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Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Savannah Nights raises $65,000 for the Joshua House Foundation

Sunday in the Arts

Sunday in the Arts showcased the best of Las Damas de Arte, selling works of 50 female artists, jewelers and purse artisans at the Ritz Ybor on May 18. New member Patt Fosnaught's collage was chosen to appear on the invitation this year.

"I'm honored,'' Fosnaught beamed.

Hanging such a broad variety of artwork challenged members Elena Cifuentes and Kendra Frorup, recipient of a Las Damas scholarship in the 1990s when she was a student at the University of Tampa. Artists share their proceeds to fund art student scholarships and grants for nonprofits with art programs, explained Las Damas president Kimberli Cummings who was elated to sell her "Hearts A Fire" raku tile piece for $650 to Jocelyn Rowe.

Other exhibitors included Susan Noble, Lynn Manos, Pam Heilig, Amy Phillips, Cynthia Jacobson and Joan Burpee. Anne Kantor strung stunning lariats. Brenda Gregory turned fortune cookie messages into a piece of jewelry. Maria Saraceno displayed her "natural garden" fronds made of paint resin and aluminum.

Singer Rose Bilal and the LaRue Nichelson Group set a jazzy tone for the crowd munching hors d'oeuvres donated by Soho Oasis, Chez Bryce, Bella's, Merino's Deli, Chavez at Home and Sakana Sushi. A "Wall of Wine" raffle raised $525, and the winner, Rick Rhodes, now has an eclectic collection of 35 bottles donated by members.

of Destiny

Five years ago, educator Luvenia House retired from a military career, and began to mentor six young girls from Central Park Village, as well as her own five children.

"I'm a nurturer,'' House said. "I feel compelled and the need is so great. The girls had some scary incidences of abuse." Thus House founded Daughters of Destiny "to empower the girls' self esteem and scholastic success." The group now numbers around 20, and meets once a week at Without Walls church. House calls the youngest girls Rosebuds. Graduates of the program blossom to Roses.

On April 18, the young ladies celebrated the sixth annual Spring Fling dinner and fashion show, themed Our Pathway to Success and hosted by the Children's Board. The girls were excited to model clothing from David's Bridal and Dot's Fashions. Their escorts were outfitted in Sacino's Formalwear. The special evening raised about $1,000 toward a college scholarship, said House.

Friends of the Joshua House Foundation
Beneath a nearly full moon, under a twinkling canopy of oaks and cypress trees, Melanie and Derrick Bavol hosted Savannah Nights, an exclusive lawn party attended by 110 friends of the Joshua House Foundation. Their teenage daughters, Christine and Kayla Bavol, extended the family's hospitality dressed as Southern belles to greet guests arriving at their grand home in Avila.

"We prayed for no rain and a perfect breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay … and our prayers were answered,'' said Dede Grundel, executive director of the foundation and Kids Charity of Tampa Bay. "You could see the Spanish moss blowing in the wind. The evening was truly magical."

Mise en Place catered New South style: roast organic chicken, collards and andouille black-eye pea hash. Dessert was lemon buttermilk cake iced with molasses buttercream and blueberry marmalade. Men happily left their ties at home; the ladies wore casual chic to the $500-ticket dinner, which ended with dancing, casino games on the waterfront and $65,000 for the children finding refuge at Joshua House.

Tuxes and Tails

Did you vote for DemoCAT or RePUP­lican at the sixth annual Tuxes and Tails celebrity fashion show? Guests dropped a dollar into a Humane Society of Tampa Bay donation jar to make their votes count. Woof, woof —the RePUPlican won.

WTVT-Ch. 13's Russell Rhodes and Cynthia Smoot emceed for the 300-plus guests dressed up for a good time at Pepin Hospitality Center. New this year: a live auction that raised more than $23,000 offering trips to Africa, Italy and Las Vegas with tickets to see Bette Midler.

Then it was show time for 19 celebrities, walking their pets down the runway or strolling with an "adorable adoptable" eager for a good home. Artist Jules Burt vamped with her Zippy.

Judge Tracy Sheehan strolled with Molly, her Labrador retriever. Tampa council member Charlie Miranda, his son Frank, (both stylish in Tommy Bahama) and grandson Luke, 8, wearing Brooks Brothers, modeled with adoptable puppies. All the fashions came from Hyde Park Village shops, including four-legged friends dressed by Downtown Dogs.

Former Buc Ian Beckles was a big hit, literally, modeling with Rudy, an English bulldog who barked his approval. The $125-ticket evening netted more than $122,000 for the Humane Society.


June 7: Fashionistas dinner features singer Rita Coolidge to benefit Focus on Females Healthcare Symposium; 6 p.m.; Blake Casper's Davis Islands residence; $175; 250-1253.

June 10: Fork Fight benefits America's Second Harvest of Tampa Bay; 6 p.m.; Marriott Waterside; $150; 254-1190, ext. 101.

June 21: 12th annual Harvest of Hope award banquet to benefit Tampa Bay Academy of Hope; 5 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion, $100; 277-0464.

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Savannah Nights raises $65,000 for the Joshua House Foundation 05/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 8:11am]
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