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Amy Scherzer's diary

Zoo crew in the pinks

Published April 28, 2006

Karamu captured animal fanciers' fancy with a Flamingos & Flamencos theme for the formal fete Saturday at Lowry Park Zoo.

Chairwoman Laura Ferman Farrior played off a palette of pinks. Guests - 400 plus - walked a raspberry plush carpet, petted a pastel flamingo and danced on a floor painted mauve and doused with fuchsia glitter. Even the lobster tail dinner complemented the color scheme.

Farrior knew she could count on her sister, Janice Ferman Straske, to chair the dinner committee. Another sister act, twins Lynn Stanford and Laine Walker, worked on decorations and the $500-and-up patrons' "bwana" party.Farrior thought she had every step planned when, just before Outback Steakhouse served dinner, her husband, Preston Farrior, took her by surprise. She looked up to see their three kids, Gator, 11, Courtney, 8 and Wyatt, 6, dressed up, toting a huge bouquet of flowers for Mom. Grandparents Celia and Jim Ferman were just as surprised - and thrilled.Full Circle pleased the baby boomer crowd playing the Eagles, New Riders, Grateful Dead and other favorites. As soon as the silent auction closed, the winner of "Rockstar for a Night," was announced. Mary James bid for husband, Tom, chairman of Raymond James Financial, to sing "Johnny Be Good" with the band.Preston Farrior took on auctioneer duties, pitching a week in Erika and Steve Anderson's home in Key West. She's stepped up to be chairwoman of Karamu 2007.

Karamu-goers raised more than $177,000, putting the zoo's proceeds from the annual party at more than $2-million since Sally Lowry Baldwin started the gala 18 years ago.

PRESERVATION CELEBRATED: A small but dedicated group came to applaud the preservation efforts of the Florida Department of Transportation and several individuals at the 23rd annual Tampa Preservation Inc. Celebration on April 21 in the University of Tampa Music Room.

TPI president Anna Thomas showed striking before and after pictures of eight houses relocated and renovated by the Florida Department of Transportation including five from 15th and 19th avenues north of Ybor City and others at 1915 E Columbus Drive, 5408 N Central Ave. and 1202 Clifton St. Grace Kelly handed out the coveted banners and certificates, including two to Neal Gallimore. The owner of Hyde Park Apartments, Gallimore has restored a dozen buildings from the 1920s. Realtor Fran Costantino shared the presentation she gives to students on Tampa's historic cigar factories.

"Once there were 200, now there are 26," she said. "Of those, only 11 have historic designations. I want (the students) to know what we had, what we can lose with the other 15 opting out."

YOU GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS: Congratulations to Mattie Vega, named "Lifetime Friend of the Year" by the Friends of the Library at the annual meeting April 4 at the John F. Germany Library. Vega was recognized for her help planning and promoting the Burgert Brothers calendar, which features a historic Tampa photograph every month.

"We sell the calendars really to let people know about the archives," Vega said, noting the group helped preserve and catalog thousands of photos.

Vega's award: a shiny gold (plastic) permanent library card.

Friends of the Library president Karen McClure welcomes anyone interested to join them at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at John F. Germany Library.

AUCTION RETURNS: After an 18-year hiatus, WEDU brought back its annual auction in two modes: on-air and online. Hundreds of items - artwork, antiques, dinners and more - were posted online April 1 for viewers to bid "like eBay," said Dick Lobo, chief executive officer of the public broadcasting station.

Sunday's televised auction drew 1,263 bids in four hours. Spa packages and relaxation products were hot sellers.

A sneak preview auction party April 18, run by Elizabeth Flower and Jeff Burchard in the N Boulevard studio, brought in $10,000. All together, the three auctions are expected to raise more than $45,000.

If you missed out, visit to bid on items that didn't sell, weren't picked up or arrived too late to sell Sunday.

FRONT AND CENTRE: Current and prospective members of the Centre for Women's 305 Circle learned more about the agency's mission and motivation while mingling at Doris and Howard Killian's Beach Park home April 20. (What a closet, Doris!)

A minimum $100 donation gets you in the 305 Circle, but donors tend to give $305. That's the address, 305 S Hyde Park Ave. Membership in the support group has doubled since it was launched it in March 2004.

Guests heard lots of good news about the Centre, which opened in 1978 to help women facing emotional and financial trauma. Services since expanded to include teen girls, low-income elderly and substance abusers.

So what's new? A newly bought warehouse in Seminole Heights to serve as headquarters for SHIP (Senior Home Improvement Program). Divorce and widow support groups now meet at Family Services Association on Nebraska Avenue, and the Joint Commission for Accreditation Healthcare Organizations renewed its credentials.

To pass along tips to Amy Scherzer, blog her at where you'll find more pictures, events and links, or call 226-3332.


SATURDAY: 44th annual Spring Scholarship luncheon and art show; 11:30 a.m.; Palma Ceia United Methodist Church, 3723 W Bay to Bay Blvd.; $12; 837-1541.

SATURDAY: Night of 5000 hosted by New Tampa Junior Woman's Club benefits Blooming Place for Kids camp; 7 p.m.; Hunter's Green Golf and Country Club; $60 includes chance to win $5,000; 866-4411.

MAY 4: Go Red for Women workshops and luncheon benefits American Heart Association; 11 a.m.; Raymond James Stadium; $100; (727) 563-8000.

MAY 5: Silverspoons & Sandcastles XIV silent auction party benefits Mayor's Beautification Program; 7-11 p.m.; Tampa Port Authority Cruise Terminal 3; $85; 221-8733.

MAY 6: Heart of the Tropics, American Heart Association's Heart Ball honors Kiran and Pallavi Patel; 6 p.m.; Tampa International Jet Center; $300; (727) 570-8809.

MAY 6: Emerald City Ball benefits Academy Prep Center of Tampa, 6 p.m.; Hyatt Regency Downtown; $200; 248-5600.MAY 6: Run for the Roses party benefits Mental Health Care Foundation; 4-7 p.m.; South Tampa home of Carmen and Barrett Spencer; donations accepted; 272-2244, ext. 230.

[Last modified April 27, 2006, 12:33:38]

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