Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: March 19, 2014
by: Black Tie Staff


+ Celebrating 'Celebrate'
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida had plenty of goals for its annual dinner this year: to honor president Barbara Zdravecky for her remarkably effective 20 years; to raise at least $50,000 to earn a promised match and exceed a million-dollar objective for the “BAZ  (Barbara A. Zdravecky) Fund for the Future;” and to revitalize and reposition its annual dinner, this year being the 48th.

The March 13 party did all of the above, and then some. Relocated from the Municipal Auditorium to a tent on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, attendance was at least 10% over the usual 500, $67,000 was raised for the fund and a good time was had by all.

Co-Chairs Rich and Clare Segall and their merry band with Planned Parenthood Vice President Jan Chester and staff put on a great party decorated with life-size photo cutouts of the honoree. They even managed to surprise her with a flash mob of more than 100 people on stage and in the audience moving to “It’s a Woman’s World.” Zdravecky acknowledged that she is unaccustomed to being surprised and got a good laugh by sharing that her guests included “My aesthetician, my chiropractor, my hair stylist, my massage therapist and my psychiatrist.” See more photos here.

+ Creativity at its finest
Those Girls Inc. girls sure are creative. For this year’s Celebration Luncheon, the raffle items include things in which the girls have been involved in the process, learning along the way. One of the items to be auctioned at the April 3 luncheon is a custom pendant designed by Montserrat Alverez (after winning a design contest headed up by Carats Fine Jewelry and Watches owner Greg Twarowski). The one-of-a-kind, angular square-shaped pendant (valued at $4,650) includes a three-carat tri-color tourmaline as the center stone. Radiating from the center to the corners are diamond beads weighing a total of .36 carats. The 14 carat rose gold pendant comes with a 18-inch strand of freshwater pearls. The second item up for bid is a custom dress by local designer Camilyn Beth. Several girls helped design a 23-piece collection. With your top bid, you get to choose one of the dresses to be created specifically for you. The piece you bid on will even feature a message from the girls on the label, so it’s a true one-of-a-kind.

For more information and to bid online, visit The auction will also be available for bidding at the 26th annual Celebration Luncheon. To purchase a luncheon ticket, call 366-6646.

+ Sex and then some …
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, renowned octogenarian sex therapist, was the speaker at the Women’s Resource Center March 14 luncheon, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. But she considers herself an educator and some of her best advice had little to do with sex. Examples: “Be an askable parent;” “Let bad stuff go; you’ll never forget it but don’t let it own you;” “A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.”

She had the audience of 400-plus men and women eating out of her hand and promised “Anybody who gives money to the Women’s Resource Center is going to have great sex for the rest of your life.” Betty Schoenbaum, who volunteered to help with an “ask,” made a similar promise, citing a University of Pittsburgh study that says that one of the benefits of giving … is better sex.

Kudos to everybody’s favorite technical director Brent Greeno who, with event chair Kathy Coffey, raised $16,300 in the WRC’s first-ever live auction. And, congrats to Executive Director Valerie Goddard for guiding her first Renaissance Luncheon to such success.

+ Tidbits
Bittersweet and beautifulMelvy Lewis’s invitation was straightforward and to the point: “For taking such good care of me since Milford has been gone … a big thank you from Melvy.” And big it was … a March 9 dinner in the Water Club party room with 68 guests and a nine-piece band led by Simone Vitale, imported from the Lewis’s hometown of Detroit. Phil Mancini did the dinner but Melvy personalized it with her own, homemade Mandelbrot … Home againDottie Garner is home from SMH after a bout with a nasty flu and Dorothy Jacobson is home from the Inn at the Sarasota Bay Club where she rehabbed from a fall. You can’t keep a good woman down! … Same time next year … The report from the Sarasota Garden Club is that its first garden tour March 15 was a smash hit with more than 800 tickets sold … A moment to be treasuredAnne Virag, AJC (American Jewish Committee) regional president, was part of a leadership delegation that had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Feb. 13. AJC Executive Director David Harris and President Stanley Bergman led the group, which was the first Jewish organization to meet with his holiness since his ascension.

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