The opinions and viewpoints in this feature are solely those of this website's owner,
and not necessarily those of any other involved in the Save Fairyland campaign, unless otherwise indicated.

 

Save Fairyland! is a local effort initiated by Tampa Natives Show host
Mario Nuņez and joined by
Rotary's Camp Florida Resource Development Director Brenda Piniella Rouse, along with concerned Tampa natives, Tampa citizens--both former and present, and friends, to acquire, restore and relocate the beloved storybook character figures of Tampa's  Lowry Park Fairyland for public display.
 

Saving Fairyland  -  Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

Lowry Park/Fairyland History    Herman - King of the Zoo     Safety Village      Fantasia Golf

 

 

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 figures.

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 serious.   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.

  1. "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.
  1. 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 were posted.

 

Up until 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."

 (Besides, the policy is more what you call guidelines than actual rules.)

So when the City released a formal flyer in mid-December, 2016 (below) it surprised us and it was pretty clear to us that the plans we had were ineffective. 

  1. 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 on the flyer jumped off the page at usHistorical and LandmarkBrought to our attention by Anneliese Meier and a few others who were ferociously involved with our campaign, if the figures were 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 basis.

 

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  WAS CREATED

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 Facebook group, an email address - SaveFairyland@gmail.com, and also a Wordpress Blog.

 

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.

 

3rd version used, outline added to text, fairy repositioned.
Dec. 23, 8:20pm

   

Variation used as Tampa Pix's cover on FB.  Storybook and transparent figures added in background, outer glow added to Fairyland logo.

The Fairyland script logo was chosen from two choices of original Lowry Park brochures:

           

 

 

2016-Dec. 23 BRENDA CREATED OUR GO FUND ME PAGE Save Fairyland!

Save 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 generations.

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 MISSION!

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 ever after!"

Every gift, no matter the size, will be a big help in keeping Fairyland more than just a memory. GIVE TODAY!

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 project.

The City of Tampa has set the game - we intend to WIN!

Best regards,

Brenda Piniella Rouse
Fairyland Restoration Project Committee

 

 

 

2016-Dec. 23 - Dan created a "Fairyland and Lowry Park" photo album at the Save Fairyland group using the same images he posted at the Tampa Natives page album.

 

 

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 take.
 


 
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 the City 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...

2016-Dec. 29
- 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.

It was agreed not to pursue this course of action any further.

The City's Auction Flyer is Quietly Edited

By late 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.

  1. The Last Resort - Ultimately, it was decided that we had no choice but to attempt to buy the figures at auction.  The formal flyer announcement by the city came as a surprise to us, and we knew that setting up a non-profit to raise funds for the auction would take a sizeable outlay of cash. 

   


2016-Dec. 29 - Brenda updated Save Fairyland with the status of the auction

UPDATE: Today, after much calling and waiting, and hearing answers we do not particularly like, it is confirmed without a doubt that the City of Tampa will sell the Fairyland figurines in an auction. It will not be undone. On January 14th they are going to sell our history to the highest bidder. WE ARE DETERMINED MORE THAN EVER THAT THE HIGHEST BIDDER WILL BE US! We will refurbish and relocate them in our community for children (and some of us boomers!) to enjoy. THAT WAS THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE. THAT IS NOW OUR MISSION! Join us! Get your friends to join too! Share this post! We're working on their "happily-ever-after!" Is there a way YOU can help? Email us at savefairyland@gmail.com

 

 


2016-Dec. 29 - The Save Fairyland Auction Secret Weapon

By this time, a high-profile Tampa citizen had become aware of our campaign, one who has been in the limelight of the news for instances of "fighting city hall" for his legal rights as a business owner, and even having run for a city government office.  Being a devoted fan of Tampa history, he generously offered his services as a financial backer for the auction, and offered us the use of his storage facility in the area, at no cost to us, where we could house and restore the figures.

 

 

2016-Dec. 29 - Dan created "Snidely Bucklash." ."        

       

 
2016-Dec. 31

By 6pm, $1,030 had been raised at the Save Fairyland Go Fund Me page.

 



2017-Jan. 1 - Snidley Bucklash made front page news in the first ever issue of the Tampa Pix Times.

 

 

 

2017-Jan. 1 - Brenda updated the Save Fairyland Go Fund Me page description in regard to the auction

We have learned some things since December 23rd: We now KNOW the Fairyland figures will be auctioned in 12 lots on January 14th, we do not need special credentials to bid, we do need to have cash, and we'll have to move them off the City lot pretty quickly. (We HAVE secured a safe, DONATED, indoor storage facility to keep them safe and dry while we work on the restorations!)

We do NOT know for certain how much cash we will need to purchase them all, because it is an auction. We also do not know who else might be interested in buying them. Understand, we plan to win all of them!

That being said, there are still some "IFs" I want to go over:

If there are funds remaining after the sale, they will be used to establish a non-profit to continue soliciting for tax-deductible funds, supplies, and services to refurbish them and then find appropriate public placement. Filing for tax-exempt status takes money - the State-required corporate filing fees, and the application fees to the IRS total over $500. We will be very transparent about all this.

ALL of the money collected after paying for the figures and these fees will be turned over to the non-profit. If all the money collected so far is used to purchase them, we will have to find a benefactor(s) to advance us the funds to set up the not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization to move forward with the project.

If the sale is stopped by the City, for any reason, and there is a chance that if we organize a non-profit to receive them and take over their care, we will do that with all the funds.  Any remaining funds after paying fees will go to the non-profit to provide a bit of seed money to pay for things like moving and start the refurbishing.

