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Charitable giving is at the heart of the social calendar

Whenever I find myself facing a nearly impossible task, I often take comfort in a story by author Anne Lamott, whose brother had procrastinated writing a report about birds.

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Now he was on deadline, she writes, "and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said. 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.' "

Who could have imagined, that searing day 10 years ago, that the tons of rubble generated by terrorist attacks on the United States could be cleared? That communities from Haiti and Japan to New Orleans and Tuscaloosa, Ala., could begin to recover from devastating tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes? That people who lost jobs in the recession could find purpose again?

Yet shovel by shovel, branch by branch, step by step, we move forward.

I mention this because so many difficult events of the past decade have affected charitable giving.

Many American nonprofits suffered after 9/11. The stock market declines of 2008 caused donations to drop by the largest percentage in half a century. In 2009, even the nation's most generous philanthropists curtailed their contributions. Overall giving increased a little last year, but only about half of all charitable organizations met their fundraising targets.

There are dozens of upcoming occasions listed in the 15th annual Neighborhood Times Social Calendar today, many of them elegant. Nearly all of them have the welfare of others in mind.

Longtime volunteers emphasize the importance of even small donations to needy causes, urging us to give what we can to the charities that matter to us. If you lack the $100 required for admission to an event, a $50 check will be put to good use elsewhere. So will $25. And $10. Even $5.

As we begin another season dedicated to good works, remember this: Dollar by dollar, cent by cent, your gifts matter.

Welcome to the 15th annual Neighborhood Times Social Calendar. Although this is a comprehensive listing of charity fundraisers, it is by no means complete. If you have already submitted information, and your event does not appear, our apologies. If you did not send details of your event, missed our deadline or submitted data that was incomplete, please e-mail [email protected] and put SOCIAL CALENDAR in the subject line. Please include the sponsoring organization, date, time, venue (including street address), admission price and publishable contact information. You can also send mail to Mary Jane Park, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Sept. 11

Patriot Day Prayer Breakfast: St. Petersburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution's annual event includes keynote speaker U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael D. Jones, the recent chief of staff of Central Command at MacDill; invocation by Mayor Bill Foster; Bay Pines chaplain the Rev. Thomas Dieter; and Cpl. Michael Jernigan, who was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, with his guide dog Brittani. There also will be a moment of silence and the ringing of a bell to honor those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Registration is at 7:45 a.m. Proceeds benefit Paws for Patriots. 8:15-9:15 a.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $35. (727) 420-0366.

Sept. 15

Girl's Night to Give: Casual evening benefits Answered Prayers Cross. 6:30 p.m., St. Petersburg Clay Co., 420 22nd St. S. $35. (727) 480-4560.

Sept. 17

ALPHA House of Pinellas County Annual Fall Gala: Roaring 1920s-themed gala includes dinner, live and silent auctions, and children's performances. 6-11 p.m., Mirror Lake Lyceum, 737 Third Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $100. (727) 822-8190.

Hands on History Fundraiser: Benefits St. Petersburg Museum of History, features food, music and stories of St. Petersburg's history. 6-10 p.m., St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE. $50, $40 museum members. (727) 894-1052.

Hammers and Heartstrings Ball: Fifth annual fundraiser benefits Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. The ball features a gourmet dinner, live entertainment, a live and silent auction, and dancing. 6:30 p.m., the Club at Treasure Island , 400 Treasure Island Causeway. $130. (727) 536-4755.

Sept. 21

Dolphin Tale Screening: Get the first glimpse of the story of Winter at this special engagement 3-D screening of Dolphin Tale to benefit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Seating includes two free admission passes to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 6:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $99. (727) 441-1790, ext. 233.

Sept. 22

PACE Awards 2011: Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services will honor five people at this annual awards ceremony. PEMHS honors and recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to the community each year. The theme for this year's event is Choice, Hope, Recovery. 6 p.m., Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S. $30. (727) 362-4316.

Swanky Soiree: This casual, yet upscale, event benefits Brookwood Florida-Central and features high-end fashion designs, and decadent food and desserts by 15 area restaurants. 6:30 p.m., One Progress Plaza, 200 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $150. (727) 434-9882.

