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Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Cattle Baron's Ball kicks it up

DeBartolo Family All Star Charity Gala

Few foundations have the resources to entertain patrons like the DeBartolo Family. Eddie and Candy, with daughters Lisa and Nikki, elegantly camouflaged a hangar at Peter O. Knight Airport in Davis Islands for their 11th All Star Charity Gala. Planes out; tables, stage, dance floor in. Acrobatic acts swung, orchids hung. Las Vegas act Bob Anderson sung, comic Jay Mohr stung.

K4 Events planner Tiffani Packer carpeted, draped and flowered the vast space. Husband Rand Packer cooked in a tent for 700 guests attended by a staff of 137, a 1-to-6 ratio for those counting. Among them: football stars Jerry Rice and Colin Kaepernick, TV celebs Jaleel "Urkel" White and second-place Survivor finisher Monica Culpepper and chefs Tyler Florence and Scott Conant.

Saturday's auction bids grew hefty: Fourth of July at Candy Bar Ranch sold for $27,000; Super Bowl XLIX package for $20,000 and a week in France for $9,250. DJ Samantha Ronson played an after-party fete until the milk shakes, fries, glazed doughnuts and Bedazzle My Bonbons were gone.

17th annual Cattle Baron's Ball

Tod Leiweke arrived on a horse, of course. Whatever it takes to raise $1.1 million for the American Cancer Society, says the honorary Cattle Baron's Ball chairman and Tampa Bay Lightning CEO who kissed a bull last year for the cause. Some 800 cancer-hating cowpokes bid up hundreds of auction deals, cheered little red wagon races (AXA won the bucket of booze) and chowed down on lamb chops, crab cakes, brisket, turkey, corn dogs, shrimp shooters, quesadillas, snow cones, strawberry shortcake and peach cobbler. Tequila, margaritas and Fireball cinnamon whiskey washed it all down.

Leiweke and emcee Jack Harris auctioned tickets and trips, like four seats to every Forum concert, plus four Lightning season passes, sold for $10,000 to Tamer and Yvonne Youssef. A Tuscany trip went for $13,500; Vail ski package for $10,500; and fun in Toronto with brother Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Toronto Maple Leafs, sold 11 times at $3,500 each. Young cancer patient Ava's appeal, raffles and pledges raised the ante before country singer Josh Turner kicked up a barn dance at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Coronation

Gasparilla 101 studied the history of the pirates' club, decade by decade, in song and dance from jazz age to disco as Realtor/investor Joe Taggart and Sara Ennis were crowned the 101st king and queen. Adorable royal pages, courtly courtiers, gorgeously gowned Jeweled Circle, abdication and coronation — all the customary rites of passage pleased 1,000 guests Saturday at the Tampa Convention Center. Event Show Productions performed the big dance numbers; Fountains of Wayne rocked the rest of the evening at the annual royal ball.


Saturday: Opera Gala benefits Opera Tampa, presentation of Anton Coppola Excellence in the Arts award; Morsani Hall stage;

6 p.m.; $350; (813) 222-1037.

March 14: 51st annual Chiselers Auction Preview Party; 7-9 p.m.; Plant Hall, University of Tampa; $65; (813) 257-3776, (March 15: Chiseler's Market Day).

March 15: Second annual Around the World Tasting Experience benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; 7 p.m.; Straz Center; $125; (813) 868-2700 or

March 18: 13th Women of Distinction/Woman of Promise benefits Girl Scouts of West Central Florida; 11:30 a.m.; A La Carte Event Pavilion; $75; (800) 881-4475, ext. 1688 or

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Cattle Baron's Ball kicks it up 03/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 3:10pm]
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