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Amy Scherzer's diary

Music wins over guests

Published October 29, 2004

MOTOWN MEMORIES: Starlight Ball guests voted for the Motown Sound with their feet, flocking to the dance floor for a musical tribute arranged and choreographed by Bob Macar and his band, Southtown Fever.

"Once they heard Marvin Gaye's 1971 classic, What's Going On, you couldn't get them off the dance floor," Macar said. Al Santana, WSJT-94.1 deejay, narrated for 600 guests at Hitsville UCH, University Community Hospital Foundation's 14th black-tie ball on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Tampa.

Co-chairwomen Gayle Stanton and daughter Martha Ree Collins put the whole family on the Starlight committee. Son Ken Stanton helped set up the silent auction; son and daughter-in-law Keith and Stephanie Stanton handled registration. Collins' 9-month-old son, Conner, came to every meeting.

Six packages pitched by WTSP-Ch.10's Heather Van Nest raised $20,600, including lunch with Dr. Phil and front row seats when he brings his Family First show to Tampa Nov. 6. Proceeds will be spent on Computer Aided Detection equipment for the

Jaeb Breast Care Center. Special thanks went to Bob Drinon, president of Premier Beverage, for his donations of wine and liquor for the party.

SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: Donald Trump would be impressed to learn the Junior League's new fundraiser, Stroll Through the Seasons Holiday Gift Market, raised $300,000 in three days.

"Double the amount raised at the 2003 thrift sale," said League president Susan Thompson. "And it all goes into our community projects, nothing to event or administrative costs."

The market drew about 8,000 shoppers to buy from 100 merchants who rented space at Tampa Port Authority Cruise Terminal No. 3. One vendor, P.K. Imports of California, is said to have sold $12,000 in pewter and linens the first day.

Santa Claus stopped by the market, media celebrities traded prize tickets for donations, and the League's new cookbook, Everyday Feasts, arrived hot off the press. Terrie Dodson said 5,000 copies of the 20,000 initial printing were sold in advance; another 1,000 sold at the market.

A $75 black-tie gala at the cruise terminal terrace opened the market on Oct. 21, with 750 guests dining at Carrabba's and Outback Steakhouse buffets and dancing to Charlie Souza and the New Tropics.

The event returns Oct. 21-23, 2005.

SHE LOVES TAMPA: Between speaking to 1,000 students and charming 300 guests at the Museum of Science and Industry's Hispanic Scientist of the Year Gala, Dr. Antonia Coello Novello found the formula for shopping in Tampa.

"She loved our malls," said chairwoman Maruchi Azorin Blanco, who presented $107,077 to MOSI's YES! Team (Youth Enrichment by Science) made up of Hispanic seventh- through 12th-graders. Gabriel "Puly" Sequeira and Taller Inter Cultural Hispano-Americano children entertained at Saturday's gala.

Judge Virginia Covington; City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez; Neighborhood Services administrator Santiago Corrada; and County Administrator Pat Bean proclaimed Oct. 23 Dr. Novello Day in honor of New York's state health commissioner. She was the first female and first Hispanic surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service.

ART FOR LIFE REVIVAL: Can it be 13 years since Victor Figueredo started Art For Life, the wild and wonderful AIDS benefit? What a treat to see him and Michael Vollbracht, artistic director for Bill Blass, at the rebirth of the auction Saturday at Higgins Hall. They look maaaaaarvelous.

Project Return staffers picked up the Art For Life name and hooked up with many of the originators. The new beneficiary is a mental health agency founded by Rhoda Zusman in 1971 to help people with mental illnesses "return" to the community after hospitalization.

The crowd was smaller, about 300, but guests were excited to find great works by artists such as Josette Urso, Susan Camp-Crosby and Theo Wujcik, whose signature piece sold to Stanton Storer for $4,500. Glass artist Duncan McClellan's piece topped $2,000. McClellan signed on to be next year's signature artist when Art For Life returns bigger and better, Figueredo said.

RESPECT YOUR ELDERS: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Seniors in Service Tampa Bay, Pat Daley and Shirley Knight organized an award luncheon at Higgins Hall on Oct. 21. Out of 100 nominees, the spotlight shone on nine volunteers, the first award for Herbert Carrington, 106, an employee of the Tampa Yacht and Country Club for more than 60 years.

"With Outback Steakhouse providing lunch, all $60,000 raised goes to foster grandparent and companion programs," said Daley, adding her thanks to Angeles Ferlita for arranging a sponsors party at the Columbia restaurant. Honorary chairman Sam Gibbons was on his honeymoon and missed the ceremony. Fun guy Jack Harris emceed for the 475 guests.

Honorees included Mildred Brisker, who volunteers at the Lowry Elementary after-school program every day. Anita DePalma was named Senior Mentor of the Year; Augie Mauser, board member extraordinaire; and Bentley Lipscomb, Senior Advocate. Jim Ferman Jr. accepted the Lifetime Achievement award by thanking his role models, his parents, Martha and the late Jim Ferman Sr. Chuck Sykes accepted the Senior Philanthropist award for his father, John Sykes.

- To pass along tips to Amy Scherzer, reach her at 226-3332 or

TONIGHT: Nauti-Night Halloween party benefits the Florida Aquarium; food, open bar, music, costume contest, 21 years and older; 8 p.m.; $60 for members, $75 for nonmembers; 273-4568.

TONIGHT: VIVO's Halloween party benefits the Florida Orchestra; 8 p.m.; home of Matt and Marc Silverman; $25 members, $35 non-VIVO members; 503-2341.

TONIGHT: 13 Ugly Men Freakshow; 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Underground, 802 E Whiting St.; no costume, no candy; $20 to benefit the Children's Home; 221-2582.

NOV. 6: Zoofari music and tasting to benefit Lowry Park Zoo; 7-11 p.m.; $70 in advance and $80 day of event; 935-8552, ext. 239.

NOV. 6: Here for the Heroes dinner and auction benefits Easter Seals and the Florida Orchestra; Higgins Hall; 6 p.m.; $150; 988-7633.

NOV. 9: Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts Awards Gala, 6 p.m; Renaissance Vinoy Resort; $75; 221-2787.

NOV. 10: Boys & Girls Club Steak Dinner; 6:30 p.m. Desert Grill Busch Gardens; $200; 875-5771, ext. 3026.

[Last modified October 28, 2004, 16:40:21]

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