Tampa General Hospital Foundation's gala "trip" to the South Pacific beached salty sailors, sexy nurses and chic tourists at the Hyatt Regency Tampa, all dressed up for "Some Enchanted Evening."
Traditional tiki fare - "my mother's recipes,'' said Chef Kimo Akan -made Saturday's bash a culinary adventure. Akan grew up in Kauai, where the classic 1958 South Pacific was filmed. Patrons started with Blue Hawaiian cocktails and Spam musubi, an island staple. They joined the rest of 400 guests for Ahi poke, mahi mahi, suckling pig, coconut curries, beef banana leaf bundles and fresh pineapple. McIver Berner chaired the food committee.
Entertainment chairwoman Kari Goetz coordinated Opera Tampa singers, Balinese dancers and the Vodkanauts band. Barbara Hurst oversaw the auction, which included skydiving with daredevil neurosurgeon Harry van Loveren. Another neurosurgeon, Tom Freeman won the $10,000 chance drawing. A third neurosurgeon, Rear Adm. Joe Miller, received a standing ovation for nearly 60 years of service.
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United Way's Art of Giving
Catty and candid, snarky and sincere, fashion maven/author Tim Gunn charmingly played up his Project Runway mentor role at United Way's seventh Art of Giving dinner May 5.
After a three-hour prelude -makeovers, auctions and dinner - Gunn joined WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Gayle Sierens to dish on the royal wedding: Kate's gown (ravishing); Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice (Ewoks); Princess Anne's hat (a plate of cole slaw).
Gunn's "work it" motto applied as he cruised A La Carte Event Pavilion, working the Q&A session, chatting with Betty Tribble about royal wedding attire and with Tracie Boyd about the three elements of style: silhouette, proportion and fit."Clothes are an optical illusion,'' he said.
Gunn led off the appeal for Summer Care donations with $5,000, enough to send five kids. Auction bids such as $2,600 for a Jimmy Choo purse from Suzette Jones and $1,600 from Lisa Yacso for a Fendi handbag pushed the net over $120,000.
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SilverSpoons & Sandcastles XX
The sprawling SilverSpoons & Sandcastles auction cocktail party launched Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, a merger of two environmental nonprofits, Tampa Bay Beautification and Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful.
Some 600 guests roamed the Port Authority Cruise Terminal 3 on May 6, drinking rum, munching crab cakes and jerk chicken, dancing to the Johnny G. Lyons band, and bidding on 200 trips, tickets and trinkets. Big sellers: rain barrels painted by media celebs and artists, including Terry and Dori Klaaren and Janet and John Costin. Auction proceeds helped net $100,000 for eco-education.
Front and center, 20 lovely table settings were raffled in a $20 chance drawing. A reminder, said event founder Sue House, that the fundraiser began as an exhibition of fancy, "silver spoon" dining displays at the Tampa Convention Center 20 years ago.