Amy Scherzer’s Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

Events were also held for the Florida Holocaust Museum, Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s, Preserve Vision Florida and United Way Suncoast.
Published February 14
Updated February 15

To Life

Florida Holocaust Museum guests moved and grooved at To Life: Rock, Roll and Remember, celebrating the current exhibit, Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution and advancing the mission of tolerance and compassion by honoring the iconic music promoter and Pittsburgh physician Jeffrey Cohen. Last October, Dr. Cohen’s roles intersected at the Tree of Life synagogue massacre as a congregant, nearby neighbor and president of the hospital that treated the murderer.

“I am honored, humbled and saddened to be here,” said Cohen, who knew all 11 victims. He praised his medical team, “including two Jews who easily could have been praying at the synagogue.”

Holocaust orphan Bill Graham, born Wolfgang in 1931 Berlin, fled to America at age 11. He grew up spreading peace, love and harmony at humanitarian concerts. Sons David and Alex Graham, accepted the award in his memory.

Museum director Beth Gelman announced the new interactive Walter and Edie Loebenberg Center for Children and Family; introduced Auschwitz survivor Roman Kent’s virtual reality film and joined gala co-chairs Shari Mezrah and David Pearlman thanking the 650 supporters Feb. 9 at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel.

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Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s

Yes, George Clooney is a great kisser (duh!) and yes, people ask her medical advice all the time, said Julianna Margulies, star of NBC sitcom ER and the CBS’ The Good Wife during the Q & A at the annual Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s luncheon Feb. 7. The actor/producer chatted candidly with Gayle Sierens about career choices, pregnancy at 41, adult chickenpox and love of Pinterest. Her spotlight helps promote Erin’s Law and Project ALS, she told 300 guests at the Tampa Yacht Club. More than $1 million has been collected and 35 innovative projects funded since Donna Jordan and Elaine Shimberg founded the club of $1,000-and-up annual donors.

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United Way Suncoast

Celia and Jim Ferman, Mary and Tom James, Cathy and Bob Smith, Barbara and Al Siemer, plus Publix’ Barnett family, are the newest members of the Million Dollar Roundtable for donations of $1 million and up to the United Way Suncoast. Dade City residents Debbie and Dave Walker joined them with a gift of $2 million split between their hometown of Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. “Our first such gift from a living donor,” said CEO Suzanne McCormick.

“It’s not a quick fix,” said Dave, admittedly “getting wonky” speaking of overcoming inter-generational poverty Jan. 17 at the Tocqueville Society’s 30th anniversary dinner at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. Tocqueville members give $10,000 annually, totally nearly $50 million in the last 30 years.

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Preserve Vision Florida

The adjectives just kept coming — driven, determined, doggone stubborn — when Preserve Vision Florida named H. Lee Moffitt its 2019 Person of Vision at its 40th anniversary dinner for leadership launching the cancer center that bears his name. Six “toasters”— Doretha Edgecomb, Judy Lisi, Betty Castor, Sam Bell, Rep. James Grant and Dr. Alan List — spoke for the whole Moffitt fan club Feb. 11 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa. Emcee Ernest Hooper worked in several surprises: co-chair Lorna Taylor receiving the Mildred Baynard Award and singer Belinda Womack dedicating The Impossible Dream to Moffitt. The benefit raised $100,000 for vision services for those in need, especially kids.

Contact Amy Scherzer at [email protected]

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