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By LENNIE BENNETT
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
The burning question Tuesday at the Bayfront Medical Auxiliary luncheon: Would the clothes arrive for the fashion show?
"They're not here," said Rosemary Johnson, event chairwoman. "They left the store an hour ago. I have no idea where they are."
Auxiliary president Edie Spies said, "I remember when we had a fashion show at the Hilton downtown and the clothes went to the Hilton on the beach."
"Can you stall?" Mrs. Johnson asked master of ceremonies Aaron Fodiman, who proved masterful in lengthening the President's Walk (in a temporal, not spatial way) as salad was being served to about 100 patrons at the Mirror Lake Lyceum.
The crowd may have been smaller than usual, but it was a fun one. The Lyceum's main room has a sloping floor, from its days as a church, so we had to be careful not to back out of our mules into an ungraceful heap on the floor, as I have done on occasion. It also means that the ramp extending from the stage is at a slight northerly angle, so the ladies walking up the runway rather than down the runway were Ms. Spies; Roberta Loose of the All Children's Hospital Guild Seminole Branch; Sally Poynter of Boley's Angels; Lorraine Danna, Cross of Lorraine (not named after Mrs. Danna, we should point out); Mary Shuh, Florida Orchestra Guild, who passed out reminders about the upcoming showhouse; Celma Mastry, Infinity League; Sharon Clayton-Keller, Museum of History Guild; Patsy Dunlap, Queen's Court; Joann Barger, Science Center Guild; Fay Baynard, Town and Gown; Charley Williams, Women's Service League; Priscilla Young, Women's Chamber of Commerce; Pat Howells, Interlock; Greta Myers, St. Anthony's Hospital Auxiliary; and Sheila Tempelmann, Queen of Hearts.
The clothes were still AWOL as the entree was being served (chicken Vermont), but the show could go on because the models in their own clothes were well dressed, which I pointed out to Toni Fudge, in an apricot and cream outfit with matching brooch, and Carol Upham, in black with a bright scarf. "Wearing my own clothes would be fine with me," Mrs. Upham said.
As it happened, the clothes from New Charisma arrived, the show went on and peace reigned.
There to enjoy the show were Dot Lang, Jane Hennessy, Mary Bond, Pat Brody, Monica Bowersox, Kanika Tomalin, Alexandra Jupin, Charlotte Krizek, Julie Thompson, Lois Atkins, Helga Andrews and Nancy Dusseault.
Sartorial notes: Harriet Harvey wore a black suit studded with dozens of bright little buttons ("People will follow you around with scissors," I said), and Helena Miller wore a great hat, which is not unusual for her. When asked, she said she has "about 50. I have a separate closet for them."
Before I left, I chatted with Bayfront Medical Center CEO Sue Brody, who said the hospital had a record January. "You don't like people to be sick," she said, "but at least they're coming to us."
I omitted two names from the list of princesses in the Queen of Hearts Court in my Sunday column. Dolly Rote and Karen Groff should have been included in the list of women honored for their volunteer contributions. Congratulations to them both.
Just when I think small dinner parties are becoming things of the past, victims of our too-busy lives and economic restraints, I am invited to one that restores my faith in the civilizing power of breaking bread with charming people in a lovely home. I sound gushy probably, but Anne Von Rosenstiel knows how to entertain, which she did Monday evening. She and husband Werner are an urbane couple who travel a lot, know everyone, and are generous community donors. One of their philanthropic enterprises is to underwrite the Von Rosenstiel Lecture Series, which has brought some interesting people to the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida.
The most recent was Yehuda Bauer, an author and historian of the Holocaust, who spoke at USF on Wednesday in conjunction with the inauguration of Judy Genshaft as president. Their dinner was an opportunity for a lucky few of us to get to know him, and the evening of good conversation and good food was a luxury I don't often have.
LCC SPORTS NIGHT: Sixth annual live and silent auction to benefit Lutheran Church of the Cross Day School is held this year at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N. Dinner by Outback Steakhouse. 6:30 p.m. $40.
TOUR OF HOMES: St. Petersburg Catholic High School Spring Tour of Homes features nine residences that vary from historic to new. The geographic range is also broad, from Seminole to Treasure Island. Self-guided. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10. 528-2270.
JUNGLE JAM: Junior League of St. Petersburg fundraiser at Sunken Gardens with cocktail buffet by Carrabbas and entertainment, silent and live auctions. 6 p.m. 1825 Fourth St. N. $50. 522-2365.
CASA SPORTSTACULAR GALA: Benefit for the Center Against Spouse Abuse with dinner, dancing and silent and live auctions. Dress code is elegantly casual. 7 p.m. TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. $95. 895-4912.
MUCH ADO ABOUT ART: Artists create works inspired by the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare that are sold at a live auction. Proceeds are split between the individuals and American Stage Theatre Company. Food by Salt Rock Grill. Preview at 6 p.m. Auction at 7 p.m. Salt Creek Artworks, 1600 Fourth St. S. Free. 823-1600, ext. 203.
NIGHT OF THE ORCHID: Preview party features 45 floral interpretations of works of art. Buffet by Michael's on East. 6:30 p.m. $75.
SPROUT FESTIVAL: A family festival in Straub Park with art show, plant sales, entertainment, interactive displays. Admission to the Museum is free that day. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LIFESTYLES IN BLOOM: A self-guided sampling of displays and demonstrations that includes culinary garnishes and cake decorating, botanically-inspired calligraphy, fabric design, crafts and home and garden ideas. 1-5 p.m. $15 which includes Tea in the Garden at the Museum.