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Wine's a hit at movie house

scherzer
AMY SCHERZER'S DIARY
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By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002


FRANKLY, SCARLETT: Obviously people do give a damn about Tampa Theatre. They showed their enthusiasm at "Gone with the Wine," the Sept. 27 fundraiser for the historic movie house. Dozens who came to buy tickets at the box office let their feelings be known, too, when they heard the party was sold out. Said one who was turned away: "I guess I will go hungry again."

Scarlett and Rhett flirted with the happy hour crowd. Chairman Kim Hanna planned the 6:30 p.m. start so guests could come right from work. About 200 patrons holding $75 tickets found their way backstage and beneath the lobby to taste premium wines and cocktails. Another 300 paid $45 for the regular stuff.

Host Cathy Unruh greeted in a Southern belle bonnet; hubby Tom Sansone wore denim for the carpetbagger look. Food stations set up on the stage, in the balcony and lobby featured specialties from the Palm, Sideberns, Mise en Place, Bean There Cafe, Bonefish Grill, Pane Rustica Bakery, 3 Palms Grille and the Samba Room -- all paired with appropriate wines. Gone with the Wind played throughout, "like moving wallpaper," said executive director John Bell.

Five baskets full of gifts and certificates made an enticing raffle. For a $10 donation, guests got six tickets to drop into the basket of choice. Cathy and Tom drew a winner from each basket. In a live auction, "Miss Mitchell's Holiday" -- two Southwest Airlines vouchers and two nights in the Napa Valley -- sold for $900. Total net for the event: $20,000 for restoration and programming.

Bell and committee are already thinking up names for next year's wine tasting. How do you like Dial M for Merlot? Or the Wizard of Shiraz; the Good, Bad and the Bubbly; or Raiders of the Lost Cork. Maybe an Alfred Hitchcork festival? If you have suggestions, e-mail them to gargoyles@tampatheatre.org.

POUR IT ON: Among the glitterati and celebrity pourers at the fifth "All That Glitters" wine tasting were pros Jack Harris, WFLA-AM 970, and news jockey Mark Larson, WWBA-AM 1040 . WFTS-Ch. 28 meteorologist Wayne Shattuck worked the Toad Hollow Vineyards table with Todd "Dr. Toad" Williams, brother of actor/comedian Robin Williams. Unlike his brother, said Todd, "my sense of humor is dry as zin."

Tickets were $40 to sample hundreds of wines, plus beer, whiskey, tequila, rum and cognac Saturday night at the MacDonald Training Center Foundation benefit. More than 950 guests had their fill at the Florida Aquarium. Musicians Allon Sams, Junk in the Trunk and Music Makers kept the beat going.

MacDonald Training Center president Jim Freyvogel passed the compliments to co-chairs Angela Lubrano and Jan Ingram, and about 65 volunteers, including members of the Krewe of Agustina and Rough Riders.

Lubrano, owner of Anson Gallery in Palma Ceia, brought 15 pieces of art, mostly signed and limited edition pieces, for the silent auction. To her delight, the art alone raised $4,000 of the $14,000 auction total. DeDe Grundel, development director, said the foundation also gets a portion of the $3,500 in wine sales ordered that night.

"The Center is all about empowering people with disabilities to lead the lives they choose," said Grundel.

* * *

NEW ON THE THRONE: Congratulations to Teresa Lynn Bode, crowned the 44th Queen Isabella of the Columbus Celebration on Saturday night at the Tampa Convention Center. Chance had a hand in the choice: City Council member Bob Buckhorn simply picked Bode's name out of a bowl of candidates. First princess is Thea Marie de la Rosa, 16, daughter of Lynne and Danny de la Rosa. Her cousin is second princess, Kristen Michelle Dayton, 16, daughter of Janet and Ken Dayton.

Erin Nicole Manteiga, 17, daughter of Angie and Patrick Manteiga, is third princess.

Teresa, 18, daughter of Cheryl and Robert Bode graduated from Plant High in May and majors in education at University of South Florida. Her sister Jennifer, a senior at USF, was a duchess on last year's court.

Vocalist Peter Columbo launched into three selections after noting that since they couldn't "get Christopher Columbus for the night, Columbo was pretty close."

The Karl and DiMarco Dancers performed two splashy numbers and visiting royalty from other krewes were presented to the new queen before dinner. Teresa's first official duty will be placing a wreath on the Bayshore Boulevard statue of Christopher Columbus on Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. Pam Iorio is the guest speaker; Patrick Manteiga emcees.

* * *

ROCK ON, ANDREA: The DJ grooved from Dylan to disco at Andrea Graham's 50th birthday party Saturday night at her Beach Park home. An art and theater fanatic, Graham was the first employee hired at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, back in 1980. She left as general manager 10 years later.

Graham and 100 friends, including four high school pals from Rye Country Day School in Rye, N.Y., unearthed anything tie dyed, fringed or bell-bottomed. Graham and husband Jeff Simon danced their version of Travolta's Disco Fever on the backyard basketball court. Her Smith College roommate, Adriane Isenberg, joined Zanda Moore, Jerry Slutzky and Rudy Fernandez to sing around the piano. Marilyn Mars and Ellen Winner, forever hippies at heart, jumped into the pool, fully clothed, to cool off.

-- To pass along tips to Amy Scherzer, reach her at 226-3332 or scherzer@sptimes.com.

DATEBOOK

SATURDAY: Broadway Ball: Circle of Life benefits School for the Performing Arts; 6 p.m.; Morsani Hall; $250; 222-1037.

SUNDAY: Jazzy Night at Jackson's, live and silent auctions, food, wine and jazz to benefit LifePath Hospice; 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Jackson's Bistro Harbour Island; $50; 261-7348.

THURSDAY: "Putting on the Glitz," fashions from Georgette's of Old Hyde Park; auction benefits Northside Mental Health Auxiliary; 10 a.m.; Hyatt Regency Downtown; $45; 988-3213.

Oct. 11: Ybor City Chamber of Commerce Gala; Cesar Gonzmart Award to Dick Greco; 37th annual gala; 7 p.m.; Centro Asturiano, 1913 Nebraska Ave.; $85; 248-3712.

Oct. 11: DeBartolo Family Foundation All-Star Charity Spectacular; 6 p.m.; guest speaker Chris Berman (ESPN); A La Carte Event Pavilion, $250; 964-8302.

Oct. 25: Nauti-Night Masquerade benefits the Florida Aquarium; 8 p.m.; open bar, catering by National Association of Catering Executives; music, costume contest; Florida Aquarium; $50, members; $60, nonmembers; $70, after Oct. 21; 273-4568.

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