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On the town

By MARY JANE PARK, Times Staff Writer
Published September 23, 2007



Food and drink are a big part of the Zodiac Group's annual Z-Grapes tasting at the Salvador Dali Museum, and this year's version did not disappoint. The event celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and offered plenty to taste: more than 60 wines from Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina, paired with food from Vizcaya, Ceviche, the Columbia Restaurant and Island Way Grill. (Opici and Classical donated the wine.)

Attendance exceeded 200 at the event, which raised more than $10,000 for the museum. Jon Quigley and Sean Pilon led the popular fundraiser put on by the museum's young professionals organization.

Music was by InfraBlue, and Citigroup. Smith Barney was the major underwriter.


Ritual and tradition are significant in many volunteer organizations, and the St. Petersburg chapter of Links featured both, presenting a white rose, the flower of the international organization, to those attending an exhibit preview at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

"Links to the Next Generation" focuses on the accomplishments of the 20-year-old St. Petersburg chapter and the worldwide volunteer group.

Donna McRae chaired the event, where guests included chapter president Faith Van, Alma Singletary, Jacqueline Hubbard, Michelle Ligon, Yvonne Alsup, Mozell Davis, Drs. Mendee and Reggie Ligon, June and state Rep. Frank Peterman, Kanika Tomalin, Terri Lipsey Scott and Cheryl Johnson-Tindall.

Area director Mary Currie, a onetime Tampa resident who now lives in Atlanta, was the guest speaker.

TECO Peoples Gas is sponsoring the exhibit, which is on display through February.

* * *

St. Petersburg native Dr. John Tourtelot recently was appointed adviser to the board of directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and inducted as a fellow in the American College of Physicians.

Tourtelot retired from the U.S. Navy about four years ago. He enlisted at age 17, when he was attending St. Petersburg High School. He finished high school and went on to pharmacy school at Mercer University, then received a Navy scholarship to study medicine at the University of Miami.

"I'm probably the only officer out there that's been an ensign twice," he said. (He spent his last 10 years in the Navy practicing at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.)

Tourtelot is an endocrinologist at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of South Florida. His fields of expertise include thyroid disease and diabetes.

[Last modified September 22, 2007, 23:20:48]

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