Jets, Jags and Jewels

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 4, 2008

Everything about Jets, Jags and Jewels sparkled as planned by Suzanne Perry, who set out "to connect luxury items to affluent, luxury customers and the Tampa Museum of Art."

Perry asked custom builder Don Hughes to lend his 7,842-square-foot Davis Islands model home at 100 Martinique Ave. for the two-day event, the evening of Dec. 11 and the following afternoon. Hughes tapped Preston and Farley Realtor Marie Preston to help host. Baisden Art Gallery and Jamie Rogers of Doxa Design brought over artwork and furnishings. Roger Perry and chef Vivia Grier catered lobster rolls, crab cakes with Asian slaw and smoked tenderloin sandwiches with micro greens.

The Jags and Aston Martins parked out front came from Jaguar of Tampa. Blue Star Jets were supposed to land at Peter O. Knight Airport, but instead interested guests were invited to visit at Tampa International.

Suzanne Perry displayed her line of Elizabeth Taylor-inspired couture jewelry in the family room for all to admire. The museum-quality pieces go for $20,000 and up, she said, "designed as one-of-a-kind investments to pass down through generations."

There was no admission charge to attend, but a few of the 200 guests left donations for the museum.

"Any sales generated from the event will give a percentage to the museum," Perry said.

Sadly, that does not include the sale of Hughes' mansion, which was under contract at the time of the party for $6.2-million.

Outback Bowl Presidents' Reception  

The Outback Bowl hospitality committee rolled out the welcome mat for 1,700 VIP jocks, college administrators and sponsors at the annual Presidents' Reception, sponsored by MetLife and Mercedes-Benz, on Dec. 29.

The game was still three days away, and rivals from the Universities of Wisconsin and Tennessee were in high spirits. Tennessee lost last year's Outback Bowl, and Wisconsin came up short in 2005, so both were itching to win. As we now know, Tennessee came out on top.

Outback Bowl CEO Jim McVay introduced John Petersen, president of the UT Volunteers, who showed off his lucky orange argyle socks. Wisconsin chancellor John Wiley admitted he was born in Nashville, but noted that the Badgers have played a bowl game every year since he became chancellor.

Event chair Tracie Domino chose a sexy Moulin Rouge theme, swagging red drapes and black chandeliers across A La Carte Pavilion's ballroom. Dancers kicked a lively cancan, smiled from a swing over the bar, shimmied in silhouette shadowboxes and sang to Outback Bowl chairman Bernie O'Brien.

Open bars and unlimited buffets from Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's and Flemings Prime Steakhouse filled the end zones. A La Carte Catering kept the desserts coming, along with Joffrey's Coffee and Thompson cigars, until the last bus pulled out.

Vodka Latke

Christmas Eve at the Fly attracted 200 festive folks to Vodka Latke, the annual winter schmoozefest hosted by the Young Adult Division of the Tampa Jewish Federation. The national event takes place in most metropolitan cities, drawing mostly single, 30-something professionals to mix and mingle without Kris Kringle. Among the most eligible bachelors spotted in the crowd: Brian Glazer, Michael Robbins and Rande Friedman, to name just a few.

"But plenty of couples came, too," said organizer Vicki Teplin, including Andy and Sheryl Gotfried, who met at a Vodka Latke 10 years ago.

Fly's rooftop deck buzzed with partiers from Belleair to Britain till 2 a.m. Snow Queen Vodka sponsored the fundraiser and featured a special drink, Chanukah Tonica, made of pomegranate juice, club soda and Snow Queen vodka. Also on the strictly vegetarian menu were kabobs, spring rolls, sweet-potato fries, rustic pizza and mushroom duxelle.

Guests were asked to bring canned goods, said Teplin, who collected more than 100 items for Jewish Family Services Food Bank.

Got gossip?E-mail Amy Scherzer at scherzer@sptimes.com or call 226-3332. Party online:For more party pictures, visit hillsborough.tampabay.com.


Amy Scherzer's Diary 

Jan. 12: Masquerade Ball II "Carnevale di Venezia" benefits Stageworks Theatre; 6:30 p.m.; Centro Asturiano; $100; 784-6832.

Jan. 18: Tampa Bay Black Heritage Gala; 7 p.m.; Pepin Hospitality Center; $60, or $100 per couple; toll-free 1-888-224-1733, ext. 143.

Jan. 19: Inspirata Gala benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida; 6:30 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $500; toll-free 1-877-283-5055.

Feb. 1: Choice Affair luncheon benefits Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida; noon; Hyatt Regency Tampa; $50; (941) 365-3913.

Feb. 2: Sojourn dinner and auction benefits WEDU; 6 p.m.; Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 254-9338, ext. 2241.

Feb. 2: Einstein on Wine benefits Museum of Science and Industry; 6-9 p.m.; $60 in advance; $70 day of event; 987-6077.

Feb. 3: Ebony Fashion Fair, Glam Odyssey: A Fashion Journey into Bliss and Beyond, benefits Derrick Brooks Charities Youth Auxiliary; 3 p.m.; Tampa Theatre; $30; 238-8117.