Junior League of Tampa Annual Dinner
The Junior League of Tampa hosted its annual dinner May 14 at A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa with about 250 members and guests. This year’s event was totally different from past sit-down dinners. Guests were invited to mingle with their friends in a cocktail setting with cozy sofas and chairs, and they sampled foods from around the world at serving stations around the ballroom.
The ceremony, emceed by outgoing president Lee Lowry, also was shorter.
Robin Gonzalez was given the Sustainer of the Year award by outgoing Sustainer president Ruth Giordano. Michelle Repplinger received the Active of the Year award. Jenny Spencer received the Inspiring Leader of the Year award. And Suzanne Oaks Brownstein received the Martha S. Ferman Spirit Award. About 160 new active members also were recognized. The evening included a live video presentation and the introduction of incoming president Lynette Russell.
Kids Charity of Tampa Bay luncheon
The Kids Charity of Tampa Bay sponsored its second Every Child Needs A Place to Call Home Luncheon on May 16 at Pepin Hospitality Centre in Tampa, raising money for A Kid’s Place and its programs and the services provided to meet the needs of children in state care. “The children are filled with promise. You can see they flourish in their surroundings and the family setting of A Kid’s Place,” said executive director Paula Perry.
Motivational speaker, author and singer/songwriter Derek Clark was the guest speaker.
Erika and Don Wallace were presented the first Guardian Angel Award by Sandy MacKinnon, whose late wife, Dottie Berger MacKinnon, founded A Kid’s Place.
The event drew more than 225 guests and raised more than $82,000.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Storybook Ball
Guests at the May 17 Storybook Ball found themselves in Madagascar, with live animals and characters in an elaborate themed event benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.
The black-tie gala at the Tampa Convention Center attracted about 600 attendees who bid on auction items, including trips, tickets to shows, sports memorabilia and other collectibles. They dined on pan-seared red snapper, charred beef tenderloin and fruit crème brulee.
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, accompanied by his wife, Penny, received the Award of Excellence for his involvement with the community and families.
The charity is now in its 34th year and has helped more than 46,000 families in its programs.
Hillsborough Education Foundation 25th anniversary
It was a night that took 200-plus guests “Back To the Future” as the Hillsborough Education Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The May 16 event at the Pepin Hospitality Centre featured a DeLorean owned by Todd Bober, dinner and a program emceed by Betty Castor.
Board chairman Duane Johnson greeted guests saying, “ We have been supporting education for 25 years, and we hope to do it another 50 to 100 years in the future.”
The event included the announcement that the foundation’s recent Board of Excellence Campaign raised $500,000, with Mary Sue Rothenberg the top team leader in fundraising.
Text by LENORA LAKE
Photos by LENORA LAKE, MARIA JOHNSON and CHRISTOPHER THORNTON