Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon
Young Barbara Pierce Bush, known as "Junior" in her family, spoke about creating the Global Health Corps at the eighth annual Women of Influence luncheon sponsored by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Twin Jenna Bush Hager couldn't make it but their outspoken grandma, former First Lady Barbara Bush, a.k.a. "the Enforcer," joined the Q&A via Skype, wearing her signature pearls. WFLA-Ch. 8's Gayle Sierens steered the conversation from public health to literacy to iPhones at the dinner table.
Tampa police Chief Jane Castor was stunned to receive the 2014 Woman of Influence award from chamber chairwoman Robin DeLaVergne. More shock registered when she spotted her two sons among the 900 guests at the April 23 luncheon chaired by Debra Palmer at A La Carte Event Pavilion.
H.B. Plant Museum's Crescent Club Dinner
Henry B. Plant Museum donors dined on boiled chicken in celery sauce and asparagus salad at the 10th annual Mayor's Crescent Club dinner, the same meal offered guests at the Tampa Bay Hotel on Jan. 25, 1903. Mise en Place closely followed the original menu and served on mismatched china dishes, as the grand hotel would have then. Botanica International cut flowers from Plant Park to create the centerpieces April 25. Cabaret singers-spouses Paul Wilborn and Eugenie Bondurant kept it authentic with a Cole Porter medley of the era.
Crescent Clubbers contribute at least $1,000 a year, adding up to "more than $350,000 in the past 15 months," said museum director Cynthia Gandee Zinober.
Las Damas de Arte
For 30 years, Las Damas de Arte members have exhibited and sold their visual and wearable art at their annual Sunday in the Arts party. Those in the know just know they'll find amazing, affordable artwork, as they did April 27 at the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery.
Las Damas president Teri Willis, event chairwoman Carol Gaynor and committee organized works by more than 40 female artists, too many talents to name here. Each returned 30 percent of their sales to the club to fund art student scholarships and community art projects. Adriana Venezia catered and musician Paul Frederick entertained the creative crowd.
Children Without Borders
Sharmila and Vivek Seth jumped on the Bollywood bandwagon to celebrate the work of their foundation, Children Without Borders, while welcoming cinema achievements of the "world's largest democracy," he said. The South Tampa couple fund underprivileged youth organizations focused on health and education in the United States and India.
"The Bollywood Awards are a phenomenal excuse to galvanize the entire Indian community and to showcase the best of Tampa Bay, including Oxford Exchange," Vivek said, urging guests to try chef Erin Guggino's variety of Indian and American hors d'oeuvres.
Among the black-tie and sari-wrapped crowd April 25: Vivek's nephew, Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, and sister Nandini Alva, a candidate for parliament in Bangalore Central.