Sophisticated Gents of Florida


The Sophisticated Gents of Florida is an organization dedicated to intellectual, spiritual, educational, and emotional fellowship in The Villages and surrounding communities of central Florida. We give back to our community through our Community Outreach Services, which include Mentoring, Helping Hand, and Scholarship programs.  Please continue to explore our website for additional information about these programs.

Please consider a DONATION to our Scholarship Fund.

NOTE: Throughout our website you will find text similar to red/orange highlighted text. These are "Navigational Links" that, WHEN CLICKED, take you to other areas within or outside of the site to provide more information about the highlighted text. 

All Male Fashion Show

On Saturday, May 25, 2019 the Sophisticated Gents of Florida put on an All Male Fashion Revue at the Savannah Recreation Center in The Villages. This fund raising event, a sell-out, was a huge success! 

Over 20 male models walked the runway in the following categories:  Casual & Sports Wear, Business Attire, and Formal Wear.  The models  consisted of Sophisticated Gents and friends who strutted the runway to the exciting music provided by LP Sound Productions - Lawrence Parker & Bill Rascoe. 

A lasting memory for those in attendance, this stellar event could not have been pulled off without the fantastic support and collaboration of the following:

President - Tom Glass
Chairmen - Lawrence Parker / Earl Cash
Emcee - Walter Martin
Video - Pat Randolph
Music - LP Sound Production (Lawrence Parker & Bill Rascoe)
Stage Director - Ben Moore
Production Crew - Ken Grant / Otis Lane / Mamie Parker / Florence Rascoe / Sonny & Sheila White / Joyce Cash

...and our models:  Walter Martin (Emcee), George Arnold, Chad Baldwin, Ben Brown, Bryan Casey, Dan Dildy, Bill Fisher, Jerome Fisher, Lee George, Tom Glass, Vernon Haley, Billie Hudson, James Hudson, Clarence Johnson, Ray Kelly, Randy Linton, Lloyd Mayfield, John Mercier, Michael Mitchell, Bill Munnerlyn, Ola Olambiwonnu, Paul O'Reilly, Spencer Polite, Luther Tinsley, Sonny White, and a special performance by Lawrence Parker!

Last but not least, a special THANK YOU goes out to all of our guests who attended! We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you! 

FYI, we are working to put together a DVD of the event that will be provided for a modest fee, with proceeds to the Scholarship Fund. Please stay tuned!

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2019 Black and White Ball

Gents 2019 Black and White Ball - "An Evening of Elegance"

On March 9, 2019 the Sophisticated Gents of Florida hosted its 2019 Black and White Ball - " An Evening of Elegance" at the Eisenhower Recreation Center in The Villages. The theme surrounded honoring our significant others for their outstanding support throughout all of our year long programs and activities. These activities included the annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon, the Friendship Golf Tournament, the Adopt-A-Highway Program, support to Villages parades, supporting our Veterans, the Martin Luther King,  Jr Commemorative Breakfast, and several other activities.

To commemorate the occasion, on arrival couples were photographed and given a beautiful 5x7 color photo. As they entered the ballroom, the ladies were presented a beautiful wrist corsage and escorted to their seats. At their table, each guest received an engraved ink pen and a beautiful commemorative souvenir booklet highlighting all the key programs the Gents participated in this year.

The program was kicked off with a Welcome and Acknowledgement of our guests by our President, Thomas Glass.  This was followed by toasts, a Tribute to our Departed Members, and presentations of awards to Vernon Haley (Immediate Past President), Billy Hudson, and Dan Chain for their outstanding service to our Organization.  

A full-course, sit-down dinner was served by "La Hacienda Catering," followed by dancing the night away to the music of "The Rick Melvern Band." 


Special thanks goes out to our Black and White Ball Committee members - Harry Lumpkin (Chair), Theodore Bristol, Ted Goodman, Kenneth Grant, Connie Lumpkin, Jerome Lumpkin, Vernon Neal, Harold Williams, and Stan Galperin. Their dedication and hard work made our signature event a complete success. But the most special thanks and appreciation goes out to everyone who joined us for this wonderful evening of elegance and fellowship!

Recent News Blog

  • 09/09/2019 11:12 AM | Eric Yarborough (Administrator)

    Sophisticated Gents of Florida mentors connect with Tri County Children

    Helping young boys is a mission of the SGOF, the mentoring program is just one of its outreach programs to Central Florida, said President Tom Glass.

