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Performing Art
KC and the Sunshine Band at the Firefly Gala
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, May. 25, 2011 6 years ago

Black Tie & Tales


+ Admirable accomplishments
Harry Leopold: “Sarasota landed Roxie Jerde to be CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County — a giant home run! We will be seeing wonderful things happen.” Harold Ronson: “This year’s co-producers dinner for the Sarasota Opera was the largest in history. The program accounted for about $250,000 in donations when Susan Danis came on board 11 years ago; this year it raised $1.3 million.”

+ Personal bests
Bob Plunket: “I hate to sound self-serving, but my favorite thing all year was my dance at CANdance. Never have I felt so much love.” Wendy Feinstein: “It was absolutely a blast to win ‘The Best Shoes’ at Wine, Women and Shoes.” Phil King: “Being nominated for the Standing O Award (Outstanding Couple) was fun, flattering and, on a serious note, a very good political statement by the Sarasota community.”

+ Big bands are still No. 1
Dennis Stover: “Never in Sarasota have I seen a dance floor fill up so fast as it did for Beatlemania at the New College 50th anniversary event.” Margaret Callihan: “The lads … really rocked the Ritz, and we all had a blast singing and dancing along with them!”

+ Room for improvement
Flora Major: “Sarasota doesn’t always remember that RSVP means respondez s’il vous plait — please reply!” Susan Jones: “Make a plan and stick to it; deviation is death to an event.” Gloria Moss: “Where was the message?” Veronica Brady: “The band playing too loud during dinner keeps people from talking. The unintended consequence is that when the music stops, people start to talk and nobody listens to the auctioneer or whatever comes after.”

+ Perennial favorites
Nora Johnson: “Pique Nique was just magic … every piece that went down the runway was something the women in the room would die for.” Pam Swain: “We invited long-time friends from Virginia Beach to the Orchid Ball, and they said it was the best event they had ever been to.” Carolyn Michel: “Seeing the artistic directors on the runway at the Designing Women Boutique fashion show, strutting their junk … er … stuff, pardon the expression.” Betty Schoenbaum: “The Sarasota Orchestra at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service Gala and ‘Inventing American Sound,’ written, produced, narrated and conducted by Leif Bjaland.” (And then he broke our hearts by announcing that he was leaving — on Valentine’s Day, no less.)

+ New and notable …
Chris Pfahler: “The best event band was KC & The Sunshine Band for Forty Carrots’ Firefly Gala.” Gloria Good: “They refer to themselves as ‘The Party Band,’ and KC held his arms out and called himself ‘KFC.’” Deb Knowles: “The Asolo Rep’s Men Who Cook — seeing all those men with their signature dishes was inspiring!”

+ Memorable moments
Hillary Steele: “One of my most favorite moments was when Jean Weidner appeared on stage and danced at the Sarasota Ballet’s 20th anniversary Gala. Scott Anderson: “When Jean Weidner appeared on stage, she took everyone’s breath away.” Jules Rose: “The Perlman Winter Residency Music Program and Itzhak Perlman singing Be Bop with a group of teachers.

+ More to eat
Phil Mancini: “We worked hard on creating new entrées including braised meats like Kobe short ribs, veal osso bucco, brisket and lamb shanks. We also did a lot of rack of lamb, special cut veal chops and even skirt steak.”

+ A thank you note and an invitation
Thanks to all of you who responded to my request for your season highlights and for all you do to keep us informed all season long. And, please send information on your events for next season to Stephanie Hannum, [email protected]. See you in the fall!

+ Last words
Margaret Wise: “It was the best year in the last three; everybody seemed to enjoy themselves more. The gloom is gone and there is a party mood.” Terri Klauber: “Wow, what a season! Sarasota really knows how to throw great parties; there’s no place better!”

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