Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: December 14, 2011
by: Molly Schechter | Black Tie Editor



+ More than the Israeli Red Cross
The mission of American Friends of Magen David Adom is to raise awareness, and there is much to know beyond its affiliation with the international Red Cross movement. For example, Magen David Adom Israel Cord Blood Bank, where notable research is conducted, supplies stem cells to patients all over the world. Another: New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently dedicated the new, landmark Magen David Adom Station in Jerusalem in memory of his father. American Friends of Magen David Adom will host its first affair in Sarasota Tuesday, Jan. 10 — a dinner at Michael’s On East featuring world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis. For details and reservations, contact Gila Meriwether at 320-9297 or

+ Almost perfect
The day could hardly have been prettier for the Mad Hatter Holiday Tea Dec. 6, at the home of Margaret and Bill Wise, the second in a series created by Chairwoman Diane McNeel to support the local Red Cross. It was a virtual festival from boutiques in the front yard to a special tent for the unique Gentlemen’s Committee in the bayside backyard. Yara Michaels and Nancy Blackburn were in charge of the hat contest; Aimee Chouinard described her “Most Seasonal” winner as “two boas on a beach hat.” There was a goodie bag with $145-plus worth of coupons from the likes of Center for Sight, Mattison’s and Michael’s On East — not a bad deal for a $100 ticket. Nobody remembered to order a mic, but that was gracefully covered by the presence of Circus Sarasota clown Chuck Sidlow, who echoed Diane McNeel’s every word with his booming voice. 

+ Spread the love …
Mondays are “Dog Days” for SNN News 6 personality Marsha Panuce. For three-and-a-half years, the station has been running her brief segment featuring a dog up for adoption from the Humane Society of Sarasota County. It has found new homes for an amazing 300-plus dogs, and only recently did Marsha learn that she was working with hard-to-place animals. If a pet for yourself or someone else is part of your holiday plans, please investigate what’s available from HSSC, other shelters or a breed rescue program. If that’s not on your agenda, perhaps you could help consider helping Marsha with her newest pet project — a shelter she is building near Myakka. It’s named Donte’s Den after her adored Schnauzer, Donte. Check it out at

+ Tidbits
Yara who? … Unless they know something BT doesn’t know, the Mad Hatter program got ahead of itself naming her Yara Michaels Shoemaker. Soon enough, soon enough … Oops … the Asolo gala described in last week’s column as “Ragtime Revisited” is correctly “Ragtime Revival” … Girls Inc. honors … “She Knows Where She’s Going” awards to Flori Roberts and Pam Truitt, “Girl of the Year” to Shayla Brown and the “Donna Brace Ogilvie Visionary Award” to Susan Jones, all to be presented at the 24th annual Celebration Luncheon Tuesday, March 20, at the Ritz …

Black Tie Affair
Sarasota Ballet Winter Variations
6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at the Sarasota Yacht Club
$125 per person
For information, contact Jean Abrams at 955-9899 or

It evokes a truly delightful image: a perfect December evening at the Sarasota Yacht Club. The premises are in full holiday regalia. The yachts in the harbor are likewise dressed to the nines with colorful lights and burgees. And a lovely crowd of friends gathers to support an artform and an arts organization that they truly love — the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Ballet School and Dance Next Generation. Peggy Abt is honorary chairwoman for the evening; Yvonne Sultan is event chairwoman, and her blue-ribbon committee includes Lauren Walsh, which means there will be a special twinkle somewhere in the party. How could you not go to this last event before the Christmas break? Of course you’ll be there ...


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