Amy Scherzer’s Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

Published February 23
Updated March 8

Tampa Theatre WineFest & Oscars weekend

Was that Wayne and Garth or Henry Gonzalez and John Bell in a hilarious video spoofing 1992 flick, Wayne’s World? The headbangers partied on most excellently at Tampa Theatre’s Wine’s World, the March 1, 2 and 3 Wine
Fest, rolling the credits right onto the Hollywood Awards Night annual Oscars’ telecast March 4. All on one weekend? "No way... Way," insisted a truly dedicated staff and 1,500 movie lovers helping raise more than $100,000 over four nights, completing phase one of a $6 million restoration campaign for the movie palace.

WineFest chairman Michael Stanton sold-out the five-course, Mise en Place-catered wine-pairing dinner and a roaming, gourmet sampling (how about octopus satay from Oxford Exchange and ginger fried quail from Cru Cellars, for starters) with dozens of fine wines. Then Roan Jivers/Pat Fenda dished on the gown and tuxedo-crowd popping out of limos, glamming up the red carpet, dining on a party deck or munching popcorn in the balcony, all marveling at the scene off screen as much as on.

Tampa Metro YMCA Community Impact dinner

So much more than "gym and swim" happens at the YMCA, said Matt Mitchell, CEO of Tampa Metro YMCA, presenting Jeff Vinik the 2018 Community Impact Award as a video thanked the philanthropist for "Making our home, your home." Penny Vinik was unable to attend and missed the thunderous applause for all their efforts to improve the community, including donating $15 million to more than 400 charities in seven years. "There can never be enough YMCAs," said Vinik. Former board chair Brett Couch was honored to receive the Red Triangle award, named for the three sides of the symbol: spirit, mind and body. Adam Klutts announced volunteers of the year from 15 centers who brought their own cheering squads Feb. 27 to TPepin’s Hospitality Centre.

Equality Florida Tampa Gala

Volunteers and champions of progressive LGBTQ issues gathered at the Equality Florida Tampa Gala to honor Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco, Jack Forsyth, 16, Gene Costa and Regions Bank. The 550 partygoers heard a thought-provoking update from CEO Nadine Smith but gala chairman Giovanni Gutierrez planned far more than speeches and awards Feb. 24 to raise $300,000 at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre. The colorful crowd enjoyed a spirited auction featuring artwork by Jeff Monsein, Eileen Goldenberg, Duncan McClellan and Laurie Garrett, among many others, with music by Mr. Lounge and paella buffet by Puff n’ Stuff.

Tampa Garden Club anniversary tea

Pretty hats and fashions of yesteryear helped recall 1928 as the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs celebrated it’s 90th anniversary with a tea party. Photos of past-presidents and projects were on display Feb. 23 at the Tampa Garden Club where each circle brought their own china and 200 tea sandwiches or cookies to share at lovely tablescapes. Mercedes Piesco and Diana Sullivan of the Town N’ Country Circle blended their own Celebration Tea for all 160 guests.