Amy Scherzer's Diary

By Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer
Published February 29, 2008

America Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla 95th coronation 

A best of the Beatles retrospective by the Classical Mystery Tour took senior and rookie pirates on a musical flashback at Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's Coronation Ball on Saturday.

Multiple generations sang and danced to the "Fab Four" lookalikes and a full orchestra at the Tampa Convention Center.

Between Yesterday and Yellow Submarine, the 104-year-old men's club crowned King Tom Touchton, founding chairman of the Tampa Bay History Center and president of Witt-Touchton Co. His wife, Lee, was queen in 1963; daughter Lavinia was queen in 1990; son John escorted him to the throne.

The 95th queen, Jenna Tuttle, daughter of Doug and the 1981 Gasparilla Queen Sandra Tuttle, is a senior at the University of Florida. Her royal line includes Grandpa Jerry Fogarty Sr., King Gasparilla the 55th, and Uncle Gene Fogarty Jr., King Gasparilla the 84th.

Jenna's royal maids, the next top vote-getters, are Carlee Cone, Megan Ely, Ellen Quinlan and Libby Ridley.

Outgoing Gasparilla King Hal Mullis seemed eager to relinquished the throne. "Such an enjoyable reign," he said. "What more can a man want or afford?"

To Life, To Memory and Promise 

To Life, To Memory and Promise, the Florida Holocaust Museum fulfilled all three themes with a call to action at its annual dinner Saturday at A La Carte Pavilion.

Be outraged, speak out, urged NBC's Today show co-anchor Ann Curry, who has traveled to Darfur, Kosovo and Congo to report on violence and ethnic cleansing.

Curry was humble about her role in covering genocide and said she didn't deserve the museum's gift of a stake pulled from the Auschwitz to Birkenau railroad track but would "accept it as encouragement."

WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Gayle Sierens was touched to receive the Loebenberg Humanitarian Award for serving as honorary chair of the museum's Anne Frank Humanitarian Award project for high school juniors.

The $225-ticket dinner met and exceeded its goal of $250,000 before the silent auction, said executive director Carolyn Bass.

Tampa Theatre's Oscar Night

Dozens of screaming fans and a flock of paparazzi lined the red carpet at Tampa Theatre's ninth annual Oscar Night America benefit Sunday.

Pat Fenda reprised her Oscar-worthy performance as Roan Jivers, critiquing 300 gowned and tuxed supporters as they emerged from limos circling the block.

The Florida Aquarium's tiny South African black-footed penguins waddled in on Happy Feet wearing their version of black-tie, but they were not invited to stay and watch the 80th annual Academy Awards ceremony on the big screen.

The historic theater's benefit was one of 52 sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jean Afterman, vice president and assistant general manager of the New York Yankees, was among the movie buffs enjoying champagne and hors d'oeuvres from Mise en Place.

She was rooting for Juno to win big, she said, clutching a CD of the sound track produced by her brother, Peter. The film did win Best Original Screenplay.

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


Saturday: Cigar City Celebration benefits Achieve Tampa Bay; 7 p.m.; Cuban Club; $125; 239-1179.

March 7: USF Hope House for Eating Disorders second annual fundraiser, 6 p.m.; Lions Eye Institute, 1410 N 21st St.; $75; 868-5137.

March 8: Fifth annual Starry Nights gala benefits Mental Health Care Foundation; 7:30 p.m.; Tampa Club; $125; 272-2244, ext. 246.

March 9: Little Everglades Steeplechase Finish Line party tent benefits Quantum Leap Farm, Pioneer Florida Museum and Diabetic Charitable Services; 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; $125; U.S. 301, Dade City; 866 770-5954.

March 11: Fashion Funds the Cure benefits Pediatric Cancer Foundation; 6 p.m. Saks Fifth Avenue; $75; 269-0955.

March 14: Chiselers' Market Preview Party; 7 p.m.; Plant Hall at University of Tampa; $50; 289-0985.

March 15: Baseball for Kids annual dinner benefits All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and Major League Baseball Players Alumni; 6:30 p.m.; A La Carte Pavilion; $225; (727) 767-8422.