Always a very elegant affair, this year did not disappoint in the glamour department. The tables in the Ritz Carlton ballroom had beautiful soft turquoise cloths with beaded appliques that looked like delicate fireworks, especially when the light were dimmed and the candlelight glistened on them, making it look like they were dancing. Yes, I was quite enamored with it! The centerpieces were "Boxes of Hope" that contained gifts to help 55 families have brighter holidays. Each box could be "sponsored" and raised more than $13,000 with that donation alone. It was indeed a sold out event with 550 attendees.
I love it when the event chairs really get into the theme and boy, I have to commend Margie Barancik and Clare Segall for following through in style! Both looked marvelous in top hats and tails, which very few women could pull off, but they most certainly did! They are both stunners anyway, tall, slim, and both with those gorgeous heads of silver white hair. They were the perfect "magicians" of the evening!
Okay, so what else went on while everyone was looking so beautiful? First of all there was a "flash mob" dance by members of Leymis Bolanos Wilmott's Fuzion Dance Artists, along with a few New College students thrown in for good measure. All were dressed as waiters and they were quite energetic bounding around the room with serving trays!
Then of course, the highlight of the evening was a performance by the Sarasota Orchestra under the direction of Dirk Meyer. The orchestra followed the "magical" part of the theme by starting off with Harry's Wondrous World from the Harry Potter movie. Eight additional songs followed and included soloists Gary Mauer and that darling Maria Wirries. Both were quite fabulous. As always, the orchestra's performance was underwritten by the ever generous Bea Friedman. Gotta love Miss Bea!
JFCS President/CEO, Rose Chapman and board chair, Rich Segall announced a $50,000 gift made by Betty Schoenbaum to establish "Betty's Feed the Hungry Children" initiative to ensure that no child served by JFCS would go hungry. Gotta love Miss Betty!
The Ritz Carlton did an excellent job with food and service. A special shout out to my friends there Kathe Nasby and James Harries. A lovely beet salad, beef short ribs, and chocolate mousse were served. As an interesting aside, the Ritz performed what I am calling a "kitchen parade", which I have never seen done before! The entire kitchen staff was literally paraded out in front of the guests from the head chef right down to the dishwashers. It was quite the parade. There are a lot of people working in that kitchen!
Truly a magical evening in Sarasota!
Others attending and not photographed below were Ilene Friedman and Greg Gregory, Alice Berkowitz, Anne Folsom Smith, Gary and Nina Gitomer, Billy Robinson, Caroline Zucker, Veronica Brady, Jocelyn Stevens, John Simon, Mary Anne Servian, Norma Cohen, Sue Jacobson, Roxie and Mike Jerde, Gerri Aaron and Marv Albert, Barbara Brizdle and Larry Schoenberg, Graci and Dennis McGillicuddy, Sheila and Jules Rose, Sharon and Herman Frankel, Kathy Killion and Steve Miles, Sydney and Jerome Goldstein, Dottie and Bob Garner, Margot and Warren Coville, Lois and Bill Cohodas, Myrna and David Band, Flori Roberts, Carol and Mort Siegler, Ina Schnell, Molly Schechter and Harold Ronson, Alfred Rose, Barbara and Charles Miller, Judy Zuckerberg and Geoge Kole, and the list goes on practically forever!
Rich Segall and Rose Chapman
Margie Barancik and Clare Segall
(this photo only by Cliff Roles)
Steve Stein with Margaret and Matt Callihan
(Side story - Steve told me he CANNOT take a photo with his eyes open. He said for his LBK Club membership they tried 15 times to to take his photo and every time he had his eyes closed, so I tried twice and just went with this one. I should have asked Margaret and Matt to close their eyes, too, so they would all look the same!)
Lee Peterson, Jim Helmich, and Gloria Moss
Tom Shapiro, Mike and Sherry Edwards, with Ron Milton
Richard Dorfman, Suzette Jones, and Brent Greeno
Bishop Frank Dewane with Jewel and Mike Ash
Nikki and Rev. Jim Nilon
Dr. Arthur and Lynn Guilford
Judy Cahn and Tana Sandefur
Vivian Kouvant and Marie Monsky
Lois Stulberg, Hillary Steele, and Sally Yanowitz
Julie and Phil Delaney
Scott Anderson with Wendy Feinstein
Phil King with Sally and Sam Shapiro
Gary Heard with Brenda and David Mariman
Brian Lipton and Joseph Gianguzzo
Betty Schoenbaum and Diana Lager
Gayle Guynup and Melissa Lerner
Steve Wilberding and Teri Hansen
Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri
The table - the tablecloth was truly turquoise, not the green it appears here.
The salad - the beets are hiding under the lettuce.