Sept. 24

Annual Pot Roast: Buy pottery and enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Buy a bowl and fill it up with complimentary pot roast or veggie stew; or buy a tumbler and fill it up with complimentary iced tea or beer. The event raises money for CERF, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund for artists. 4 p.m., Craftsman House, 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 323-2787.

Wine Under the Stars & Casino Night: Stargaze through a telescope, enjoy local food from Tampa Bay area restaurants, sip wines and try your hand at casino games. Benefits STEM education programs (science, technology, engineering and math) for students in grades K-12. 6-10 p.m., Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $50 advance, $60 at the door. (727) 384-0027.

Hope Floats Culinary Stroll: Take a stroll along historic Beach Drive while sampling world-class cuisine and desserts from St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront restaurants. The stroll starts with a silent auction and happy hour wine tasting and ends with auction winners announced at Hooker Tea. Proceeds benefit My Hope Chest to fund reconstructive surgery for uninsured breast cancer survivors. In case of rain, the wine tasting will be held at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House, 400 Beach Drive NE. 6-10 p.m., along Beach Drive NE, Beach Drive NE and Fourth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $75 advance, $100 day of event. (727) 642-4243.

Crystal Ball: The 42nd annual black tie gala features the 2011 Magnetic Men, silent and live auctions, casino gaming, and a lounge area. Benefits PARC. 6:30 p.m., Renaissance Vinoy Palm Court Ballroom, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $150. (727) 341-6933.

Suncoast Performing Arts Foundation Gala: The group formerly known as Partners N Progress for the Arts holds its annual fundraiser with auctions, dinner and dancing. In conjunction with this year's theme, Camelot, the hall will be decorated as a castle, and the event ends with the music and dance show Spam A Lot Meet Camelot by area high school and college students. 6:30 p.m., Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, . $100. (727) 587-6751.

Oct. 1

Oktoberfest with Santa's Angels: Celebrate the Harvest and the anticipation of cooler weather at this German-themed party with German sausages, potato salad, unlimited German beer and wine, and a rockin' DJ. 6-10 p.m., Redington Beach, Gulf Boulevard and 164th Avenue. $25 advance, $30 at the door. (727) 393-0100.

Oct. 3

"Golf Gets In Your Blood" Scramble: Long Drive champions Steve "the Predator" Monroe and Kevin "the American Psycho" Shook tee off for this four-person scramble with contests for hole-in-one, putting, closest to pin and longest drive. Proceeds benefit Florida Blood Services. 11 a.m., East Lake Woodlands Country Club, 1055 East Lake Woodlands Parkway, Oldsmar. $225. (727) 568-2231.

Oct. 6

Suncoast Hospice Golf Tournament: A scramble format tournament with shotgun start, lunch, silent auction, driving range balls, cocktail reception, hors d'oeuvres and an awards dinner. Two courses are being played — the Copperhead and the Island. 11 a.m., Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, 36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. Individuals $750; foursomes begin at $3,000. (727) 467-7423.

Golf Tournament: Businesses Golfing for Business: The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce presents this fun golf event, featuring Dave Moore, former tight end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and local entrepreneur, as this year's honorary chairman. 1 p.m. shotgun start. Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club, 600 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg. Registration required. $150 individuals, $500 foursome. (727) 360-6957.

Oct. 7

Soup's On: Annual St. Petersburg Free Clinic event features a luncheon of soup and bread to raise awareness of hunger in Pinellas County. Guests are encouraged to bring food donations for the Free Clinic Food Bank. 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. Donations appreciated. (727) 821-1200, ext. 114.

Oct. 8

3 Dog Walk: Bring the entire family, even the dog, for the 3 Dog Walk around Town Square Plaza Park and a few blocks in Pinellas Park. There will also be a doggie dress-up contest and contests for largest and smallest dogs. Benefits the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Town Square Plaza Park, 5120 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Free, but donations are appreciated. (727) 536-7928.

