On the town
Chance to clown around at Big Top Ball benefit
By MARY JANE PARK
Published February 9, 2005
With a tent constructed from red and white balloons, the Coliseum took on a circus atmosphere Saturday night for the Big Top Ball produced by the Evening Branch of the All Children's Hospital Guild.
Clowns worked the indoor crowd, making balloon sculptures and performing acrobatic feats. Outdoors, Vernon and Tenia Yates from Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole stood by as partygoers admired Teddy, a Siberian tiger; Sissy, a black bear; and Jeopard, a leopard, brought to the site in wheeled cages.
Jerrie Cunningham and Staci Goodrich co-chaired the 74th annual Charity Ball, which benefits the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.
The invitation called for black tie or circus attire; Charles and Judy Stuart fit both categories, wearing red clown noses to accessorize their evening clothes.
The crowd of 550 included Joe and Joanne Fleece, Tom and Mary James, Bob and Cheryl Matala, Susan Mittermayr, Barbara Curtis, Dr. Steve and Betsy Updegraff, Bob and Lynn Strickland, Joe and Margie Lucas, Stan an d Mary Moore, David and Marcie Feaster, Ed and Sylvia Ameen, Donna Painter, Carol Barbosa, Tony and Carolyn Bond, David and Lupi Coffin, Hardy and Donna Bryan, Roy Binger, Stephanie Goforth, Ed and Sylvia Ameen, Bill and Margaret Ann Burtchaell, Peter and Helen Wallace, Diane Bailey and Jeff McClanathan, Covington and Janice Sharp, Phil and Doreen McLeod an d John and Alicia Bryan.
Gala committee members were Brenda Clark, Vickii Block, Cheryl Matala, Lucie Campbell, Sue Hands, Janet Lynn, Terri Kiefer, Carol Strother, Mary Nelson, Rosie Jewell, Estelia Mesimer, Margie Ruth, Lee Given, Taylor Given, Jane Sayler, Laura Beckner, Sandy Moss, Ana Bayliss and Staci Goodrich.
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Artist William Pachner held court Saturday night at the opening of his Imagined Landscapes at the Florida Holocaust Museum, charming dozens of admirers at a dessert reception held in his honor.
Several other bay artists stopped by, including Neverne Covington. In 1979, Pachner judged St. Petersburg's Mainsail Art Festival, awarding her work best of show.
Other attendees were the museum's interim director, Andy Maass; Marcus and Jennifer Greene; Ira and Beverly Mitlin; Walter Loebenberg; Edward Musielski; Bruce and Mary Ann Marger; Dr. Bruce and Amy Epstein; Herb Snitzer and Carol Dameron; Brad and Elizabeth Cooper; Bob and Jo Franzblau; Jack and Louise Barrett; Bonita Cobb; and Clair and Charley Williams.
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St. Petersburg native Mary Kay Andrews, a.k.a. Kathy Hogan Trocheck, was the luncheon speaker Saturday at the Florida Suncoast Writers' Conference, held last weekend at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
During a cocktail reception at the hotel Friday evening, she remembered her mother, the late Sue Hogan, who died last fall; her father, John Hogan, lives in St. Pete Beach.
Trocheck now lives in North Carolina; under her pen name, she has published the novels Savannah Blues, Little Bitty Lies and Hissy Fit.
Other writers from the bay area who attended were Peter Meinke and his wife, Jeanne; Eric Kraft and his wife, Madeline; an d Rita Ciresi.
The conferenc e also featured presenter s Margaret Atwood, Jill McCorkle and Joseph Bruchac.
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Congratulations to lawyers Louie Adcock and Danell DeBerg, honored along with the late Jim Fischer at the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation's Heroes Among Us dinner Jan. 29 at the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
All three have extensive histories in community involvement. DeBerg was a nurse before she became a lawyer. Fischer, who died last summer, was a teacher and coach before he began his legal career. He and Adcock are past presidents of the St. Petersburg Bar Association.
The dinner was a fundraiser for projects of the foundation, which is in its third year. Its goals include increasing understanding of the legal profession and the judicial system.
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With 75 winemakers and 20 chefs, the Feb. 2 Napa Valley Vintners Association tasting at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa drew a crowd of about 2,000 and made about $100,000 for the Abilities Foundation. The charity works to help people with disabilities get work, housing and health care.
The event is a major coup for the area, since it is the vintners' only stop in Florida.
"It's kind of a showcase," said Frank DeLucia, the Abilities Foundation chief executive. "It's unique and happens only every couple of years."
Nearly all of the money raised goes to Abilities, because wine, water, food, labor and other services are donated to the cause.
Lots of Pinellas restaurants were represented, including Cafe Ponte, O'Bistro, Redwoods and Salt Rock Grill. And lots of Pinellas faces were in the crowd, among them Tom and Mary James, Richard and Diane Winning, Dr. Lawrence and Carole Merritt and George an d Dorothy Locascio. Lee Neal, who often labors at bay area tastings, took the night off, hired a limousine and brought a group of friends.
After that, about 400 after-partiers crowded into SideBern's for Nightlife Napa Valley, which had to be the deal of the year. Tickets cost $20 plus an added $10 donation to Abilities.
For that you could partake of offerings from 31 Napa wineries and any number of imaginative and savory bites.
Chef Jeannie Pierola "wanted to blow those Napa folks away," DeLucia said.
The party was designed to attract young professionals and did: Well-represented in the crowd were members of St. Petersburg's Contemporaries and Zodiac Group, which support the Museum of Fine Arts and the Dali Museum, along with several similar Tampa organizations.
POETIC JUSTICE GALA: Operation PAR benefit includes dinner, dance and silent auction featuring confiscated goods donated through law enforcement agencies. 6:30 p.m. Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $150. 545-7564.
SUNRISE AWARDS LUNCHEON: Suncoast Center for Community Mental Health event with guest speaker Loretta Duvall. Noon. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. $50. 327-7656 ext. 238.
Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail email@example.com or P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
[Last modified February 9, 2005, 00:43:19]
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