Amy Scherzer's Diary: Junior League awards; Bill & Giuliana Rancic promote United Way; Make-A-Wish hosts Happy Hour & Handbags05/16/13 Human Interest
Taste the Best of Tampa Bay
The Brunchery, the Columbia restaurant and Sally O'Neal's Pizza have dished out their specialities to Straz Center performing arts fans at the Best of Tampa Bay since the benefit began 28 years ago. They eagerly returned April 20, along with 10-year-plus participants Miguel's Mexican Cafe, Oystercatchers, Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Splitsville and T.C. Choy's Asian Bistro. Newbies including Anise Global Gastrobar and Piquant Epicure & Cuisine made it a 40-restaurant tasting. The 1,500 guests also scarfed up appetite-enhancing entertainment by Daniel Marshall, Beth McKee, Lisa Casalino, Southern Train and the Vodkanauts as event chairwoman Michelle Dy and the Producers raised a yummy $75,000.
Handbags & Happy Hour...
05/11/13 Human Interest
The bride worried her mother might disapprove of the Pearl Jam song she selected for her walk down the aisle.
"And I definitely did not want to wear her veil," said Tricia Ketchey Shuler, stretching to come up with any other issues arising when she and her mother, Brenda Ketchey, designed her March 30 wedding to Kevin Shuler.
Right off the bat, Ketchey proposed hiring a professional wedding consultant....
HYDE PARK — Learn to make a souffle, pick up a cream puff pastry, learn more about merlot.
Unwind with a massage, meet the girls for lunch, come back for a beer at the rooftop bar.
All that and more is in store at the Epicurean Hotel and retail center rising at 1207 S Howard Ave., developed by Mainsail Lodging & Development in collaboration with Bern's Steak House in Hyde Park....
05/09/13 Human Interest
Friends of Joshua House dinner
Anita Shuler recently moved to Austin, Texas, but she wasn't about to miss the 11th annual Friends of Joshua House Foundation's al fresco dinner. She joined 90 guests dining in Downton Abbey-style April 27 at the Beach Park estate of financier Bob Gries. A 1929 Oakland set the era; Botanica set elegance with silver candelabras, roses and hydrangeas. Mise en Place set a dowager duchess menu of tenderloin and a rhubarb crumble dessert....
05/04/13 Human Interest
SOUTH TAMPA — Two years ago, Clark Jordan-Holmes would have laughed if you told him he'd be hiking —and getting hopelessly lost — in the Ocala National Forest.
That also goes for enjoying power walks, classical music and Jameson Irish Whiskey as much (almost) as Heather Caswell does.
Love does that: opens the mind and heart to new possibilities. That's why they were trekking, in February 2012, "in exactly the opposite direction we sought," said Heather....
WEST SHORE — Fresh paint, enhanced lighting and new landscaping are about to fashion a Cinderella makeover on a scruffy stretch of West Shore Boulevard.
Keep an eye on the western side of the street, between Euclid Avenue and El Prado Boulevard, said Jim Smith, one of the owners of CDB's Southside Italian restaurant and bar.
Smith is taking the lead on a six-lot spruce-up, nearly an acre, under his control....
05/02/13 Human Interest
International Curry Festival VIP kickoff
Not a Bollywood star, but Dance Fever legend Deney Terrio emceed the second annual International Curry Festival VIP kickoff, showing 300 guests he has still got the moves he taught John Travolta for Saturday Night Fever. Terrio and a diverse crowd enjoyed a sitar concert, spicy samples from eight chefs and Visual Delights sweet treats at the India Cultural Center on April 19. Ten charities helped sell the $150 gala tickets, keeping half for their own cause, including Patel Foundation for Global Understanding and Georgetown Wesleyan University founded by Ram P. Ramcharran. Organizer Ram Jakhotia estimated 4,000 people attended the curry festival the following day.
05/01/13 Human Interest
TAMPA — Miriam Tucker, a South Tampa woman who gained national attention after she accidentally swallowed a diamond at a fundraiser, is scheduled to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday.
