No last name is needed when we say Betty, said Brenda Ketchey, chairman of Silhouettes of Style. Of course, she was referring to outspoken volunteer Betty Wood, the longtime Chiseler and Henry B. Plant Museum Society member who suggested that the support groups host a joint fashion show. Since they partnered in 2002, the luncheon has raised more than $500,000 for restoration of the old Tampa Bay Hotel, now Plant Hall.
Many Betty-isms are now Brenda-isms, Ketchey said, thanking Betty "for making it all so fun'' and sharing a few of her hilarious offhand remarks with 550 guests at the Oct. 20 benefit at the Hyatt Regency Tampa.
Neiman Marcus models filled the runway with a dozen versions of the "little black dress" and Oscar-worthy ballgowns. "And I love the shoes,'' said Chiseler member Debbie Miller.
Tampa Bay Lightning Champions Dinner
Players, coaches and the new Tampa Bay Lightning owners sat down to paella and pasta with 250 fans at the Lightning Foundation's Champions Dinner on Oct. 14. The size of the donation determined who sat with whom, and $15,000 sponsor Mouton Cadet got first draft.
Icebreaker games before dinner included bowling with Mark Recchi; putting on the green with Vaclav Prospal; and Talladega Nights Wii racing with Olaf Kolzig. Spotted playing Rock Band: Ryan Malone and Mike Smith on guitar, with Marty St. Louis on drums and Vinnie Lecavalier singing Bon Jovi.
Hollywood producer Oren Koules (he and his wife, Shereen, are new Davis Islands' residents) mingled near the Saw V carving station, a reference to his films and the tenderloin.
Coach Barry Melrose's live auction included a trip to Hollywood to meet actor Charlie Sheen on Koules' television show, Two and a Half Men. Moffitt Cancer Center and the Lightning Foundation split the dinner proceeds of $40,000, including $3,000 in tips the players collected serving cheesecake.
Helen Gordon Davis Day
Judge Elvin Martinez admitted he never gave any thought to women's rights before serving with Helen Gordon Davis in the Florida House of Representatives in 1974. He came to rely on her guidance as the first woman elected from Hillsborough County, he said, extolling her 14 years in the male-dominated Legislature (1974-1988) and four years in the Florida Senate (1988-1992).
Sen. Arthenia Joyner idolizes her lifelong mentor, she said, celebrating Oct. 16 as Helen Gordon Davis Day at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Tampa organized by the Centre for Women and Displaced Homemakers Network. Others among the 170 guests let Davis know the impact she made fighting for equal pay, affordable housing, day care and welfare reform, among other issues. Former legislative colleague Pat Frank called Davis "a true original," who fought for the forgotten and led with courage and conviction. "Causes you championed,'' added George Sheldon have become reality.
"The word woman,'' concluded Davis, " ... not even mentioned in the Constitution." Tearful and truly touched, she joked, "Now you don't have to write an obituary.''
Key to the Cure
"Its all about the shopping,'' said Key to the Cure co-chair Wendy Pepe at the kick-off party for Saks Fifth Avenue's 10th annual national event. Unlike past years when cancer survivors modeled for cheering and crying friends, the Oct. 15 cocktail party co-chaired by Pepe and Laura Farrior focused on spending. The more guests bought, the more money Moffitt Cancer Center received because Saks donated 2 percent of purchases made Oct. 15 to 19.
Everything was 20 percent off, so 300 mostly female guests stocked up on make-up, drank Skye vodka cosmos and grazed Fleming's, P.F. Chang's and Roy's buffets.
Honorees were 10 women cancer survivors: Pepe, who was recently diagnosed with stage one adenocarcinoma cervical cancer;Joyce Austin; Terri Doyle; Beth Gardner; Courtney Courtney; Georgeann Nikolich Matzkin; Lydia Maur; Linda Parr; Margaret Smith; and Darla Young.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor shared news of $6-million headed to Bill and Beverly Young National Function Genomics Center at Moffitt.