The main event of this year's Bayfront on Vine season packed several hundred patrons into St. Petersburg's Bayfront Medical Plaza Building for "Grape Gatsby," a 1920s cocktail party that provided a generous sampling of some of the Tampa Bay area's best food and spirits.
Dimity Carlson and Chip Jones were co-chairs for the event, helped by Anje Bogott, Cathy Carey, Kathy Carlson, Marie Cirelli, Phil Dickhaus, Tina Dyer, Dr. B. Lynn Feaster, Jamie Francis, Tara Hansberry, Tiffany Hausdorf, Jeff Hearn, Ron Hersch, Linda Hirsch, Laterika Jelks, Lynda Jollay, Sherri Langhans, Tom Pritchard, Eve Sawicki, Megan Shames, Anne Marie Smith, Clark Smith, Terry Tomalin, Jenna Walker and Deborah Williams.
Festivities this year included a Jan. 15 "speakeasy" party held in the home of Norm and Maureen Dobiesz that featured a five-course meal with wine pairings, a rooftop casino and music from the Bayside String Quartet; "Wine, Women & Worth," a Jan. 17 spring fashion preview held in the St. Petersburg home of Elaine Hearn; "Some Enchanted Evening — A Night in Napa," a Jan. 22 food and wine pairing in the St. Petersburg home of Walter and Joyce Larson; and "Pork and Pinot on the Beach," held Saturday at the TradeWinds Island Grand as a tribute to emergency responders.
Proceeds from all of the events benefit the new Bayfront Baby Place.
A big crowd jammed into the Stetson University College of Law for the annual "Heroes Among Us" awards presentation honoring Anthony Battaglia and Lisa Brody and Rising Star award recipients Cary Cash and Paul Gross.
Introducing U.S. Rep C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, the evening's keynote speaker, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich cited the transformation of U.S. 19 as one of the major accomplishments for the region during his tenure.
"Many of the things that we take for granted (in the area) would not have existed" if not for the congressman, she said.
In his short speech, Young said that seeing the recipients of the awards gave him confidence that "we're in really good shape for today and the future because of these people who give of themselves and their talents."
He praised the law profession, saying that in his travels to Bosnia and Kosovo as those states tried to build democracies, what was remarkable was they understood that the underpinning was establishing a system of law, "without which there would be chaos."
Battaglia, who practices criminal, civil and commercial law, has a long history of civic and community involvement in addition to his legal work. Brody is a managing attorney specializing in housing law for Bay Area Legal Services. She, too, is an active community and civic volunteer.
Camille Iurillo and Carin Constantine were co-chairs for the dinner; committee members included Nancy Biesinger, David Blum, Leonard Englander, Gregory Hoag, Beth Horner, Robert Kapusta, Eric Ludin, Thomas Masterson, Jason Moyer, Judy Stanton and William Weller.
Times staff writer Paul Jerome contributed to this report.