A sold-out Mayoral Ball at the Mahaffey Theater drew more than 400 guests to the main dinner event and another 200 or so for formal remarks, fireworks and dancing to the Hunks of Funk. "Home … There's No Place Like St. Petersburg" was a nonpartisan event, and numerous civic and community leaders were part of the celebration, including new Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayors Don Jones, Corinne Freeman, Bob Ulrich, David Fischer and Rick Baker.
The Junior League of St. Petersburg presented the Wizard of Oz-themed fundraiser, a benefit for the league and for St. Pete's Promise, a city mentoring and scholarship program.
The Oz theme was appropriate, Kriseman said, because the city is "full of heart, intellect and courage."
Additional speakers included league president Lisa Johni, Bayfront Health market president and chief executive Kathy Gillette, St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Bill Dudley and Pinellas Education Foundation president Jim Myers.
Co-chairs were former league presidents Chloe Firebaugh and Carol Russell, whose committee included Gentry Adams, Mary Wyatt Allen, Wendy Sage Baker, LeeAnn Beltz-Backer, Nikita Bhappu, Jennifer Bishop, Stacy Brandenstein Gerardo, Cindy Campbell, Melanie Collinson, Kristin Connell, Erin Conners, Leslie Crouse, Tuesdi Dyer, Gigi Fleming, Katie Gatchell, Heather Labinger, Donna Mainguth, Melissa Marciano, Heather McKee, Elise Minkoff, Taylor Montgomery, Samantha Nevins, Heather Orsini, Erin O'Toole, Mary Paul, Rebecca Raj, Rachael Russell, Cindi Samaha, Alexis Searfoss, Elithia Stanfield, Lee Tranford-Hutchinson, Ann Vickstrom, Tiffany Webb and Erin Whittemore Lohmiller.
Florida first lady Ann Scott was in Tarpon Springs for a reception hosted by Christopher and Kelly Still featuring Viva La Florida, a cookbook containing recipes used in the Governor's Mansion, for which she wrote the introduction. It also is the title of the triptych Christopher Still painted for the Sunshine State's quincentennial.
Mrs. Scott signed copies of the book, which features favorite recipes of former first ladies of Florida who have lived in the Governor's Mansion. All profits go to the Florida Governor's Mansion Foundation, which maintains the grounds, furnishings and historical elements of the official state residence in Tallahassee.
Guests included Bob and Tina Douglass, Marshall Rousseau, Eric Lang Peterson, Margaret Word Burnside and Aaron Fodiman, Marcia Starkey and Elizabeth Coachman.
Judy Keyak, a member of the All Children's Hospital Guild Beach Branch since 2003, was named the organization's Mrs. Santa at its 50th anniversary luncheon and fashion show in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
More than 300 participants attended the events, which featured fashions by Macy's and models from the guild and the hospital foundation and other volunteers.
Keyak was honored for her volunteer work on behalf of the guild, in the hospital gift shop, and at Ronald McDonald House.