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Black Tie
Black Tie Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 1 year ago

Season is Back, Baby

CANDance’s Tournament of Champions brought the noise, The Golden Ticket fundraiser transformed Michael’s On East and I learned to love Sarasota.
by: Harry Sayer Staff Writer

And we’re back! I hope you missed us, because we certainly missed you. If you’re reading this Black Ties & Tales edition, you’ve already seen the Arts & Entertainment and Black Tie cover flip that gives our little section of the newspaper so much presence. You can expect the broader, more in-depth coverage you've become accustomed to every season. The new ingredient, of course, is me.  I’m looking forward to getting Black Tie writing in to go along with the many fundraising events you’ll see me at. 

Can you tell I’m excited? Because I’m excited. 

I’ve heard that summer is Sarasota’s slow season, but you definitely kept me busy. Which is good, because I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s a few highlights from over the last few months:

Contest of Champions

Do you know if your boss can Floss? Turns out mine can — Emily Walsh took home the 2019 Dance Champion award for CAN Community Health’s CANDance 2019. 

But given that every contestant at this year’s dance-off was a previous champion, it’s no surprise that the entire show was impressive. The dancer’s supporters brought the noise, too. It seems as if each posse was trying to one-up the next, so it’ll be fun to how next year’s event ups the ante. 


Every organization brings a touch of personality and style to its fundraisers, but few have come out swinging as hard as the Benjamin Gilkey Fund for Innovative Pediatric Cancer Research did with its Golden Ticket event in late September.

The group’s first large-scale fundraiser had Michael’s On East transformed into a veritable candyland inspired by Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Michael and Laura Gilkey, with the held of family and friends, took two days bringing in props, wall decor, chocolate fountains, candy structures and more to give MOE a classic candy feel that’d make Roald Dahl proud. Whether you like candy-themed puns, lollipop stands or group costumes — several kids dressed as Oompa Loompas was inspired — this event had it all. Can’t hurt to make a trip to the dentist, though.


Cindy Burke and Jason McGuire announced their engagement this past summer and are planning for a wedding this June. Both live in Siesta Key with their dogs Parker and Poncho ... CAN Community Health announced its Red Ribbon Gala on Feb. 22 will have “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing as a special guest. If you miss watching Grace Adler on your television, this is basically the next best thing.


Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 

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