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Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Curry Fest VIP kickoff, Big Brothers Big Sisters gala and a French honor

Order of Arts and Letters

All hail Chevalier Erika Greenberg-Schneider, printmaker extraordinaire, who was named to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for publishing limited-edition prints by French artists. The title of chevalier is awarded twice a year to a handful of people around the world. Other Americans in this exclusive knights club are Bob Dylan, Sherrill Milnes and George Clooney.

New York native Greenberg-Schneider, honored at Tampa Museum of Art on Sept. 15, compared arriving in Paris in 1981 in order to work with historic printmakers "to being the first girl walking into an NFL locker room."

The celebration continued with her husband, sculptor Dominque Labauvie, and their daughter Esther, a sophomore at Tampa Prep, hosting friends and clients for champagne at their gallery, Bleu Acier.

13th annual Art of Helping Children gala

Playing with clowns and midway games, watching football and baseball, and bidding on auction items turned Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay's annual Art of Helping Children gala into a three-ring circus Saturday. Under the big top were Busch Gardens performers, Blair Entertainment and Stewart Lippe, who juggled tennis rackets, golf clubs, hats and more as elephant silhouette projections pranced around A La Carte Event Pavilion.

CEO Stephen Koch introduced several pairs of the 2,000-plus children ("Littles") and their adult mentors ("Bigs"), plus "Big Couples" who volunteer together. "Only a few hours a week can make such a difference," said Ron and Tami Broadrick, title sponsors for the 13th year. Their appeal raised enough to fund matchups for 60 of the 600 kids on the waiting list, part of the overall $165,000 net that night.

To see the lifelong effect, meet Don Patterson, once a "Little" and now owner of Hidden Oak Bed & Breakfast in Sonoma, Calif. His donation of three nights at the winery, plus airfare, sold for $10,000 to Stephen Colafrancesco.

International Curry Festival VIP kickoff

Calling the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding a "do tank, not a think tank,'' Kiran Patel welcomed several hundred guests in tuxedoes and colorful saris to the Indian Cultural Center for the International Curry Festival VIP kickoff Sept. 16. The University of South Florida's Patel School of Global Sustainability will soon issue an "Ipot challenge," said Dr. Patel. "So watch out, Apple," he joked. Patel will fund the five finalists' "smart pot" designs to make water potable.

But curry consumed the crowd's interest as they sampled dishes made by chefs from Mumbai to Palm Harbor. They included Suman Roy of Toronto's curried orange duck breast and Nick Quay of Miami's curried alligator. Tampa actor Ann Poonkasem sang the American and Indian national anthems.

About 3,000 people watched cookoffs, bought curry products and enjoyed international music at the curry festival at Bayanihan Events Center the next day.

Coming up

Saturday: Pan American University Women fashion show benefits Latino scholarship and various charities; 11 a.m.; Marriott Westshore; fashions from Dillard's; $45, or $22 under age 12, (813) 935-0776.

Saturday: Back to Back Ball benefits the Spine Foundation; 6 p.m.; A La Carte Event Pavilion; $150 and up; Las Vegas-style attire; thespinefoundation.org or (813) 470-7865.

Saturday: Fourth annual Southern Charm Wine & Food Gala benefits Brandon Community Foundation; 6 p.m. VIP, $125; 7 p.m. general admission, $75; Straz Center for the Performing Arts; black-tie optional; (813) 689-6889 or southerncharm

wineandfoodgala.com.

Saturday: Krewe of Queen Anne's Revenge hosts the Tropical Ball to benefit Camp Hopetake; 7:30 p.m.; Hula Bay, 5210 W Tyson Ave.; $50; (813) 966-2130.

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Curry Fest VIP kickoff, Big Brothers Big Sisters gala and a French honor 09/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2011 4:30am]
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