THE PLANS AND THE GROUP
Mario's persistence paid off when he teamed up with Brenda Piniella
Rouse, an expert at spearheading
charity causes and fund raising with Rotary's Camp Florida. Brenda had been supporting our
cause since the beginning, and considering various avenues in which to pursue acquiring the
Even before the Save Fairyland Facebook group was started,
consideration had been given to these main plans of action.
The plans included showing the city that we had an organized
effort and would restore the figures at our own cost, then give them
back to the city for public display, or obtain permission from the
city to set up their display in a public park.
Linda Barnhart Hope and many others
envisioned the city's River Tower Park at the Sulphur Springs
water tower. It was deemed to be a good location
for the figures, as it was near to Fairyland's original
location, and the park is a "passive park" as the City puts
it. It has no improvements or amenities of any kind;
only a chain link fence surrounds the property, and the
"castle-like" tower was the perfect setting.
The setting up of a non-profit
organization would be our means of showing the City that we were
Brenda, being an expert at fund-raising, with her experience at
Rotary's Camp Florida and other charities, began to look into
the costs and requirements. Brenda, Mario and Dan would
serve as the Save Fairyland Committee. A non-profit
would allow contributions to be tax-deductible, and would have
shown the city we were organized.
"Ask and Ye Shall Receive"
- Initially, we hoped
that the city would just donate the figures outright if only we asked
for them, as it was apparent to us they were unaware
they still existed, nor were concerned with their sentimental
value or decay.
In speaking with city officials, Mario received mixed signals, depending on who
he spoke to. Some seemed sympathetic to
our cause, and "thought it was a good idea," while others, such as
the mayor, gave him the cold shoulder.
Appeal by Public Outcry
- Through the use of
publicity, and a "Contact the City" campaign, including
contacting the mayor, city council, parks department, etc, it
was hoped that an overwhelming amount of public outcry would
convince the mayor and city officials of their sentimental value
to us would bring about results.
Email addresses and links for city officials and contact pages
this point, though there had been talk from the City of
an auction, we still had confidence that we could
persuade the City. In light of no
other party expressing interest in the figures, nor any
other party making an effort to refurbish them at
their own cost, we believed the mayor could have made
exception to their "policy."
the policy is more what you call guidelines than actual
So when the City released
formal flyer in mid-December, 2016 (below) it surprised
us and it was pretty clear to us that
the plans we had were ineffective.
The "Historic approval" Approach - In
mid to late December, around Christmas week, the City of Tampa
Procurement Office released a flyer to promote the auction.
(Red markings added for emphasis.)
Some key words
the flyer jumped off the page at us:
Brought to our attention by Anneliese Meier and a few others who
were ferociously involved with our campaign, if the
now being deemed historic, then
permission to sell or auction them would need to be given by the
city's historic preservation office.
Since it was clear that the historic preservation office had not
been consulted, we considered a plan to prevent the auction on this
So for about a
week, there was plenty of fireworks concerning the figures'
historic aspect, and plenty of feedback was sent to city
officials concerning this matter.
Continued below at
Plan 4 on Dec. 29, 2016
2017-Dec. 22 - THE SAVE FAIRYLAND FACEBOOK GROUP
Up until this time,
the Facebook page "Tampa Natives" was the forum for all things nostalgic
concerning Fairyland, so a spinoff Facebook page devoted to
promote the campaign was ideal. The advantages and
disadvantages of FB Page vs. FB Group were discussed among the
committee, and a group
was decided on as the better choice, since it gives equal access
to post on the timeline for all members, not just the admins, and
posts that are commented on move to the top of the timeline.
The group name
"Save Fairyland" was chosen over "Help Us Save Fairyland" due to
the longer one possibly being abbreviated by Facebook in the title and
ellipses added at the end (such as "Help us Save Fair...").
The shorter name was also desirable if a website URL and/or email
address were to be utilized. It was agreed that the longer
version be included in the group's banner photo, to be created by
Dan. So Brenda set up the
an email address - SaveFairyland@gmail.com, and also a
Dan chose the
main element of the group photo to be the Rainbow Bridge, from a circa 1980 photo sent
to him in 2010 by Rachel Nelson, Public Relations Director, Lowry
Park Zoo. (She provided the reason why the structure was
demolished--"The city deemed it a safety hazard.)
