Keith and Linda Monda donate colorful gifts, Billy Porter steals French fries from Hermione Gilpin and more tidbits this week.
Man of the hour
Actor Billy Porter was full of character and humor -— everywhere from the VIP cocktail hour to after-gala drinks at Jack Dusty —
as a guest speaker at CAN Community Health’s Red Ribbon Gala March 16. He shocked the audience with his story, but also made them laugh when appropriate. He received a standing ovation after his speech, and Elisabeth Waters even ran up to him after he got off stage to give him a kiss on the mouth. He didn’t seem bothered by it.
After the gala winded down and guests left the dance floor, a few groups made their way to Jack Dusty for a night cap, including Billy. He must have been hungry, because he stood next to Hermione Gilpin, eyes fixated on her plate, and asked “Can I have a French fry?” He returned a couple minutes later to get himself a plate of her fries since they were “so good,” then went healthy and ordered a salad.
Let the Voting Begin
We heard your nominations, and now it’s time to vote for the finalists in this year’s Season Standouts magazine. The magazine comes out once a year at the end of season to celebrate the hard work, dedication and time put into the events we all attended and loved.
Although every philanthropist is deserving of recognition, there can only be one standout man and standout woman. This year’s finalists are:
Women: Tammy Karp, Donna Koffman, Ashley Kozel, Renee Phinney and Elisabeth Waters
Men: Brian Craft, Brian Mariash, Nati Shabat, Dan Starostecki and Jim Syprett
Vote once per hour until midnight, March 29. Voting can be done on our website and the Black Tie App.
Painting the Ringling
“Interpolations: Artworks from The Ringling and Monda Collections” is the first exhibit at The John & Mable Ringling Museum to feature a combination of pieces lent from a private collection and works from the museum’s own modern and contemporary art collection.
Philanthropists Keith and Linda Monda gave a $5 million gift to the museum, a donation which is part of The Ringling’s $100 million comprehensive campaign, The Ringling Inspires: Honoring the Legacy and Building for the Future.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Dots,”part of the Monda collection. Keith told attendees at the March 14 press preview that it’s much easier to appreciate the work (and its scale) in a museum than in his New York City apartment, where it used to hang.
At the Circle Member preview event March 13, the Mondas announced they will be donating additional works to “Interpolations” in the future.
CAN't be bought
After making the Red Ribbon Gala invitations with Palm Printing, Renee Phinney had what she needed to create some attire with the same art. So, her boyfriend, Glenn Reith, sported a custom tie and pocket square with CAN’s logo, proving he is a good supporter of his lady and the organization.
Well-versed ... Bart Lowther isn’t just a math-whiz and money
manager who supports local nonprofits, he also sings. On March 17, Bart sung the national anthem for the polo match in Lakewood Ranch. Girl power ... Girls Inc. announced that Jennifer Compton and Felice Schulaner have been chosen as this year’s Visionary Award honoree and She Knows Where She’s Going Award honoree, respectively. The Celebration Luncheon is April
30 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Call 366-6646, Ext. 207, for tickets. Styled in Saks ... Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota General Manager Terri Najmolhoda sent clothes over to Red Ribbon Gala speaker MJ Rodriguez for the gala. Not only did she look stunning, but she said she felt great in the flowing boho dress and suede nude heels. MJ commented that the shoes were a little too big, but she wanted to deal with it because they were just too cute.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.