Friday, January 25, 2013

SMOA's Inaugural Bash

Overwhelming is the perfect word for the Sunday night SMOA (Sarasota Museum of Art) Inaugural Bash.  Overwhelmingly popular, with 700 guests, overwhelmingly well done by co-chairs Dottie Baer Garner and Brooke Callanen and the Ringling College of Art & Design staff, and a fabulously overwhelming twig sculpture by artist Patrick Dougherty.  It was all a perfectly overwhelming, overwhelmingly perfect evening!

The big two attractions were of course, the big twig sculptures.  Everyone was so enchanted by them.  I heard many people talking about how they helped gather the twigs that were used.  The other interesting part of the evening was having the opportunity to get a look inside the old Sarasota High School, soon to be the SMOA Museum and Education Center.  It was packed with the masses getting a good look.

Then it was into the multitude of tents, the first ones holding all the delectable food offerings from many of the Sarasota Originals, including Michael's On East, Bijou Cafe, Polo Grill, Caragiulos, Euphemia Haye, Harry's Continental Kitchens, and several more.  It was just one huge buffet.

The main tent was beautifully decorated, lead by designer, Susan Hritz Scholz.  It was very earthy.  Twig shadows were on the ceiling of the tent and the centerpieces were small tree trunks on grass cloth looking tablecloths.  It was all very much on theme, which I so appreciate!  Lots of dancing went on with music provided by Ace Factor.

An interesting tidbit, when I saw Lynn and Dr. Arthur Guilford, Arthur told me his grandfather was the builder of the high school.

Another interesting tidbit, I saw TONS of young people there.  It was such a nice mix of ages, which is something that each event strives for and this group accomplished.

I can barely begin to name even a fraction of the guests, but I will give you a taste.  I am sure I didn't even see many of those who were there.  I saw Mary Beth and Brad Goddard, Joan Nixon, Gil and Elisabeth Waters, Harry Leopold, Roy and Susan Palmer, Robert and Shannon Warren, Mickey Fine, Betsy Wyant, Alison Louie, John and Mary Ann Meyer, Tom and Sherry Koski, Salena Wilhoit, Sarah and George Pappas, Lois Stulberg, Peppi Elona, Jean Martin, Mike and Karen Valentino, Judy Cahn, Hillary Steele, Larry and Debbie Haspel, Sally Trout, Chris and Eleanor Merritt Darlington, Dr. Sidney Katz and Elaine Keating, Dan Denton, Meade and Art Ferguson, Noreen Delaney, Ramses Serrano, Bev and Bob Bartner, Susan Dabney, Tom and Ann Charters, Jackie and Angus Rogers, Gayle Guynup, Chris and Kirk Voelker, Chris and Aimee Cogan, Darrell and Lynn Turner, Felice Schulaner and Dennis Rees, Suzette Jones and Richard Dorfman, Barbara Banks, Leibe and Billy Gamble, Terry McKee, Terri and Michael Klauber, Phil Mancini, Monica and Dr. Richard Van Buskirk, Ilene and David Denton, Kelly Gettel, Scott Collins, Peggy Abt, Andrea Hillebrand, Dr. Paul Jaworski, Keith and Linda Monda, and so many, many more.

Dottie and Bob Garner

Dr. Larry Thompson and Mary Lee Ritchey

Michael and Stacey Corley with Steven and Lisa High

Lisa Rubinstein and Bruce Rodgers

Ellen Berman and Flori Roberts

Rachel Shelley and Phil King

Dyck and Caroline Andrus

Flora Major and Wendy Surkis

Alex Quarles, Ann Garlington, and Susan Brennan

Roxie Jerde with Dannie and Gardner Sherrill

Jennifer Gemmeke and Renee Hamad

Stephanie Grosskreutz and Virginia Haley

Bob and Laurin Ripley

Dr. Arthur and Lynn Guilford

BJ Creighton and Nikki Nilon

Barbara Zdravecky and Carolyn Johnson

Veronica Brady and Joy Rogers

Rebecca Donelson and Robert Blattberg with Charles Forman and Karen Solem

Pam Daniel and George Augustin with Wendy Feinstein

The twig sculptures at dusk

Sarasota High School bathroom decorated for the event

The tablescape

The atmosphere

Tommy Klauber - a Sarasota Original

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sarasota Orchestra's Leading Ladies Gala

So much fun!  That's all I can say about the Sarasota Orchestra's Bravo Broadway, Our Leading Ladies Gala last Saturday night.  Oh, and it was beautiful, too!  And on top of all that, it was a double dessert night!

