+ Behind the scenes: ‘Men Who Cook’
It is, as Co-Chairwoman Margaret Wise said in her comments, “a fun evening close to the end of a long season.” This year’s third annual party at (and sponsored by) the Longboat Key Club and Resort was that and more.
Ron Giarrusso won for the “best decorated” table with a Moroccan theme, including a 4-foot-tall centerpiece of orchids, calla lilies and ranunculus; fez hats, the ladies’ veiled and bejeweled; hand-blown votives and punched tin lanterns. A personal favorite was Terry McKee’s panoply in pink, created by James Amato, with a pink flamingo as tall as Giarrusso’s centerpiece surrounded by smaller ones standing in pink sand — and all the guests wearing pink shirts and white pants or skirts. Jerry and Wendy Feinstein had three tables identified with mustaches on tall stanchions and adorned with tango dancers, flags, fans and belts all acquired on the recent trip to Argentina that inspired the spectacular empanadas that Jerry cooked by the hundreds. Nikki Sedacca shrugged and said, “You know me … ” about the ice sculpture of a fish she ordered for husband Jeff’s table. As glorious as it was, the three-and-a-half generations were the excitement here, from Jeff’s mom, the marvelous Marge Sedacca, to Nikki’s daughter, Montana Taplinger. Also notable was Aimee and Chris Cogan’s Kentucky Derby theme (and especially Aimee’s over-the-top hat).
Scott Anderson professed that he would “do anything” for the Asolo and proved it by auctioning off a dozen cakes, mostly homemade, and five hats created by Raul Molina for more than $20,000. Gulf Coast Community Foundation donated a king cake, imported from New Orleans, that came with a matching grant of $1,000. Sold four times to Skip and Gail Sack, Larry and Debbie Haspel, Herman and Sharon Frankel and Nancy Markle, that productive pastry raised a total of $8,000 for reduced-price tickets for Asolo Rep’s Family Day for the new dance musical, “Pulse!”
There’s more — from beautiful Betty Schoenbaum owning up that at age 96, her heart has beat more than 36 billion times … Margie Barancik saying about her 4-inch-tall espadrille wedges, “I feel so much taller than everybody … if I don’t beak my leg” … and Julie Pepi’s masterful meandering on her even-taller personal pedestals from Brian Atwood. See photos here and more coverage in next week’s Diversions.
+ Bubbles, brows and blow outs
Combine women with bubbles, treats and spa services, and you have yourself a party. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s spa held a spring open house, themed “Bubbles, Brows and Blow Outs,” Thursday, April 25, during which guests were able to learn more about the spa and receive free services. In September, the Ritz-Carlton spa will celebrate its 10th anniversary, so be on the look out for another fabulous event in the fall.
Seen mingling around the spa were Nicole Kaney, Maria Brady, Bethany Dugger, Patti Eisemann, Christine Sandrib, Nora Johnson, Minta Getzen and Dawn Patterson.
+ Sophisticated strut
The sparkling sand and the magnificent view of the Gulf of Mexico were the backdrop of the sold out Sophisticated Strut Fashion Series luncheon to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida Friday, April 26, at The Ritz-Carlton Members Beach Club. Prior to the fashion show featuring fashions by Hearts Desire, Wayne and Debbie Seitl made a generous donation of $10,000 to UCP for the Rita B. Lamere Memorial Foundation.
During the fashion show, however, the attention was mainly focused on three little girls who seemed to think they were sitting front row at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Cambelle Anders, 6, Lauren Angeleri, 8, and Avery Florio, 9, stole the show with their approving (and sometimes disapproving) facial expressions and comments of the outfits coming down the runway. The girls also swarmed the models to collect autographs after the show. Stay tuned for the next event in the series in June.
Black Tie Affair
Princess and Pirate Ball
Benefiting: Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center
When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4
Where: Sarasota Polo Club
Tickets: $65 for adults; $40 for children; children 3 and under are free
Contact: Jessica Hays, 365-0208, Ext. 106
SPARCC’s Princess and Pirate Ball is a fun-filled evening of children-themed activities, including entertainment (face painters, balloon artist, etc.), dinner and dancing, as well as a silent auction. Your children (or grandchildren) are a treasure, and it’s time to celebrate. Themed costumes are encouraged.
Purchase tickets here.
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The Church of the Redeemer celebrated its organist and choirmaster, Ann Stephenson-Moe, for her 40 years of service Saturday, Feb. 22.
Bluegrass fans flocked to Siesta Key Saturday for the Turtle Beach Bluegrass Picnic.
Daylight Saving Time starts 2 a.m. Sunday, so be sure to set your alarm accordingly.