Cattle Baron’s Ball
They may call it a ball, but wearing denim, not diamonds, delighted the boot-scootin’, two-steppin’, calf-ropin’ crowd at Saturday’s casual Cattle Baron’s Ball, the annual $500-per cowpoke benefit for the American Cancer Society. Puff n’ Stuff catered highfalutin’ buffets of scallops, New York strip, fried chicken and barbecue pork in Armature Works event hall while Southern Train packed the dance floor.
Chairmen Mike and Gail Nursey, who lost her mom to cancer at age 62, said Howdy and thanks y’all, to the 515 supporters, especially honorary co-chairs Renee and Ron Vaughn. Junior honorary chairman Cole Eicher corralled young patients he mentors to help him raise $100,000 for pediatric cancer research. Quick as Wyatt Earp, live and silent auctions plus lots of revenue enhancers like a Remembrance Tree ($25 a leaf) and teddy bears ($60 each) lassoed $500,000 "to take down" cancer.
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Coronation Ball
A video montage of 105 years of pirate history opened Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla’s coronation ball Saturday, sequeing into congratulations on hosting the National Hockey League and stealing the Stanley Cup at last month’s invasion.
The formal royal rite of passage enthroned commercial real estate developer Gary Harrod, who perhaps trained for his reign when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with the 85th, 89th and 91st kings, and Queen Margo Ennis, daughter of Hank Ennis III and 1984 Gasparilla Queen Suzanne Ennis, a senior at Furman University planning a nursing career. Grandfather Hank, Jr. was king in 1994; sister Sara was queen in 2014.
The Captain’s Call brought a dozen loyal leaders to their feet before DJ Joey Jam turned the Tampa Convention Center hall into an exuberant Club Jose while the Jazz with Jim band played more cozily in a Pirate’s Cove lounge in the lobby.
WEDU Be More awards
Immigrants and refugees, neuro-diverse children, homeless teens and babies learning to swim are among the countless beneficiaries of the good works by Be More finalists, non-profits from 16 counties recently honored by PBS affiliate, WEDU. Categories ranged from Be More Brilliant to Be More Relevant to the pinnacle, Be More Unstoppable, earned for the second time by Starting Right, Now founder Vicki Sokolik.
"Every table is making a difference," said co-emcee Lisette Campos surveying the Feb. 22 luncheon at the Bryan Glazer JCC, "We just want to hug everyone in the room." But her irascible co-emcee Jack Harris just couldn’t resist joking, "Russians interfered with ballots and the non-profit of the year is really Hooters."
Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett
United Way Suncoast presented an intriguing and insightful Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett, youngest son of the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett. Between his original music and audience questions, topics ranged from his work with native Americans to the female-focused philanthropic strategy of his NoVo Foundation, aimed to transform a global culture of domination by collaborating with women and girls as agents of change. "The world would be a better places if girls and moms were respected," said Buffett.