Mary Lee's House Southern Soiree
Experiencing the "mission and vision of Mary Lee's House" — which is to efficiently provide child protection and advocacy services under one roof — sent golf tournament proceeds through the roof: $460,000 was raised to keep abused and neglected children safe. Previously, it was assessments here, depositions there, testimony here, counseling there.
"It's profound … so much more than golf," said Kathy Conner, chairwoman of Mary Lee's House second Celebrity Pro-Am tournament. To reinforce why they were teeing up, Dina Sierra Smith chaired the Southern Soiree Pairings Par-Tee, featuring tours of the Armenia Avenue facility, on March 3.
"You can't meet the children," Conner said, "but some of the 180 guests were in tears." Holy Hog Barbecue donated the dinner.
Jennifer Holtz recruited 24 celebrity players including her husband, former USF football coach Skip Holtz, baseball great Fred McGriff, Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano and WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Gayle Sierens. Every foursome had at least one $5,000 sponsor, noted Conner who has already stepped up to chair the event next year.
10th annual Cup of Compassion
Breakfast is free and the information priceless at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay's annual Cup of Compassion. About 450 people arrived in the dark Feb. 7 and left informed of the center's services, ranging from the 24-hour-a-day Dial 2-1-1 program to sexual assault, financial distress, medical emergency, suicidal thoughts, emotional and situational problem support.
WFTS-Ch. 28's Brendan McLaughlin had a new co-anchor for that morning crowd at A La Carte Event Pavilion. His wife, Sandy, is vice president of development at the Crisis Center.
Clients' personal stories shared via video and Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke's speical invitation to a hockey game for donors of $1,000 and up, pumped proceeds to a record $393,000.
Andrea's Sip for Life
Good news was the main dish at Andrea's Sip for Life. More than Columbia Cafe specialities and 150 kinds of wine, more than a ceviche station and a mashed potato "martini" bar, the Gonzmart Family Foundation's annual tasting party served updates on medical research March 8 at the Tampa Bay History Center.
Dr. Damon Reed, medical director of the Sarcoma Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and surgeon Doug Letson, who specializes in adolescent and young adult patients, told 300 guests about new treatments giving hope to young people. The event is dedicated to the memory of Andrea Dicks Hartley. Her mother, Wanda Dicks, attended in appreciation of the ongoing support, and the $65,000 raised that night.
Chiseler's Market preview party
If Queen Elizabeth had a garage sale at Buckingham Palace, it would look something like the Chiseler's Market. For 50 years, the women's historic preservation club has organized a daylong sale of donated china, silver, collectibles, books, furniture and all sorts of housewares, resulting in millions of dollars to maintain the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, now the University of Tampa.
This year, the preservationists — called Chiselers since their first task was chiseling paint off tiles — earmarked market proceeds to help restore 1,068 windows.
The March 15 preview party took place in midst of the Market in Plant Hall, where 400 guests jump-started their shopping by paying twice the price tagged. They bid on 400 items at the silent auction, grazed a cocktail buffet and enjoyed jazz by the Dennis Pupello band. In the live auction, a diamond brooch donated by Grace Weller sold to Bernie Fensterwald for $5,000, a surprise for his wife, Beth, for their 40th anniversary.