+ Oui oui!
Children First held its 14th annual Celebration Gala Saturday, April 20, at Michael’s On East. This year’s event, themed “April in Paris,” was chaired by Marvin Albert and Gerri Aaron, Larry and Nola Hietbrink, Allen and Stephanie Hochfelder and Wayne and Mindy Rollins.
Michael’s On East was truly transformed into a mini version of Paris with the courtyard decorated with pink, white and black parasols hanging from the roof, the ballroom was lit with pink and purple lighting and each table featured either an Eiffel Tower or candelabra lit with white tea lights. Large crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling and a dance floor was set up for dancing following dinner and the live auction.
The signature drink of the night was French 75 — a cocktail made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice and sugar — was a big hit with both the men and the women.
Children First volunteers encouraged people to pick up a “helping hand,” colorful cutouts of hands with different monetary amounts based upon the gift given. Some of the helping hands included five new children’s books, diapers for a class for a month and breakfast for a class for a month.
+ Prized evening
The Hermitage Artist Retreat along with the Greenfield Foundation awarded painter Trenton Doyle Hancock with the 2013 Greenfield Prize Sunday, April 21, at The Francis. The evening was chaired by Joy Rogers and honorary Chairwoman Gerri Aaron.
The evening included dinner, commentary by guest speaker New York Magazine chief art critic Jerry Saltz and the presentation of the award to Hancock.
The $30,000 Greenfield Prize is awarded annually, and rotates each year among three areas: drama, music and a wild card. As the recipient of the award, Hancock will be working for the next two years to create a new body of work that will be shared across the country and around the world once it is completed.
For more coverage of the event, see photos here and check next week’s Diversions.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.