The All Children's Hospital Guild Evening Branch returned to the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park for its 79th annual Charity Ball.
"Razz-Ma-Tazz," they called it: the Roaring '20s revisited. And it was a benefit for the sixth-floor neonatal intensive care unit in the new All Children's Hospital, which opened in January.
Dillon Gonzalez, a 15-year-old high school sophomore celebrating his seventh year of renal transplantation, gave the invocation. Maggie Wilson, who has scleroderma, performed two songs about the hospital written by one of her physicians, Dr. Michael Gallant, who accompanied her on the keyboard. Wilson's rheumatologist, Dr. Rob Nickerson, referred her to Gallant; they soon discovered their mutual enjoyment of music.
Evening Branch president Tricia Davidson, gala chair Sherry Sexton and co-chair Shonee Hadlock greeted guests; honorary co-chairs were WTSP-Ch. 10 news anchors Reginald Roundtree and Heather Van Nest.
Event sponsors included Raymond James Financial, Florida Pediatrics, Tech Data, University of South Florida Health, Baskin Flece, Pediatric Surgery Centers, WMOR-TV, Storr Office Environments, Caspers Co.-McDonald's Restaurants, George F. Young Inc. and Marcus Partners Inc.
Supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast journeyed back to the 1960s to celebrate the organization's half-century mark. Tie-dye costumes seemed to be de rigueur for the fundraiser, which drew about 400 guests to the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach to be entertained by music of the period, go-go dancers and an Elvis Presley impersonator.
BGCS has its roots in the Boys Club of Pinellas Park, founded in November 1959 by Maurice L. MacTarsney, then the police chief, and Margaret "Peg" Nunn. In its current incarnation, led by executive director Carl Lavender Jr., the nonprofit has 11 clubs in Pinellas County.
Honored during the evening were founders, longtime supporters and sustainers of BGCS: Bob and Claudia Sokolowski and the Nicklaus family, including Harry and Beverly Nicklaus, Lenné Nicklaus-Ball, Deborah Nicklaus, Gregg Nicklaus and Valerie Nicklaus.
Amy Maguire and Lenné Nicklaus-Ball were co-chairs of the gala, a fundraiser for club scholarships.
The event committee included Alex Glenn, Andy Winkler, Angie Piazza, Barbara Royston, Bernie Craig, Bill Bennett, Brandi Winans, Carla Mattern, Cat Coats, Catherine McGarry, Derek Berset, Edie Spies, Georgetta Doyle, Jay Coats, Jim Coats, Kara Behar, Katja Weinstock, Leroy Sullivan, Rick Carrick and Tiffany Oferloch.