Fish-a-Palooza Rockstar: Fish Head Ball: The pool deck at the Don turns into a celebrity Green Room for the Pier's annual charity event with DJ dancing, live performances and video clips of popular concerts, Guitar Hero, photo booths, and auctions. Put on your creative thinking cap because patrons of past year's parties have been known to come up with outrageous fish-related costumes. It all benefits the Pier Aquarium. 6-10 p.m., Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. $125 advance, $140 at the door. (727) 803-9799.

Oct. 13

Distinguished Citizens Award Banquet: 14th annual West Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America event. 6 p.m., Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $125. (727) 391-3800.

Oct. 14

Academy of Finance Benefit: The Academy of Finance at Northeast High holds live and silent auctions accompanied by a dinner in the cafeteria. 5:30 p.m., Northeast High School, 5500 16th St. N, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 570-3137, ext. 1021.

Oct. 21

St. Anthony's Golf Classic: Come up with a creative team name and join this four-person scramble with shotgun start, clinics and contests for putting, closest to the hole, hole-in-one and longest drive. Entry includes green fees, cart fees, one round of golf, lunch, tee gifts, range balls and a dinner reception. Proceeds benefit the St. Anthony's Hospital Emergency Center capital campaign. 1-5:30 p.m., Bayou Club, 7979 Bayou Club Blvd., Largo. $225. (727) 820-7816.

Heroes, Villains and Vixens: Halloween-themed cocktail party features heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music, raffle prizes and a freaky fashion strut. Benefits Goodwill Industries. 6-8 p.m., Kapok Special Events Center, 923 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $75. (727) 450-5210.

Angels After Dark: Holiday shopping event benefits children's ministries and community outreach at First Methodist Church in St. Petersburg. Time, location to be announced.

Oct. 22

Cure for the Kids: Annual black-tie gala benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 6 p.m., A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. $250. (727) 344-2873.

Brew HaHa 2011: Annual event benefits the ChairScholars Foundation for people with severe disabilities. Halloween or black attire preferred. 8 p.m., Rutland-Farley estate, 5030 Sunrise Drive S, St. Petersburg. $100 advance, $125 at the door. (813) 926-0544.

Oct. 24

18th Annual Tribute to U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District: 6:30 p.m., Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $500. (727) 460-2442.

Oct. 27

St. Petersburg Woman's Club Oktoberfest Dinner: 6:30 p.m., St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $18 per person. (727) 321-6230.

Oct. 29

Holiday Craft Show: Handmade crafts for all holidays by area vendors. Sponsored by the Ladies Guild for missions and Christian scholarships. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church St. Petersburg, 4300 16th St. N. Free (items individually priced). (727) 527-1168.

Nov. 3

Christmas Toy Shop Anniversary: Help the Christmas Toy Shop celebrate its 90th anniversary dinner with a silent auction. 6 p.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $90. (727) 537-9219.

TBRI 30th Anniversary Celebration: Tampa Bay Research Institute's 30th Anniversary Celebration. Sponsorships and individual seating are available. Call or go online for reservations or information. 6:30 p.m., Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Parkway, 950 Lake Carillon Drive. Free. (727) 576-6675, ext. 131.

Nov. 4

Great Extravaganza 2011: Set sail on a sunset dinner cruise aboard the StarLite Majesty, a 115-foot vessel. Proceeds benefit the Great Explorations Children's Museum. 6:30-10:30 p.m., Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $150 per person; $1,500 table sponsor for six people. (727) 821-8992, ext. 209.

St. Mary Our Lord of Grace Catholic Church Heritage Ball: This annual cocktail attire event includes a buffet dinner, dancing, live entertainment, live and silent auctions and raffles. 7-10 p.m., the Hangar, 540 First St. SE, St. Petersburg. $50. (727) 896-2191. .

Nov. 5

Evening For the Bay: This benefit event for Tampa Bay Watch's restoration and education programs features live music and dancing, cocktails, dinner by Bonefish Grill, and a silent auction. 6-10 p.m., Tampa Bay Watch, 3000 Pinellas Bayway S, St. Petersburg. $75. (727) 867-8166, ext. 234.

