11/30/16 Human Interest
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla King's Debutante Ball
Looking so fine, not like scruffy pirates at all, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla welcomed 25 debutantes on Thanksgiving Eve, presented to the 103rd royal court ruled by Gasparilla King Bill Smith and Queen India Stallings.
Krewe Capt. Christopher Lykes and emcee Pirate Jim Goodwin welcomed the 650 guests Nov. 23 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa. The debutantes, all college sophomores, all white gowned and gloved, carried red rose nosegays plus a single rosebud to present to Mom. They attend the University of Florida (four); Florida State (three); Vanderbilt (three); as well Auburn, Alabama, Cornell, Penn, NYU and others, with ambitions to be lawyers, engineers, veterinarians … and maybe queens....
11/29/16 Human Interest
HYDE PARK — Those glossy home decor and architectural magazines certainly provide beautiful photos and helpful how-tos, but nothing beats a personal conversation with a home-owner who has lived through a renovation or made improvements, especially to a historic residence.
The annual Old Hyde Park Home Tour provides visitors just that opportunity from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday at six houses along S Oregon Avenue. Tickets are $20 advance; $25 at the start of the route, the corner of Morrison and Oregon avenues. Tour-goers will see modern additions such as outdoor kitchens, man caves and garages turned into guest houses. They can ask about everything from termites to where to buy period-appropriate hardware and light fixtures, or check out paint colors, wallpaper, window treatments and carpet....
11/22/16 Human Interest
March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
If you don't have polio, you're a March of Dimes baby. Research funded by the organization since 1938 has prevented birth defects and infant mortality in countless children, including some of the guests at the 26th annual Signature Chefs Auction. Chairwoman Kelly Renner, mother of premature twins, split the Nov. 16 party into two rooms at TPepin's Hospitality Centre: chef samples and silent auction, emceed by Cox Media radio host Ann Kelly; dessert and live auction hosted by WTVT- Ch. 13 anchor Linda Hurtado. Participating chefs came from Carmel Kitchen, Ciccio Cali, Louie's Modern, Kona Grill, Publix Aprons Cooking School, Sea Salt St. Pete and Puff 'n Stuff Catering. During dessert by Chef Sean Holden, the 175 supporters got to meet the Rutherford family of Apollo Beach and hear how the latest research changed their lives....
11/16/16 Human Interest
Art transcended politics at "Tampa/Havana" as Tampa Museum of Art patrons experienced Cuba's vibrant culture, native cuisine and irresistible music at the 31st Pavilion ball. Co-chairs Susie Rice and Stacie Linsky complemented the current exhibition, Complicated Beauty: Contemporary Cuban Art, with classic '50s Chevys, a mojito bar, hand-rolled cigars and other island pleasures Nov. 5. Mise en Place turned the terrace into an elegant waterfront dining room for the 350 guests, including the evening's honorees Maureen and Doug Cohn, museum benefactors for more than four decades....
11/09/16 Human Interest
Wicked fun at the Ghoulwill Bash scared up dinner and dancing, a costume contest and games to learn about Goodwill Industries-Suncoast services, all aboard the Yacht StarShip. The "Ship of Ghouls" sailed Oct. 27, with 300 supporters, most in costume like Charlotte Lehner and Doug Misler, prize winners as Little Red Riding Hood and a hungry wolf. Emcee Hilary Zalla, WTSP-Ch.10 pointed out costumes made from Goodwill finds and fabrics, including a surfer, a picture-posing mermaid and Davy Jones and sea witch Calypso. Ghoulwill Bash netted more than $60,000 to help people with employment challenges in 10 West Central Florida counties achieve their full potential....
11/04/16 Human Interest
S'Wonderful, S'Marvelous, trilled a trio of New York singers, tempting Broadway Ball guests with a Gershwin medley in anticipation of An American in Paris, the Tony Award-winning play coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts next month. Dining tres chic on the Morsani Hall stage Saturday, amid yellow roses and crystal chandeliers, two live auction surprises: CEO Judy Lisi found herself with a new Shih Tzu puppy, a gift from top bidders Charlene and Mardy Gordon. And auctioneer Jason Alpert sold a Zululand, South Africa safari 18 times at $3,500 each, making ball co-chairmen Jill and David Weinstein very happy. Add in pitch-perfect Patel Conservatory scholarship student appeals and proceeds topped $375,000 just as a round of After Dark partiers arrived for closing curtain drinks, dancing and dessert....