    Click on below linked PDS File to read more:

    Mentors connect with Tri-county children 09092019.pdf

  • 08/01/2019 9:14 PM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    The following information was shared by our president, Tom Glass:

    "Due to the demography of our membership and our loved ones, I wanted to share this source of information with you. I am often asked "How do I find out about hospitals and which one is the best for "x" ?

    The link provided below is the most comprehensive source available. There are extensive links within the article which can address the vast majority of issues we are confronted with.  Hospitals across the country look to this annual report as the "Gold Standard" for comparison of services. Below is the header for the article which will give you a better idea of the contents. You will be able to find information on all of the facilities here in Central Florida as well as any other area in the country.

    I wish the best of health to all of you and  your loved ones.

    Tom Glass, President"


    Best Hospitals by Specialty National Rankings

    Review the 2019-20 best hospitals in the U.S. from U.S. News. We analyze data from nearly 5,000 medical centers and survey responses from more than 30,000 physicians to rank hospitals in 16 adult specialties including cancer, diabetes, rheumatology and more. Survival rates, patient safety, specialized staff and hospital reputation were among the factors weighed. Nationally, only 165 hospitals ranked in at least one of the specialties in 2019-20. The Honor Roll recognizes 20 hospitals for their exceptional care for complex cases across these specialties, as well as recognizes hospitals by state, metro and regional areas for their work in nine more widely performed procedures and conditions.

    Link to article:

  • 04/03/2019 8:21 AM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    Do you want to see performances by "Toni Booker & the Pips"? Or, how about an act by the Gents own version of "The Temptations"? Or, not to be outdone, some great Line Dance moves by "The Hot Flashes"?

    All of the above, as well as an opening act by the Gents own "Duke of Earl" can be seen in the link below. ENJOY!

    2010 Gents Talent Show

    NOTE:  Thanks to Mac M. for providing this!

  • 03/13/2019 10:26 AM | Eric Yarborough (Administrator)

    An Evening of Hope

    House of Hope GALA Dinner fundraiser Friday Mar 22. This event has sold out every year, so reserve your table early Website:                Contact – Di Anna Presutto              email:     

    house of hope Gala Dinner flyer.pdf

  • 03/12/2019 2:39 PM | Bryan Casey (Administrator)

    Following submitted by Bryan Casey:

    The linked article from the Washington Examiner speaks to a tragedy that befell a family member. "Uncle Jerry,” as he was affectionately known, died in 2012 from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

    I share this because factors that contributed to this tragedy; i.e.,

    • a vehicle with a keyless ignition FOB, 
    • an attached garage, 
    • a home without appropriately-placed carbon monoxide detectors

    are elements present in MANY households. Hopefully, this knowledge can educate and help prevent another tragedy. At the very least, ALL OF US might ensure our homes - as well as those of our loved ones - are outfitted with carbon monoxide detectors.


    Bill would force changes to keyless ignition fobs 

    by James Langford, Washington Examiner | March 08, 2019 12:00 AM 

    An avid New York Yankees fan even after he moved to Boynton Beach, Fla.,  Jerry Zitser wouldn't have missed a televised game, so his daughter knew something was wrong when she phoned the 86-year-old's home and he didn't answer.

    The two had a ritual of talking near the beginning of every game, frequently discussing the merits of the pitcher, Suzi Zitser recalled. That, too, was something her father wouldn't miss. So her next step that summer afternoon in 2012 was to call one of her dad's neighbors, asking her to fetch one of the gated community's security guards to check on Jerry Zitser in person.

    They found him dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, his body in a recliner in the den, facing a television which was still showing the Yankees game. The smell of exhaust fumes permeated the house, and in the attached garage, his Toyota Avalon equipped with a keyless ignition was still running.

    "They found the fob for the automobile in his shirt pocket," Suzi Zitser told the Washington Examiner. Unfamiliar with keyless-engine technology at the time, Zitser began researching it and soon found reports of other deaths in similar circumstances. Keyless ignitions allow drivers to start vehicles with the push of a button as long as a fob with a built-in radio transmitter is close enough to transmit an ignition code, like a digital key, to vehicle sensors. 

    The downside, safety advocates say, is that such systems make it much easier for drivers to leave the vehicle running when they exit, particularly if they're helping kids or pets get out or if they're unloading purchases. The latter is what Jerry Zitser had done, coming home from a grocery-store run before the game started. 

    Since her father was accustomed to mechanical keys that couldn't be removed unless a vehicle was turned off, having the fob in hand "gave him a reassurance that the car can't still be running," Suzi Zitser explained. Taking the fob away from most vehicles, however, doesn't turn them off. 

