Sunday brunch is a favorite meal with many locals, but an unexpected choice as a vehicle for a large fund-raiser.
But the choice by Dean Bill Heller of USF-St. Petersburg to host the first annual 25th Hour Bayboro Brunch turned out to be a wonderful idea.
A committee co-chaired by Dr. Ed and Martha Cole and J.C. and Carol Russell chose a date timed to take advantage of the hour gained on Daylight Savings Sunday, then assembled a committee that added unique flourishes.
A progressive meal and walking tour gave attendees a closer look at the waterfront campus and a chance to walk off the food served at each stop.
A twist on the menu was that all dishes were prepared from recipes submitted by local personalities or cooks of note.
First stop was the newly renovated Perry Snell House, where guests mingling on the grounds were served the Atwater family's lemonade. Among them were new Canterbury School headmaster David and Carolyn Dike; Bill and Sally Wallace, John and Marty Wallace; Andrew and Janice French; Bill and Susie Eickhoff; and committee members Gary and Barbara Brosch, Charlie and Peggy Weniger, and Michael and Melody Brown.
Small groups with guides strolled over to the Knight Oceanographic Center. Waiting for them was Dr. Peter Betzer, chairman of the Marine Science Department, and snacks such as Bob McIntyre's mini-muffins, Fay Baynard's fruit dip and Mary Daicoff's monkey bread.
Several stops and many recipes later, the crowd regrouped at the Poynter Library for a three-course seated breakfast of state Sen. Charlie Crist's strawberry spread ("it's my mother's recipe; I'm not much of a cook"), John Talbott's "Big" biscuits, Bert and Robin Perozzi's Alumni Quiche, Dr. Gail Reichert's Key lime-marinated shrimp, Annie Ennis' pumpkin muffins and sangria tea by Terry Haviland Ulrich.
Seated at tables decorated with _ what else? _ clocks set to the correct time were event sponsors Dr. Robert and Tammy Rehnke; Elzo Atwater Jr. and wife Janet; Michelle and David Neely; Bill and Ann Hall; Mary Scribner; Chip and Lester Rice; Dan Walbolt Jr. and wife Michelle; Dave and Lenore Mulock; Roy Harrell and Jenny Roo; George and Carolyn Cretekos; and committee members Darryl and Melissa LeClair, Niela Eliason, Andy and Betty Corty, and Jeremy and Mary Rasmussen.
Not that anyone needed it at this point, but no one refused Sarah Lonquist's hot fudge and pecan sundae, served with Mayor David Fischer's and state Rep. Margo Fischer's hazelnut decaf coffee.
As filling as this part of the program was, the event addressed issues meatier than food.
USF President Betty Castor cited projections of enrollment doubling on the St. Petersburg campus in the near future and her desire to initiate a new honors program "to keep the best and the brightest here."
Student body president Diana DeVore reported that funds raised will be used for emergency scholarship loans for students, many of them single parents, to bridge cash shortages for tuition or books.
It was a good time for a timely cause.
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BASKETS OF FUN: There were baskets, dozens of them, filled with everything from champagne to body lotions, and trick-or-treat pumpkins stuffed with candy. That silent auction bounty greeted guests at Infinity's "Furs, Bangles and Beads" party at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Oct. 24.
Infinity is the League to Aid Abused Children and Adults. This year's fund-raiser benefited Brookwood, CASA and the Suncoast Child Protection Team.
The group was in a party mood, filling the dance floor before dinner, even as chairwoman Paige Catani and husband Angelo greeted late-arriving guests.
In the crowd were Infinity president Terry Ray, husband Irv Ray, and their daughter and son-in-law Bobbie and Jerry Carter; committee members and patrons including Fred and Mary Shuh; Julie and Al Calabrese; Paula and Charlie Park; Al and Bobbie Gilgosh; Bonnie and Paul Hargrett; Judy and Ross Malone; Linda and Bill Nye; Rose and Frank Cappelletti; Dr. Joe Pilkington; Celma Mastry; Sharon and Dick Kimberley; Joanne and Jerry Graceffo; and Laura and Richard Goldfarb.
_ To contact Lennie Bennett, use a Touch-Tone phone to call TimesLine at 898-0019; punch in category code 8903. Or write her at c/o City Desk, Neighborhood Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1121.