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Amy Scherzer's Diary

For Krewe, a dynasty

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AMY SCHERZER'S DIARY
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By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 24, 2003


VIVA SANT' YAGO: For the fourth time, the 300-member Krewe of the Knights of Sant' Yago throned a father-daughter dynasty: El Rey XXXI George H. Lorton and his stepdaughter La Reina XXXI Lindsay Renee Miller, 19, a freshman at Hillsborough Community College.

Lorton, 57, a graduate of King High School and the University of South Florida, owns International Ship Repair. He joined the krewe five years ago and is the club's third non-Latin king. He and his wife Denise live in Gulfport.

Brightly colored banners bearing each knight's family crest hung on the walls and ceilings over the 950 guests who packed the Marriott Waterside on Saturday night. Knight George Diaz designed the Venetian Carnival costumes and set. Rowdy knights resplendent in velvet and sequins cheered for Robert Pullo, one of the nine newest knights, as he spun around to show off his insignia: an iridescent USF Bulls logo.

It took some time to muster all the previous barons to the stage, with all the hugging and kissing going on. Ball chairman Ignacio Armas did his best to keep the men moving. Finally KingTony and QueenMonica Martino abdicated the throne. Monica teared up with "overwhelming happiness." Earlier, Tony challenged his successor: "You want my crown, come and get it."

The Lorton court arrived in merlot-colored velvet and gold costumes. One of the king's daughters, Morgan Ann Taylor Miller, crowned him and he crowned Queen Lindsay. Dinner arrived at 10 p.m. Knight Steve Dervech and his Breezin' band played until midnight.

"We're going to have a lot of fun," King George said.

* * *

TEACHING TOLERANCE: An emotional evening awaited more than 1,000 guests Saturday night at "To Life," the Florida Holocaust Museum awards dinner. Besides the honorees, Lisl Schick and the Stanford Newman family, actor Jon Voight and four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield played key roles in the fourth annual event at the Hyatt Regency Tampa.

Museum president Geoff Simon turned the microphone over to Voight for a surprise tribute to John Loftus, past president of the museum. The men met after Voight read one of Loftus' books and they hit it off. Voight became a trustee of the museum, and a movie starring Voight and Gary Sinese is in the works based on Loftus' Nazi- and terrorist-hunting career.

Holyfield came for his friend Kenny Schick, general manager of HBO Sports and Lisl's eldest son. Two years ago while in town for the Super Bowl, Kenny took Holyfield to the museum, and the boxer eagerly offered his help.

During dinner, Holyfield said his mother instilled the same values that the museum promotes: tolerance and forgiveness. (That's why he didn't bite Tyson back.) Five pairs of his autographed boxing gloves sold at the silent auction.

Voight broke down in tears introducing Lisl, who was 11 when she and her brother were loaded on a Kindertransport in Vienna. Her father escaped to join them in England in 1942, her mother escaped to the United States and they were reunited in 1945.

Schick says she survived "to teach about hatred and bigotry." Besides Kenny, Schick's three other children, a stepson and 12 grandchildren were at the dinner.

Stan Newman, patriarch of the J.C. Newman Cigar Co., his wife Elaine and their sons Eric andRobert and daughters-in-law Lyris and Merideth were honored for their generosity. In the past 12 months, they have quietly given financial support to 159 nonprofit agencies.

* * *

FOUNDERS BALL: Three founders of the Grand Krewe de Libertalia, Jesse Hill, Gil Singer and Susan Fox, welcomed the 75-member club to the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club on Saturday. Membership in Tampa's first krewe devoted to diversity shrank drastically last year due to the addition of at least two spinoff krewes: the all-male Privateers and the Krewe of Capt. Henry Morgan and the Rum Runners.

Jerry Green emceed, honoring architect Eddie Adams Jr. for four years as president. Teri Saunders of the Children's Home Society andCarolyn Eastman of the Children's Board thanked the krewe for its support. Naturally, memberLori Martini led a toast to the grand krewe.

* * *

PAIR OF JACKS: Ybor City got a new "mayor" when media personality Alcalde Jack Harris passed the red sash to developer Jack Shiver. Calling Shiver "a visionary and opportunist," Harris thanked the Alcalde Association for seeing the potential in Ybor City since 1953. Members of the Latin America Fiesta, Columbus Celebration, Gauchos and many past alcaldes and a few krewes celebrated the change of power at Don Vicente de Ybor Inn on Jan. 17.

Alcalde Shiver and the Ybor Navy will attack the Victory Ship at 11 a.m. Saturday with weapons resembling Cuban bread and hoses. As soon as one side submits, the public is invited to pay $10 to party on board the Victory Ship.

-- Planning a Super Bowl shindig? Amy would love an invite. Contact her at 226-3332 or scherzer@sptimes.com .

DATEBOOK

SATURDAY: Einstein on Wine benefits MOSI; 6-9 p.m.; 4801 E Fowler Ave.; $50; 987-6000.

MONDAY: Florida Orchestra Soiree; 7:30 p.m.; Martin and Mary Anne Schaffel residence; $40 for general seating or $60 for reserved seating; 926-0099.

FEB. 2: "Simply Spectacular," Ebony Fashion Fair benefits Tampa-Hillsborough Urban League; 5 p.m.; Tampa Theater; $30; 229-8117.

FEB. 6: Napa Valley Wine Tasting benefits the Abilities Foundation, a local group helping people with disabilities; 6 p.m. VIP party, $150; 7 p.m. Grand Tasting, $100; Raymond James Stadium; (727) 538-7370, ext. 345.

FEB. 6: State Fair Fashion Show features Georgette's of Old Hyde Park; 11:30 a.m.; State Fairgrounds; $15; 627-4216.

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