Who says you can't run in high heels? Tell that to the bare-shouldered women who hastened into the Coliseum in Saturday evening's chill for the 73rd annual Charity Ball.
Cruisin' the '50s was the theme for the yearly fundraiser for All Children's Hospital, and the decor was part sock hop, part drive-in and complete fun, another triumph for Spellbound's Vickii Block and decorating chairwomen Lucie Campbell and Karen Seidler.
Roller-skating wait staff zigzagged through the predinner crowd, who nibbled on hors d'oeuvres from La Maison Catering in Dunedin. Actors posing as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe schmoozed the room, and the blond poseur marked gentlemen's cheeks with her trademark scarlet lip prints.
About 645 guests attended, among them Jan and David Herzik, Diane Bailey and Jeff McClanathan, Jack and Runelle Bowman, Jay Fleece, Mary and Louie Adcock, Joanne and Joe Fleece, Lynn and David Cox, Kally and Bill Harvard, Judy Stewart, Joseph BonDurant, Stephanie and Del Goforth, Mary Jane and Jack Cartier, Eva Rudolph, Hadley Heindel, Denise and Richard Mastry, Diane and Dr. Robert Klingel, Theresa and Richard Klingel, Tifnie and Brad Klingel, Mary Young, Mary and Bud Evertz, Sylvia and Ed Ameen, Lupe and David Coffin, Drs. Mendee and Reggie Ligon, Darryl LeClair, Carolyn and Tony Bond, Maggie Eynatten, Debbie and Joel Momberg, Helga and Lewis Andrews, Gary Carnes, Hazel and Bill Hough, Donna Tyler, Kathleen and Bruce Baldwin, Barbara and Ward Curtis, Dr. Jim Henry, Alicia and John Bryan, Asa Myers, Kas Sheehan and Andrea Dickhaus.
Dinner table service returned after a couple of years in which patrons served themselves. Caterers including Eric's New World Bistro, St. Bart's Island House Restaurant, O Bistro and Cafe Ponte prepared the food in a huge white tent outdoors, although some still shivered in the wind.
Raymond James Trust was grand sponsor for the evening, and Sue Hands was general chairwoman of the gala, which was presented by the All Children's Hospital Guild Evening Branch.
Diamond sponsors were Jabil Circuit and Tech Data; platinum sponsors were the Exchange Club of Northeast St. Petersburg, Pediatric Cardiology Associates, Sabal Co. and Spellbound Productions.
Additional guild committee members were Pam Montanari, Cheryl Matala, Staci Goodrich, Jerrie Cunningham, Brenda Clark, Janet Lynn, Terri Kiefer, Carole McGurk, Estelia Mesimer, Margie Ruth, Jean Prina, Lee Given, Taylor Given, Laura Beckner, Sally McCarthy, Sandy Moss, Trudy Ramsey, Mary Nelson, Rosie Jewell and Karen Pasoli.
Late Saturday afternoon, the St. Petersburg Links chapter entertained members and friends at the Museum of Fine Arts, where those attending had food and drink in the Marly Room and toured the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit.
Earlier in the day, they sponsored museum visits for Academy Prep students, Jack & Jill members and Ebony Scholars.
Dr. Nancy Bryant chaired the event committee, which included Terri Scott, Mozell Davis, Pamela Peterson, Yvonne Alsup, Joyce Thornton, Jacqueline Cotman, Yvonne King, Kredelle Dendy and Dr. Mendee Ligon.
Others attending were Dr. Kenneth Bryant, Joyce Thornton, Mattie Spencer, Lewis and Mary Clowers, Vyrle Davis, Mary Jones, Dr. Michael Battle, Dr. Kenyon Fort, Dr. Reggie Ligon, Erma Perkins, Peggy Peterman, Frank and June Peterman, Dr. Earl Cotman, Jaye Ann Terry, Jim Howell and Bob Devin Jones, Winnie Howell, Roslyn Graham Haynes, Terry and James Goss, Dr. Bob and Dakota Eliason, Barbara Harvey, Donna McRae, Colleen Vieux, Norman E. Jones II and Kennie and Dr. Lori Taylor.
Museum officials are thrilled with the number of visitors the Chihuly show has attracted, an estimated 15,000 in the first two weeks. Numerous representatives, paid and volunteer, mingled with the group, among them director John Schloder, Roger and Sally Zeh, Carol Upham, Starr Weihe, Dr. Susan Beaven, Dr. Richard and Mary Perry and Greta Myers.
Poetic Justice, the yearly fundraiser for Operation PAR (Parental Awareness and Responsibility), filled the grand ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy in St. Petersburg on Friday.
It's the brainchild of Mary Critchfield, who attended with her husband, Jack. In 1995, she was an Operation PAR board member and was inspired to ask law enforcement agencies for donations of seized assets that then would be auctioned to benefit the organization, which helps families affected by mental illness and substance abuse.
These days the group receives fewer items confiscated in drug arrests, mainly because law enforcement agencies are permitted to sell them in other venues, such as eBay.
Nonetheless, the Pinellas Sheriff's Office was the platinum sponsor for the event, having donated auction items and a check for $25,000 to Operation PAR for the second consecutive year.
Guests included Steve and Jill Dunn, Mike and Paula Porter, Bud and Judy Cherry, Kate and Don Brass, Tom and Mary James, Dick and Helen Minck, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bob and Julie Paver, Bob and Karen White, Dick Pritchard, Ron Ball, Dr. Joel Marantz, Tim and Sue Brett, Melody Stang and George and Pam Campbell.
Karol Bullard and Dave Pilkington chaired the benefit, leading a committee that included Jackie Baynard, Debi Burns, Kay Dillinger, Cheryl LaMar, Lenne Nicklaus-Ball, Sue Piatt, Suzanne Berman, Lisa Faller, Carole Merritt, Joanne Pheil, Melissa Pollock and Barbara Shames.
Underwriters were Brown and Brown Insurance, Raymond James Financial, Joe and Kathy Saunders and Ambassador Mel and Betty Sembler.
Physicians in the Florida Spine Institute collaborated with Fletcher's Harley Davidson for the donation of a Sportster 883C, which drew considerable interest during the evening.Looking ahead
LE PURPLE PANACHE: St. Petersburg All Children's Hospital Guild luncheon, fashion show. 11 a.m. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. Purple attire. $40. Reservations received through Friday.
- Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.