Almost next door to the Museum of Fine Arts, writer and part-time St. Petersburg resident Dennis Lehane and New Port Richey optometrist Angela Bernardo were married at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Lehane, who grew up in Dorchester, Mass., is an Eckerd College graduate whose novels include Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone. Bernardo is an alumna of the New England College of Optometry in Boston and in practice at Trinity Optical. She specializes in contact lenses and promotes literacy and vision assessment for children.
Friends say the couple met at a Super Bowl party in 2007. Their parents, Rita and Marty Bernardo from Albany, N.Y., and Ann and Michael Lehane of Boston, were in St. Petersburg for the ceremony, as was Angi's grandfather John Caruso. Her aunt Connie Southerland, who flew in from Hawaii for the event, brought leis for all the women — guests and wedding attendants.
The second annual Legacy Dinner for benefactors and friends of the St. Anthony's Care Foundation drew about 200 guests to the Renaissance Vinoy Resort to honor people who have made significant contributions to the foundation.
Community leader Mary Wyatt Allen received the first Roy G. Harrell Leadership Award in appreciation for her significant contributions to organizations including Brookwood Florida, the St. Petersburg Museum of History, Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
Dr. John Lee is the inaugural recipient of the Helen D. Roberts Philanthropy Award. A general and vascular surgeon, he has given numerous hours performing surgical procedures for underprivileged patients, at no charge.
Worth Blackwell, the foundation's chairman, presented the awards.
"These contributions represent a real difference in the lives of our patients and in our community," said Robert Sherman, the foundation's executive director.
Gala celebrates new
wing of art museum
All week long, people have been raving about "Museum Masterpiece: The Premiere," the Stuart Society gala that offered a preview of the new Hazel Hough Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.
"I thought it was the best party I have ever attended, barring none," Hazel Hough said of the once-in-a-generation festivities that packed more than 1,000 patrons into the new wing's conservatory — a record-setter for the Stuart Society. Another record: The event raised more than $200,000 for the museum.
Mrs. Hough and her husband, Bill, who named the building for his wife of more than 50 years, have attended innumerable celebrations over the years. "Bill and I thought it was a such a wonderful evening and couldn't say enough about it. When we got home, I felt like Cinderella after the ball."
And she had a surprise for him: A gift to the museum, Peter Sarkisian's Extruded Video Engine II. It is the first video sculpture added to the permanent collection.
"It's unique, it's individual, and it moves," Mrs. Hough said later. "All the motion reminded me of Bill."
Guests, greeted by trumpet fanfares, strode a red carpet complete with spotlights. Hazelnut spritzers, a blend of hazelnut syrup and prosecco with a single toasted, shelled filbert, were created in honor of Mrs. Hough and offered to patrons. There were passed hors d'oeuvres, abundant libations and tiny tastes of decadent desserts. And many, many partygoers dressed in their grandest formal finery.
A private reception before the party included St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, MFA board of trustees president Carol Upham, MFA executive director John Schloder, MFA assistant director Roger Zeh, MFA trustee and capital campaign chair Bill Stover, Hennessy Construction owner Bronson Alexander, HOK architect Yann Weymouth, Stuart Society president Louise Chapin and gala chairwoman Royce Haiman.
The Houghs were present with their family: Robb and Susan Hough and children Will, Bonnie and Michael (Mansie was delayed because of a volleyball game in Orlando); David and Helen Hough Fineberg and daughter Alexandra; and Patrick and Susan Hough Henry.
Additional attendees included Richard and Martha Kessler of the Kessler Collection and Grand Bohemian in Orlando, presenting sponsors of the gala; and numerous members of the Acheson family, who also were presenting sponsors and who founded the museum. That group included Margaret Strum Acheson Allessee, Kathryn Acheson Cooke, Shirley Acheson Shirock, Michael Howard Acheson, Harriett Strum, Dr. James C. and Suzanne J. Acheson and Lawrence Acheson.
Mrs. Haiman worked for months on every detail of the event, leading a committee that included Sandi Averitt, Charlotte Bacon, Pat Baldwin, Pat Campbell, Louise Chapin, Tina Douglass, Mary Evertz, Carol Fisher, Sally Habermeyer, Susan Hicks, Jean D. Irwin, Mardi Johnson, Susanna Johnston-Versandi, Judy Jourdan, Marian Yon Maguire, Claire Mazzella, Natalie McMasters, Glenn Mosby, Donna Painter, Doria Parker, Fran Risser, Rhonda Sanderford, Kathy Stover and Dottie Templet.
The new Hazel Hough Wing opens to the public the weekend of March 22-24.