Woodson museum plans
first black-tie fundraiser
St. Petersburg's Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, named for the man who is known as the father of black history, has faced challenges since its opening two years ago. Budget cuts and a weakened economy pose further problems for nonprofits everywhere, but an infusion of help from the 2008 class of Leadership St. Pete has given the Woodson museum a temporary boost, raising money for the organization, installing a courtyard and garden, and planning a new fundraiser, the Legends Ball, which will take place Saturday.
Terry Lipsey Scott, a member of the class and the administrative officer for the St. Petersburg City Council, is leading the event.
"I felt compelled to step up and try to make a difference," she said. The Woodson museum is St. Petersburg's newest such entity, she said. "I'm working feverishly to make sure the museum represents the namesake."
Saturday's benefit is a black-tie event that will honor a number of community leaders, past and present, including the Courageous 12, the African-American police officers who filed suit against the city, petitioning for integration of the police force.
The event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S. Tickets cost $100 each. For more information, call 434-0777.
The West Coast Crohn's and Colitis Law Firm Challenge, part of a statewide fundraiser that raised close to $500,000 this year, honored 24 Tampa Bay area law firms that participated in the competition.
About 100 guests attended a reception for supporters at the Feather Sound Country Club.
The event, organized by Eric Ludin of Tucker and Ludin in Clearwater, and sponsored by Regions Bank, honored members of Englander and Fischer in St. Petersburg, who won the competition by contributing more than any other law firm in the Tampa Bay area.
Arts Center officials introduced the 2008 Studio Edition series from Dale Chihuly and used the occasion to give a progress report on construction of the new St. Petersburg museum dedicated to his work.
The glass maestro is expected in town for the groundbreaking on the first phase of the project, now planned for Sept. 20, Arts Center executive director Evelyn Craft said.
And volunteers are planning the Glass Ball, a Nov. 15 fundraiser featuring the work of accomplished regional and other glass artists along with pieces by Chihuly. The black-tie event will take place at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
The 2008 collectibles available in the Arts Center's gallery store are Dakota Macchia, Firefly Macchia, Phoenix Persian Pair and Vienna Green Basket.
"Macchia" harks to the Italian word for "spotted," according to Chihuly press literature. His Persians evoke organic shapes, and the baskets are inspired by American Indian creations.