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Black Tie and Tales
Black Tie Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 2 years ago

Black Tie & Tales 10.26.17

From beautiful brides to heavenly heels, here's your social news of the week.
by: Niki Kottmann Managing Editor of Arts and Entertainment

Giving back

The Junior League of Sarasota announced the 10 local nonprofits that received JLS community investment grants on Oct. 17. Ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, the grants added up to $53,000. Recipients included The Ringling College of Art and Design, The Education Foundation, Centerstone, Children’s Guardian Fund, Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Tidewell Hospice, The Haven, Children First, Heart Gallery and Take Stock in Children.

The Junior League of Sarasota gave $53,000 in grants to local nonprofits Oct. 17. Courtesy photo

The League received more than 100 grant applications, and the JLS Community Grants Committee narrowed it to 10 by taking the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s regional scan and community indicator reports into account.

Belated congratulations

There were a few familiar faces who got married while our Black Tie section was away, and we want to extend our congratulations to them — and give you the inside scoop on their gorgeous ceremonies.

Kelsey Wilson married Spencer Whealy on Sept. 23. Photo by Alyssa Shrock Photography

Kelsey Wilson married Spencer Whealy Sept. 23 at Covenant Life Presbyterian Church, the church that the two regularly attend and where they met. The couple celebrated their special day with 152 friends and family members with a reception following at TPC Prestancia, which featured music by Goodley Entertainment. The newlyweds then took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Key West, Cuba and Cozumel.

Jen Rust and her husband Steve Johnson tied the knot at an oceanside Airbnb in Montara, Calif., on July 16. The couple planned the entire destination wedding from Florida without ever seeing the venue in person or meeting any of their vendors. Their intimate ceremony on the lawn (with mountains and ocean waves serving as the backdrop) was officiated by close friend Kelsey Alholm and included not only vows that they wrote for one another, but vows that Jen wrote and recited for Steve’s 4 ½-year-old daughter Isabella. The celebrations concluded with a honeymoon road trip through the West.

Fundraising stars

Michael Klauber was the auctioneer for two successful gala auctions last weekend. First up was Women’s Sports Museum Gala on Oct. 21 at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens. Michael led both the paddle raise and the auction, the latter of which featured unique items such as an African safari experience and tickets to both the men’s and women’s finals for the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships. For it only being the second year of the gala, Klauber said he was impressed by the bids — two of his wine dinners for 10, for example, went for only $1,000 less ($6,000) than the next night at CANDance (for $7,000), which is an event in its 18th year.

Renee Phinney, Clara Reynardus de Villanueva, Mimi Carlin and Elizabeth Fisher don their “Donna souvenirs” at CANDance. Photo by Cliff Roles

“They were very energized,” Klauber said. “I didn’t have a great expectation that they were going to raise as much as they did, but there were definitely some big spenders in the group.”

The next night at CANDance, an event auction Klauber has led every year since 2011, the auction featured several European getaways to Tuscany, Iceland and Ireland. The Iceland getaway was so popular that another was sold after the gala on Oct. 23, bringing the fundraising total to $63,000.


Popping bottles...Foxy Lady on Siesta Key turned 45 on Oct. 23, and the store is celebrating with special discounts until Nov. 15. Customers who visit between now and mid-November will receive complimentary champagne and can reach into a fishbowl to uncover their their own discount. Keep your eyes peeled for other discounts in the coming weeks.

CANDance winner Donna Koffman dazzled in Swarovski crystal-covered ballroom shoes. Photo by Hannah Davis

A night to remember...CANDance is always one of the most lively events of the year, but this year the dancers and their friends took it to the next level. Participant (and winner) Donna Koffman teamed up with Jenn Stutler and Renee Phinney of Wrapt with Love to gift donors to her fundraising campaign with a custom-designed “skinny tie." Anyone who gave Donna 10 votes, AKA $100 for Community AIDS Network, received the unique souvenir. Many chose to sport their Donna sportwear not only during the event but also before at the pre-party Jenn and Renee organized at Michael's On East. Another custom-designed item spotted that evening was Donna’s crystal-covered shoes, which were designed and made by Gena Cristiani, who also made her costume for the event. The shoes were the same she practiced in from day one, but were transformed into roses to match her outfit.

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