Black Tie Affair: Benefit for Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow, a nonprofit dance troupe, features dinner, music, and live and silent auctions. Black tie. 6 p.m., Armed Forces Military Museum, 2050 34th Way N, Largo. $100. (727) 344-0123.

Nov. 10

Still Rocking! Dig your '80s punk outfit out of the cedar chest for this benefit dance with music, food, a dance contest and a cash bar. Benefits Resurrection House. 6-10 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $50. (727) 823-4742. Nov. 11

Stuart Society's Fall Fashion Show: Luncheon event features designs by Key Unger and a silent auction. All proceeds benefit the Museum of Fine Arts. 11 a.m., Renaissance Vinoy Resort Grand Ballroom, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $300 general seating; patron party tickets $500-$3,500. (727) 896-2667, ext. 197.

Nov. 12

St. Petersburg Panhellenic Association Scholarship Fundraiser: A luncheon and fashion show with designs by Patchington. A special announcement of the naming of "Woman of the Year" will be made. 11:30 a.m., Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club, 6000 Sun Blvd., St. Petersburg. $30. (727) 614-5200.

Nov. 14

Pinellas Auxiliary of the Children's Home Golf Tournament: Four-person scramble. 12:30 p.m., Feather Sound Country Club, 2201 Feather Sound Drive, Clearwater. $150. (727) 576-6424.

Nov. 15

Golden Baton Award: The Florida Orchestra, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, honors Dick and Helen Minck for their outstanding contributions to the orchestra. 6 p.m. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. $100. (727) 244-2527.

Nov. 17

Lawyers for Literacy Reading Program: Tutors, teachers and supporters will gather to honor the tutors and schools supporting the program for at-risk third-graders. 6-9 p.m. Private home. Free (donations appreciated). (727) 323-4020.

Nov. 18

Mary Young Memorial Walk-A-Thon: Sponsored by All Children's Hospital Guild Beach Branch. 8-11 a.m., Bay Pines Lutheran Church, 7589 113th Lane N, Seminole. Free. (727) 360-4408.

Celebrate in Style Luncheon and Fashion Show: Luncheon event celebrates 80th anniversary of St. Anthony's Hospital and features fashions from Dillard's. Proceeds benefit the hospital's new emergency center. 11 a.m. Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $75-$100. (727) 821-2078.

Dec. 1

Pinellas March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction: A tasting from numerous Tampa Bay area chefs and caterers, live and silent auctions. All proceeds benefit the March of Dimes. 6:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $75. (813) 287-2600, ext. 127.

Dec. 2

Silver Bells Luncheon: Annual Suncoast Opera Guild event features a musical presentation under the direction of St. Petersburg Opera Company's founder Mark Sforzini. 11 a.m. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. (727) 367-9289.

Dec. 3

Arts & Craft Show/Open Kitchen: GFWC St. Petersburg Woman's Club event. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. Free. (727) 674-3484.

Under the Stars: Pre-tournament party benefits golf mentoring program First Tee of St. Petersburg. 7 p.m. Rutland Estate, 5030 Sunrise Drive S, St. Petersburg. $175 individual, $300 couple. (727) 515-5280.

Dec. 4

Abilities Guild Holiday Gala: All proceeds from this event benefit the Abilities Foundation's ongoing programs and services for the disabled veterans in Tampa Bay area. Black-tie optional. 6:30 p.m. Carlouel Yacht Club, 1091 Eldorado Ave., Clearwater Beach. $95. (727) 536-9176.

Brittany & Friends Celebrity Pro-Am: Professional golfer Brittany Lincicome and other celebrities will participate in this fundraiser for the First Tee of St. Petersburg golf mentoring program. 10 a.m. registration; 1 p.m. shotgun start. On-course refreshments, after-play tastings, live and silent auctions. Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, 6300 Pasadena Point Blvd., Gulfport. $2,000 foursome (includes celebrity captain). (727) 515-5280.

Dec. 6

Boley Angels Christmas Brunch: Annual holiday gathering features Christmas carols and a visit from Santa Claus. Benefits the purchase of furniture for Boley Center. 11:30 a.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $40. (727) 709-9841.

