At 10 a.m. Nov. 17, The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota was ready. With about 30 valet attendants ready to park hundreds of vehicles, Ritz staff were braced for the more than 500 guests coming to enjoy one of the biggest events of the year: Wine, Women & Shoes.
And the guests did not disappoint. Donning their flashiest footwear, they sipped, shopped and donated heavily at the annual luncheon and fashion show that benefits Forty Carrots Family Center, which serves over 5,858 Sarasota and Manatee families annually.
The group that orchestrated the event — including Co-chairs Allison Imre and Renee Phinney, event coordinator Minta Getzen and their committees — put its best foot forward with a dazzling show centered around fashion presented by Harmoni Kruising's downtown specialty boutique, Lotus, with shoes and accessories from Dillard's. Nuovo Salon made sure all the models were gorgeous and coiffed with its hair and makeup services. Before the show began, guests enjoyed wine tastings and pop-up shopping.
For six weeks, Stacey Marks and the Fly Fitness team worked with the "Solemen," a group of sharply dressed men wearing sparkling pink bowties who also served items for sale on silver platters before lunch, and performed a choreographed dance routine to the guests' delight. Howie D from the Backstreet Boys was part of the grand finale, and he sang at the afterparty. Hometown entertainment included Twinkle and Sheri Nadelman.
The mission of Forty Carrots is to nurture healthy child and family development through research-based, relationship focused education and mental health services.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct that Stacy Marks choreographed the Solemen's dance.