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Amy Scherzer's Diary

Amy Scherzer's Diary



Aqua-Eve at the Florida Aquarium

Top of anyone's Where to Start 2010 list: Aqua-Eve at the Florida Aquarium. Credit Catering by the Family's bountiful buffets, Grand Events' decorations, Bay Stage Lighting and Pepin Distributing, among others, for the $100-ticket benefit.

A sell-out 1,200 guests, from age 21 on up, including many Outback Bowl visitors, danced to Four Star Riot in the lobby and a DJ in Explore-A-Shore. Acoustic guitarist Casey Stidham helped turn the Coral Reef Gallery into a cozy lounge.

On cue, champagne, party hats and horns appeared as a ball dropped from a fireworks barge at midnight. More explosives burst behind Jackson's Bistro on Harbour Island, making the display and view doubly spectacular.

Minutes before midnight, 72 guests boarded a $60, hour-long champagne cruise on the aquarium's double-decker catamaran, Bay Spirit II. That pushed the net proceeds to $50,000 for aquarium programs.

MetLife/Mercedes Benz Gridiron Gala

The Gridiron Gala invitation suggested "cocktail attire with rockin' attitude" which suited 1,500 Outback Bowl sponsors, corporate ticket buyers and Auburn and Northwestern University fans. The (ultimately) victorious Auburn Tigers flamed in orange and blue; Northwestern Wildcat fans partied in purple as "rock stars" took the stage. Joan Jett, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Axl Rose and the other rockers came from Dorene Collier's Event Show Productions, dancing on top of huge pedestals and on stilts as a DJ mixed the hits Dec. 30.

Rock 'n' roll brings on the munchies, and lines formed at Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's buffets. Clint Ansteth, manager of Carrabba's in Carrollwood, gets best of show for decorating with album covers, skull and roses tablecloths and Grateful Dead posters. Thompson & Co. ran the busy cigar bar out back on the A La Carte Pavilion terrace.

Earlier in the week, Outback Bowl hospitality committee member Darby Miller organized fun Polynesian drinks, lunch and hula lessons at Roy's for the wives of the teams' athletic staff.

Missed: Tom McEwen, sportswriter emeritus; wife Linda said it was the first Outback Bowl bash he couldn't attend.

Noticed: Die-hard Auburn fans Jim and Betty Carroll have missed just two games in 28 years, and both times their Tigers lost to LSU. Coincidence? They think not.

WMNF rocks into 2010

Will Quinlan channeled Neil Young; Sons of Hippies rocked as Blondie; Ted Lukas and the Misled growled Tom Petty; Barely Pink jammed as Cheap Trick. In all, 15 bands shared the stage at Skipper's Smokehouse, covering late '70s hits on a crisp New Year's Eve at WMNF's Tribute to 1979.

Jeremy Gloff, a.k.a. Stevie Nicks, sang into the midnight countdown as station manager Randy Wynne, Skipper's manager Bonnie O'Connor and owners Tom White and Vince McGilvra unreeled a stuffed mullet. Champagne arrived, with breakfast of omelets, taters, sausage and such.

The Vodkanauts grooved 600 nostalgic partiers into the new year with the essential '79 singles My Sharona, I Don't Like Mondays, YMCA and more. Tickets and raffles raised about $8,000 for the station, said Wynne, and two tubs of food were collected for America's Second Harvest food bank.

WMNF-FM rocks into 2010

Will Quinlan channeled Neil Young; Sons of Hippies rocked as Blondie; Ted Lukas and the Misled growled Tom Petty; Barely Pink jammed as Cheap Trick. In all, 15 bands shared the stage at Skipper's Smokehouse, covering late '70s hits on a crisp New Year's Eve at WMNF's Tribute to 1979.

Jeremy Gloff, a.k.a. Stevie Nicks, sang into the midnight countdown as station manager Randy Wynne, Skipper's manager Bonnie O'Connor and owners Tom White and Vince McGilvra unreeled a stuffed mullet. Champagne arrived, with breakfast of omelets, taters, sausage and such.

The Vodkanauts grooved 600 nostalgic partiers into the new year with the essential '79 singles My Sharona, I Don't Like Mondays, YMCA and others. Tickets and raffles raised about $8,000 for the station, said Wynne, and two tubs of food were collected for America's Second Harvest food bank.

Aqua-Eve at the Florida Aquarium

Top of anyone's Where to Start 2010 list: Aqua-Eve at the Florida Aquarium. Credit Catering by the Family's bountiful buffets, Grand Events' decorations, Bay Stage Lighting and Pepin Distributing, among others, for the $100-ticket benefit.

A sell-out 1,200 guests, from age 21 on up, including many Outback Bowl visitors, danced to Four Star Riot in the lobby and a DJ in Explore-A-Shore. Acoustic guitarist Casey Stidham helped turn the Coral Reef Gallery into a cozy lounge.

On cue, champagne, party hats and horns appeared as a ball dropped from a fireworks barge at midnight. More explosives burst behind Jackson's Bistro on Harbour Island, making the display and view doubly spectacular.

Minutes before midnight, 72 guests boarded a $60, hour-long champagne cruise on the aquarium's double-decker catamaran, Bay Spirit II. That pushed the net proceeds to $50,000 for aquarium programs.

MetLife/Mercedes Benz Gridiron Gala

The Gridiron Gala invitation suggested "cocktail attire with rockin' attitude" which suited 1,500 Outback Bowl sponsors, corporate ticket buyers and Auburn University and Northwestern University fans. The (ultimately) victorious Auburn Tigers flamed in orange and blue; Northwestern Wildcat fans partied in purple as "rock stars" took the stage. Joan Jett, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Axl Rose and the other rockers came from Dorene Collier's Event Show Productions, dancing on top of huge pedestals and on stilts as a DJ mixed the hits Dec. 30.

Rock 'n' roll brings on the munchies, and lines formed at Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's buffets. Clint Ansteth, manager of Carrabba's in Carrollwood, gets best of show for decorating with album covers, skull and roses tablecloths and Grateful Dead posters. Thompson & Co. ran the busy cigar bar out back on the A La Carte Pavilion terrace.

Earlier in the week, Outback Bowl hospitality committee member Darby Miller organized fun Polynesian drinks, lunch and hula lessons at Roy's for the wives of the teams' athletic staff.

Missed: Tom McEwen, sportswriter emeritus; wife Linda said it was the first Outback Bowl bash he couldn't attend.

Noticed: Die-hard Auburn fans Jim and Betty Carroll have missed just two games in 28 years, and both times their Tigers lost to LSU. Coincidence? They think not.

Events

Thursday: WEDU Be More Awards luncheon celebrates nonprofits; 11 a.m.; $50; A La Carte Event Pavilion, wedu.org/bemore or (813) 254-9338, ext. 2240.

Jan. 24: Annual President's Dinner benefits Tampa Jewish Federation; 6:30 p.m.; $150; A La Carte Pavilion; (813) 264-9000.

Jan. 28: A Choice Affair luncheon benefits Planned Parenthood; noon; Maestro's at Straz Center for the Performing Arts; $50, general; $20, student; (941) 365-3913, ext. 1105.

Amy Scherzer's Diary 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:30am]

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