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Tampa Preservation Inc.'s Candlelight Tour

Published February 23, 2007


Lumieres led to five exceptional Orleans Avenue homes, plus 95-year-old St. John's Episcopal Church, on Tampa Preservation Inc.'s 14th annual Candlelight Tour.

The fundraiser usually takes place in December when homes are decorated for the holidays, but nearly 300 visitors agreed Saturday night's chilly route through historic Hyde Park was worth the wait.

Nancy Burchill toured Gene and Cindy Ramm's handsome 1911 home. It was her first visit to the house since she and her husband, "Ferocious Father" George, former headmaster of St. John's Episcopal Day School, moved out. "I loved what they've done to it," said the 1963-77 occupant.

"Delightful," guests gushed at Carol and Joe Timberlake's Craftsman Bungalow built in 1916. They raved about Elizabeth and Chris Christenberry's new kitchen that opens to the garden.

Everyone wanted to be invited back to Linda and Tom Scarritt's entertaining circa-1900 Foursquare, once home to former Tampa Mayor D.B. McKay and his 10 kids.

Norma Gene Lykes' new home, serene and stunning, is a contemporary knockout. More than half of the walls are windows, and every room has a view of the bay.

The electronic shade in Lykes' bedroom opens 20 minutes before sunrise, she said. Art collected on her worldly travels provokes discussion. The dining room table? Made from a tree uprooted during the tsunami.

Her dressing room shows her attention to detail extends to clothing. Every item in her closet is black, white or beige, with a few peach exceptions.

Tour organizers netted about $14,000 and 20 new members to help the group promote and preserve Tampa's architectural legacy.

Temperatures dropped but support for the Hillsborough Education Foundation soared when former school district architect Alia Qureshi hosted an outdoor dinner at her Waterchase home Feb. 16.

"I got a lot of pole heaters," said Qureshi, who now designs at her South Tampa firm, Suncoast Architectural Studios.

Her 80 guests, including Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Lutz, and Florida Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, braved the cold to dine on French and Italian entrees as Hillsborough High students performed instrumental Indian music on the tabla and sitar.

Foundation president Bill Hoffman happily accepted Qureshi's nearly $7,000 check for scholarships. Foundation board member Kiran Patel and superintendent MaryEllen Elia added their appreciation for the group's involvement.

When Qureshi announced next year's theme would be Moroccan, shivering school board member Jack Lamb suggested, "Maybe next year in April?"

Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Aussie Bash

"Every Shot's for Charity" goes the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Golf Tournament motto.

Last week's pairing of 76 teams of celebrities, amateurs and Champions Tour professionals at TPC Tampa Bay means a windfall for five local charities expected to divide more than $600,000 from admissions, sponsorships and merchandise sales.

Folks are already smiling gratefully at Derrick Brooks Charities; Blooming Place for Kids; LifePath Hospice & Palliative Care; Tampa General Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Children's Home.

Some of the funds came from an auction of autographed memorabilia at Aussie Bash, the tourney kickoff at A La Carte Pavilion on Feb. 13.

The loud crowd of 1,200 sponsors, golfers and assorted partiers, including Outbacker-in-Chief Chris Sullivan and his buddy, Tom "T-Bird" Shannon, owner of 60-plus Outback franchises in California, sang along with golfer/rocker Huey Lewis and the News, danced around an enormous ice-carved bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila and filled up on Outback-branded favorites.



Today: Fifth annual All Star Charity Gala benefits DeBartolo Family Foundation; 6:30 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $300; 964-8302.

Saturday: To Life, To Heroes, To Courage benefits Florida Holocaust Museum; dinner speaker Rwanda hotel manager Paul Ruesabagina, 6:30 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $200; (727) 820-0100, ext. 243.

Saturday: Fourth annual Starry Nights benefits Mental Health Care Foundation; 7:30 p.m.; Tampa Club; $125; 272-2244, ext. 246.

Sunday: Tampa Bay Oscar Night America benefits Tampa Theatre; 6 p.m. for VIP reception and patrons party, $125; 7:30 p.m. general admission, $35; 274-8982.

Thursday: Sixth annual Jocks and Jewels Celebrity Fashion Show hosted by Charisse Strawberry benefits National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; 6:30 p.m.; Saks Fifth Avenue; $125; 915-7447.

March 3: Sixth annual Cigar City Celebration benefits Achieve Tampa Bay; 7 p.m.; Cuban Club, $125; 239-1179, ext. 222.

March 9: LampLighters Luncheon of Light and fashion show presented by Saks Fifth Avenue; 11 a.m.; Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay; $75 to benefit Joshua House and Metropolitan Ministries; 250-3737.


[Last modified February 22, 2007, 10:47:13]

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