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Amy Scherzer's Diary: Curry Festival, Heart Ball, other social events

International Curry Festival VIP kickoff

Not a Bollywood star, but Dance Fever legend Deney Terrio emceed the second annual International Curry Festival VIP kickoff, showing 300 guests he has still got the moves he taught John Travolta for Saturday Night Fever. Terrio and a diverse crowd enjoyed a sitar concert, spicy samples from eight chefs and Visual Delights sweet treats at the India Cultural Center on April 19. Ten charities helped sell the $150 gala tickets, keeping half for their own cause, including Patel Foundation for Global Understanding and Georgetown Wesleyan University founded by Ram P. Ramcharran. Organizer Ram Jakhotia estimated 4,000 people attended the curry festival the following day.

Heart Ball

American Heart Association bay area president Kate Sawa gifted board chair John Scheuler with a specially labeled wine, ". . . blended with compassion, commitment, vision and most of all, heart" at Ignite, the 2013 Heart Ball on Saturday. Event Show Productions' electrifying dancers and "Transformer" drummers set a futuristic beat at A La Carte Event Pavilion.

Auctioneer Jason Alpert fired up bidders among the 400 guests, with assists from two Heart Association executive cabinet members. Lee Arnold added a Napa Valley wine tasting to a lavish wine collection (sold to Bryan Glazer for $5,500). Next, to Tom and Lauren Pepin's Belleair beach house package, he offered a champagne cruise crewed by the Pepins and himself (sold to Amy Bosek for $5,750). Then Tampa Bay Rays VP Mark Fernandez tucked on-field batting practice onto the New York Yankees Stadium package, plus a silver platter of Cracker Jacks. (Sold to Cindy Seletos for $5,000.)

All that, plus 8-year-old Josh Andre's autographed baseballs and sweet speech of his busy life after three heart surgeries helped the $500- ticket gala net $500,000.

Planned Parenthood's Safe Sex at the Speakeasy

Flappers zozzled moonshine and Keystone Kops David Scher and Ernie Lisi tossed 'em in the klink, extorting $10 for an arrest warrant and $10 more to escape, all to benefit Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. Guys and dolls played casino games, munched sliders, fries and penny candy at the Art of Safe Sex party April 19, a lively speakeasy at the Tampa Museum of Art. Rimon Music School students jazzed, Improbable Athenaeum actors hammed; DJ Mega spun fun.


The 65th annual Fashionallia spring lunch made national news when Tampa Woman's Club member Miriam Tucker inadvertently swallowed a diamond in her champagne glass April 20 at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza. Tucker's folly had a happy ending following a routine colonoscopy. The oops didn't deter her and 280 others from enjoying an array of boutique vendors and nearly 50 outfits from Dillards, with commentary by fashion coordinator Dawn Zackman. Event proceeds went to Champions for Children's elementary school puppet program, Kids on the Block.