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Black Tie and Tales
Black Tie Monday, Apr. 3, 2017 5 years ago

Black Tie & Tales 04.06.17

It was all about babies, birthdays and...wait for it...Flo Rida last week on the social scene.

Final Four

After many weeks of intense competition, we’ve finally narrowed our Black Tie Bracket to the top two women and top two men. If you want a say in who our winning fashion standouts of the 2016-2017 should be, go to to cast your vote once a day from now until April 9. We’ll count the votes and make the official announcement in our Black Tie Standouts special section that will be available on May 4.

The birthday that never ended

Tomeika Koski knows how to party for a cause, and her birthday weekend was no exception. The philanthropist had 14 friends from Atlanta and four from New York City fly in to celebrate her 39th birthday, and it all started March 30 at Michael's On East with April Fools’ Fete, where Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and Executive Director Julie Leach surprised Tomeika with a birthday cake and a group rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Donna and David Koffman, Clarence Henderson and Tomeika Koski embodied Prince at Koski's "Purple Rain" party on March 31 at Koski's home. Photo courtesy of Donna Koffman

Friday morning, Tomeika and her gal pals attended the Girls Inc. Celebration Luncheon at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, and that evening she hosted a “Purple Rain”-themed party at her house, where guests were decked out in full Prince attire. Saturday night she and her squad attended Firefly Gala at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, where she got to meet Flo Rida and dance with him onstage during “Low.” Sunday morning, the girls went to brunch at Peridia Golf & Country Club in Bradenton, and Monday they sipped “No Stress” drinks at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club on Lido Key.


En route to the alter

Friends of Mollie Nelson got to hear how she met her fiancé Nick Holland on April 1 at a lively bridal luncheon. The story begins on, where the pair quickly discovered shared interests in piloting boats and airplanes. But Mollie kept Nick at arm’s length for a good, long time. They finally met at Newark Airport on the way to a doozy of a first date: an eight-day visit to Scotland. Nelson shared her story with 34 guests at the luncheon, which was hosted by Nancy Bishopric Blackburn, Sharon Black Floyd, Nikki Feldbaum Sedacca and Margaret Wise at the Wise home. Nick earned a unanimous vote of approval.

The couple will wed at Historic Spanish Point in early May. The honor of giving the bride away goes to Mollie’s “pappy,” Bill Wise.

Sharon Black Floyd, Nikki Feldbaum Sedacca, Mollie Nelson, Nancy Bishopric Blackburn, Margaret Wise — Photo courtesy of Molly Schechter

Nick’s granddaughter Savannah Carter was also a hit at the celebration. She shared the story of how, after a church mission to the Dominican Republic where the infant mortality rate is 18%, she started a program to ship “Baby Boxes” of basic supplies to the Bateyes. These are particularly impoverished communities where, decades ago, people came to work on the sugar crops and lost their livelihood when that business died. Her show-and- tell prompted Margaret Wise to quip, “We can’t do anything without a fundraiser.” For more info or to sponsor a “Baby Box,” contact Savannah at (609) 464-0518.

Baby boom

It was the weekend of baby bliss in Sarasota March 31 - April 2, and we’ve got the low-down:

Brigid Saah celebrated her third and fourth showers for baby Piper on April 1 and 2, both at Sarasota Yacht Club, and several of Piper’s future little friends attended the April 2 soirée including Lyla Saba and Ross Taplinger.

Allison Cornell enjoys her new nursery chair at her baby shower on April 1 at The Field Club. Photo courtesy of Allison Cornell

Allison Cornell held her tropical-themed soiree (not jungle, as the mommy of the hour noted) on April 1 at The Field Club. The chair she opened her gifts in was a gift from best friend Aliena Shea who searched high and low for the Pinterest find that Allison wanted for baby-to-be Carter Cornell’s nursery.

Melissa Hembree was sprinkled with love at an intimate brunch on April 1 at the home of Kyle and Caprill Hembree. “Half a Dozen Hembrees” was co-hosted by Erin Christy and Caprill Hembree, and parents Melissa and Joe Hembree are expecting their fourth child in May.

Sarah Lodge had 35 guests gather at her Siesta abode on April 1 to celebrate her future baby girl. She wanted guests to mingle and sprinkle as much as possible so they were asked to bring gifts unwrapped to be admired easier.


Chairwoman Ariane Dart welcomes the crowd at Firefly Gala on April 1 at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. Photo by Niki Kottmann

A trade last for Ariane Dart … No less a partygoer and thrower than Scott George voluntarily proclaimed the Forty Carrots Family Center’s Firefly Gala the “best event ever staged in Sarasota.” He’s entitled to an opinion, having attended uncountable fundraisers and produced many a winner himself, including the memorable grand reopening of the Historic Asolo several years ago. Congratulations to Chairwoman Ariane Dart and her committee … Dress code dilemma ...We’ve noticed some pretty unique dress codes listed on invitations for several social occasions lately, but our favorites are “Farmer’s Market Chic” for the Designing Daughters Pre-Gala Party: Fashion Market on April 9 at Big Top Brewery and “farm chic, comfortable shoes” for the Goldie Feldman Legacy Event on April 22 at Sweetgrass Farms. Not sure what to wear? We’re preparing our bedazzled overalls as we speak (feel free to copy).


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