Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: March 7, 2012
by: Loren Mayo and Molly Schechter | Observer Staff


+ Diamond anniversary
Since 1951, it’s been a place where girls and boys have learned their social graces. What started with just a few parents interested in teaching their children and friends the practice of social etiquette through chaperoned events evolved into The Cotillion Club of Sarasota, Inc., which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Generations after its inception, the program is comprised of nearly 1,000 students in grades eight through 12 from schools across Sarasota County. Membership includes a mandatory etiquette session and seasonal semi-formal dinner dances. Visit for information.

+ Never a dull moment
Not only are women making sure their men are outfitted in the most stylish patterned jackets at black-tie events, but Judith Barzilay is taking it one step further. She’s buying her husband, Sal, unusual ties to keep him entertained while he’s out and about. Sal sported a Nat Nast tie at the Enchanted Evening: A Salute to Strings benefit Feb. 28. On the outside, it appears to be just your average elegant tie, but if you twist the edges a little bit, a beautiful woman can be seen smiling back at you.

+ The luck of the draw
Neuro Challenge Foundation held its second annual “Cause 4 Fashion” gala March 1, at Michael’s On East. Janet Augello was in charge of about two-dozen models who were Parkinson’s patients and family members of those with Parkinson’s.

The lucky ones who modeled Peace of Cloth were given their outfits by owner Alex Garfield, who was seated at the table of foundation President and CEO Doreen Sutherland, her husband, Dr. Dean Sutherland, and their family. Also among the guests: Roger and Alisa Pettingell, Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs (Circus Sarasota provided the entertainment), Scott Hinckley, Dr. Don and Susan Negroski, Mary Saionz and Lisa Intagliata. 

+ Tidbits
Funny guy … during the Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall Lecture Series luncheon Monday, guest speaker and economist Steven Levitt, author of “Freakonomics,” really got the crowd laughing. “He didn’t say one word about economics, but he was funny!” said one couple in attendance ... 80 is the new 60 … and all three of Sally Yanowitz’s daughters made it to Sarasota for the celebration of her natal anniversary Feb. 18. All good wishes to one of the Sarasota community’s star supporters! … Abundant and affectionate get-well wishes … go to long-time BT favorite gentleman and philanthropist, J. Robert PetersonWho knew? … that Gerri Aaron was a serious student of modern and jazz dance? That delicious tidbit came to light at the spectacular performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Van Wezel. It turns out that Aaron took master classes with Ulysses Dove, the choreographer of “Episodes,” one of the dances the troupe performed.

+ He’s back
The Black Tie scene just wasn’t the same without Scott Anderson, of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, who was missing in action starting Nov. 15. Three eye surgeries later, he reappeared at the Asolo Theatre Arts Youth Educational luncheon Feb. 9, looking good as new and seeing better than 20/20. The former he credits to the ministrations of partner Michael Scott and to Renee Hamad and BJ Creighton, who delivered dinners, and the latter to Dr. Charles Gremillion.

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Ragtime Revival
6 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard
Tickets: $275, $500 or $1,000 (VIP) Contact: Laura Wood, 351-9010, Ext. 4712 or

Co-Chairs Carolyn Keystone and Jim Meekison and their committee will take you back to the early 1900s, where you’ll dine on fare prepared by Michael’s On East and dance underneath the night sky to DeLeon Orchestra.

Live-auction lovers are in for a real treat, because it includes an excursion to the Toronto Theatre and a weekend in London’s West End; a walk-on role in one of Asolo Rep’s 2013 productions; a day of shopping at Neiman Marcus; or a private champagne lunch at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.


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