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Amy Scherzer's diary

Around the town

By AMY SCHERZER
Published June 2, 2006


MAN, WOMAN OF THE YEAR GALA

xyxyduo does it again. Jon Trombetto won his third title by raising $12,000 and Shere Schiller earned her second with almost $37,000 at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual Man and Woman of the Year Gala.

Two men, Trombetto and Frank Monte, and five women, Schiller, runner-up Heather Russell, Diane Hirsch, Jane Floyd and Mary Delgado, vied to see who could raise the most money in 10 weeks. Schiller raised $25,000 hosting a Bachelor & Bachelorette Auction at her bar, Gaspar's Grotto in Ybor City. Hirsch sold her fused glass art and hosted Kentucky Derby parties to help her raise more than $9,000.

Bid high, the candidates urged 300 guests at the May 25 gala at the Marriott Waterside. Auction "sales'' were credited to the candidate who obtained the item. So Russell "made" $5,100 when Jim Morrison, chief executive officer of Masonite, bought the New York Yankees weekend package. Morrison was the 2005 National Man of the Year when he raised $150,000, the most of all 66 chapters.

While organizers frantically crunched the final numbers, the swinging sounds of the HyNotes drew the crowd to the dance floor. In all, the contest raised close to $110,000, executive director Kathy Whitney said.

ATTENTION WEDDING CRASHERS:

This column puts the Diary on the shelf as event planners and partygoers take a break after a record-breaking season. Unless they're planning weddings. In the next few months, you'll meet a dozen brides and grooms on this page who will share their tales of courtship and commitment. Have a safe summer. Keep in touch at www.sptimes.com/party or call me at 226-3332.

IMAGINATION GALA

KID CITY: Chairwoman Tammy Waugh imported international diversity to "It's a Small World After All," the Children's Museum of Tampa's fourth annual Imagination Gala May 20 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Kuumba dancers and drummers, Philip Shore elementary's steel band drum, and a belly dancer kept the 230 guests entertained at the $200-ticket dinner.

Decoration chair Carolina Curran hung flags of many nations and sat puppets on bright colored tablecloths. Of course, the best decorations were renderings of the proposed children's museum on the riverfront downtown, designed by her husband, John Curran of Gould Evans Architects.

Creative Arts Manager Paul Wilborn and City Council member Linda Saul Sena psyched the crowd with their rosy vision of a downtown cultural arts district.

Emcee Laura York pitched several live auction packages, including a week at one of the eight luxury homes owned by Ventures Equity Vacation Club. Donated by Sheryl Hunter, the package sold for $12,000 to the Puzzitiello family of Palm Harbor, which also bought a cooking class for eight with chef Jack Wenz and design services donated by Thunder Bay Custom Landscaping. Shari Mezrah and Ed Suchora were high bidders at $1,400 each for two custom playhouses donated by Gould Evans Architects. That helped bring the gala proceeds to $60,000.

CHANEL TRUNK SHOW

PINCH ME, I'M SEEING CHANEL: The ladies-who-lunch thought they must be dreaming. Chanel in Tampa?

Not only were they seeing Chanel's fall-winter demi-couture collection, they saw it first. The May 25 trunk show at Frankie Harrell's Palma Ceia golf course mansion launched the pret-a-porter line and primed the pumps (and handbags and jewelry) in anticipation of the opening of a Chanel boutique in Saks Fifth Avenue this summer.

"Tampa clients are setting the trend for the country," said Denise Richardson, manager of the Fifth Avenue Club, who wrote orders as 40 women gushed over four racks of gorgeous samples by designer Karl Lagerfeld. She was overwhelmed by the volume of sales in less than three hours.

"See those buttons?" she asked, pointing to a $4,835 classic fitted jacket with baroque cross buttons. "It takes 25 hours to embroider each one." A $19,000 jacket hand stitched with Strass crystals required 400 hours.

A $50 donation to the LampLighters auxiliary was requested at lunch. That was to assuage shopping guilt, one guest wagged.

Devotees passionately recalled their first Chanel purchase.

"My first - and only - was in Baltimore," said one.

"Dallas for me, but I'm a Chanel slut," said another.

DATEBOOK

JUNE 10: Fifth annual Cigar & Celebrity Celebration to benefit Achieve Tampa Bay; 6:30 p.m.; Florida Aquarium; $125; 239-1179, ext. 222.

JUNE 10:Army Ball; 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m dinner; A La Carte Pavilion; ticket prices vary; 827-2284.

JUNE 10: Celebrity Elegance auction benefits Hillsborough Fortune Education Foundation; 6 p.m.; Hyatt Regency Tampa; $75; 936-9090 or www.fortuneeducation.org.

JUNE 24: 10th Annual Harvest of Hope, black-tie Oscar Night dinner and awards benefits Tampa Bay Academy of Hope; 5 to 9 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $75; 277-0464.

JUNE 25:"Uncork the Cure" hosted by the Krewe of Zingaro to benefit Cancer Research Group at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital; 5 to 8 p.m.; Jackson's Bistro on Harbour Island; $50 in advance, $60 at the door; 872-0979 or 831-1011; www.uncorkthecure.com.

JULY 9:Gourmet Gents, A Culinary Fanfare; Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women; 2 to 5 p.m.; Higgins Hall; $25 for adults; 732-7676.

[Last modified May 31, 2006, 14:03:18]


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