From a parking garage to a chic waterfront terrace, the Pavilion ball evolves as elegantly as its beneficiary, the Tampa Museum of Art. For the 32nd gala, "Made in Tampa Bay," co-chairs Mary Ann Ferenc and Chef Marty Blitz presented a menu as avant garde as Picasso, connecting the current exhibition, Made in Tampa: Selections from the Permanent Collection, to specialities made at their restaurant, Mise en Place. Botanica played off the homegrown theme with cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts arranged with anthuriums and orchids.
Honorary chairmen Celia and Jim Ferman have "nurtured the museum... as docent, chairman of the board and many Pavilion committees" ever since it began as the Tampa Bay Art Center, executive director Michael Tomor reminded the 300 guests at Saturday's $650-and-up affair.
While Denise Moore and the Helios Orchestra delighted; auctioneer Jason Troutman extracted, tapping four $20,000 donors, including Jeff Vinik, who missed a Tampa Bay Lightning game to attend Pavilion just a week before his 30th wedding anniversary. "Because I want to stay married," he said wisely.
Wine, Women & Shoes
Champagne, cotton candy, doughnuts, jelly beans and gum drops, and did I mention champagne? Wine, Women & Shoes was a sugar rush, sweetening the lives of 1,000 families served by the Children's Cancer Center with a Candy Couture theme. The 50-plus Sole Men refilling the 400 guests' wine glasses added eye candy between vendor displays and the Paradise Island Boutique runway show. Auctioneer Justin Swisher swooped in to sell three Napa Valley trips for $18,000 each, and a painting by Jason Skeldon for $12,000, exceeding the live auction goal by $100,000. Michelle Piniella was stunned when her $50 raffle "key" opened a closet bursting with $30,000 worth of clothing, accessories and gift certificates.
Taste of Kentucky
From Anita Roederer's homemade chocolate bourbon balls to fine Fuente cigars to Chris Roederer's 65 bottles of excellent bourbon (55 different brands from 11 distilleries), only the thoroughbreds were missing from the Taste of Kentucky benefit for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay's academic and leadership programs.
"We started five years ago in our backyard and tonight we have five times the number of guests raising five times more," board chairman Chris told 250 bourbon connoisseurs sipping to raise $75,000, not on blue grass but on the bayfront lawn of Adam and Chrischelle Diasti's spectacular home under a nearly-full moon Nov. 2. Byblos, 4 Rivers and Catering by the Family served buffet bites.