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Sustainable foods, Glass House highlight Pier Aquarium, Morean Arts Center benefit

“A Sustainable Collaboration at the Glass House,” for the Pier Aquarium and Morean Arts Center, was at Robert Glaser and Rob Bowen’s condo.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2008)

“A Sustainable Collaboration at the Glass House,” for the Pier Aquarium and Morean Arts Center, was at Robert Glaser and Rob Bowen’s condo.


Robert Glaser and Rob Bowen call their condominium the Glass House, an appropriate appellation since the spacious downtown St. Petersburg residence has tall windows revealing expansive views.

The effect was multiplied at "A Sustainable Collaboration at the Glass House," a benefit for the Pier Aquarium and the Morean Arts Center, where creations from glass artists Chuck Boux, Susan Gott, Duncan McClellan and Marlene Rose were on display and for sale.

The food, from several Tampa Bay area restaurants, focused on bite-size morsels of sustainable seafood and produce grown and harvested nearby. The offerings included Zellwood corn, heirloom tomatoes, local mustard greens and yellowtail snapper, and farm-raised barramundi.

Participating chefs included James Canter of Sangria's, Mark Heimann of the Renaissance Vinoy, Eric Neri of the Don CeSar, Matthew Smith of Parkshore Grill and Jon Carron of Datz Deli.

The wines, from the Pacific Northwest's Snoqualmie and Naked labels, and selected by Bern's Steak House sommelier Brad Dixon, cannot legally be called organic, but the grapes from which they are harvested are grown under strict standards, he said.

Event chairs Susan Wallace and Kathryn Howd welcomed guests, along with Pier Aquarium executive director E. Howard Rutherfordton and Arts Center executive director Katee Tully. Attendees included Dr. Susan and Peter Betzer, John Wallace, Lari Johnson, Barbara Patterson, Anje Bogott, Beth Morean, Barry Rothstein, Marty Wallace, Mary Wyatt Allen, Nancy Smith, Edward Rucks, Barbara Sansone and Terry Collins, and Fran and Bud Risser.

A hitch with the elevator left some guests to climb the seven flights of stairs to the penthouse, and several patient souls were rewarded with food and drink brought to the ground floor.


"Prom Magic" was a treat for patrons and participants at PACE Center for Girls: Students road to the annual Value Me luncheon chauffeured by Ambassador Limousines, whose owner, Ken Lucci, presented each girl with a dozen roses.

Every one of the more than 300 guests at the luncheon, held in the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon, received a chocolate rose at their table, and all received a pink rose as they departed the event. And dancer Erin Cardinal featured rose petals during her performance at the event.

The event was a second fundraiser for the Beth Dillinger Foundation, with models Christina Battaglia Zenakis, Jen Holloway, Dr. Kashia Ostrzenska, Angela Rouson and Margaret Word Burnside wearing fashions from Ambria's Gallery of Wearable Art in St. Petersburg.

PACE students participating in the presentation wore prom dresses that have been donated to Beth's Closet at PACE.

"Everyone loved seeing them walk the runway in their beautiful dresses," Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Linda Allan said.

Kay Dillinger presented the Spirit of Hope Award to Macy's representative David Weston in appreciation for the retailer's contributions of clothing to the community, including at Beth's Closet at PACE and its extension, the Hope Chest for foster children at the office of Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger.

The Dillingers named the project in memory of their late daughter, who took her own life in 2006.

PACE Center for Girls serves girls ages 12 to 17 in various programs throughout Florida. It is an early intervention and prevention effort.


In a challenging, churning financial market, outgoing Stuart Society president Susan Hicks presented a check for $161,000 to Roger Zeh, assistant director of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. The Stuart Society, which supports the institution in numerous other ways, raised the money through volunteer efforts.

In a poignant remembrance of the late Katherine Prescott, who chaired the Art in Bloom luncheon in April, Eric Lang Peterson created a floral arrangement in her memory. Mrs. Prescott and Mary Anne and Terry Taranto perished in April when their boat sank in Utah's Lake Powell; Mrs. Prescott's husband, Robert, is still missing.

Hicks hosted an appreciation luncheon after the meeting in the Bayview Room of the museum's Hazel Hough Wing. The event was an expression of gratitude to board members, museum staffers and volunteers who spend so much time and effort to further the museum.

Her successor as president, Chris Hilton, will lead the Stuart Society next year.

Sustainable foods, Glass House highlight Pier Aquarium, Morean Arts Center benefit 05/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 16, 2009 4:30am]
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