Think Paris, and you often think of lights and love, so the theme for the annual Charity Ball presented by the All Children's Hospital Guild Evening Branch was appropriate: "Amour au Clair de Lune." or "Love Under the Moonlight."
With its illuminated ropes suspended from above, the Coliseum was an appropriate setting for even more light. A 25-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris fit the bill. Guests danced to the music of Southtown Fever, dined from a French menu and relaxed in a French market atmosphere with fountains and greenery in a cafe setting.
The black-tie fundraiser was a sellout at about 350 guests, and a financial success even before final figures are in. A "raise your paddle" pledge promotion brought promises of $30,000 within three minutes after Caroline Brasfield-Carter spoke of All Children's involvement with son Jackson after his osteosarcoma diagnosis last year.
"People were incredibly generous," said Chloe Firebaugh, who oversaw decorations, the program and publicity.
Janet Lynn and Tricia Davidson were co-chairwomen for the 84th annual benefit, assisted by Cindy Benefanti, Shari Casey, Jennifer Christ, Cassandra Fredrickson, Carole McGurk, Sue Hands, Nancy Lamson, Cheryl Matala, Pam Montanari, Sandy Moss, Carol Nelson, Arlene Pickard, Jean Prina and Teri Shook.
Each year, the local legal community honors its own through the Heroes Among Us and Rising Star awards and emphasizing civic involvement and pro bono representation.
Recognized at the 2015 St. Petersburg Bar Foundation dinner, held in the Club at Treasure Island, were Heroes Rob Kapusta and Will Slicker and Rising Star Kira Doyle. All three have extensive resumes that include accomplishments well beyond those recounted in this space.
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker introduced Kapusta, a partner at Fisher & Sauls and chairman of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts and the Pinellas Educational Facilities Authority. He is active at Lutheran Church of the Cross, where he is on the LCC Day School board of directors. He has been president and treasurer of the St. Petersburg Bar Association.
Slicker, introduced by his childhood friend Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Jack Day, also has numerous civic and legal accomplishments, including his representation of battered women in domestic violence court and of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. In addition, he volunteers through the Community Law Program.
Doyle, a founding co-chairwoman of the mentoring program for Emerge Tampa Bay, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's young professionals, was introduced by Brittany Maxey and Jovita Kravitz. She is active in the St. Petersburg Bar Association and serves on the board of directors of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Erin Barnett and Dion Hancock chaired the event, leading a committee that included Nancy Biesinger, Beth Jenkins Casey, Benjamin Diamond, Caitlin Duchert, Gregory Hoag, Beth Horner and John Hutchins Pinder VI.