Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Joshua House Foundation dinner and Lights, Fashion, Hope

Circle of Friends of Joshua House dinner

Co-chairs Anita Shuler and Melanie Bavol hit all the high notes Saturday at the annual Joshua House Foundation dinner, tying the theme to hosts Christel and Mark Yaffe's love of music and the unusual antique music machines in their 29,000-square-foot Avila mansion.

"Magical,'' said guest Judge Tracy Sheehan, describing "moonlit, manicured grounds the size of a couple of football fields." The estate, modeled after a 17th century British palace, has been for sale since 2008.

Opera Tampa vocalists serenaded 100 guests dining poolside beneath 6-foot chandeliers suspended from trees. Shuler joked about their Phantom of the Opera repertoire, a favorite of the honoree Dottie Berger MacKinnon. Hope there's not a re-enactment of the crashing chandelier scene, Shuler teased.

Mise en Place catered the $350-a-ticket benefit: roast tenderloin with olive polenta, followed by lavender honey panna cotta and red wine pink peppercorn poached plums. Sandy MacKinnon compared the evening to a "Disney production, only better," especially since it raised $45,000 for Joshua House, a therapeutic residence for abused children removed from their homes.

Taste the Best of Tampa Bay at the Straz

"The weather was the star of the show,'' said Brian Weiss, chairman of Taste the Best of Tampa Bay, the annual sampling party staged by the Producers, a group of volunteer supporters of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

On the breezy riverfront and throughout the theater lobbies, 1,450 tasters converged Saturday to eat and drink as much as possible from 40 restaurants, caterers and vendors. Newcomers Brickhouse Tavern & Tap and Fitlife Foods joined 26-year veterans Sally O'Neal's pizza and the Columbia. Weiss admitted to three helpings of whiskey bread pudding from the Pub at International Plaza. Five bands, including the Vodkanauts and Pocket Change, made sure dancing was on the menu.

LAMPlighters' Lights, Fashion, Hope

Saks Fifth Avenue helped the LAMPLighters' auxiliary celebrate its 25th anniversary by offering discounts and donating 10 percent of sales at Lights, Fashion, Hope on April 28. The store also was open to other shoppers, "friends and family customers,'' said general manager Kim Biehl, to introduce more people to the LAMPlighters' contributions to Metropolitan Ministries and Joshua House. Saks also donated 25 silver-inspired raffle prizes in honor of the anniversary, including Tory Burch flip flops, Michael Kors sandals and Stuart Weitzman flats. That helped net $60,000 to subsidize shelter, food, clothing, education, and summer camp for homeless and at-risk children.

Strolling saxophonist Eric Darius led 300 guests upstairs, where event chairwomen Sally Mabry, Kim Rogers and Kelly Breeding honored "volunteer extraordinaire" Dottie Berger MacKinnon for her devotion to displaced children.

Leena's Chocolates brought ganache ravioli, dark berry bark and chocolate-dipped wine bottles. Six Tables owner/chef Richard Bottini made braised pork belly tarts. Also showing their skills: the Palm, Bella's, Puff 'n Stuff, Mike's Pies, jeweler Deborah Gaspar and Miami designer Craig Signer.


Today: SilverSpoons & Sandcastles XX benefits Tampa Bay Beautification; 7-11 p.m.; Tampa Port Authority Cruise Terminal 3; $100 in advance; $125 at the door; (813) 221-8733.

Saturday: Tampa General Hospital Foundation's "Some Enchanted Evening" 14th annual Moments in Time Gala, 7:30 p.m.; Hyatt Regency Tampa; $250 and up; (813) 844-7273.

Saturday: Sea Grapes food and wine festival benefits Florida Aquarium; 8-11 p.m.; VIP at 7 p.m., $105 in advance, $125 at door; or (813) 273-4568.

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Joshua House Foundation dinner and Lights, Fashion, Hope 05/05/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. These two documents illustrate how Florida has made it harder to access inspection reports of nursing homes, heavily censoring what the public can see. In the foreground is a document obtained from a federal agency that details the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, where 10 patients died after Hurricane Irma. Behind it is the state's version of the same document, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  2. Amber Alert canceled after Bradenton siblings found in Alabama

    Public Safety

    An Amber Alert was canceled early Friday morning for four Bradenton siblings who were taken by their mother, who authorities said does not have custody of the children.

    An Amber Alert has been issued for four Bradenton siblings who were taken by their mother, who does not have custody of the children. [Florida Department of Law Enforcement]

  3. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation


    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us


    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.