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Artist's name, like his work, will live on


Tom Pritchard and Howard Sachs were among benefactors, volunteers and disability advocates heralded at the Abilities Foundation's Circle of Honor donor recognition luncheon at Island Way Grill in Clearwater.

Sachs, senior vice president at Raymond James, an Abilities Foundation trustee and advocate, received the Distinguished Person of the Year Award.

Pritchard, chef and partner in Salt Rock Grill and Island Way Grill, received a Lifetime Achievement Award, emblematic of exemplary leadership in the charitable community. Frank DeLucia, the foundation's president and chief executive, called him "a driving force behind restaurant and winery participation in all of our wine tastings."

Also recognized were Al and Nan Tower, Roger and Jackie Ormerod, Dean Karikas, Fazal Fazlin, Nick Okeson, Billy Klar, Emily Harrison, Ken Slaby, Rory Robertson and Frank Planes.

Southern Wine & Spirits presented the foundation a check for $267,000 from the inaugural Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival, held last year at the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.


On a splendid evening for outdoor celebrating, Norm and Maureen Dobiesz were hosts for benefactors of Bayfront Medical Center, treating guests to a sunset cruise aboard their yacht, the Double Eagle.

Chef Kate Bates prepared food for the outing, which included Sue Brody, president and chief executive officer of Bayfront Health System; Michael A. Brown, board chairman of the Bayfront Health Foundation; Emily Benham; Dr. David and Diane (Dee) Desper; Eric Feder; Jim and Emily Gillespie; Les and Diane Gorman of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; John Hamerlinck; Bill and Hazel Hough; Teresa Kropp; Walter and Joyce Larson; Jason Liseaux; Angela Bond and James Markus; Patrick and Hillary Marston; Elizabeth McMahon; Dr. Raul Montenegro; Cindy Cole; Bill and Sally Snyder; and Al and Sandee Steinberg.

And it was a special night for the Despers, who were celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary. The evening was a surprise gift from him to her, and she beamed as those aboard offered champagne toasts.

The event brought in more than $6,000 for the new Bayfront Baby Place, which also will receive more than $140,000 raised at Bayfront on Vine in January.

St. Petersburg

Hospital guild branch presents 3rd Ducky Event

The Beach Branch of All Children's Hospital Guild presents its third annual Ducky Event — Ducky Goes Golfing — Friday at St. Petersburg Country Club, 2000 Country Club Way S. The tournament begins with lunch and registration at noon. Admission: $125 for golfers (includes lunch and evening event); otherwise $50 (evening event only). Information: 367-5113.

Benefit set for theater outreach, education

"Planting Seeds for Tomorrow" to benefit American Stage Theatre Co. education and outreach programs is 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Admission: $50. Reservations: 823-1600, ext. 207.

'Collectors Choice' is Saturday at museum

"Welcome Aboard: Collectors Choice VII," presented by the Collectors Circle of the Museum of Fine Arts, is 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 255 Beach Drive NE. The black tie-optional event supports an acquisition fund and lets participants to choose an artwork for the permanent collection. Admission: $200. Information: 866-6209.

Martini tasting, silent auction set for May 9

"Martini Madness: Some Like it Dirty," the Zodiac Group's annual martini tasting and silent auction, is 7 to 10 p.m. May 9 at Nova 535, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. The event features food, drinks and original art. Admission: $30 Zodiac Group members, $45 nonmembers, $10 additional on day of event. Information and reservations: www.salvadordali; toll-free, 1-866-440-7880.

Artist Robert Stackhouse lives in St. Petersburg these days with his wife and artistic partner, Carol Mickett. His work has been the focus of several major exhibitions in Florida this year.

Accomplished as he may be, living alumni do not often see their alma maters name things in their honor. That happened in ceremonies at Auburndale High School, where the art building now is known as the Robert Stackhouse Art Center.

That's impressive on several levels, according to Kandace Lynn, an assistant principal for curriculum at the school. She said candidates must be approved by the school advisory committee, then by the faculty and the Polk County School Board.

Stackhouse is a 1960 graduate of Auburndale High, which Lynn describes as educating many children of cattle ranchers and orange grove owners.

"It's such a great honor to have a building named after me," Stackhouse said. "Little did I know what effect living in that area, along Lake Juliana, with its snakes and alligators and boats, would have on me."

The school didn't have an art program when Stackhouse attended, although he was the art editor of its yearbook and says he has drawn, often unconsciously, from the nearby environment.

"It's very touching," he said. "The stuff of my art is what I experienced at Lundy's Fish Camp in Lake Juiliana. Where would I be without having been there? It's like I've come back again."

In naming buildings for people who have become influential, Lynn said, "we give back to the community and everyone who passes through here."

Artist's name, like his work, will live on 04/26/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 27, 2008 1:26pm]
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