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It'll be hot, hot, hot

By TERRI BRYCE REEVES
Published April 21, 2007


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photo
[Photo: Doug Kanter AFP Getty Images]
Tito Nieves will be the headliner at Summerfest.

LARGO - Dine on ribs, churros and arepas, groove to Latin music, and help feed the hungry - all at the same time.

It's Summerfest Live, a spicy-hot bash in Largo Central Park featuring Grammy nominee Tito Nieves and other Latin bands.

The second annual concert funds the Gift of Food Endowment, a charity run by a small group of teenagers that raises money for the RCS Food Bank. It's free; just bring some canned goods and an open heart.

"We raise money through the sale of beer, wine, beverages, food, through corporate sponsorships, and drawings for cash and prizes," said Sherry Sultenfuss, advisor for the group of socially aware teens.

Last year's event raised about $20,000, she said.

Headliner Tito Nieves' album En Otra Onda was nominated for best salsa album at the 44th Grammy Awards, but he may be better known for his '90s pop tune with attitude, I Like It Like That.

"Tito is a clean, family fun type guy that appeals to all ages," Sultenfuss said.

Other bands include JahFari, a reggae band; FeaFunk Reunion, a Motown-smooth jazz ensemble; and Mariachi Invasor De Mexico. Look for the latter musicians to be decked out in silver-studded charro suits and leather boots.

Food will be an international feast of Colombian, Mexican, Cuban, American, and Italian flavors.

And those hooked on TV's Dancing with the Stars will have a chance to shake their stuff as Simone Salsa dance studio gives lessons on the portico in front of the Largo Cultural Center.

Tickets also will be for sale for prizes at the island auction tent. The grand prize is a seven-day cruise for two on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. Also, a 50/50 drawing will be held with half the ticket proceeds donated to the RCS Food Bank and the other half going to the winner.

The Gift of Food project, which now includes 13 students, was inspired to assist the RSC Food Bank after the Sept. 11 terror attacks dried up local donations. The food bank feeds about 4,000 people monthly; about sixty percent are children. To date, the teens have raised more than $140,000 for the food bank through the sale of holiday cards.

In 2005, the students began to focus on an endowment so that the interest could sustain the food bank, Sultenfuss said.

"Their goal is to raise $200,000," she said. "We hope people will bring their checkbooks and make generous contributions so we can get there quickly."

If you go

Got a passion for Latin?

WHAT: Summerfest Live, today from 5 to 10 p.m. at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. The free concert raises money for the Gift of Food Endowment, a student-run charity to benefit the RCS Food Bank.

BRING: Blanket or chair and canned goods. No food, drinks or coolers allowed in the park.

PARKING: For $5, park onsite or at Schiller University, at the corner of Central Park Drive and East Bay Drive. Free parking and shuttle service is available at the Pinellas County School headquarters, 301 Fourth St. SW; and Largo High School at 410 Missouri Ave. Free parking is also available at Largo Middle School, 155 Eighth Ave. SE, or Largo Central Elementary School, 250 First Ave. NE

INFORMATION: www.summerfestlive.com or (727) 584-3528, option 3.

[Last modified April 21, 2007, 07:09:38]


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