10th annual Go Red for Women
Candy apple, fire engine, crimson — 300 Go Red for Women guests wore every shade of the cheery color to the American Heart Association's learning luncheon. The message wasn't always cheery: "84 women have passed away since this event started this morning," said chairwoman Katie Pemble, a survivor of congestive heart failure when she was 34.
Alex Sink shared her personal interest in the cause over a healthy chicken and black-eyed peas lunch May 16 at A La Carte Event Pavilion. A heart attack took her husband, Bill McBride, six months ago. University of South Florida Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Catherine Lynch added some levity to the serious subject as hubby Mayor Bob Buckhorn listened. Lynch advocated simple lifestyle changes — eat lean, exercise smart, follow up on cardiac tests offered that morning — because 80 percent of heart disease is preventable.
14th annual Ronald McDonald House Storybook Ball
Beloved children's story Madeline played muse to Ronald McDonald House Charities' chic Storybook Ball, opening with a bustling French Market silent auction on Saturday, then seating 600 guests in a Moulin Rouge ballroom. No sign of mischievous Madeline, but Busch Gardens sent its can-can dancers, mimes and a unicyclist. Bliss photo booth lent red berets and moustache props. A mechanical French bulldog rocked riders as Southtown Fever rocked Dr. Jon Ellen and other dancers filling A La Carte Event Pavilion's dance floor past midnight.
Executive director Janice Davis presented the 2013 Award of Excellence to two-time Olympic diver Chris Colwill, 28, who chose to donate the $50,000 honorarium to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at All Children's Hospital in tribute to a teen diver he coaches at Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center. Dave Clark, who overcame polio to play baseball — on crutches — added his voice. No dream is ever impossible, he said, appealing for funds to house host families of pediatric patients treated at local hospitals. Next up: Madagascar, the 2014 Storybook Ball, May 17.
Fifth annual Boobalishes
Bras adorned with sleigh bells, candy canes, Tampa Bay Bucs autographs (that one sold for $110 to Alan Bridges) and other wild embellishments brought bids and grins at Boobalishes, a fashion show dinner to fund Faces of Courage Foundation's weekend camps for cancer survivors.
"Cancer is serious. Camp is serious fun," is founder Peggie Sherry's motto as 200 guests saw in a video by event chairwoman Cassandra Pannwitz. Some of those campers modeled fashions from Francesca's Collection, emceed by Gayle Guyardo of WFLA-Ch. 8 and Reggie Roundtree of WTSP-Ch.10 at the May 10 benefit at Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport.
A highlight of the evening: first look at series two of the Bodies of Courage paintings of 18 women depicting their cancer stories in body paint. Congrats to Sandy Callin, winner of the drawing for the Booze Wagon loaded with $500 worth of, ahem, booze. That raffle added $1,000 to the net $18,000.