+ An elegant evening … with a few twists
Palm Ball, held Saturday, Feb. 9, was its usual always-elegant evening — the weather was fabulous and the guests dressed to impress! A few standouts of the night … the valet line was at a standstill for guests, giving them less time to mingle during the cocktail hour … there were many ex-couple run-ins (and their respective dates), which made people watching a little more exciting … Co-Chairwoman Pauline Joerger sparkled in her fabulous Donna Karan gown, not to mention her handsome arm candy, artist Rush Bowles … Lisa Merrill looked stunning in her Carolina Herrera gown … Hoby Buppert’s palm tree pants were the perfect accessory for this event … Always colorful Bruce Lesser wore a hot-pink suit jacket that he had custom made in Hong Kong four years ago … it’s the little things that matter — guests were raving about the property’s new fancy restrooms (read: no more port-a-potties) … Bernice Hebda’s vintage ring from Ana Molinari was to-die-for … a certain socialite headed to the restroom to ditch her uncomfortable bra in the trash can … the cutest couple had to go to Liebe Gamble and date, dad Patrick Smith, who flew from Pittsburgh to escort her because husband Billy is out of town … Dr. Heidi Anderson looked fabulous, despite the fact that when she went to pick up her dress from alterations, they had left a note of an emergency, so she wore a back-up dress and rocked it with her always calm and collected demeanor. Palm Ball definitely did not disappoint!
+ With every season comes a change
You may notice a new man socializing around town with Sally Schule — Sarasota, meet Joel Ellzey. Schule has recently moved into the role of marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ellzey has taken the helm as general manager. He comes with 24 years experience with the retail company, most recently at the Tampa location.
After 16 years in this community, Schule is delighted to be doing what she loves in the marketing role, as the company gets ready to open its new location, in the University Town Center, debuting October 2014.
“To me, it’s all about the community, the charities and making Saks local,” says Schule. “I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to follow my passion as we move into the new store.”
+ Like mother, like daughter
What goes better with warm Florida weather than the bright prints of Lilly Pulitzer, and what goes better with a model than her adorable daughter? The Boys and Girls Clubs hosted a luncheon and fashion show Wednesday, Feb. 6, featuring both. Lilly Pulitzer of St. Armands Circle presented “The Lilly Show,” to benefit both the Robert and Joan Lee Boys & Girls Club of Venice and the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club of North Port.
Chaired by Golda Radefeld and Ann Hall, the show included Susan Hines with daughter Bailey; Victoria Stultz and daughter Andrea; Courtney Green and daughter Emma; Andrea Arnold and daughter, Tori; and sisters Sheryl Vieira and Sandy Albano. Also spotted at Plantation Golf & Country Club: Teri Hansen, Jessica Hays, Judy Green, Charlotte Hedge, Kelly Quigley, Kristy Cail with daughter Caitlin, Angie Stringer and many more.
+ The great adventures of Flat Ella
Bob Hanson and Jean Griffin brought along “Flat Ella” to the Town Hall lecture given by Dr. Robert Gates, Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Flat Ella was sent by to them by their granddaughter, Eloise Griffin, 6, from Cincinnati. Griffin and Hanson have to take Flat Ella on adventures and daily errands around Sarasota and then report back about all the things Flat Ella experienced while visiting.
“We are hoping to get a photo with Flat Ella and Dr. Robert Gates,” said Griffin. They also posed with Flat Ella for The Observer.
‘Tis the season … In addition to Palm Ball, Cat Depot celebrated its 10th anniversary gala with a sell-out crowd and Goodwill’s annual Mardi Gras event is also reporting a sell-out … Moving on up … Geoffrey and Brenda Michel have built, and finally moved into, their new house in Harbor Acres — their first move in 16 years! Sponsor thank you … YMCA Foundation of Sarasota hosted a patron party Thursday, Feb. 7, to kick off the “Night of the Jade Butterfly” event May 4. Despite the rain, more than 65 guests mingled with event Co-Chairwomen Dawn Epstein and Pat Martin, at the home of host Stanley Kane … Jewels abound … June Simmons Jewelry hosted a reception Thursday, Feb. 7, to kick off its Phillips House trunk show, at its location inside The Met. Designer Lisa Frankel was in attendance wearing a fabulous form-fitting dress. To kick off the Palm Ball weekend, blue sapphire earrings were auctioned, and June Simmons, as well as The Met donated a percentage of the evening’s sales to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Spotted perusing the jewels were Gigi Silverberg, Eileen Scudder and Allison Scanlan … Healthy living … Gulf Coast Community Foundation hosted Dr. Andrew Weil at its Feb. 11 luncheon (also a sell-out). While discussing why what we eat matters, Dr. Weil commented he couldn’t drink the Sarasota water, because there’s too much chlorine, and also joked about the accompaniment of sweet tea with the healthy salmon salad.