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Social and charitable activities in St. Petersburg

Fashion designer Alla K, right, and model Ginger Gadsden show off two of Alla K’s designs during the Swanky Soiree.

BRIAN BLANCO Special to the Times

Fashion designer Alla K, right, and model Ginger Gadsden show off two of Alla K’s designs during the Swanky Soiree.


The vista from Dr. Patrick Sexton's penthouse at St. Petersburg's Signature Place is a nearly panoramic view that includes sights of Tampa and beyond the Sunshine Skyway. The St. Petersburg dentist opened his home for the Swanky Soiree benefiting Brookwood, where models circulated among the nearly 200 guests at the sold-out event, wearing designs from Ben Chmura (Project Runway), Alla K and Essence Flowers.

Brookwood is a residential program for abused and neglected girls and women 13 to 21. The cause is a passion for the honorary co-chairs, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Gabe Kapler and his wife, Lisa. Lisa, one of the models, experienced violence in a relationship in her teens.

On a lower floor at Signature, food was presented from area restaurants including Maritana at the Don CeSar and executive chef Eric Neri, Luna at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon and chef Douglas Miller, O'Bistro and proprietor Sharon O'Gradney-Krkljus, Bay Star Restaurant Group and executive chef Tom Pritchard, Michael's on East and Philip Mancini, Olympia Catering and Events and owner Darren Diaz, Orange Blossom Catering and owner Ed Shamas, Chouinards and chef and owner Joseph Chouinard, the Palm and chef Gabe Silva, La Fogata and proprietor Hans Klenke, Kahwa Coffee and owners Sarah and Ralph Perrier and Granite Top Goodies and owner Jennifer Shulman.

Event planner Phyllis Eig envisioned the first-time charity fundraiser, which raised more than $35,000. The committee included Patti Bankes, Matt Becker, Scott Buchanan, Debbie Corson, Tina Fischer, Summer Goldman, Ernest Hooper, Marie Izzo, Karen Julien, Joyce Larson, Pam LeCompte, Patrice Moore, Loretta Murray, Nora Pearson, David Ramsey, Ginger Reichl, John Schnackel, Edie Spies and Diane Winning.


More than 130 guests attended the third annual Patriot Day prayer breakfast presented by the St. Petersburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.

Special guests included state regent Barbara Makant, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, whose Paws for Patriots project helps finance the training of guide dogs for wounded veterans, and keynote speakers St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Harry Glenn, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores.

Pam Hinds-Pagac led the event committee, which included Nancy Dunn, Cindy Weatherby, Carol Johnson, Barbara Wiseman, Elise Minkoff, Nina Glover, Rosemary Mills, Irene DeFilipo, Katie Shevlin, Sarah Ann Scherer, Mary Wyatt Allen and Mary Ellen Shevlin.

Save the date

A few upcoming events went missing from the annual Neighborhood Times social calendar last Sunday.

• First on the list: Dancing with the Sea Stars, the 17th annual Fish Head Ball to benefit education programs at the Pier Aquarium in St. Petersburg. This is an Oct. 2 poolside gala at the Don CeSar Beach Resort, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, complete with red carpet, a Walk of Fame, dancing, food, wine and prizes. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $50 in advance, $60 at the door. The deadline for reservations is Sept. 28. To purchase tickets online, go to

On Oct. 15, the St. Petersburg Free Clinic presents its 31st annual Soup's On luncheon to raise awareness about hunger in Pinellas County. Guests will be served soup and bread. There is no charge, but donations will be received. The event runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the campus activity center at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, corner of Sixth Avenue and Second Street S. For information, call Angela Schumaker at (727) 821-1200, ext. 114, or e-mail her at

Social and charitable activities in St. Petersburg 09/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:30am]
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