Friends of Plant Park host GreenFest 2011
Perfect weather, 80 vendors and hundreds of eager gardeners roaming the University of Tampa riverfront park gave GreenFest 2011, a (green) thumbs up, said co-chairwoman Peggy Gill. Friends of Plant Park preceded the two-day festival with a luncheon March 24 at the Tampa Yacht Club.
Guest speaker Ian Prosser, owner of Botanical International Design Studio, showed 160 women how he created the tasty centerpieces from fruit and vegetables donated by Publix GreenWise. A day earlier, Prosser was in Las Vegas, where he was named Wedding Innovator of the Year by the RockStar Wedding Planner group.
Tampa Bay Heart Ball
First, DJ Stevie K cranked the volume at the Tampa Bay Heart Ball where he was otherwise known as med school chief Steve Klasko of the University of South Florida. Then gala coach Bryan Glazer of the Tampa Bay Bucs ran the plays, telling 400 guests Saturday that his father, Malcolm's, stroke five years ago was the game-changer that led him to the American Heart Association. WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Stacie Schaible personalized the benefit, too, recalling her sister's heart attack at 40, "right around the time my dad had a stroke." Both are alive and well, she said.
The 2011 honorees, father-and-son thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons Crayton Pruitt Sr., 79, and Crayton Jr. 54, know heart disease firsthand. Pruitt Sr. is a heart attack survivor and heart transplant recipient. Stroke patient Christian Daigle, 7, also earned a standing ovation.
Auction bids — such as Lee Mezrah's $2,200 to name a sandwich at Datz deli and Duane and Jill Crithfield's $10,000 for Glazer's ritzy Bucs package — pushed the net score to $470,000. EventShow Production stilt-walkers, aerialists and dancers led a Glee-style singalong before A La Carte Event Pavilion's dance floor filled up.
Boys & Girls Clubs' New York Yankees luncheon
The lure of lunch with A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and the entire New York Yankees team racked up $310,000 for 18 local Boys & Girls Clubs at the annual benefit begun by George Steinbrenner. To date, the Yanks luncheons have raised $3.7 million, said WTVT-Ch. 13 anchor John Wilson, emcee for the 16th year, sadly noting the loss of the Boss.
Now here's the pitch: About 100 guests paid $1,500 for the first 20 minutes of autograph time. Balls, caps, jerseys, bleacher seats — anything can be signed. Except bats, which could be dangerous if the crowd goes crazy. Many will sell the memorabilia.
Then 500 guests who paid $300 get 25 minutes of signing time before the clock stops.
Sponsors Adele Smithers and PWC did their part, covering the food tab for the 600 fans at the Tampa Marriott Waterside.
Also boosting the net for the March 23 event: sales of Steve Yerrid's $60 book, The Making of a Championship Heart.
Fifth annual Gasparilla Film Festival
Add tease and titillate to the Gasparilla Film Festival's mission to "inform, educate and entertain.'' It started with a jam-packed reception at Tampa Theatre March 24 and ended 80 films later, at Sunday's wild wrap parties along Franklin Street and inside the aging Kress Building, circa 1929. How will they ever top the burlesque peep show next year?
Career awards went to M. Emmet Walsh and Tom Berenger, who seemed to be having as much fun as their fans.