Sea creatures mingled with celebrity look-alikes at this year's Fish Head Ball, with guests posing for "paparazzi" along the red carpet leading to the pool area at the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
The 17th annual fundraiser for the Pier Aquarium was a feast for the eyes, especially the performance by the Suncoast WaterWorks Synchronized Swim Team, and it was a feast for the palate as well, with food and drink from Budweiser, Cha Cha Coconuts, the Columbia Restaurant, Datz Deli, Guppy's on the Beach, Island Flavors and Tings, Marchand's Bar & Grill at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, Maritana Grill at the Don CeSar, St. Pete Brasserie, Snappers Sea Grill/Mad Fish and Southern Wine & Spirits.
Annica Keeler led the event committee, which included aquarium president and chief executive E. Howard Rutherford, Alice Bedore, Christina Douglas, Tina Dyakon, Jarrod Langhans, Anna Modig, Debra Hempel, Karen Park, Ken Rasbach, Emily Stehle, Susan Wallace, Eleanor Whiteside and Patty Zimmermann.
Cooking for Kids, the yearly benefit for children's services at the Suncoast Center, was a New Orleans-style party at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg, with food, dancing and jazz performances by the Suncoast Dixieland Jazz Society All Stars.
Participating restaurants included Amici's Catering, Bella Bistro, Cafe Vienna, Harvey's 4th Street Grill, Just Desserts, King Natural Catering, M and E Catering, Marchand's Bar & Grill, Middle Grounds Grill, the Moon Under Water, O'Bistro, Ricky P's Po Boy Shop and St. Pete Concessions.
Organizers were event chair Elise Minkoff, Mary Wyatt Allen, Elizabeth Austin, Maureen Barnash, Pam Burford, Clare Gorman, Lisa Hood, Shawn Kinkade, Wren Krahl, Joni Long, Adam Mayefsky, Catherine McGarry, Dianne Cohrs, Shawna Mucario, Sandy Murray, Lisa Negrini and Laurie Tudor.
Nominate volunteers, groups for recognition
The Queen's Court, which raises money for charities and civic organizations through its Queen of Hearts Ball, is accepting nominations for outstanding female volunteers through Jan. 5. Submissions must be sponsored by guilds, auxiliaries or other nonprofit organizations. For an application, please call (727) 822-7571.
The court also is accepting applications from Pinellas County organizations to receive grants from the 2012 event. Charities must be listed under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. Applications are available by calling (727) 894-9394. The deadline for those submissions is Feb. 15.