St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Heroes Ball
More than just this year's honorees, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital board member Lauren Dungy and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Tony Dungy contributed quite the New York adventure to the Heroes Ball live auction Saturday. Coach Dungy arranged for a tour of NBC Studios, tickets to a Saturday Night Live dress rehearsal and a live taping/behind-the-scenes visit to Football Night in America, with hotel and airfare included. Mike and Lori Kosloske were top bidders at $16,000.
A flock of pediatric heart patients greeted the soldout crowd of 700 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, later making their way to the stage to be introduced by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Elsa Suh. Heidi Hess also inspired donors, offering a $25,000 matching gift in memory of her husband, chief of pediatric cardiovascular surgery Gary Haas who tragically died in a car accident in 2000. Event co-chair Ben Hill III spoke movingly of Dr. Haas' lifesaving surgery when his granddaughter was born. By the time the Red Hot Band heated up the dance floor, $360,000 had been raised for St. Joseph's Children's Heart Institute. An after- dinner cocktail party added 160 young professionals, perhaps future philanthropists or volunteers, to the guest list.
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Women of Influence luncheon
"Everything is sweetened by risk," said Gay Gaddis, sharing her motto at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce annual Women of Influence luncheon. "I'm eating risk for breakfast every day," the CEO/founder of T3, the largest female-owned advertising agency in the United States told 900 guests — the biggest turnout for any chamber event to date, according to chairwoman Pat Moser at the Hilton Tampa Downtown on April 28. Gaddis grew her "think tank" to three national offices, landing clients such as 7-11, UPS, Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut. Lately she's devoting time to her artistic self, painting and exhibiting with pent-up passion.
Maryann Ferenc led the Q&A, touching on the unrealistic notion of "balance" and frustration with women's economic progress. "Grab the brass ring when it comes around," Gaddis said, "because it might not come again."
Luncheon highlight: Rhea Law was named the Dottie Berger MacKinnon 2016 Woman of Influence. Law, the first female to lead a major law firm in Florida, was selected for her selflessness, tenacity and vision, announced University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft.
Circle of Friends of Joshua House Foundation
Trish and Alan Brynjolfsson hosted an idyllic Twilight in the Vineyard dinner party for an intimate Circle of Friends of Joshua House Foundation at their Avila residence April 29. Purple hydrangeas, grapes and roses bloomed in wine barrels as evening temperatures dropped to a delightful poolside dining at the $275-ticket affair. Classical guitarist Ben Pila entertained as Mise en Place served tenderloin dinner, accompanied by sommelier Mischa Talokonnikoff's wine-pairing discourse.
Executive director DeDe Grundel spoke of helping the abused or abandoned children residing at Joshua House overcome the sense of powerlessness. A video titled the Power of Joshua House depicted some successes in helping healing. Co-chairs Charlene Bleakley and Judith Henkin are pleased to announce the party raised $53,550.