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Performing Art
Ashley and Tim Gruters announce their big news. Jolanta Bremer of I AM ART Couture Photography.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 4 years ago

Black Tie & Tales


+ Babies on board!
Something must be in the Sarasota water!

Montana and Irwin Taplinger are anticipating a July 10 due date for their first child. As for names, the still-newlyweds are going to incorporate the names of family members as well as special people in their lives. This will be the first grandchild on both sides of their families.

Taplinger’s close friend, Ashley Gruters (and co-chair for Designing Daughters’ gala in May), and her husband, Tim, are also expecting — and their due dates are only 10 days apart.

The couple made their announcement to family members during the Christmas holidays with the good news bottled in a jar of Preggo sauce. Tim, born and raised in Sarasota, is one of six kids and his mom, Robin, will be a grandmother of six, once baby Gruters arrives.

“We are beyond blessed and we are both beyond excited to finally be parents,” says Gruters. “As a second-grade teacher and wedding planner, I am both a nurturer and life changer, so this is dream come true for me.”

In other baby news, Medallion Home’s Carlos Beruff and his wife, Janelle, are expecting a baby, due April 7. No names are being released, because Carlos wants to be surprised on the gender.

Ryan and Sarah Lodge, parents to R.J., 2, are expecting their second child; and Kelli Jaco, owner of Jaco’s Boxing + Fitness, is six-months along.

+ Big band kick-off
First-time Chairs Chris Cogan and Diana Kelly kicked-off Asolo Repertory Theatre’s annual gala, “American Big Band,” Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Charles Ringling mansion. The March 2 event will feature Michael Andrew and the 17-piece Atomic Big Band, who, Cogan notes, “does Frank Sinatra better than Sinatra.” Proceeds from the event will benefit the Asolo’s educational outreach program. Spotted mingling were Carolyn Keystone, Ken and Peggy Abt, Bruce and India Lesser, Bob and Beverly Bartner, Carol Phillips, Tom and Renee Brady, John and Chris Currie, Paul Hudson and Margaret Wise.

+ SMOA: A swan song
For an inaugural event, selling out is almost unheard of. SMOA’s event organizers were hoping to attract 400 attendees, but more than 690 showed up Jan. 20.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased,” says Co-Chairwoman Dottie Baer Garner. “This was my swan song for chairing events, and I feel I went out in a blaze of glory — meaning this was my last event to chair and it was my biggest and best.”

Once SMOA has commitments for the remaining funding needed, construction is anticipated to take 14-to-18 months to complete.

+ Tidbits
Sensational sell-out … Last weekend’s Forks & Corks: The Grand Tasting event must be setting records around town. Within an hour of ticket sales opening, 110 VIP tickets sold out and 1,250 general admission tickets sold out in three-hours-and-50 minutes. Mark your calendars: next year’s event tickets go on sale Nov. 11 … Best kind of recycling … Susan Clarke was spotted in a great dress at Catholic Charities Ball last weekend. It just so happens she wore the same dress to George H.W. Bush ‘s 41st Presidential Inaugural Ball … Opening night … Spotted at Jack Dusty’s opening last Monday night: Stan and Jo Rutstein, Nick and Sara Ferguson, Clay and Melissa DeMore, Billy and Nora Johnson, Chris and Laura Jessen, Lee and David Peterson, Sal Diaz-Verson and Anne Weintraub … a funny observation from the evening: The stem-less wine glasses were so heavy, one woman had to use both hands to sip her libation … Movin’ on up … Event planner Jennifer Grondahl is closing her eight-year-old company, Maestro Events, to take over as president of the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota. The March 2 Asolo gala will be her last day and farewell event.

+ The calendar calls
BT is still collecting events for the 2013 Black Tie social calendar, and if we don’t know about it, we can’t publish it! Email the following information to [email protected]: name of your event; group hosting; group benefiting; time, date and place; ticket price; chairperson; contact name, phone number and email; website and event description.

Black Tie’s “Occasions” column details some of the most fabulous local weddings and share engagement announcements. Whether you attended the most-talked about event of the year or want to announce your own nuptials, send your engagement and wedding announcements to [email protected].

Black Tie Affair
Palm Ball ‘All Aboard for Conservation’
Benefiting: Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9
Where: Bay Preserve at Osprey
Chairs: Janelle Beruff, Ariane Dart, Pauline Joerger, Margaret Wise and Honorary Chair Cornelia Matson
Tickets: $350
Contact: 918-2100

Always an elegant affair at Bay Preserve, this year’s Palm Ball inspiration is nautical (think Newport, R.I.) with the gowns being inspired by white diamonds and blue sapphires. The band South Town Fever promises to keep the dance floor crowded all night long. The proceeds benefit critical land conservation initiatives.

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