Thursday, April 25, 2013

Community Video Archives' Hall of Fame Luncheon

Four dedicated, fun, and inspiring honorees composed the inductions to this year's Community Video Archives' (CVA) Hall of Fame.  The luncheon, held at Michael's On East, is always a must-attend on the Sarasota social calendar, so of course, I was there!

Chris Pfahler chaired the event for the seventh (!) time and Judy Fiala was once again the emcee.  The grande dame of the day though was CVA president and founder, Annette Scherman.  What a wonderful gift she has given the community by producing this treasure trove of local history.  She mentioned at the luncheon that there have been over 16,000 borrowings for CVA videos over the years.

Isabel Norton, a long-time community volunteer, Nate Jacobs, founder and artistic director of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Janice Zarro, Women's Resource Center's Executive Director, and Charlie Huisking,  retired from a long career as the arts and entertainment writer for the Herald Tribune, were the the 2013 class of inductees.  Of course, these brief descriptions are just the tip of the iceberg of the accomplishments of these four.  Each one has been a true leader in our community for many, many years and I am honored to be friends with most of them.

I love to see the video snippets of each inductee.  The childhood photos especially are usually "ahhh" inducing and usually the teenage photos are good for a little chuckle, as hairstyles are always, ahem, interesting!

One of the best things about this luncheon is that it always runs on time.  You are in and out within an hour, but it does not feel rushed.  If you have a flexible schedule, there is also plenty of time afterwards to mix and mingle, as most stay around and chat for at least another hour.

Others seen in the crowd were Lydia McIntire, Gayle Guynup, Larry Thompson, Wendy Resnick, Richard Storm, Renee Pastor, Eva Slane, Roberta Hamilton, Beth Knopik, Pam Truitt, John Horne, Dr. Donal O'Shea, Roberta MacDonald, Bob Turoff, Robin Serbin, Lee Peterson, Susan Featherman, Betsy Kane Hartnett, Kim Githler, Laurey Stryker, Carolyn Spizzirro, Audrey Coleman, Anne Garlington, Marjorie Peter, Betsy Bagby, Dr. Henry Porter, Mary Anne Servian, Iain Webb, Barbara Zdravecky, Nancy Roucher, Scott Atkins, Flori Roberts, Roxanne Joffe, Karin Gustafson, Michael Saunders, Ron and Rita Greenbaum, and oh so many hundreds more.

Annette Scherman and husband, Bob Drohlich

Judy Cuppy, Janice Zarro, Carol Green

Nate Jacobs (with Betty Schoenbaum on the side!)

Helen McBean and Charlie Huisking

Isabel and Randy Norton

Joel Ellzey and Sally Schule, with Jane Smiley, seated

Kim Wheeler, Heather Clark, and Jennifer Guendjoian

Kimberly Bleach, Susan Buck, and Paul Hudson

Sen. Bob Johnson and Dennis Stover

Dannie Sherrill, Phil Delaney, and Laura Spencer

Shirley and Jim Ritchey with Dorothy Stuart

Renee Hamad and Phil King

Deb Knowles, Susan Jones, and Margaret Wise

Art Wood and Sarah Pappas

Kay Kipling, Pam Daniel, and Ilene Denton

Roxie Jerde and Alice Rau

Tom and Annette Dignam

Peggy Wilhelm and Barbara Collins

Hillary Steele and Scott Anderson with Debbie and Larry Haspel

Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs Reis

Christine Jennings, Julie Leach, and Will Little

Debra Jacobs and Marjorie North

Merry and Stan Williams

Veronica Brady, Lisa Rubinstein, and Bruce Rodgers

Wendy Surkis and Lois Stulberg

Brad Baker and Sandra Terry

Linda DesMarais and Carolyn Michel

Joan Kindred, Victoria Brown, and Linda Higginbotham

Moi and Kelley Lavin

The centerpiece

The entree with a pile of chicken hidden underneath the salad leaves

The dessert, some kind of toffee mousse - one of my favorites at MOE

Friday, April 19, 2013

Samaritan Counseling Services' Women Helping Women Luncheon

It was a beautiful spring day inside and out at the Samaritan Counseling Services' Women Helping Women Luncheon at Michael's On East.  Co-chairs Barbara Collins and Peggy Wilhelm did a masterful job taking the event up a notch with a bit of glitz and glamour.

At the start of the luncheon three women were honored for their past and ongoing service to Samaritan - Corinne Smith, Cherie Leetzow, and Debbie Howell.

A tight rein is kept on the luncheon timetable and we were out by 1 PM, which is always appreciated by the working folks in the crowd.  The luncheon's message is simple, yet impactful - raising needed funds for the faith-based counseling services the organization provides for all income levels.  Rev. Rick Howell, the group's Executive Director always does a wonderful job telling the stories of the people helped by Samaritan.

After Rick's heart-warming stories, ABC7's Linda Carson took the stage to tell about her family's own counseling stories and then announced that Samaritan had been given given a $10,000 matching gift challenge and then if that was accomplished, another donor would give an additional $10,000 for a $30,000 total.  Upon hearing that news, hands started flying in the air with pledges to help meet the goal.  The goal was met in a matter of minutes to everyone's delight!

I must say the luncheon was not only monetarily successful, but also looked beautiful.  Peggy and Barbara had asked Brigid Hewes-Saah and myself to work on decorations and menu and we had a terrific time doing so.  Pink lemonade with mint leaves was served during the social time, as guests were perusing the silent auction items.  We chose a light seafood salad for the entree, followed by a decadent carrot cake.  I could tell the menu was a huge success when I notice everyone at my table pretty much finished every bite of both the entree and the dessert!  The invitations and program featured a photo of the prototype of the centerpiece, which was so pretty in purple and lime.

Next year's luncheon will be on April 24th, so mark your calendars now.  This is a moving luncheon that you will not want to miss.

Barbara Collins and Linda Carson

Dana Lederer and Peggy Wilhelm

Rev. Rick and Debbie Howell

Dr. Dan Watts and Margaret Boyd

Elizabeth Belill, Shirley Ritchey and Cherie Leetzow

Denise Barker and Patty Bettle

Sherry Watts and Fondren Watts

Dee Stottlemyer and Linda Mansperger

Velda Turner and Dee Stottlemyer

Diane Geimer and Dorothy Stuart

Dot Scheurenbrand and Susan Featherman

Kitty Cranor, Stacey Corley, and Karen Wilson

Kathy Stern and Susan Radcliffe

Eleanor Schurergaard-Olsen and Fran Dietz 

Kim Cornetet and Karen Fessel

Jane Goodwin and Sandy Pepper

Jessica Hays and Daniela Kirvin

Nancy Cason and Lydia Chapdelain

Barbara Seimer, Leila Windom, and Roxie Jerde

Moi and Brigid Hewes Saah

The table

The centerpiece

The program

The seafood salad with tropical fruit entree

The delish carrot cake dessert