10/27/16 Human Interest
14th annual Tuxes & Tails
Mewing, pawing and panting, guests and pets sniffed out Tuxes & Tails, a mastiff-size gala for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Saturday's boisterous crowd of 1,000-plus filled the Tampa Convention Center with an Arabian Nights dinner and parade of adoptables resulting in homes for 35 cats and dogs, quite a few celebrating with their new owners at the waterfront after-party. Honorary co-chairs Sanna Grundberg and Gayle Sierens (Sandra Porzio was unable to attend) barked up silent, live and VIP auctions, helping emcees Cynthia Smoot and Russell Rhodes of WTVT-Ch. 13 raise $300,000 for animal care....
10/18/16 Human Interest
Newsies hawking the Chicago Tribune, fedora-topped gangsters, deep dish pizza and hot dogs served on Cubs napkins —all the Windy City passions flavored the Starlight Gala, "An Evening in Chicago" benefit for the Florida Hospital Foundation. But Sunday's big score came when Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Chicago blasted onto the Marriott Waterside stage, thrilling the nearly 900 guests with a private concert composed of 50 years of hit singles. Getting to rock a drum solo with them on "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" was a bucket list dream come true for Florida Hospital Tampa chief of staff, cardiologist Mitch O'Hara, the first guest to do so, they said....
TAMPA — Louise Lykes Ferguson, matriarch of Tampa's most prominent and enduring family, leaves a cultural legacy to parallel the Lykes Brothers' pioneer shipping and agribusiness advancements.
A major backer of downtown Tampa's performing arts center, second largest in the southeast, Mrs. Ferguson, 104, died Oct. 5 at her historic family home in Ballast Point.
Along with her husband of 44 years, attorney Chester Howell Ferguson, Mrs. Ferguson was instrumental in conceptualizing and fundraising what is now called the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Her involvement spanned multiple mayors, starting in the mid-'60s and peaked as a co-chairwoman of the elegant, opening night Great Gala in July 1987. The center has drawn more than 10 million guests to Broadway, opera, ballet and other performances, including in Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall, named to honor her significant contributions....
10/11/16 Human Interest
USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy
Hailing author Elaine Shimberg and political trailblazer Betty Castor for leading "boldly, authentically and fearlessly," USF president Judy Genshaft opened the USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Fall Symposium Luncheon on Oct. 6 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. Community leader and philanthropist Shimberg has written 26 books on medical and family topics. Castor's firsts include female Hillsborough County Commissioner, Florida senate president pro tempore; Florida Commissioner of education and USF president....
10/06/16 Human Interest
Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars
Ten contestants practiced for months at the Hip Hop Dance Studio, and wow, did it pay off at Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars competition. "Our best ever," said Julie Weintraub, dancing on the stage after dinner with a crush of supporters while the $1 votes and judges' ballots were counted at Saturday's charity dance-off at TPepin's Hospitality Centre....
09/28/16 Human Interest
CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture
Norma Kamali would have been surrounded by lifelong devotees of her iconic styles at Tampa Museum of Art's glam benefit CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture, a night for sipping champagne, eyeing her fall ready-to-wear collection and the conclusion of her first museum exhibition.
Instead, Kamali appeared via video, apologizing for missing her flight to Tampa Saturday and letting her latest work speak for itself. Swimwear to slinky jersey dresses — with safety pin details and graffiti prints — popped in black, white, charcoal and cherry red in the runway show staged by Patty Soltis and Elaine Sweeney of STYLEdge....
09/22/16 Human Interest
FARA Energy Ball
Friendship, optimism and support synergized the FARA Energy Ball, the eighth hosted by Paul and Suzanne Avery, and again uniting business associates, medical researchers and philanthropic friends to raise nearly $2 million for the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance and the University of South Florida Ataxia Research Center. The gala has funded more than $10 million to find a cure for the rare, degenerative neuromuscular disorder since 2009....
09/16/16 Human Interest
TAMPA — Smile, says Penny Rogo, sometimes a hundred times a day, always (almost) receiving a big grin right back.
Multiply those smiles by 40 years and that's a lot of happy faces looking at the tall redhead capturing the scene as MamaRazzi Foto. Rogo photographs ribbon cuttings, award ceremonies, conventions and "lots and lots of charity events, three or four a week from September to January, about 80 or 90 a year."...
09/14/16 Human Interest
Imagination: A Gala
Like well-dressed toys jumbling into a three-floor sandbox, Glazer Children's Museum playmates explored Imagination, a roving cocktail gala with bars and canapes tucked into exhibits throughout. The 700 grown-ups found sushi in the Water's Journey, crostini on mini grocery shelves and charcuterie near the SmalLab. Salt Block Catering Co. also had fun with S'mores, cookies and milk, liquid nitrogen ice cream and carnival treats....