Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Children's Home thanks its donors

Handbags & Happy Hour

Make-A-Wish Foundation Suncoast regional director Lisa Andrews harnessed the power of the Junior League and the lure of designer handbags to attract 400 women (at $50 each, no less) to Handbags & Happy Hour at the Centre Club on May 15.

Not too difficult, she said, since the party featured an auction of 125 purses, including Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Tory Burch styles, to drop a few names. The top-dollar purchase, a Chanel flapbag from Mosh Posh, went for $1,560. A spring basket purse, donated by Tiffany & Co. manager Maged Asuoty, the only man on the planning committee, sold for $639 to Gretchen Dominguez. He also presented silver lockets to four young "Wish" girls invited that night.

South Tampa Dermatology, a party sponsor, helped push proceeds past $50,000 with an attractive offer: 30 units of Botox exchanged for one gently used, high-end handbag. Several bags arrived with tags still on, said Andrews, shouting over the megadecibel din of women shopping, sipping chardonnay and eating sliders and fries. Wonder how that buffet got past emcee/personal trainer Nick "Peety" Peterson?

Seventh Annual Pride & Passion

It was one of those nights, taking in the visual feast of Pride & Passion, to thrill that it was all actually happening in Tampa.

"Nothing else like it," raved Mike Paonessa, scanning the crowd of 800 stylish minglers, amazed at "how New York" the scene became May 19 at the Tampa Museum of Art.

"You couldn't move, there were so many people," said his partner Rob Iles, over DJ Michael Terrance's spins and Timpano's hors d'oeuvres at the seventh annual kickoff to St. Pete Pride activities.

For inspiration, New Century Dance Co.'s witty entertainers considered vanity (a female impersonator changed genders primping at a mirror); indulgence (handmade Tito's vodka, handmade City Streets Sweets truffles) and furniture (evoking the new exhibit, A Hundred Years — A Hundred Chairs, Masterworks from the Vitra Design Museum).

A robust woman in Victorian dress lounged on a chaise eating cupcakes. A harlequin challenged himself to a game of chess. Two "Alices" romped around a Wonderland of musical chairs. Three dancers in white elastic bodysuits, connected by white strings, bopped in a boxing ring to music by Adele. A dancer dressed in a brilliant red gown trailed by a 50-foot tulle train ascended the staircase as backup singers descended costumed like red and yellow flames.

Museum director Todd Smith joined the throng of art enthusiasts and culture exhibitionists who helped raise $110,000, many new and renewing members among them, as each ticket included a year's membership.

The Children's Home Recognition Luncheon

Tampa Bay Rays' ringleader Rick Nafe emceed the Children's Home's 23rd annual donor recognition luncheon under a red-and-white striped Big Top tent May 16, organized by the National Association of Catering Executives at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. Circus jugglers, magicians and midway games kept 500-plus guests entertained, without forgetting the mission of helping abused and abandoned children.

Representatives from some of the 120-year-old residence's founding families, including well-known names such as Lowry, Lykes, Conn and Macfarlane were among the most attentive listeners to a video interview with Carl Miller of Carrollwood. He grew up at the Children's Home, arriving in 1925 at 6 months old and leaving when he turned 18.

Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart received the 2012 Helen Ayala Davis award, named for a beloved board member. As a teenager, he recalled, he gave his tuition money to the home, "to help kids that didn't have a mom like I did."

CEO Irene Rickus, joined by current resident youngsters, concluded with a rousing Happy Birthday and a giant birthday cake.


June 9: Purple Gala, Summer at the Circus; benefits the Spring of Tampa Bay. The Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., $125; or (813) 247-5433, ext. 332.

June 14: Rays on the Runway fashion show hosted by wives of the Tampa Bay Rays to benefit the Children's Dream Fund; Marriott St. Petersburg, 12600 Roosevelt Blvd.; 6:30 p.m.; fashions from Saks Fifth Avenue; $125 for adults ; $75 for children 17 and under; patrons $250 for adults and $125 for children;

June 23: Sixth annual Power of Giving Limo Hunt and Gala benefits Ryan Nece Foundation; limo hunt, 11 a.m. starting at Neiman Marcus; gala, 7:30 p.m. at TPepin's Hospitality Centre; or (813) 785-9249.

June 23: Sixth annual Apple Appeal, "Casino Royale" benefits Hillsborough Education Foundation; 7 to 10 p.m.; Ferguson Law Center, 1610 N Tampa St.; business, cocktail or James Bond 007 attire; $125; (813) 574-0276.

June 24: Krewe of Zingaro's eighth "Uncork the Cure" wine tasting to benefit the Children's Cancer Research Group at 1Voice Foundation; 4-7 p.m.; Tampa Club, 101 Kennedy Blvd.; $50 advance; $60 at the door; or (813) 508-2133.

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Children's Home thanks its donors 05/31/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.