- May 3, 2017
Unlike many kids their age, Graycen (13) and Clementine (12) Schwartz were thinking of others before themselves on their birthday. The two sisters celebrated a joint Ashley Gruters-planned Bat Mitzvah, or ‘B’not,’ Jan. 21 with 90 friends at the Michael’s On East ballroom, but what the pictures don’t show is the charitable back story of the soiree. The girls’ Torah portion at their ceremony was one of the few in the Bible that mentions female heroes, and when they realized last year what they would be reading, they decided to make the theme “Girl Power” and raise funds for Girls Inc. before the event.
The girls created a Go Fund Me page and posted it to their mother’s (Allison Silver's) Facebook, published a blurb in their temple newsletter and included a paragraph about their philanthropic endeavors in their birthday party invitation. After all of this — plus their own personal donations and a garage sale in early January — the girls raised more than $4,000 for Girls Inc., money that the organization will use to utilize the STEM learning programs at Suncoast Science Center Faulhaber Fab Lab.
The co-chairwomen, honorary chairman and community superstars honored at the Enchanted Paradise Gala got a unique gift at the Jan. 29 event. Aging in Paradise Executive Director Donna Dunio didn’t want to give Inge Boudreau, Michelle Giannico, Jeffrey Mayers, Steven Roskamp, Linda Carson and Jack Duncan a boring plaque to clutter their office wall, so instead she got them crystal blocks with a 3-D headshot of themselves inside that are engraved with the name and date of the event. The chairwoman for last year’s gala, Suzy Brenner, gave her the idea, and Dunio says it’s the perfect conversation starter because most people haven’t seen themselves in 3-D before (other than their daily look in the mirror, that is).
Lost and found ... A sweet thank-you note was recently posted in the women’s bathroom at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, and at the Jan. 27 opening of the Sarasota Ballet’s “Ashton, Graziano, Tuckett,” Lynne Armington got to respond to the sender with a “ You’re welcome!” … “Open” bar … There were many reasons to celebrate at Selah Freedom’s A New Beginning fashion event Jan. 26, but one guest was a little too excited. While all the servers were taking a break from pouring to bring out the entrees, this attendee took advantage of the literally open bar and began to pour her own glass of wine before the bartender emerged
... Secondhand chic ... During the fashion show portion of the same Selah Freedom event, attendees were reminded of the generosity of their peers. Wendy Feinstein, one of the six models in the show, modeled several of her own dresses that she then donated to Selah Vie Boutique.