Chiselers' Market Preview Party
Sure, the open bars and cocktail buffet attracted some, but attractive bargains were the main lure at the 19th annual Chiselers' Market Preview Party: china fit for a queen, stacks of silver platters and irresistible collectibles. Co-chaired by Casey Cathey and Jane Williams, the benefit brought 500-plus guests to Plant Hall at the University of Tampa on March 13. Everything bought that night cost "twice the price" as the next morning when throngs flocked to the 52nd annual Chiselers' Market.
The eight--hour silent auction opened at the party, with items as varied as a mandolin, a lobster pot and a vintage wedding gown. In the live auction, two dinners brought in $2,600 for the women's clubs preservation projects at the university: Jamie Urso will cook for eight guests plus Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Cathy Lynch, and UT president Ron and Renee Vaughn will be hosting 10 diners at their home.
Trinity Cafe's Feast for the Eyes
Trinity Cafe served food for thought at Feast for the Eyes, a new fundraiser at a new venue, District 3 Arts & Events, a former nightclub in downtown Tampa. Party guests focused on University of Tampa professor Tim Kennedy's black-and-white exhibition, Faces of a Million Meals. The collection captured images of some of the cafe's homeless clients. "Real people deserving of compassion and respect," said Sunday volunteer coordinator Wendy Malloy, who wrote the poignant notes accompanying each photo. "Everyone has a story, they're not caricatures or stereotypes." Trinity Cafe has served 1 million meals since October 2001.
Emcee Virginia Johnson of BayNews 9 auctioned private dinners prepared by Bernini's Chef Jon Hannah and cafe volunteer/chef Bill Nipper until she sold five at $1,100 each. Missed: professor Kennedy, who couldn't be there March 13 to mingle with the 225 guests, as it was also the opening night of his show at Clayton Galleries.
New York Yankees' Boys & Girls Clubs' luncheon
John Wilson may have retired from 50 years of broadcasting the news, but not from hosting the New York Yankees "extraordinary" luncheon for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay. Some fans began to line up the night before Tuesday's autograph session with every player present but pitcher C.C. Sabathia.
In the spirit of the late George Steinbrenner, represented at the Tampa Convention Center by several children and grandchildren, guests saw a highlights video of 27 years of World Series wins and met Youth of the Year Lisbet Menendez. She earned two standing ovations describing her journey from leaving impoverished Cuba at age 9 to meeting club friends and mentors to becoming salutatorian and president of the national honor society at Leto High.
Bob Gomez' $9,500 bid for a VIP Yankees trip including game tickets, hotel, airfare and more helped raise more than $280,000 for 12,000 kids at 18 clubs.
Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival
Calling movies a "more effective medium than debate," artist, gallery owner and longtime Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival volunteer Mindy Solomon was delighted to receive the annual Starr Award on opening night at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The March 11 dessert party followed the first of 10 films shown at seven venues. Festival chairman Stewart Donnel thanked the "picky picky screeners" who met every Thursday for months to choose the best international movies with a "Jewish sensibility."