The evening started out as guests strolled along the "Walk of Fame" to the cocktail hour on the terrace of the Van Wezel Grand Foyer and then it was on to a fab dinner by Michael's On East.  I had the lamb and it was yum, yum, yum!  Not sure why event chairs are so afraid to serve that.  It was so good!  I wanted to pick the bones up and get the last little bits, which are the tastiest, but of course, being civilized and not in my own home, I didn't!  A quick three part small bites dessert was served and then it was upstairs for the show.

They had a huge committee that worked on decorations and it showed.  I don't think I have ever seen the Grand Foyer look so pretty.

Before I forget, there was also a lovely video tribute to the three Leading Ladies - Beathe Elden, Bunny Skirboll, and Anne Folsom Smith.  Each one had a "producer", Tina Skestos, Betty Schoenbaum, and Bea Friedman respectively, who spoke about how fabulous each one is, and they truly are all terrific ladies!  I know and adore each one.  They are such valuable assets to not only the orchestra, but to the entire Sarasota community.

The evening program piece was so charming, made to look like a Broadway Playbill.  Barbara Simon, VP of Development was proud to tell me it was all done "in-house".  In fact, everything about the evening played to the Bravo Broadway theme and it was done exceeding well.

The actual orchestra performance with three outstanding Broadway stars, Susan Egan, Lisa Vroman, and Doug LaBrecque flew by!  I always love this particular performance each year and I believe this year's was the best ever.  In addition to his conducting talent, Andrew Lane is as cute as can be when interacting with the performers.  He is a joy!

After the show, it was back downstairs to the Grand Foyer for the "Tony Celebration Dessert Buffet" and dancing.  The table was piled high with Michael's tempting confections.

It was a long night, starting at 5 PM, but even at 11 PM, there were scads of guests out on the dance floor with some captivating  moves!  AND, let me tell you, many of them were not youngsters!  I was exhausted by then, but they seemed to have all sorts of energy.  It was just that kind of night.

Congratulations to co-chairs Helen Glaser and Pam Steves and the staff of the orchestra for an enchanting and well organized evening!

Others seen in the crowd were Gayle Guynup, Mort and Carol Siegler, Jack and Judy Bloch, Barbara Staton, Bob Cutler, Beth Waskom, Stephanie Shaw and Stan Pastor, Dr. Arthur and Lynn Guilford, Mike and Karen Valentino, Edie Chaifetz, Mickey Fine, Susi Steenbarger, Sally Yanowitz, Lois Stulberg, Wendy Surkis and Peppi Elona, Mark and Robin Serbin, Larry and Carol English, Kelley Lavin, Sydney and Jerome Goldstein, David and Jackie Morton, Shelley and Ed Sarbey, Gil and Elisabeth Waters, Phil and Julie Delaney, Doug and Roxie Jerde, and so many fabulous more!

Beathe and Gerald Elden

Bunny and Mort Skirboll

Anne Folsom Smith and Hillary Steele

Helen Glaser and Pam Steves

Orchesta CEO Joe McKenna and Gordon Greenfield

Barbara Simon

Betty Schoenbaum and Jeremy Lisitza

Scott Anderson with Sherry and Tom Koski

Phil King and Dennis Stover

Flori Roberts and Felice Schulaner

Teri Hansen and Margaret Wise

Denise and Del Cotton

Norma and Sam Savin

Cornelia Matson with friend and Anita Holec

Bette and Arnold Hoffman with Veronica Brady

Pam Daniel and George Augustin

Gerri Aaron and Marv Albert

Greg Gregory and Ilene Friedman

Sandra Lindqvist and Lisa Walsh

Sue Jacobson with Marilyn and Irv Naiditch

Jeffery and Jocelyn Stevens

Al and Barbara Siemer

Late night dancing

The towering centerpiece

Beet salad

The first dessert

Beautiful stemware

The second inning of dessert

Another dessert view