After a number of years packing patrons into St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field, the Abilities Foundation moved its annual wine tasting to a new venue, the Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo, over Memorial Day weekend.
With food and drink from numerous provisioners in the community, the event drew about 800 guests and raised $85,000, according to president and chief executive officer Frank De Lucia.
The fundraiser is a benefit for injured returning military veterans in the area.
It also honored John Residence, 85, who received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained while he served in the Artillery Unit of the 5th Marines Division at Iwo Jima. Residence is the narrator for the museum's World War II U.S. Marine Corps/South Pacific Diorama.
Frank Planes and the Florida Center for Creative Photography supplied a team of photographers to record the activity; Planes is an Abilities alumnus who went on to become a fine-arts nature photographer after a series of strokes left him legally blind.
Pamper Your Spirits — the annual showcase for products and services designed to improve women's physical, emotional and financial well-being — also is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Guild. Meeting in the ballroom at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, guests browsed and shopped, then were treated to a luncheon and fashion show featuring clothing from the So Chic consignment boutique.
Michelle Bullard and Hannah Gross were co-chairs for the event, which raises money to send needy students to college.
Sausage, shrimp, potatoes, corn and seasonings are the key ingredients for a Low Country Shrimp Boil. The popular feast, held on the grounds of the St. Petersburg home of Mary Wyatt Allen, is in its seventh year as a fundraiser for Infinity, the League to Aid Abused Children and Adults.
Event chair Nora Pearson and her husband, Paul, prepared the basics, and he took the role of head chef, supervising a set-up team that included Jim Wittstruck, Alan Sayler and Rick McCollum.
Infinity members prepared desserts and side dishes for the event, with proceeds benefiting the Suncoast Center (formerly Help A Child), Brookwood Florida and Community Action Stops Abuse.
Additional committee members included Teresa Wittstruck, Edie Spies, Sally Poynter, Karen McCollum, Jackie O'Brien, Joyce and Walter Larson, Roseanna Costa, Kay and Jim Brown, Diane Winning and Tonya Corder.