Tucker, 80, made headlines last week after word got out that she had imbibed a 1.03-carat round brilliant cut diamond at a Tampa Woman's Club fashion show April 20.
Her gastroenterologist located and removed the gem during a colonoscopy....
04/26/13 Human Interest
TAMPA — Fox News woke her up at 7 a.m. Friday. Miriam Tucker said she told them to call back later.
She also declined an invitation from David Letterman's crew to fly to New York to tell the tale of her elusive diamond.
Tucker, 80, paid $20 for a glass of champagne at a Tampa Woman's Club charity fashion show on April 20. A local jeweler dropped a tiny cubic zirconia into hundreds of flutes except one, which got a gleaming, 1.03-carat round diamond, donated to lure more funds for a children's advocacy agency....
04/25/13 Human Interest
TAMPA — They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. But a guest at a recent fashion show fundraiser might give that distinction to her gastroenterologist.
Miriam Tucker was one of hundreds of women sipping champagne at Fashionollia on April 20, staged for the 65th year by the Tampa Woman's Club.
It cost $20 for a glass of the bubbly — and a chance to win a 1.03-carat diamond. Continental Wholesale Diamond plunked a single stone, a round brilliant cut beauty appraised at $5,000, into one champagne flute. All the rest got cubic zirconias....
04/25/13 Human Interest
20th annual Magnolia Ball
Ever see a more elegant mosh pit than at Moffitt Cancer Center's thrilling $3.4 million-raising Magnolia Ball featuring Grammy-winning Train? Dozens of the band's fans choo-chooed on stage in dazzling black-tie for a sing-along, starting with star struck Katie Busciglio.
The DeBartolo Family's $1 million match launched a phenomenal donor roll call at Saturday's $1,000-ticket gala, including $250,000 from Nick Valvano's V Foundation. Live auction bids included $6,500 from NASCAR board member Lesa France Kennedy for a Shih Tzu puppy and $7,250 from Bloomin' Brands' Dave Pace to be a character named in author Michael Connelly's next book....
04/24/13 Food & Dining
In multiple marketing surveys, the words "frozen yogurt and ice cream" were always associated with the words "happy and healthy," says James Savas, who opened Yo Boys across from Centennial Park in Ybor City with two younger brothers. "So we coined the phrase, 'the healthy side of happiness" for our product."
James Savas heads up operations at Yo Boys' first location, in Teaneck, N.J., and now in Tampa. Brother Mike Savas is on tour as Bon Jovi's VIP manager. Tommy Savas is an actor in Los Angeles....
04/24/13 Food & Dining
TAMPA — Newlyweds Chris and Baily Klein enjoyed their shopping walks to their Hyde Park neighborhood deli so much that they bought it. On Valentine's Day, Chris, a former mortgage broker, and Baily, a Channelside Academy second-grade teacher, took over the Swann Ave. Market, "transitioning from the beer store next to the middle school to the deli with the great beer and wine selection," he said....
PALMA CEIA — Wedding planner Christi Winsor understands the stress amid the joy of getting married, having laughed and cried with dozens of brides in preparation for their walk down the aisle.
Collaborating with colleagues to open the Wedding Suite on S MacDill Avenue "will make the planning process so much easier for a busy bride," Winsor said.
"It's a resource center for one-stop shopping," said the lead wedding planner of Winsor Event Studio. Top area wedding professionals joining her are Couture Closet gowns and accessories, Hummingbird stationery, IQ of Beauty hair and makeup, Andrea Layne floral design, Universal Music Entertainment, Fotobox photo booths, and Life Long Studios photography....
04/18/13 Real Estate
WEST SHORE — Nordstrom reopened its restaurant this week in International Plaza, introducing a revamped menu, a full bar and a new name, Bazille.
The upscale department store that prides itself on lavish customer pleasure will hustle full service, from handcrafted cocktails to white chocolate bread pudding.
Previously generically called Cafe Bistro, diners placed their orders at the entry and waited to be seated and served. Attention hungry shoppers: reservations are now welcomed....