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Black Tie & Tales

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 22, 2011
Felicity Liemont. Photo by Whittany Gibson.
Felicity Liemont. Photo by Whittany Gibson.
  • Arts + Culture
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+ The divas take the stage at ‘Burlesque’
Guests come equipped with $1 bills to stuff into the costumes of the female impersonators who annually strut their stuff in the “Divas After Dark” show organized by Ron Carter and Jim Neal, aka “M,” and benefiting Community AIDS Network’s Emergency Fund. The divas were their usual spectacular selves at this year’s “Burlesque,” as you can see in photos at

+ Worth the trip
A beautiful young Australian who works in coastal management and her fiancé, who is in the Australian Navy, flew here to wed Nov. 4, on the beach at the Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort. They are Clinton Kerr and Karen Pickering, daughter of Mary Ann Pickering, of Sarasota, and Timothy R. Pickering, of Missouri, and granddaughter of Florence Illch, of Longboat Key. At the last minute (of course), their nuptials were blessed by a spectacular sunset.

+ She doesn’t look a day over …
Ursula Pearson celebrated her 100th birthday Nov. 12, and she, herself, planned and hosted parties for family and friends for five consecutive days. Highlights: a Friday dinner for family and friends featuring concert pianist Matthew Harrison and a Monday lunch for her Smith College alumni group with a fashion show by Designing Women Boutique, for which Ursula volunteers. President and founder Jean Weidner, one of the models, says: “Elegant, erudite, motivated, caring and 100. What a package!”

Ursula has also volunteered for the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Asolo Rep, Sarasota Orchestra and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Friend Lois Lesser, who held a party for Ursula at Sands Point, where she lived for 37 years, says, “She is fun to be with and so interested in everything.” Ursula attributes her longevity to keeping socially and intellectually active.

“I just can’t believe it,” she says. “I have always been fortunate, and I feel lucky.”

So do we, Ursula, so do we. Happy birthday!

+ Tidbits
Moonshine … The moon wasn’t quite full for Snooty’s Gala benefiting the South Florida Museum and held there Nov. 5. But the weather was cooperative, and the 440 guests got to enjoy the promise of the event titled, “Under the Courtyard Moon.” Co-Chairwomen were Helen King and Jeannie Kirkpatrick ... Eat Here … On a Tuesday night at Sean Murphy’s newest venture on Main Street, Graci McGillicuddy was celebrating her 70th with hubby, Dennis, and John and Elaine Meshad, while two tables away, Michael and Terri Klauber were dining with Dr. Brad and Melissa Lerner. Out on the terrace were Mickey and Marty Fine with family, and Betty Mennell was just leaving … Ronson makes the news … Only Harold Ronson could go for a walk in New York City, bump into a WABC-TV crew covering the traffic mess created by a weekend closure of the Queensboro Bridge, chat up the reporter and end up on the ABC station’s 6 p.m. news … Counting our many, many blessings … Happy Thanksgiving! And happy birthday to daughter-in-law, Kelly Atkins, at the top of the list of all for which BT is thankful.

Black Tie Affair
Local Red Cross Mad Hatter Holiday Tea
2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the home of Margaret and Bill Wise
Tickets $100;
Reservations: 379-9300, Ext. 255

Perfect for holiday shopping: This benefit for the Red Cross with kiosks from favorites, including Nikki Sedacca jewelry, newcomers such as Tilly & Pinch handbags and many more. Local celebrities will be serving high tea, and there will be hat judging, an area reserved for gentlemen (but crashed by the ladies at the inaugural event last spring) and much more. Tea Chairwoman Diane McNeel stresses that proceeds benefit Red Cross activity here in Sarasota. Margaret Wise is the holiday hostess; Ping Faulhaber is the honorary chairwoman.


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