Don't you love the name?
"An Animal Affaire: Night of the Unleashed" raised a whopping $250,000 for the SPCA of Tampa Bay — a howling success, organizers called it.
More than 450 patrons went to the party and auction at Fazal Fazlin's St. Petersburg home. Bidding got animated at times, especially for tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show.
All profits will go directly to support the care of the more than 15,000 animals cared for each year by the Largo agency.
Great Bay Distributors was the chief sponsor for the gala, with additional sponsorships from Synovus Bank of Tampa Bay, BP & Risser Oil, Nina Focardi, Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., Ron and Judy Petrini and Bay News 9.
St. Petersburg native Bridgette Heller, the global president of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. baby and wound care franchises, was the keynote speaker at an awards brunch for members of the Epsilon Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
The fourth annual Footprint Service Awards event, held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, was held in observance of Women's History Month and honored Gwen Feazell, Elzora Motley and Barbara Norris, Sami Scott, community service; Joan Bell Andrews, Inez McRae, the late Alma Brown Frazier, Mildred Kennedy and Sandra Patterson; Catherine Crumb, Sandra Grosvenor and Kim B. Williams, health services; Cynthia M. Davis, law enforcement; and Temple Hayes, Mary Parris and Charlene Sanders, religion.
The "Shero" award for a woman who overcame adversity went to Marlene Smith.
WTSP-TV announcer Ginger Gadsden was mistress of ceremonies; the chapter basileus, or president, is Kimberly Taylor.
Racers Danica Patrick and Dan Wheldon were among the stars in a constellation of celebrities at the Honda Grand Prix party at the Pier.
So was musician Gene Simmons (yep, the guy from KISS), who promotes the Indy Racing League and wrote its official theme song, I Am Indy.
The area around Cha Cha Coconuts was perfect for viewing the St. Petersburg skyline and the fireworks sponsored by the Suncoasters just after the Illuminated Night Parade.
Food and drink were abundant, and several hundred people were at the party, including city officials and Tim Ramsberger, the primary organizer of the Grand Prix, who had lots of family around for support.