+ ‘Pinot, Porsche & Piemonte’
The YMCA Foundation of Sarasota held its first of three dinners in the “Wind Beneath Our Wings” series Feb. 22, at the Suncoast Porsche showroom. Hosted by Vance and Jackie Dickinson and Donna Simmons, the dinner, limited to only 40 guests, celebrated Pinot Noir wines and the uniquely flavorful culinary delights of Italy’s beautiful Piemonte region with a special menu prepared by Café Baci.
Guests included Foundation Board Chairman Paul Bowman and his wife, Carina, Dan and Debbie Dannheisser, Ric and Kathy Coffey, Ken and Jan Kravec and special guest Ashley, who has participated in the Y’s Schoolhouse Link program and had just been accepted to St. Leo University that day.
Next up is “An Evening with Kurt & Charlotte,” at the home of Caleb and Michele Grimes on March 19.
+ Big thanks from a big guy
Ernie Garcia threw a party for clients, family and friends to celebrate his 25th anniversary with Morgan Stanley. With wife, Patty and tennis-loving, almost-as-tall-as-dad son Vaughn, 15, at his side, Garcia welcomed more than 130 guests Feb. 22, to the Laurel Oak Country Club. Among them were several of his original clients, including Bob and Aynne Manning, Derek and Patti Nelson, and Bill and Marge Thoennissen. Bill McMahon, Morgan Stanley divisional manager, came in from Purchase, N.Y., for the event.
+ Dick Vitale event
In Dick Vitale show-stopping fashion, another kick-off party for the Dick Vitale Gala (scheduled for May 17) was thrown Feb. 21, at Mercedes-Benz. More than 300 guests, including Pam Valvano Strasser, mingled at the beautiful dealership and checked out the 2013 E350A Mercedes up for grabs for a $100 raffle ticket (only 1,500 chances were sold). Also seen at the kick-off: Bob Delaney, Nick Bollettieri, Beth Cannata, Sean Grosso, basketball player Jerod Ward, Judy Landers, Bob and Kathryn Carr and John and Denise Saputo.
For more information on the gala, call Mary Kenealy Events at 350-0580.
+ A room full of caring hearts
First Step hosted its 10th annual Caring Hearts luncheon Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Michael’s On East. The packed ballroom gave its full attention to the women who spoke about successfully completing the Mothers and Infants program at First Step. In the days after the event, the 300th baby born under the watch of this program was expected to arrive.
Honored at the event were Mothers Helping Mothers’ Madeline Brogan and Terry Stottlemyer, who have served strictly as volunteers for their organization, which has helped 6,700 families in the community.
Moving on up … In career news, Christina Elias has joined Brides Against Breast Cancer as national event coordinator, and Heather Dunhill has been promoted to Fashion Editor at I Want To Be An Alt, which was a pleasant surprise to the writer. “I Want to Be An Alt is an international website dedicated to following one of the highest-ranking women in the fashion industry, Emmanuelle Alt, the Editrix of Vogue Paris — essentially the Anna Wintour of France,” says Dunhill. “She’s chic, stylish and she’s influencing the world of fashion.” …
Expert interviewer … When it comes to interviewing musicians live, June LeBell says it’s old hat. “I’ve done this for 40 years,” said LeBell at Sarasota Opera Guild’s Prologue Reception Feb. 18. When asked if she had a list of questions for Samuel Ramey, she laughed and said, “Oh no! I never have a list.” LeBell compares her interview style to having a drink with, someone: “You wouldn’t bring a list of questions for someone you were having a drink with would you?” She did note, however, that she can get away with asking some more probing questions in this type of environment that she might not necessarily ask someone over a drink …
Wedding bells … Photographer Kathryn Brass has been busy planning her November wedding to Todd Piper. The couple, who got engaged in October on Lido Beach, was inspired by King Family Farms’ Farm to Table dinners, and plan to host their wedding at the Bradenton locale. The big question is: Who will be photographing the photographer’s wedding? “Cat Pennenga — I trust her as a professional and a friend,” says Brass. “We have the same aesthetic, and I will feel comfortable with her by my side all day.” …
Little digs at a big dig … Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center held a non-official groundbreaking for the Sally & Sam Shapiro Babies & Children’s Medical Center Feb. 23. It was timed to coincide with the assembly of the Shapiro family who were present, 25 strong. The youngest were 1-year-old twin great-granddaughters, gifted with pink shovels by center executive director Phil King, who is widely known for his flair. Sam Shapiro often mentions King’s wardrobe. His gentle tease on this occasion was: “Phil King’s clothing allowance is larger than his salary.” King wants it known that he shops at the outlet malls …
Black Tie Affair
‘Out to Lunch’
Benefiting: Designing Women Boutique
When: 11:30 a.m. March 5
Where: The Francis, 1289 N. Palm Ave.
Join Designing Women Boutique’s Ambassadors’ Guild for a special fundraising luncheon with keynote speaker Clint Hill, author of the current best-seller, “Mrs. Kennedy & Me.” Hill was Jackie Kennedy’s Secret Service agent during her White House years. Hill and co-author Lisa McCubbin will share extraordinary insights into Kennedy’s charm, culture, passion and international appeal that turned her into an iconic legend. Honorary chairs are Mary Ann Robinson, Jean Weidner Goldstein and Alfred Goldstein.
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13 Founder's Talk & Tea
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Harbour Hatties raise $17,000
Ladies in the Heritage Harbour community took a stand against cancer as they hosted the “Hearts for Hope” ball at IMG Academy.
Children 'Read Across America'
Preschoolers at the Primrose School at Lakewood Ranch Town Center will provide books for local children in need in honor of Read Across America Day this month.
Club raises $17,000 for local charities
More than 200 women in the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club enjoyed an afternoon of laughter and socializing Feb. 26, as they hosted “Laugh Your Abs Off with Tim Wilkins” at The Francis in Sarasota.