Dec. 7

Mrs. Santa Luncheon: All Children's Hospital Guild Beach Branch fundraiser features a fashion show. 11 a.m. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $50. (727) 392-5089.

Dec. 8

CASA Peace Breakfast: Community Action Stops Abuse event. 7-8:30 a.m., Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free; donations received day of event. Reservations required. (727) 892-5202.

Dec. 9

Holiday Social & Luncheon: GFWC St Petersburg Woman's Club hosts event. Call for reservations and information. 11:30 a.m., St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $20. (727) 526-3972.

Dec. 10

Dr. Seuss Christmas Breakfast: GFWC St. Petersburg Woman's Club event. Seatings at 9 and 10:30 a.m. $12. 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $12. (727) 822-4982.

Dec. 15

Gingerbread House Event: Sip on champagne and sample fine food while you decorate a gingerbread house. Benefits the American Red Cross. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Loews Don CeSar Hotel, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. $75. (727) 576-6424.

Dec. 16

Egypt Gala: Wine. Dine. Revel. Rock. Explore. Join kindred spirits and celebrate the night away on the eve of the American premiere of "Ancient Egypt — Art & Magic." 6:30 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. $300. (727) 896-2667 ext. 197.


Jan. 18

Garden & Grape: Bayfront on Vine event features wine, six-course meal prepared with sustainable foods. 4 p.m. $375. (727) 893-6148.

Jan. 16

All Children's Hospital Auxiliary Fashion Show: 11 a.m. $25. Hospital education center building auditorium, 1200 Seventh Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 520-0286.

Jan. 18

Leaping into the New Year: Lunch & Cards: St. Petersburg Woman's Club is hosting its Leaping into the New Year: Lunch & Cards. Call for reservations. 11:30 a.m., St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $25. (727) 823-9258.

Jan. 21

Heroes Among Us: St. Petersburg Bar Foundation dinner event honors Donald Mastry, Mark Winn and Kimberly J. Gustafson. 6 p.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $150. (727) 898-0155.

Jan. 25

St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation Legacy Dinner and Awards: Annual donor appreciation and awards banquet features Dr. Pauline Chen, author of the book Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality. 6 p.m., Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $75. (727) 820-7816.

Jan. 26

St. Petersburg Women's Chamber of Commerce Fundraiser: Annual luncheon. 11 a.m. St. Petersburg Country Club, 2000 Country Club Way S. (727) 384-6133.

Jan. 28

All Children's Hospital Guild Charity Ball: An Enchanted Evening: 81st annual event features dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. 6-11:30 p.m., Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $250. (727) 347-6288.

Feb. 4

Bayfront On Vine: Bayfront Health Foundation's 16th annual celebration of food, wine and philanthropy. VIP purchase includes wine-tasting pavilion, commemorative glass. Call for reservations. 7 p.m., Bayfront Medical Plaza Building, 603 Seventh St. N, St. Petersburg. $100, $175 VIP. (727) 893-6148.

Feb. 6

Fashion Promenade, Best Groomed: Woman's Service League annual event. 11 a.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $50. (727) 289-4931.

Feb. 9

Heart Gallery Gala: Includes dinner and a discussion by Deborah Polston, adoptive mother, foster child advocate and author of Victor's Dream. 5:30 p.m., Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S. $50. (727) 417-9328.

Feb. 10

Poetic Justice Gala: "Around the World in One Night" features dinner, auction and dancing to live music to benefit Operation PAR. 6-11 p.m., Bascom's Chop House, 3665 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. $150. (727) 545-7564.

Wine Auction: The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society of the Museum of Fine Arts presents its second annual evening of fine food and wine to benefit the Museum of Fine Arts. 6:30 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-2667, ext. 197.

Feb. 15

St. Anthony's Hospital Auxiliary Card and Game Party: Annual event benefits the hospital and includes food. 11 a.m., St. Anthony's Hospital, 1200 Seventh Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 573-3594.

Feb. 17

Valentine Dance Party: Benefit for Brookwood Florida features dancing to the music of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. 7-11 a.m. Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. (727) 822-4789.