Lastly, if another private buyer comes in and swoops them all away from us, and it turns out we have no future involvement with the Fairyland figures, I will refund your gift, minus the small fee charged to me by Go Fund Me. Should you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact me.

Best regards,

Brenda Piniella Rouse
Fairyland Restoration Project Committee


 

City of Tampa Uses Manheim Auto Auctions to Sell Off Our History
 

2017-01-03 January 3 at 3:48pm · Manheim's first advertisement of the Fairyland auction on Facebook.
Here is a list of the figurines we have for auction: Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock, Little Boy Blue, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Little Miss Muffet, Snow White, 3 Little Pigs, Jack and Bean Stalk, Cinderella (3 different sets) and Miscellaneous Lot! Each set has the story book with it - will post more pics soon. 12 Sets total!

 



 

Manheim, Inc. is an automobile auction company and the world's largest wholesale auto auction based on trade volume with 145 auctions located in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. As a subsidiary of privately owned Cox Enterprises, Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim's primary business is wholesaling vehicles via a bidding process using traditional and online formats.

The same was advertised on Manheim's website.  The website page has since been removed, but in the fine print was a notice that the auction was to be held at their Cone Rd. lot.  Then at some point, the location was changed to their main facility on S. 50th St.

"Note: This public auction will not be held at our regular location. Please visit: 5109 Cone Rd Tampa, FL 33610"
 

 

Manheim gathered and posed the figures for their Facebook glamour photos.
 

2017-01-04 Manheim Tampa added 38 new photos at 1:51pm · Figurines for Sale Jan. 14th - Manheim Tampa at 10 a.m.

   

Photos shown here are combined from Manheim's Jan. 4 photos and their auction listing at their website.

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

   

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

   

    

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty               

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty                     

   

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

   

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

LOT 1 Humpty Dumpty

   
   
   

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock**

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock

**Correction: The 4 mice should have been placed with Cinderella; they are mice that get turned into horses in the story.

   

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock**

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock**

**Correction: The 4 mice should have been placed with Cinderella; they are mice that get turned into horses in the story.

   

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock**

LOT 2 Hickory Dickory Dock**

**Correction: The 4 mice should have been placed with Cinderella; they are mice that get turned into horses in the story.

   

LOT 3 Little Boy Blue

LOT 3 Little Boy Blue

   

   

LOT 3 Little Boy Blue

   

       

LOT 4 MARY & LITTLE LAMB

 
   

LOT 5 LITTLE MISS MUFFET

LOT 5 LITTLE MISS MUFFET

   

 

   

LOT 5 LITTLE MISS MUFFET

LOT 5 LITTLE MISS MUFFET

 

 

LOT 6 SNOW WHITE & THE DWARFS

LOT 6 SNOW WHITE & THE DWARFS

   

     

               LOT 6 SNOW WHITE & THE DWARFS                             

   

LOT 6 SNOW WHITE & THE DWARFS

 

LOT 7 THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

   

LOT 7 THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
 

   
     

LOT 7 THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
 

   

         

LOT 7 THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
 

   
   

LOT 8 JACK & THE BEANSTALK

LOT 8 JACK & THE BEANSTALK

   

LOT 8 JACK & THE BEANSTALK

 

LOT 8 JACK & THE BEANSTALK

 

LOT 8 JACK & THE BEANSTALK

 

LOT 9 CINDERELLA IN COACH SCENE

 

    

LOT 9 CINDERELLA IN COACH SCENE

 

LOT 9 CINDERELLA IN COACH SCENE

 

 

LOT 9 CINDERELLA IN COACH SCENE

 

  

LOT 10 CINDERELLA IN RAGS

 

    

LOT 10 CINDERELLA IN RAGS

 
  

LOT 11 CINDERELLA & PRINCE

                     LOT 11 CINDERELLA & PRINCE

      

LOT 11 CINDERELLA & PRINCE

 

    

LOT 12 MISC. ITEMS FROM AROUND THE PARK

 

   

LOT 12 MISC. ITEMS FROM AROUND THE PARK

 
  

LOT 12 MISC. ITEMS FROM AROUND THE PARK

 


Fox 13 Features

 

2017-01-04 Fairyland Figures to be Sold at Auction - FOX 13 Lloyd Sowers (Story)

 

2017-01-04 Fairyland Figures go up on auction block - FOX 13 Lloyd Sowers (Video)

 

  TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Fairyland figurines sit outside a city warehouse, worn by the years.

Snow White isn't the fairest anymore. Humpty Dumpty wears a sale sticker. He and all the kings horses, and everything from Fairyland will soon be on the auction block.

"I'm heartbroken," says Brenda Rouse, who was born in raised in Tampa. "It's like seeing your toys at a thrift store. They're part of our childhood. They're magical."

 


Fairyland started in the 1950s at Tampa's Lowry Park. It was a children's attraction for generations. But Fairyland was showing its age when the city took it down in the mid 1990s.

The figures were rediscovered a few months ago squirreled away in a city warehouse.  "They don't have any intrinsic value to anybody else but to those of us who are from here," says Mario Nunez who hosts the Tampa Natives show on cable.

A group asked the city to give them the figurines to restore, but Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that's not the way it works. It has to go out to bid.  "My suggestion to those with all these grand ideas is go to the auction and bid on them. If they win the auction, then fine, they can do whatever they want with them, but we don't want them," says Buckhorn.

Photos from the Fox 13 feature online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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