For the Facebook group, the background was blurred
to be less of a distraction and bring more focus on the
bridge and fountain.
Fairyland script logo was chosen from two choices of original
Lowry Park brochures:
2016-Dec. 23 BRENDA CREATED OUR GO FUND
Fairyland! is a local effort initiated by the Tampa Natives Show
and concerned friends who are working to retrieve, restore and
relocate the beloved storybook characters of Fairyland.
Recently "discovered" in a City of Tampa
back lot, the figures, removed from Fairyland Forest in Lowry
Park circa 1996, have been left to the elements and are in
pretty rough shape. We approached the City SEVERAL MONTHS ago,
to take possession of the figures to restore them to their
original glory and relocate them for the enjoyment of future
However, the City has decided, to our
great disappointment, to post the figurines in an auction to be
held in January. Our goal is to purchase the figures. refurbish
and relocate them here in Tampa for the children of our
community to enjoy. THAT WAS THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE. THAT IS OUR
JOIN US in this fight to SAVE FAIRYLAND!
Share this appeal with other Tampa Natives and friends who
cherish the memories of Fairyland and want to see them all
returned to our community in a way that results in a "happily
Every gift, no matter the size, will be
a big help in keeping Fairyland more than just a memory. GIVE
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT YOUR DONATION -
When the sale of the Fairyland figures was formally announced by
the City of Tampa on December 23, we (myself and members of The
Tampa Natives Show who had been working on saving the figures
for several months now) were "blindsided," and we had not yet
set up a corporation. Because of the short time we had to
organize to make the purchase, we established a Go Fund Me
account. Since I initiated the account, it carries my name.
However, let me be clear, the collected funds belong to this
The City of Tampa has set the game - we
intend to WIN!
Brenda Piniella Rouse
Fairyland Restoration Project Committee
GROWTH OF THE
SAVE FAIRYLAND! GROUP AND GO FUND ME PAGE
In one day, by
10pm of Dec. 23, 2016, the Save Fairyland group on Facebook had
grown to 98 members, and by 11pm, Gloria Comellas Perez had become
its 100th member. The Go Fund Me effort had reached $205 and
we thought we had the bid covered to win the auction. Little
did we know what winning the auction of all the figures would
2017-Dec. 29 BRENDA CREATED A SURVEY
On this evening, a
suggestion was made to build a contacts list, with names, phone
numbers, email addresses, and what volunteers would
definitely offer to provide in terms of labor, services,
and craftsmanship. In order to obtain all this information
privately, Brenda set up a survey using Survey Monkey--How
Can YOU Help Fairyland?
On the same
evening, the survey was
posted in the Save Fairyland group. (And again on
Jan. 4, 2017.)
2016-Dec. 29 - Anneliese Meier posted at
Save Fairyland questioning
of Tampa auction flyer:
Come on Yvonne Yolie Capin, Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen and Guido
Maniscalco, I think you all have been blindsided by this upcoming City
auction. The brochure the City Procurement Department sent out states
"Historic Fairyland Figurines." Did you all give approval for Historic
items to be auctioned off? Where does the Historic Preservation office
of the City come into play here? The late City of Tampa Mayor Nick
Nuccio helped create our Parks Department, and these figurines were a
major portion of pride and wonderment of every working family in Tampa
in the 1960's. Mayor Nuccio realized the importance of bringing all the
Tampa cultures together and having a
place for working families to relax at Lowry Park. The City auction
brochure states these figurines are Historic so why are they being
auctioned and why didn't City Council have a say so in this matter????
This posting goes out to Councilman Frank Reddick, Charlie Miranda and
Luis Viera also.
Plan 3 continued from above...
- The Save Fairyland committee
considered the pursuit of the "Historcal" approach to stop the auction,
but it was decided that success in this respect could be detrimental to
our cause in the end, tying up the figures in endless bureaucratic red
tape and possibly resulting in us not obtaining the figures at all.
agreed not to pursue this course of action any further.
The City's Auction Flyer is Quietly Edited
December, the City's flyer had a new look; a subtle change was made by
removing the reference to "Historical" and "landmark."
When Mr. Spearman was
approached with the question of obtaining the
necessary permission to sell items deemed "historical," he claimed that the terms "Historical" and
"Landmark" were just "figures of speech," and very quietly, the
city's flyer was replaced with this one.