    In the weeks and months after her father's death, she and her brother and sister discussed what she'd found in her research, realizing that a fix — designing the ignition systems to power down vehicles after a certain amount of idling time — seemed relatively simple. 

    "We said, 'Let's just try to prevent one more senseless death,'" she recalled. Zitser then wrote to a government agency that referred her letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which at the time was weighing new rules for keyless ignitions. It had begun the process in 2011 but still has not finished it. The agency "knew of this problem two years before my father died, and they did absolutely nothing," Zitser said. 

    When she learned that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., had taken an interest in the issue, she wrote to him, and she and her family supported a bill he proposed in late February that would require the Traffic Safety Administration to finalize a rule mandating auto-shutoff devices. 

    “This legislation will require NHTSA to do what it should have done nearly eight years ago — protect American drivers and families from injury and death by finalizing some basic safety standards," said Blumenthal, who represents the state where Jerry Zitser once lived and where his daughter still resides. The measure already has the backing of automakers Ford and GM as well as safety advocacy groups. Roughly half of the 17 million cars sold in the U.S. each year have keyless ignitions, and more than 90 injuries and fatalities have been linked to them since 2006, including cases where the vehicles rolled after drivers turned them off without putting them into a parking gear.

    The numbers, which were compiled by the safety advocacy group, may actually be much higher. No comprehensive figures exist, however, since the federal government hasn't tracked such cases. 

    It's a situation Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., urged the Traffic Safety Administration to correct last year. The agency's lack of action has allowed some carmakers "to state publicly that their keyless ignition systems meet or exceed all relevant federal safety standards, despite the known and unaddressed dangers," he wrote in a July letter to acting administrator Heidi King, whom President Trump has nominated to fill the post permanently. 

    Ford, which already includes an auto-shutoff feature in some of its models that activates after 15 minutes, “supports the principle" of Blumenthal's bill, spokeswoman Rachel McCleery told the Washington Examiner. GM, which has built a similar feature that turns off engines after about an hour into some of its Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC models, said it also backed the proposal. 

    Without a federal rule requiring such a feature or other safety backstops for keyless ignitions, however, most carmakers haven't addressed the issue, Blumenthal said. While many said they supported uniform standards when the Traffic Safety Administration first proposed its rules, they quibbled over details ranging from the questionnaires the government was using to seek input from vehicle owners to the volume of alert beeps that might be mandated to warn drivers their car was running, government records show. The 2011 proposal didn't require auto-shutoff. 

    The Auto Alliance, a trade group representing companies behind 70 percent of all U.S. auto sales, said keyless ignitions generally conform to standards set by SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. That organization's guideline for keyless ignitions mentions a timed auto-shutoff feature but doesn't require it. 

    The core issue with a keyless ignition is that it "completely upends the traditional relationship we have with our keys," said Safety Research & Strategies President Sean Kane, who worked with Zitser's family in their campaign. 

    "If you have your metal key in your hand and not in your car, you can make two clear statements about the state of that vehicle," he told the Washington Examiner.

    "One, the transmission must be in park — it has to be locked in park so it can't roll away. And two, the engine has to be off; otherwise the key cannot be in your hand." 

    While vehicle owners' manuals refer to the fob as a key, "It has no role in shutting down the car," he added. "They’re not designed so that when you exit with the fob the car will shut off, as opposed to you have to be in the vehicle with the fob to get it to run." 

    Blumenthal's bill will address the risks from that design, which Kane called counterintuitive. "Somebody needed to step up and do something," he added. "Too many people have died." 

    Zitser hopes the proposal garners the support needed to become law and keep others from suffering her father's fate. 

    "All we ever wanted from the day he died was to prevent another senseless death," she said. 

    A Navy veteran who served during World War II, Jerry Zitser had purchased his Florida home at the request of Suzi's mother, Sylvia, who died in 2009. The house had state-of-the-art alarm systems, but its construction predated a Florida requirement that new buildings include carbon monoxide detectors. 

    "The unfortunate problem was the garage that was attached to the house," Suzi Zitser said. Next to the garage wall was the den, she said, "where he would watch his games and stuff and had his computer." 

    The day of Jerry Zitser's death, car exhaust fumes seeped into the room through its air conditioning vents. "As he was waiting for the game, essentially, poison was coming into the house," she added. 

    Until that time, Zitser had been in good health for his age, she said, a popular figure in his community who played the tenor saxophone with local bands and rode his bicycle every day. 


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Sophisticated Gents of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. P.O. Box 157, Lady Lake, FL 32158-0157

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