Ninth annual Fashion Funds the Cure
Chad Harrod, Dan Doyle Jr. and Alex Sullivan would eat hot coals, stand on nails and tango with scorpions if it meant children would never get cancer again. But instead of attempting reality-show-like high jinks, the chairmen of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's annual runway cocktail party, Fashion Funds the Cure, dug deep to raise a jaw-dropping $750,000 to speed up research grants.
You read that right. Sponsorships totaled a half-million dollars before four dozen young girls, all fighting cancer or in remission, modeled courage with every twirl at Neiman Marcus on Feb. 29.
Another $300,000 came from a plea for 20 people to sponsor $13,000 clinical trials. Done. Plus another $50,000 from lawyer Steve Yerrid, who served as an escort along with assorted Tampa Bay Bucs, Rays and Lightning players.
The athletes made handsome foils for reality show fashionista Carson Kressley, emcee for the fourth year, aglow in a turquoise shirt and magenta tie.
"You can't quit me,'' he teased. Eyeing former Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford, who unfortunately was not up for auction, Kressley pined, "I'd totally be his highest bidder."
Before jostling for seats or a place to stand, the 700 guests found mini-bars and restaurant buffets scattered about, ranging from Boca's organic pesto crabmeat to 717 South's Szechuan duck to Chic Sweets treats.
Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association Home Tour Patrons Party
Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow and other 1930s notables toasted the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association Saturday night. At least, those were among the aliases on 200 guests' name tags at the Home Tour Patrons Party.
Margo and Gary Harrod's Bayshore Boulevard home, circa 1925, provided the post-Prohibition setting. Parking a 1930 Cadillac LaSalle and 1931 Ford Phaeton in the courtyard helped set the scene. Sweetbay hors d'oeuvres and Ciro's manhattans, martinis and cassis royal punch served poolside added flair.
Looking dapper: Peter Dawson in a straw boater; Cheryl Davidson in vintage Chanel and preservationist Del Acosta wearing an Abe Maas name tag. "And I bought this white dinner jacket at Maas Brothers about 50 years ago," he said. His book, Tampa's Hyde Park, due out May 7, includes the history of some of the craftsman bungalows on the March 17 home tour.
Gasparilla Festival of the Arts GalaRE:
The artists were easy to spot at the first GalaRE: (pronounced Gallery) party hosted by the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts board of directors. They were invited to "come as you are" Saturday, right from their booths in Curtis Hixon Park to the Tampa Museum of Art. There, 300 guests browsed the "best of the best" selected by juror Doug Dreishpoon.
"We want to see red 'sold' tags on everything," said festival committee member Jennifer Malin as VIPs and sponsors chatted up artists before the dressed-up crowd swarmed in for hors d'oeuvres and one-stop shopping. "We've made it really easy to invest in art in a gala atmosphere," Malin said.