+ ‘The gift is for the giver’
Larry and Debbie Haspel used that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson in accepting the 2013 Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee on March 17, at Michael’s on East — and that spirit was much in evidence throughout the evening.
Their daughter, Leesa, 25, a student at Northwestern University Law School, described her family’s modus operandi as, “We’re Haspels, we just do it,” and said that on her first visit to Sarasota, she discovered that her parents had signed her up “… to serve breakfast at Kobernick House on Christmas day, tour Nate Benderson’s animal rescue facility and string 10,000 pearls for the Perlman Music Program Gala.”
Event Co-Chairs Warren and Margot Coville and David and Edie Chaifetz spoke about how much the Haspels have accomplished in their four short years here with their work on behalf of the Jewish Housing Council, Asolo Rep, Sarasota Ballet, Perlman Music Program and Embracing Our Differences, as well as the American Jewish Committee.
See photos from the event here, and in next week’s Black Tie section.
+ Keeping the honorees straight
Former Girls Inc Celebration Luncheon honorees — dating back to 1989 honoree Annette Rogers — gathered Friday, March 15, for a luncheon, hosted by Nikki Nilon. This year’s “She Knows Where She’s Going” honoree is Observer Media Group’s Lisa Walsh, and she’s not the first from the Observer family to be honored — daughter Emily Walsh was an honoree in 2006.
Lisa Walsh jokingly warned the group to prepare for audible gasps when she takes the podium at the April 4 luncheon, because of the constant confusion since the announcement of the “She Knows Where She’s Going” award. Most people have been asking Lisa to relay their congratulations to Emily for receiving the award.
+ Sunshine’s wine and dine
At Sunshine From Darkness’ first official event as a chapter member of International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), Thursday, March 14, guests raved about the newest event format to hit town, which allowed them the option to attend the wine reception and/or four-course wine dinner, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota … At the intimate affair, Garen Staglin noted that the main reason they began producing Chardonnay at their vineyard, Staglin Family Vineyard, is because it is his wife, Shari’s, favorite type of wine. Garen said he’s learned over the years that his one true response should always be, “Yes, dear.” … Polka dots were the pattern-of-the-evening, worn by Janice Peterson Radder, Joan Biller, Bunny Coelingh and Valerie Terris.
+ Madcap moments from ‘Madcap Evening’
The models, showing off 1970s looks, styled by Maria DelaLuz of Purabell House of Fashion, were not the only ones in ’70s wardrobe at the March 12 40th anniversary party for Senior Friendship Centers. Scott George was wearing authentic Lilly Pulitzer from that era, and Gloria Moss was resplendent in a 100% sequined Krizia treasure.
This was the fourth Madcap Evening and key players have worked on them all including Jewel Ash, décor; Carolyn Michel, entertainment, and “poster man” Charlie Boothby. The record-breaking silent auction, on the other hand, had an all-new team led by Co-Chairs Ingrid Bookbinder-Keating, JoAnn Nevins and Sunny O’Flynn. Other new players were the vintage car guys: Doug Foeller (Dodge Dart and Good Humor truck), Bob McVaugh (dune buggy) and Dan Slottke (Firebird Trans Am).
Cool cameo … Local designer Emily Stroud’s Hayden Reis bags had an up-close cameo on a recent episode of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Alene Too’s Boca Raton and Palm Beach locations have carried Hayden Reis since July. RHBH star Kyle Richards opened the store’s third location, Kyle by Alene Too, in Beverly Hills, on the most recent episode, in which the bags have a prime spot by the front door and were caught by the camera … First anniversary … Congrats to photographer Naomi Chokr on her business’ first anniversary. In 2011, in an effort to encourage her to follow her dreams, Chokr’s husband, Amir, gave her a Nikon camera as a gift, and what began as a passion project has quickly grown into a thriving business, photographing weddings all over the country … Congrats! … To Drayton Saunders and Kara Poulin on their weekend nuptials at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens … Fabulous new trend? … Paws on the Catwalk sold out with a month to go! Hoping this is the newest trend of local events … Girly birthday … Alison O’Donoghue celebrated her 40th birthday on March 15. The birthday girl celebrated with tennis and a luncheon, where her girlfriends all wore pink and white for the “40 Shades of Pink”-themed celebration. The respective husbands joined the birthday revelry as the festivities continued that evening at Bern’s Steakhouse, in Tampa.
Black Tie Affair
An Evening at the Avant-Garde: ‘A Novel Idea’
Benefiting: Ringling College of Art and Design
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23
Where: Ringling College of Art and Design
Ringling College of Art and Design’s annual student scholarship fundraiser is one not to miss. This year’s Avant-Garde event theme is “A Novel Idea,” so you get to dress up like your favorite literary characters — the costumes are always so creative. Add to that some cocktails, good food, music and dancing, and you’ll be sure to have volumes of fun at this event chaired by Larry and Ann Garberding.