Read about “Because of Sam”
Sam Piazza is a local hero. As a young man with Down syndrome, Sam has broken barriers and proven that people with disabilities can succeed and inspire others to do more – and be more.
I first was riveted by Sam’s story when he appeared in the Tampa Tribune in 2009 as the Homecoming King for Gaither High School. Yes, the student body voted for him to be in this cherished position. (check out the article and pictures below).
I didn’t know him or his family, but tracked down the reporter who wrote the story, and she connected me to the family. I met with his mother, Ruth, and learned more about Sam, his birth and his journey. I got the family’s blessing to begin production of a documentary. Then shot some footage with my producer colleagues Tammy Roebuck and Kelly Hickman.
Man, was I blown away by Sam’s story, his loving family and the supportive Gaither student body and staff who championed this Tampa Champion.
The footage I have, and am in the process of shooting more, is inspiring and empowering – it is exactly why I do what I do as a producer, speaker and coach.
Sam’s life and story helps others Claim Their Power and Capture Their Dreams, every day.
Among Sam’s accomplishments are that he has a black belt in karate, is active in the Best Buddies program, was in ROTC, the Gaither basketball team manager, involved in Special Olympics; is an avid weightlifter, AND knows how to ride horses, thanks to Hillsborough County’s Bakas Equestrian Center, and now works at PDQ – they’ve even named a menu item after him!
In July, I officially launched my effort to lift Sam, his family and their story up to the prominence they deserve.
My VISION: First a documentary film. Then a major feature film based on Sam’s life shot in Tampa. Stay tuned!
Renee Warmack’s Facebook Live Announcement – August 12, 2018
Click on the play button above to watch the Facebook Live video without having to log into Facebook.