From an elegant garden wedding to a thoughtful Christmas party, there was plenty going on last week on the Sarasota social scene.
Spirit of giving
Charlie Ann and Jim Syprett hosted a feel-good holiday party Dec. 6 at their Siesta Key abode.
Guests included nearly 100 lawyers, judges and friends from the Sarasota Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. Eventgoers enjoyed a gourmet feast prepared by Ophelia’s on the Bay and sipped Blue Lady Barrister signature cocktails served in Charlie Ann’s antique punch bowl.
The Syprett home was transformed into a Christmas wonderland, decorated with more than 100 Santa Claus figures and seven Christmas trees. Equally notable is their ornament collection, which dates back three generations.
Guests were asked to bring a gift of cozy slipper socks, and the Sypretts ended up collecting more than 70 pairs to distribute to cardiac patients at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Charlie Ann’s heart surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Hoffberger, and his lawyer wife, Linda Hoffberger, accepted the bin of gifts.
The party was organized by Stephanie Murphy and Tonya Pitts.
In 2001, Charlie Ann’s 29-year-old sister was dying of cancer in a hospital in Indiana. Ever since, Charlie Ann has worked to spread cheer to the people who are most in need of it during the holiday season.
“I remember how sad that holiday season was,” she says. “Ever since then, Jim and I have provided gifts for Sarasota Memorial’s cancer patients every holiday season. After my heart surgery, I decided I would do the same thing for the cardiac floor, and I asked the women lawyers to help us do that.”
Worth the wait
The man behind many of our favorite events, Roger Capote, married longtime love Antonio Pinho on Dec. 9 at (where else?) Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Chilly weather didn’t hold anyone back at this simply elegant affair, which consisted of a ceremony on the back lawn of the Payne Mansion and a reception following inside Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens.
Even an event expert like Roger needs a little help when it comes to planning the perfect personal celebration, so with the aid of Nicole Kaney of NK Productions, an evening of food, fun and friends ensued among a sea of wildflowers and a color scheme of black, gold and silver.
The reception was a cocktail lounge setup with food stations throughout the ballroom. As for food, Roger says he didn’t want a typical formal dinner setup, so the stations included casual favorites such as a mac and cheese bar, slider station, seafood station and dessert station.
The 225 guests included familiar faces such as Sally Schule, Susan Malloy Jones, Heather Dunhill, Kim Mancini and many more along with Roger’s family from Miami and Antonio’s mother, who came all the way from Portugal.
One unique aspect was the “unplugged” ceremony in which guests were seated at clear acrylic chairs in a circle formation around the couple. Nobody was allowed to take photos or use their phones because the couple wanted to avoid any distractions.
“Everyone in that ceremony was seated and present, looking with their own eyes and not looking through a lens,” Roger says. “That was very special.”
Roger surprised his partner before the intimate ceremony with an embroidered handkerchief featuring the lyrics to their processional song, “Speed Limit” by Boyce Avenue.
The event was also unique in that it gave another familiar face, Phil Mancini, the chance to attend as not just caterer, but Roger's best man.
Act now … Individual tickets for select Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series events will be available for purchase beginning Jan. 8. Tickets are from $70 to $100. Call 309-5100 for information.