relay for Life Event Chairman Dwight Wilson as he led Cartoons for the Cure fundraiser benefitting the American Cancer Society. He surpassed his own personal goal of $3000, his team raised over $6600, and the Downtown St. Petersburg event raised over $80,600 with 47 teams participating. See Dwight on the local news here.

TB-ABA and gators across the country have been showing their support by voting for UF’s Hall of Famer and former Student Body Vice President turned professional wrestler Thaddeus “Titus O’Neal” Bullard on the fifth season of WWE NXT. After countless eliminations, it’s now down to three wrestlers and we have no doubt Gator “Titus O’Neil” will win the title of WWE NXT breakout star. See Titus in action here.

Thaddeus Titus O'Neal Bullard

Tampa native Allen “Rocky” Cusseaux has been instrumental in the marketing/recruiting success of the TB-ABA. You can see Rocky in action as he mc’s the Friday night sessions at Black Alumni Weekend in September. But, why wait till then? Join the TB-ABA in support of Rocky this August as he performs in the musical stage show Saul's Juke Joint. More show information here.

Currently TB-ABA leaders are planning the calendar of events/programs for 2011-2012. The Chapter general meetings are held every 2nd Thursday of the month from 7-8pm at a local black business. The black business selected for the 2010-2011 is Caribbean Delites, located at 2920 E. Busch Boulevard Tampa, FL 33612-7566.

“It's not good enough for us to complain about what other people aren't doing for us. It's important that we all band together, think of an idea and pursue it.” -- Derreck Kayongo