Yacht Club crew enjoys the Black and White Ball
By LENNIE BENNETT
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 17, 2000
Unlike every other group that hosts a party in the elaborately decorated ballroom of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the Bucketeers always work around the red, green and gold theme.
The annual Black and White Ball, this year on Dec. 2, is a 40-year tradition with the group that began as a sailing club and evolved into one more socially oriented (meaning you don't have to know your fore from your aft anymore).
Martha Hobach originated the theme and once again worked her magic on tables laden with black and white flowers and foliage laced with silver accents.
Joining her were her husband, Dr. George Hobach, and daughter and son-in-law Alice and Martin Roess.
Also enjoying the evening were Judge Dick and Janice Miller; Judge Bob and Aimee Shingler; Paul and Sandy Hardin; Ron and Bonnie Braun; Howard and Zana Ennis, who live in Hernando County; Jack and Mary Jane Cartier; Dr. Bill and Barbara Knapper; Bob and Tina Douglass; Rusty and Audrey Lampe; Langston and Carol Holland; Curtis and Peggy Thomas, and Osvaldo and Carol Sabina.
Since the group had more than its share of University of Florida alums, a large-screen TV was set up at the end of the ballroom for the game against Auburn. In the huddle around the set were Joe and Joanne Fleece, Ralph and Carol Sue Stevens, Bud and Laura Felix, Joyce and Jerry Sewell and Rex and Lynell Owen.
The Owens, who now live in Floral City, make this an annual trek, so they make a weekend of visiting daughter Dawn and son-in-law Steve Fisher as well as local friends.
Welcoming guests were Steve and Nancy Thomas. Thomas is the group's captain, the sailing word for president. At least that's what this landlubber was told.
More holiday festivities ensued at the annual Boley Brunch on Dec. 5 at -- surprise! -- the Yacht Club, with -- surprise! -- great decorations in place.
Virginia Battaglia has been a longtime supporter of Boley Centers for Behavioral Health and now her daughters have joined her in taking up the cause. Sandra Battaglia chaired the party and Brenda Battaglia made favors for each guest, reindeer crafted from corks, more than 3,000. (The question was raised but not answered: Who drank all that wine?)
Several years ago, after the death of Marge Fast, a stalwart of Boley Angels, her daughter LaRee Brock began a tradition of presenting a wreath. This year, Margie Dickens continued that tradition, in memory of her mother, Margaret Dickens, who died recently.
Sword of Hope, an auxiliary of the American Cancer Society, hosts a tree-lighting ceremony every year in memory of cancer victims and in honor of survivors.
It is always a bittersweet evening, evoking the same emotions I have listening to Judy Garland sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to Margaret O'Brien in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis. (I hope that is not too obscure a connection.)
Anyway, this year, a tree in the lobby of the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton was lit by survivor Barbara Royston, with the help of another survivor, mistress of ceremonies Barbara Callahan.
Everything lightened up even more as the group adjourned to the hotel ballroom, and entertainment by a survivor of a different kind, singer Bertie Higgins.
On hand were event chairs L.A. Malin, Barbara Van Buskirk and Mrs. Royston with husband Dick and daughter Hope, recently returned from Australia as a Rotary Ambassador; Dot and Avery McCarthy; Tom Malin; Helena Miller, a Sword of Hope founder; Alvena Pryor; Sylvia McLean; Jackie Pasco; Rose and Lornie Meuller; Dr. and Mrs. Ken Burry; Ann Foster; Judy Cunniff; Edie Lyster; Virginia Smith; Charlie and Paula Park; Hugh Ann Cason-Kelly; Irv and Terry Ray, and James and Donna Taylor, an artist who donated a painting to the auction.
Mary Shuh and Sheila Tempelmann were given the Hope Award.
CROSS OF LORRAINE HOLIDAY TEA: Members of the guild supporting the America Lung Association and their guests are invited to a social at the home of Toni Fudge, 2-4 p.m. 527-9730.
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