Sip and See: Junior League of St. Petersburg Whale of a Sale preview party. St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $25. (727) 895-5018;

Feb. 18

Whale of a Sale: Junior League of St. Petersburg rummage sale. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. Free. (727) 895-5018.

Feb. 23

To Life: Florida Holocaust Museum's annual event includes a celebration of the museum's 20th anniversary. Proceeds benefit the museum's education, exhibitions and public programming. 6:30 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $150. (727) 820-0100.

Feb. 25

Queen of Hearts Ball: Annual dinner event recognizes outstanding women volunteers, benefits Ready for Life and Southeastern Guide Dogs, Paws for Patriots. 6:30 p.m., Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S. $125. (727) 483-1580; (727) 385-4186.

March 2

Flowers After Hours: Art in Bloom Preview: Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres in the Conservatory and a preview of florals throughout the Museum of Fine Arts. 6:30-9 p.m. 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. $85. (727) 896-2667, ext. 197.

March 6

Infinity Mardi Gras: Wear a mask or full costume for this Mardi Gras-themed luncheon and fashion show. 11 a.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $50. (727) 520-0286.

March 10

Heart of Pinellas Decorative Artists Luncheon: Includes display of members' work. Faith Presbyterian Church auditorium, 11501 Walker Ave., Seminole. $12. (727) 541-3240;

March 17

Irish Derby Horse Racing: GFWC St. Petersburg Woman's Club event. 6:30 p.m., St. Petersburg Woman's Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $20. (727) 822-4982.

March 24

Tampa Bay Heart Ball: Annual black-tie event benefits American Heart and American Stroke associations. 6 p.m., A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. $1,000 per couple. (727) 563-8112.

March 26

Polywog Golf Invitational: 59th annual event benefits All Children's Hospital, Children's Dream Fund, R'Club Child Care, St. Petersburg Free Clinic and The First Tee of St. Petersburg. 10:30 a.m. registration; noon shotgun start. Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, 6300 Pasadena Point Blvd., Gulfport. $200 per player. (727) 767-4105.

March 31

The Ducky Event Gala: All Children's Hospital Guild Beach Branch fundraiser is a gala event with drinks, hors d'oeuvres, music, and live and silent auctions. 6-9 p.m., The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. (727) 360-7714.

April 12

Stuart Society 50th Anniversary High Tea: 4-6 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE. (727) 896-2667, ext. 197.

April 14

Puttin' On the Glitz: Fifth annual YWCA Tampa Bay fundraiser featuring the Purses and Passion silent auction. Event benefits programs and services that focus on empowering women and eliminating racism. 6 p.m., Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. $50. (727) 896-4629, ext 10.

April 15

13th Annual Spring Bonnet Tea: GFWC St. Petersburg Woman's Club event. 2-4 p.m. $10. 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE. $10. (727) 822-4982.

April 26

Senorita Margarita: Junior League of St. Petersburg event features dance lessons, margarita tasting. 7-10 p.m. Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. (727) 895-5018;

April 27

A Good Night's Sleep: Luncheon to benefit Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA). Reservations required. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $60. (727) 895-4912, ext. 114.

Stomping at the Ritz, Collectors Circle Choice XI Gala: Dinner event benefits arts acquisitions at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. Black-tie optional. 6:30 p.m. 255 Beach Drive NE. $200. (727) 896-2667.

April 28

LocalShops1 Fashion for Charity: Presented by, the House of Renee Originals and Fragrance Notes. Benefits Gulfport Senior Center Foundation. 7 p.m. Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. [email protected]

May 4

Go Red for Women Luncheon: 10:30 a.m., A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. $250. (727) 563-8112.

May 5

St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation Medallion Gala: Annual gala benefits St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation. Black-tie optional. 6 p.m., Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 820-7816.

May 19

Pride & Passion: St. Pete Pride event benefits Tampa Museum of Art's special exhibitions. 8-11 p.m. Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. $75. (813) 421-8370.

Charitable giving is at the heart of the social calendar 09/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 15, 2011 4:30pm]
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  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.