Born: June 7, 1927
1. Brookline High School
2. University of Miami-2 years
Bernie moved to Tampa in 1949
1. J. Clifford MacDonald Center-Center for the mentally
and physically handicapped.
A. Board Member and on the Board of Trustees
over 30 years.
B. Board Member Emeritus since 1990.
C. Volunteer Swimming instructor for 3 years.
2. City of Tampa
A. Member of Recreation Board for 18 years
B. Chairman of Recreation Board for 8 years
C. Member of City of Tampa "Sports Hall
of Fame" inductee.
3. University of Tampa
A. Founder of the University of Tampa Quarterback
B. Member of Athletic Hall of Fame for contributions
to all sports at the University.
4. Jesuit High School
A. Past President Dads Club
B. Past President Booster Club
C. Past Member of Presidents Council
D. Honored for "Outstanding Contributions" to the
Jesuit Program in 1992.
5. Tampa Sports Club
A. Past President
B. Member for 36 years
C. Founded the "Meet the Buc's Luncheon" which raised
thousands of dollars for the
Training Center. This was held over 16 years.
6. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tampa
A. Named "Citizen of the Year" in
1987 for his contributions to the Club and the City
7. University of South Florida
A. Past Member and past Board Member of the
Green Jacket Club.
Bernie is a native to Boston, Mass. After serving
in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he attended the University of Miami.
After 2 weeks of training, Bernie was sent by State Vacuum of
Florida, Inc. to manage the branch in Tampa. His pay was $15.00
per week plus commission. His store was the only store in the
chain of 36 stores throughout the Southeast and some in Canada
to survive. He bought the assets to the store in 1952. Through
hard work and determination, Bernie now has the largest vacuum
cleaner store in the country. He just resigned off the Board of
Directors for the Vacuum Dealer Trade Association(VDTA), after
serving for 18 years. He also was inducted into the VDTA Hall
of Fame in 1994 for outstanding contributions to the industry.
Bernie has been bestowed upon many awards,
among them are the Sertoma "Service to Mankind" award
given to the outstanding citizen in Hillsborough County, for contributions
to the community. He has also been named "Citizen of the
Year" by both the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tampa and
Florida A & M University.
Bernie has always worked for the betterment
of the City of Tampa which he loves so much. He served on the
past Super Bowl Task Force Committee and was chosen to escort
Forest Gregg for the week he was here. He has always been involved
in the community and especially in the Sports Community, always
helping coach Little League and P.A.L. Football programs. Bernie
has also been active in his Synagogue serving as president of
the Mens Club.
Bernie's latest project has been with Kyle
Romano. Kyle, now 13, at age 15 months was stricken with a rare
virus. To survive Kyle had to have his arms and legs amputated.
Kyle's parents grew up on Bernies street. Kyles parents are hardworking
people but were having a hard time financially. The door ways
in the home were too narrow to get Kyles wheelchair through, the
home was getting too small and was not handicapped friendly. Bernie
organized a team of workers, and totally remodeled his home. They
expanded the home and remodeled the inside to make it handicapped
friendly for Kyle. One year later and estimates of over $100,000
to redo the home, Kyle had a more friendly home to go home to,
at No Charge. Bernie also had the University of South Florida
Engineering school design a Bike for Kyle. According to Betty
Castor, then president of USF, this got the University more positive
publicity nationwide than anything else. Bernie's big heart came
through for Kyle as it has for his beloved Tampa.
Bernie, recently widowed after 50 years of
marriage to Betty, has 3 children, Debbe, Donna, & David,
6 grandchildren -- Denise Doug & Melissa Furano, Jennifer
& Joe Epstein, Daniel Bernstein.