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Amy Scherzer's diary

Delta Sigma Theta 60th anniversary

Published April 27, 2007

Sid and Shelley Morgan, from left, and Tanya and Wayne Easterling represent Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida at the annual Heart Ball.
[Times photo: Amy Scherzer]
[Special to the Times]
Delta Sigma Theta members Chonta Haynes, Sandra Quince, Paulette Walker and Joy Staple Faulkner look sharp at the Tampa Alumnae chapter's Jabberwock, a cotillion and tea held April 15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

The Tampa Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority exceeded expectations when more than 1,200 people joined their 60th anniversary celebration, themed Diamonds and Pearls - A Renaissance of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

The women, known for awarding Tampa students more than $20,000 in annual scholarships, planned several events at the Florida State Fairgrounds to mark the milestone.

On April 13, Pieces of a Dream kicked off the fun with a lively jazz concert. Lunch with actor Sheryl Lee Ralph, one of the original Dreamgirls in the Broadway musical, and honorary member of the sorority, captivated the crowd April 14.

"Jabberwock, a Harlem Tea" featured a cotillion and talent contest for eight young girls who trained for four months before making their debuts April 15. Diedra Goodwin, 13, of Riverview was crowned Miss Jabberwock 2007.

Mozart, Motown & More saluted the classic sounds of Salzburg and Detroit with tributes to both at the fifth annual Florida Orchestra benefit April 20.

The full orchestra treated nearly 350 guests to 20 minutes of Mozart, directed by associate conductor Susan Haig, her final MoMoMo appearance, as her contract ends next month. (Maybe she'll turn up on ABC's Dancing with the Stars since she's been taking ballroom dance lessons.)

Honorary event chair Eric Land also showed his stripes, conducting a Sousa march. Dinner followed; then celebrity auctioneers Keith Cate of WFLA-Ch. 8 and former Bucs superstar Doug Williams pitched 10 items. When Williams got to the VIP tour of the Bucs training camp in Orlando, he sweetened the deal to rouse bidders. First it was for four guests; then he made it six. He threw in an autographed football, then added six tickets to a Bucs game of the buyer's choice. Cate suggested a parking pass, and the package sold for $3,000. A sunset yacht cruise for 10 couples and the quail hunt at Gilchrest Club for six guests fetched $3,500 each.

Las Vegas-based Spectrum took the stage, rocking A La Carte Pavilion till after midnight.

John and Susan Sykes set out to raise $1-million for the American Heart Association when they agreed to chair the annual black-tie gala. The couple came mighty close, nearly tripling the gala's previous records, to net $870,000 to fight heart disease. Sykes Enterprises and Sykes Foundation were major sponsors.

"This is the first time they've chaired an event this size, and they really wanted to bring it to the next level," said son Chuck Sykes.

John's commitment was evident in the earpiece he wore to stay connected to 50-plus volunteers assisting at A La Carte Pavilion. Susan was so hands-on she never even told the AHA staff what Breezin' Entertainment booked for the 500 guests at the $500-ticket Heart Ball on Saturday.

Delightful Sandrinne Edstrom, 11, of Westchase sang and Dorene Collier's dancers and Cirque de Soleil-like acrobats frolicked on stilts and unicycles, performed a torrid tango and paraded gigantic puppets in a Carnivale production that drew the crowd to its feet.

All evening, auctioneer Dick Crippen sought Heart Heroes to pledge $1,000 each to send children born with heart defects to summer camp. He raised enough to send 45 kids before auctioning two travel packages. Golf at Sage Valley, S.C., fetched $26,000 from six friends at the Sykes table. Carl Lindell bought the trip to the Kentucky Derby next week for $30,000.



Today: R.A.C.E. Hub Cap Awards luncheon benefits Wheels of Success; 11:30 a.m.; Quorum Hotel Tampa; $50;, 417-1820.

Saturday: Karamu, black-tie gala benefits Lowry Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave.; 6:30 p.m.; $250; 935-8552.

May 4: Silverspoons & Sandcastles auction for Mayor's Beautification Program; 7-11 p.m.; Tampa Port Authority Cruise Terminal 3; $85; 221-8733.

May 4: Parents Night Out, Vegas-style hosted by Tampa Bay Area Mothers of Multiples (TBAMOMs); 7:30 p.m.; Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club; $50 general admission; $125 VIP includes Texas Hold'em Tournament; 973-0187.

May 5: Magnolia Ball benefits Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute; 5:30 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $1,000; 745-1403.

May 5: Fifth annual "Tuxes & Tails" Fiesta fashion show dinner benefits Humane Society of Tampa Bay; Pepin Hospitality Center, 4121 N 50th St.; 6 p.m.; $125; 876-4150.


[Last modified April 27, 2007, 11:16:57]

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