Rutland-Farley estate hosts giving gaming

Published October 26, 2005

St. Petersburg's Rutland-Farley estate was part Halloween fun house, part gaming casino Saturday evening at a benefit for the Museum of History. With Hurricane Wilma's arrival time uncertain and weather forecasts conflicting, organizers canceled the outdoor tent orders and moved the festivities inside. The cigar bar crowd found shelter under the eaves of a broad porch.

Phil and Michele Farley were hosts for Casino Night on the Bayou, where Mayor Rick Baker made an appearance, and attendees included museum executive director Will Michaels; board president Ann Taylor and her husband, John; Carl Lavender Jr.; Sally Poynter; Sarah Owens; Joe and Ellen Bullers; Shirley O'Sullivan; Chris Wykenczy; Gregg Gordon an d Cush Hall; Tom Barrett and Len Johnsen; Edie Spies and John Murphy; Catherine McGarry; and Sterling Powell.

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It has been a busy couple of weeks for the historic preservation crowd. An Oct. 14 party at the Lyceum was the first in what organizers hope will be a series of events to raise money for the Mirror Lake Complex. Broadly defined, the area includes the shuffleboard courts, the chess club, the Coliseum, the Carnegie library at Mirror Lake and the original St. Petersburg High School, now Mirror Lake Condominiums.

Shirley O'Sullivan and other volunteers who put together the event are looking for public and private money to give the area a facelift. Some of it is a bit chipped and worn and shabby, to be frank; and it is one gateway to the city, the first view people see off the Interstate 375 ramp at Fifth Avenue N.

Dr. George and Jane Stovall were the first guests I encountered. In the spirit of the evening, he wore a vintage Sunset Country Club T-shirt. Also attending were Virginia Littrell, Marlys Cox, Ann an d John Taylor, Melissa Rutland, Katherine Franckle, Michele and Phil Farley, Kathy and Ray Arsenault, Chris Allen, Claudia and Ken Blackwell, Niel Allen, Tim Baker an d Terry Teele.

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I didn't get to stay for the performance of the Three Tenors Plus One at the Palladium on Saturday, the entertainment portion of the theater's fall fundraiser, but did get to visit with supporters who attended the dinner portion of the gala.

Executive director Mark Spano greeted guests, who included Bill and Hazel Hough, Al May, Mary Wyatt Allen, Marty Wallace, Mardi Johnson, Fred and Barbara McCoy, Janet Raymond, Eleanor Morse, Brad Morse, Bill Stover, Phyllis Williams, Jerry an d Charlotte Kendall, Diane Bailey, Bud Risser, Sterling an d Jane Weems, Donna Painter, Dr. Ambrose an d Ramona Updegraff, Johnnie Giffin, Peter Trower, Fay Baynard and John and Kitty Hanskat.

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D'Vine Delectables on Oct. 14 was a chance to visit the home of Janet and Jim Caramello in Bayway Isles, to sample food and drink from a number of bay area sources and to raise money for Hi-Five Pinellas, a program of Eckerd Youth Alternatives.

Donna McGill and Lori Osborne led the event committee, which included Sandi Fediuk, Betty Hayward an d Lucia Jarush.

Among members of the honorary host committee were Mary Wyatt Allen; Pinellas School Board members Nancy Bostock and Linda Lerner; Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke and his wife, Cecilia; Vivian Fueyo; State Rep. Charlie Justice and his wife, Kathleen; State Rep. Leslie Waters; Mark Koorland; Sarah Lind; Catherine Martin; John and Nikki McQueen; Sally Poynter; County Commissioner Karen Seel; and Don and Dianne Shea.

Anderson-McQueen Funeral Homes was presenting sponsor for the evening, leading a list of additional underwriters that included Melody Stang Realty; Bayfront Convenient Care Clinics; The Caramello Realty Group, Charles Rutenberg Realty; St. Petersburg City Council member Rick Kriseman and his wife, Kerry; and Lori an d Brian Osborne.

Guests included Hi-Five Pinellas director Carolyn Chance and her husband, Tom; T.W. Curtis; John and Mary Ellen Collins; Gary and Cheryl Sanchez; Marshall and Wendi Stevens; Jill Wilkinson; Melody Stang; and Candy Scherer.

Hi-Five Pinellas is a mentoring, early intervention and prevention program serving fourth- and fifth-graders in six Pinellas schools. It stresses nonviolent behavior, academic success and healthy development.

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The Queen's Court, which raises money through St. Petersburg's Queen of Hearts Ball for worthy charities each year, is seeking nominations of outstanding community volunteers for inclusion in the Queen's Court. Call 392-0509 for an information packet. Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 9.

The 2006 Queen of Hearts Ball is scheduled for Feb. 25 at the Hilton St. Petersburg.

Looking ahead


HUNGER BANQUET: 25th annual event also celebrates the 35th year of St. Petersburg Free Clinic. 6:30 p.m. Fox Hall, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. 821-1200.

PARTNERS IN PARADISE: Junior League of St. Petersburg's 75th anniversary event celebrates community partners past and present. 6-8 p.m. Rutland-Farley Estate. 895-5018.


TRADE IN, TRADE UP: Bring clean, gently used clothing to Stein Mart stores, receive 20 percent off coupons (maximum four). Benefits Friends of Strays. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. St. Petersburg, Seminole Stein Mart stores. > Event continues Saturday.


PARC BLACK TIE GALA: 36th annual event benefits Pinellas Association for Retarded Children. Casino games, entertainment, live and silent auctions. 6:30 p.m. Hilton, 333 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $200. 345-9111, ext. 293.

Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail park@sptimes.com P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.