10th annual Imagination gala
Grownups at the Imagination gala, like about 300 daily visitors to the Glazer Children's Museum, "played, discovered and connected," as their logo goes, only in black tie and gathered around the bar at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. Dining on beef tenderloin and lobster mac and cheese, they enjoyed the Tampa Bay Children's Chorus and Walton Academy for the Performing Arts dancers. Bay News 9 anchor Erica Riggins emceed, executive director Al Najjar and board chairwoman Diane Jacobs enthused, and Southtown Fever entertained the nearly 400 guests Sept. 21. "Too many for a seated dinner at the museum," said County Commissioner Sandy Murman, to those wondering why not showcase the new downtown facility's features. Gala proceeds include Hadley and Hector Rivera's winning $3,200 bid for a birthday party for 200 guests at the museum, with $1,000 in catering.
Tampa Theatre's Planet of the Grapes
Charlton Heston outwitted the chimps in the Planet of the Apes playing on the screen behind Bern's buffet of skirt steak, lobster salad and foie gras, the highlight of Planet of the Grapes, the 11th food and film mashup at Tampa Theatre.
Nine independent local restaurants (oysters in peppermint vodka shooters from Aqua Bar & Grille!) and 50-plus wines kept 450 samplers circulating Saturday on a stage deck built over the seats all the way to Row R, and in the balcony beneath the starry ceiling.
Director John Bell expects the three days of wine seminars, tastings and brunch to net about $95,000 "for essential operations," not for the essential $150,000 digital projection system the 86-year-old theater needs to continue to operate.
Brinner of Hope
Bacon and eggs for dinner? Pediatric Cancer Foundation execs said weekday breakfast appeals were too rushed, so they served breakfast for dinner, calling it Brinner of Hope and delighting diners with waffles, Nutella toast, Cocoa Puffs, Bloody Marys and more Sept. 19.
Johero filled the bacon-scented ballroom with the band's original song When I Call as dozens of patients, parents, doctors, researchers and Moffitt Cancer Center staffers marched into A La Carte Event Pavilion. The song is part of the "Breakthrough" collaboration campaign produced pro bono by PP+K for the foundation, which has donated $6 million to researchers in 21 years.
Dr. Damon Reed gave an uplifting progress report. His patient Tony Colton, 12, a kidney cancer survivor "with personality to spare," helped former Bay News 9 anchor Jen Holloway raise $20,000 plus a $10,000 match. Sponsors Roy's and Fleming's Steakhouse presented 450 guests with gift cards.
The Centre's 21st annual Gourmet Feastival
Kathleen Pravlik spoke publicly for the first time about the domestic violence she endured, sharing the journey that brought her to the Centre with supporters at the annual Gourmet Feastival. Through the Hyde Park agency's workshops and counseling programs, Pravlik obtained "hope, knowledge and peace of mind" that resulted in her job as the Centre's communications specialist.
Mark Larsen emceed, vocalist Denise Moore jazzed, and auctioneers helped raise about $80,000 from 1,000 guests munching through 32 restaurant and beverage stations, and as many outstanding wines as luscious desserts, including Lush Confections, Datz gelato and Baby Cakes carrot cake. Among the standouts at the Hyatt Regency Tampa on Sept. 20 were Gratzzi Italian Grille's vodka-flamed pasta tossed in a gigantic wheel of Parmesan and Queen of Sheba spicy injera rollups.