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Amy Scherzer's diary

Published May 4, 2007


Judeo-Christian Health Clinic Dinner

Someone special was greatly missed at the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic's testimonial dinner April 19: the late Dr. Ernie Reiner, volunteer medical director for 35 years, and host of the fundraiser for more than three decades.

The two men had lunch together weekly, said the Rev. John DeBevoise, who took on the emcee role with a corny joke Reiner told him before he died in September of a brain tumor at age 86.

Clinic president Sylvia Campbell surprised volunteer nurse Phyllis Rowan with the Good Samaritan Award.

With 500 guests supporting the annual dinner, chairman Monsignor Laurence Higgins expects to net $110, 000.


Wheels of Success

Old hub caps, donated by Sam the Hubcap Man, were shined up and presented to companies that repair and replace cars for the working poor, said Wheels of Success CEO and founder Susan Jacobs at the first Hub Cap Awards luncheon April 27.

Meeting Mary and Russell Wilkie of Gulfport was the highlight for 250 guests at the luncheon, dubbed R.A.C.E. (Recognition & Appreciation for our Champions Event), at the Quorum Hotel.

Emcee Jack Harris of WFLA-AM 970 read Russell's e-mail explaining he was a bilateral amputee who broke his neck learning to walk on prosthetics. Then Mary lost her job and they lost their home and car.

Wheels of Success gave the couple a 1995 Ford F-150 truck.

"First thing I'm going to do is take my husband on a picnic, " said Mary, who spent hours on the bus getting to work and school.

R.A.C.E. raised more than $20, 000, plus the $400 collected when guests tossed their spare change into the hub cap centerpieces, enough to buy a new battery, repair a radiator or assist with a car payment.


Karamu Benefit

Auctioning two cuddly white tiger cubs was zoo director Lex Salisbury's way of making sure Karamu guests knew why they were dining and dancing at Lowry Park Zoo on Saturday.

"Adopt the tigers and they're your kids for a year, " added emcee Jack Harris, getting Pat Sullivan to a $6, 000 bid.

That boosted the 19th annual Karamu, which means "party" in Swahili, to net $180, 000 for zoo education programs.

Bringing the black-tie crowd to the zoo gets them close to the animals, like the New Guinea singing dog whose howl resembles a whale song.

They also admired Jake the camel sporting Indian wraps made by committee member Joie Wilson for the Treasures of India theme.

Chairwoman Erika Anderson greeted 400 guests for cocktails in the courtyard before Indian drummers led them along a path of Oriental rugs into the open-air Saunders Pavilion.

Earlier in the week, jeweler Mark and Heidi Oliva hosted a Bwana Party for $500-and-up patrons. Guests had fun trying on the 50 gems he brought home that night.


Today: 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.

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

Saturday: "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.

May 11: Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary fashion show luncheon; 11 a.m.; Rusty Pelican, 2425 N Rocky Point Drive; fashions from SteinMart; $50 and up; 226-0055, ext. 402.

May 12: World's Largest Hurricane Party, supports hurricane relief, 1-8 p.m. at Hooper's Hollow, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, $25; (813) 839-1302, ext. 629.

Wheels of Success

[Last modified May 4, 2007, 06:15:14]

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