Leukemia & Lymphoma Man & Woman of the Year
Tyler Iller raised $43,829 to be Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year. Stacie Lenners brought in $37,911 to win Woman of the Year. Both bankers, they bested eight others to raise the most money in 10 weeks, all inspired by Connor Hernandez, 13, and Mia Dominguez, 7, who are in remission from leukemia. Among the fundraisers they held were Ty's clay shooting tournament and Stacie's concert at the Shops of WireGrass, where her husband, Greg, the 2011 Man of the Year, is general manager.
The Suncoast chapter's campaign concluded with $253,000 at a grand finale gala May 18 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa, combining monies collected by eight other candidates: Justin Trombetto, Joseph Dobrowolski, Debra Kaplan, Carroll Couri, Kim Thresher, Monique Caldwell, Dr. Mary Li and Rose Huro Waters. Couri's tally included Michael Pinson's $4,000 bid to move his guests to the "King's Table" and dine on filet mignon and lobster. WFLA-Ch. 8's Jen Leigh and Leigh Spann emceed for the 550 guests.
Craftology at Glazer Children's Museum
Kids stayed home and sent their parents (future parents came, too) to play at Craftology, a benefit for Glazer Children's Museum featuring scientifically named and handcrafted cocktails and beers from six local breweries. The blue jeans and maxi-dress crowd of 400 poured through three floors of exhibits May 18, following details printed on cocktail napkins. DJ Rich Ranck manned the first floor, where guests sipped aged rum and black tea Proton Punch, Sea Dog beers and Taps wines. They had gin and champagne Marie Curies and beer from Cigar City, Cold Storage and Three Palms on the second level, plus tater tot nachos and chicken and waffles from Datz. "My favorite, with an Oppenheimer," gushed guest Steve Rush, recalling the Manhattan-like cocktail.
The band Frequency rocked the top floor, where Newtons (vodka and apple cider) were mixed in a Theory of Relativity Bar and Datz dished mac and cheese cupcakes and chocolate chip bacon cookies. The $50-ticket party netted $25,000 for the museum's Title 1 programs.
Third annual Calendar for a Cause
For the third year, we get to be the recipient of these esthetics and compassion," said Patty O'Leary, director of the Children's Cancer Center, eyeing the creativity provided gratis by event professionals hosting Calendar for a Cause. A dozen pros planned the May 15 party, helmed by Sarah Fairbairn and Georgia Watson at the Tampa Yacht Club. Wise Guys performers greeted guests with a champagne flute "dress" and a living "painting." Josh Walther led the Phase 5 band; Ian Prosser of Botanica International arranged florals; Brooke Palmer of RSBP Events assisted with the auction. Chic Sweets staffed a candy table; Gelato Carte scooped six flavors. Aaron Lockwood Studios and Ryan Joseph Photography produced the calendar, picturing 13 kids battling cancer. Wine and martini glasses painted by the kids and their families and paired with a bottle of wine or liquor, plus a live auction, helped net $37,000 for 22 programs serving 950 families.
Eighth annual Pride & Passion
Four buff, black-bikini-clad young men, cuffed and collared 17th century Dutch-style, pulled a white carriage through the Tampa Museum of Art atrium, teasing throngs of Pride & Passion partygoers. A better-looking crowd would be hard to find than the 800 celebrants at the May 18 museum benefit and Gay Pride Month kick-off. Inside that buggy rode four statuesque models, in gowns by Helen Gerro and shoes by Ivanka Ska, debarking to pass St. Germaine liquor and caramelized kumquat aperitifs.
"The coolest yet, New Orleans meets South Beach with a dash of Cirque du Soleil," said guest Carolyn Kurtz, as harlequins and a violinist strolled past men in skirts and women in suits.
Timpano Italian Chophouse roasted black skillet mussels on the terrace and served beef tenderloin crostini, watercress salad and tiny lamb lollipops indoors. A dramatic reveal of Piquant Epicure & Cuisine's dessert room displayed passion fruit and blood orange bars and chocolate mousse. Galleries stayed open upstairs for browsers. Each $85 gala ticket came with an annual museum membership to keep or to gift.