Seth Morano gets another standing ovation, Black Tie is taking nominations for season standouts and more this week.
A royal scholarship
Betty Schoenbaum’s legacy continues to live on and inspire others, such as her longtime friend Phil King. Because of Betty and her community dedication, Phil donated an estate gift of $250,000 to create the Phillip D. King Endowed Scholarship for USF College of Nursing students at the Sarasota-Manatee campus.
At the Women’s Resource Center Spring Legacy Luncheon Feb. 26, we saw how one of Betty’s scholarships helped nursing student Christine Creadon become a nurse who then saw Betty in her final days.
March 10 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Phil’s friends gathered to celebrate the new scholarship. Betty’s daughter, Joann Schoenbaum Miller, gave a short speech about the friendship between Phil and Betty. There were also "King mojitos" to celebrate the occasion.
Back in the spotlight
Seth Morano gave an inspiring speech at the Embracing Our Differences luncheon Jan. 23 at Michael’s On East, which earned him a standing ovation. His speeches must now be in high demand, for we saw him again March 5 for the Easterseals Happiness House Abilities Shining Luncheon at Michael’s On East. This time, he came with his parents, who shared how Easterseals helped them keep their relationship thriving while raising a son with cerebral palsy.
During Seth’s speech, he told the audience that he, “felt like he had his own cheering section” at the EOD luncheon because of the support from the Easterseals attendees.
Graci McGillicuddy had no idea Seth was going to be at the luncheon, so after his speech, she shouted and ran up to the stage to give him a hug. “Graci is in the house!” Easterseals President and CEO Tom Waters exclaimed with a chuckle as Graci made her way back to her seat.
It’s that time of year when season peaks right before it starts to wind down, which means we get to work on our Season Standouts magazine.
The publication highlights the best of the best this year in multiple categories. This year, we are taking nominations for Standout Man and Standout Woman through YourObserver.com and our new Black Tie App. Nominations close end of day March 14. A nominee should be someone who exemplifies what it means to be a philanthropist — and looks stylish while doing it!
Check back Friday, March 15, to see who the top contenders will be.
Teeing off the auction ... Ringling College of Art & Design has unveiled previews of its live auction for its Avant-Garde fundraiser. The featured items start at $40,000 for a golfing trip to Edinburgh, Scotland with Dr. Larry Thompson’s foursome of current and former Avant-Garde co-chairs Michael Klein, Lou Oberndorf and Tom Koski. The trip is guided by Jeremy Hammond-Chambers. All aboard ... To put on a successful gala, there’s a job for everyone to fill. As guests walked into The Out-Of-Door Academy’s Banyan Ball VIP reception March 9 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, a conductor greeted each guest with “all aboard!” The phrase fit the World Traveler theme, but we have to wonder how many times he had to repeat it. A phrase to know ... Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Better Together 2019 welcomed guest speaker Freeman A. Hrabowski III. Freeman gave a speech that left guests with the lasting phrase, “Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character and character becomes destiny.” Take off your dancing shoes ... The Neuro Challenge Foundation gala was a classy evening to the end. As soon as Jonathan Cortez took the stage to dazzle guests with his songs, couples crowded the dance floor to swing along. But the more guests danced, the more shoes became a hassle. One guest broke both her shoes, another’s sole broke, a men’s sole was found on the dance floor and at the end of the night, a pair of women’s shoes were found abandoned.