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Junior League up to its neck in Tampa history

Published Sep. 9, 2005

The Junior League of Tampa, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, has come up with a clever tool to get its message across and raise money for its myriad community projects.

It is a handsome silk scarf with important landmarks of Tampa, from the balustrades on Bayshore Boulevard (which is the league's logo) to the minarets of the University of Tampa to the Gasparilla ship to a scene from Ybor City.

Not since the league came up with the idea of the award-winning Gasparilla Cookbook in 1961 has it had such a great fundraising item. The cookbook got a jump-start when first lady Jacqueline Kennedy bought one at the New York World's Fair. The Tampa league got nationwide coverage when newspapers printed a photograph of her holding the book.

The scarf, created by Tampa artist Martha Marshall, costs $60 and is available at Jacobson's in Hyde Park and through league headquarters by calling (813) 254-1734.

The proceeds benefit the league's projects, league president Lauren Stallings said. They include a collaboration with the Child Abuse Council and Healthy Start in the sponsoring of Baby Bungalow, where parents are offered classes in child care; Kids Connection, in which the league assembles packages of items children need when they are placed in foster care and sponsors an adoption picnic where children and prospective parents meet; and sponsorship of a literacy program that distributes about 2,000 books annually.

The league celebrated its 75 years in Tampa at a gala on March 3 at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club.

Anniversary chairwoman Jenny Swindal got her parents, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and wife Joan, to be underwriters for the evening. Others were Andrew Rey Jr. and PricewaterhouseCoopers; Richard Barrett of MacPapers; Leonard Levy of Hillsboro Printing; and Harrison Giddens of Floral Impressions. Giddens, a league member, created the spectacular silver, gold and white floral arrangements for the party. Tracy Savage created the five-tier cake. Each layer was separated by fresh flowers, and the base of the cake was adorned with tiny copies of the Bayshore balustrades.

Music for the evening was provided by Lester Lanin's Orchestra and the Sherry Maricle Quartet.

Palm Beach story

Word is that best-selling author Warren Adler's latest will seem like a documentary to the well-heeled residents of Palm Beach. Due out in August, Mourning Glory is about a broke but beautiful woman looking for a husband on the Gold Coast's prime turf. Her spouse-hunting technique involves going to funerals of rich old ladies and then helping the bereaved widowers clean out the closets filled with couture clothes. Hollywood interest is huge; Adler's novels are all movie-ready. Best known: his War of the Roses, which starred Michael Douglas, and Random Hearts with Harrison Ford.