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Black Tie & Tales

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 4, 2009
  • Longboat Key
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+ One enchanted evening
Sydney Elster was a 15-year-old beauty when Jerome Goldstein spotted her across a crowded room at Buffalo’s Montefiore Club. Both were dining with their respective parents who made the proper introductions. They had to wait three years for Syd to be of legal age to marry, and, even then, her parents’ permission was required.

The couple celebrated their 55th anniversary Thursday, Oct. 29, at Michael’s Wine Cellar with about 40 of their friends at what must be described as one of the best thought-out and prettiest parties to ever take place in that space. Making the trip from Buffalo, N.Y. to share in the celebration: Janice and Bud Seidenberg, Sandy Morrison and Mel Livingston and Joni Stovroff. Among the locals, many sharing the Goldsteins’ enthusiasm for the Sarasota Ballet: Margie and Chuck Barancik, Margaret Barbieri and Iain Webb, Judy Feldman and Herbie Hurwitz, Dottie and Bob Garner, Marlene and John Isaacs, Marlene and Hal Liberman, Helene and Gene Noble, Betty Schoenbaum, Carol and Mort Siegler, Hillary Steele and Ted Simon, Lois Stulberg, Mary Lou and Ed Winnick and Sally Yanowitz.

+ And the beat goes on
“Grace is not my middle name” is what Nikki Taylor told her instructor, Max Lototskyy, when they started to work on their routine for Community AIDS Network’s CANDance. You couldn’t tell by the time of their energetic samba Oct. 24 — a dance selected for its fit with Nikki’s high-energy level and fondness for things Latin. (She grew up in Palm Beach County surrounded by that culture.) Preparing for her first performance in front of an audience, Nikki says, “I lost my ‘martini middle’ and started watching ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

What Susan Jones told her instructor, Sid Pocius — more than once — was, “You want me to do what?” The first time they tried the spectacular overhead lift, she claims, “I was clutching his face like a cat.” And, she confesses being nervous before the event: “I had my first panic attack in six years on Thursday night.” But it didn’t show on Saturday, when she won the “Top Fundraiser” award. And she reports that her husband, Jeff Jones, who was “not too enthusiastic at the outset … was blown away.”

The third female dancer was BT, whose instructor, David Cook, deserves a prize for patience. All three of us are pleased with the impact of the dancing on our midsections. And all our formal objectives were accomplished: CAN Board Chairman Ed Schaye reports that the 10th annual event netted a record $69,000 and a good time was had by all. Hats off to ballroom pro Stephen Seig who conceived CANDance and has produced it for the entire decade!

+ BT tidbits
In tune with the times … The press release says that Gulf Coast Community Foundation awarded $839,089 in operating grants to 20 local nonprofits in October. Asked about granting policy in this tough economic climate, President and CEO Teri Hansen said, “When you look at the organizations the foundation has funded this year, you see how important each one is to this community. We are trying to provide flexible dollars so nonprofits can bridge funding gaps and focus on what they need to do” … Music to our ears! …Sarasota Ballet’s “Giselle,” Nov. 27 through Nov. 29, at the Sarasota Opera House, will be performed to live music by an orchestra conducted by Emil DeCou, currently associate conductor of the National Symphony, former music director of San Francisco Ballet and conductor of The American Ballet Theatre. For more info, call 359-0099, Ext. 102 … A change in the lineup … Next up at Designing Women Boutique’s popular Salon Series is floral designer Lynne Blackman. Her topic is “Make Your Holiday Arrangements Designer Chic.” The luncheon/lecture/fashion show is Wednesday, Nov. 11 (note a change from its usual final Thursday slot). Tariff is $14; reserve by calling the shop’s event line at 544-7612 …Talk about a family business! … Genealogists take note: Kyla Weiner, formerly assistant vice president of SunTrust, Southwest Florida, has joined Gray Swan Solutions as a principal. The firm, which designs and implements business solutions using the Internet, was founded by Weiner’s aunt, Deb Knowles, and her cousin, Ben Hodous, in 2008. Daniel Hodous, Ben’s brother, signed on last month, and the team hopes to recruit Weiner’s sister, Julia Yaeger, when she graduates from USF in May. Note that Gray Swan also employs lots of non-relatives … From Longboat to L.A. … The Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center, in Los Angeles, will show “Migrations of the Mind: Manuscripts from the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection” from Nov. 17 to April 18. The exhibit displays more than 50 medieval and early-modern illustrated manuscripts from the collection of Larry Schoenberg, of Longboat Key. This is the first time the treasures are being displayed together publicly … Another trip to the Big Apple … Event planner Mary Kenealy-Barbetta was there to assist with the event production of the Jimmy V. Basketball Classic. It raised more than $150,000 to benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which is near and dear to the heart of Lakewood Ranch’s Dick Vitale. The local event for that foundation — Sarasota’s biggest money-raiser last year at more than $1 million — is scheduled for May 21, 2010. Heads up, Bucs and Spartan fans: It will honor former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. This event was a huge sellout in 2009; you might want to get in early. Call Mary at 374-6026.