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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 5, 2014
Going for the Gold: 'The Golden Lotus' Co-Chairs Merrill Bonder and Pat Martin
Going for the Gold: 'The Golden Lotus' Co-Chairs Merrill Bonder and Pat Martin
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Going for the Gold: 'The Golden Lotus'

More than 400 guests gathered at the Frank Berlin Branch YMCA Saturday, May 3, for the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota’s 23rd annual Going for the Gold: The Golden Lotus. It was an evening of “color and spice” for the annual fundraising event — rich colored silk drapery lined the walls and ceilings, large tapestries of Indian cities hung in the ballroom, colorful lanterns and more, transforming the Frank Berlin Branch in a magical Indian celebration. 

As guests entered the venue they were greeted by Co-Chairs Merrill Bonder and Pat Martin, YMCA Foundation of Sarasota Presdient Jennifer Grondahl, Chairman Paul Bowman and CEO Kurt Stringfellow, before making their way into the exotic lounge area where there was Indian style lounge seating, a Henna artist offering Henna art to guests to add a little Indian flair to their attire and a levitating man silently hovered over his magic carpet.

During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while browsing the more than $150,000 worth of silent auction items. Guests then made their way into ballroom (or basketball gym as it’s known any other day) for an Indian-American-inspired dinner catered by Michael’s On East. As the night continued, guests enjoyed more theme inspired entertainment and dancing. 

Sir Frederick Ashton Festival Closing Night Gala

Following the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival closing night performance, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in the courtyard and a dinner on stage at the Sarasota Opera Saturday, May 3. Guests enjoyed food catered by Polo Grill and Bar’s Fete Catering and mingled with the principal dancers of the Sarasota Ballet.

The event, which was chaired by Sydney Goldstein, benefits the Sarasota Ballet.

A Fashionable Gala: Southern Charm 

Despite the all day rain and drizzle, Designing Daughters implemented their backup plan and moved their gala into the great room at Marie Selby Gardens Friday, May 2, for A Fashionable Gala: Southern Charm, where more than 200 guests dressed in “Southern Chic” attire gathered for the 4th annual event.

While enjoying southern inspired hors d’oeuvres and a signature southern cocktail made with gin and kumquat, guests enjoyed a still fashion show featuring fashions from local designers and boutiques, bid on items in the silent auction and bought tickets for the Chinese raffle while listening to live country music by the Daisy Duke Band.

Ashley Gruters and Lauren Glassman co-chaired the event, which benefits the charities of Designing Daughters.

Season of Sculpture Wrap-Up Party ‘It’s a Wrap!’

Season of Sculpture: Season VII is coming to an end and to celebrate, more than 100 guests attended the Season of Sculpture Wrap-Up Party “It’s a Wrap!” Sunday, May 4, at The Francis.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and a light buffet prior to being seated for a presentation by Glen Weiss about the sculpture and the city.

Asolo Rep’s 4th annual Men Who Cook

More than 300 guests gathered at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Sunday, May 4, for Asolo Rep’s 4th annual Men Who Cook. “Men Who Cook” features a themed night of cooking, where 26 men prepare a dish of their choice for their tables, which are also decorated to theme with guests who are dressed to theme as well.

The event’s signature live auction of homemade cakes raised more than $24,000 alone for Asolo Repertory Theatre. Beverly Bartner, Judi Gallagher, Molly Schechter and Margaret Wise co-chaired the event.


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Black Tie Untied