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: Karamu XXVI wows Lowry Park Zoo

Karamu XXVI

The nocturnal jungle of Lowry Park Zoo awoke in vivid splendor, unleashing couture spring glamor and Latin and reggae music at Karamu XXVI, the zoo's annual black-tie gala. Co-chairwoman Toni Everett greeted nearly 400 guests in a custom-designed tangerine gown by Magali of Buenos Aires. Her daughter and co-chairwoman Henderson Everett Lee wore a stunning fuchsia design by Herve Leger coupled with sky-blue Christian Louboutin heels.

The guests were equally electric at "Jungle Boogie" on Saturday. Meredith Hawes Balasco gracefully slithered in a Roberto Cavalli snakeskin gown. Carmen Sargent, with hairstyle inspired by Carolina Herrera, wore Missoni in turquoise and blue. Next year's Karamu co-chairwoman, Paola Schifino, dressed in BCBG; Kendall Wichman and Anderson Brabson Wakefield prowled in flowing leopard prints by Dolce & Gabbana.

The live auction included a dinner party with Survivor couple Brad and Monica Culpepper. Top auction item: a 2.62-carat diamond necklace donated by David Alexander Jewelry, who matched Stuart Lasher's $5,500 bid for a total of $11,000. The evening, dedicated to the late Sally Lowry Baldwin, co-founder of Karamu, netted $200,000 for zoo programs Ben Lee, guest columnist

Lights Fashion Hope

Lively LAMPLighters staged "A Night on the Boardwalk" to a playful Atlantic City vibe, starting with a "Jersey Boys" style band, jugglers, stiltwalkers, mentalists and other novelty acts interacting with 400 guests at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. A dozen restaurant buffets, Coppertail brews and informal Neiman Marcus models vied for the crowd's attention April 2.

Serious amid all the fun, Metropolitan Ministries CEO Tim Marks said attendance and proceeds doubled last year's fashion fundraiser at now-closed Saks Fifth Avenue. The funds will help create a summer camp experience for children living at the shelter or Joshua House.

Kids Charity of Tampa Bay Masquerade Ball

Stepping inside a vault in a former bank, guests at Kids Charity of Tampa Bay's black-tie Masquerade Ball viewed artwork by children in foster care, created to help "unmask" child neglect and abuse. Artist Eileen Goldenberg guided the young artists in preparation for the April 4 gala at the Vault in downtown Tampa celebrating the 5-year anniversary of A Kid's Place shelter. Board chairman Adam Palmer and ball chairwoman April Diemer led the cheers for Kathy Marx's $5,500 bid for "Unmask," a mixed media art project by the children.

Other auction items helping raise $68,000 included a batting lesson with Tino Martinez, alligator hunting with Dave Markett and a training session with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Then the partiers rocked to the Atlanta Party Band.


April 26: Night at the Copa benefits Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring; 7-11 p.m.; TPepin's Hospitality Cente; $200; (813) 783-9932.

April 27: 30th annual Sunday in the Arts auction benefits Las Damas de Arte scholarships; 5:30-9 p.m.; Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, University of Tampa; $50 advance; $60 at the door.

May 3: A Tribute to Mom's luncheon fashion show benefits Brighter Tomorrows; 11 a.m.; Palma Ceia Country Club; $50; (813) 868-7705.

May 3: 21st annual Magnolia Ball benefits Moffitt Cancer Center; headliners Huey Lewis & the News; 5:30 p.m.; A La Carte Event Pavilion; $1,000; (813) 745-4860.

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Karamu XXVI wows Lowry Park Zoo 04/15/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Coming to Hulu in August: 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure,' 'Saw' movies and more


    Hello, binge-worthy new additions to Hulu. Clue, Clueless and five Saw movies? You spoil us, Hulu.

    Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
  2. Whitman: Hollywood whitewashing raises questions about Jesus' depiction


    I grew up believing in white Jesus.

    A painting on my grandma's wall depicted a blonde, blue-eyed Christ.

  3. Special sorority seeks ways to help their Green Berets and themselves during St. Leo summit


    ST. LEO — Julie Huynh-Rusk lies down on the floor of a St. Leo University conference room, covered by a blanket and a pink eye-pillow.

    Julie Huynh-Rusk, 31, of Seattle, takes advantage of a meditation session at Saint Leo University on Wednesday as part of the Steel Mags Summer Summit. 
The Steel Mags Sorority was founded to help spouses, daughters, mothers, and sisters of  Green Berets. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]

  4. Watch: Sarasota vlogger goes on viral rant against MTV's 'Siesta Key'


    Looking forward to MTV’s Siesta Key? Well, this Florida native definitely is not.

    Vlogger Louie Carey posted his reaction to MTV's "Siesta Key" in a viral video.
  5. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 23: Of tiny towns, wonderful naps and dreamlike ice cream bars


    Day 23: Murias de Rechivaldo to Foncebadon: 20.8 km, 6 hours. Total for Days 1-23 = 541 km (336 miles)