Evening of Wine and Roses
More than 650 guests packed the red rose-adorned Tampa Marriott Waterside for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay’s inspirational “An Evening of Wine and Roses,” the group’s 17th annual The Art of Helping Children Gala.
Alan Cohen and Sir.Giorgio were recognized as Big and Little Brother of the Year; Tammy Curtis and Heather were named Big and Little Sister of the Year.
A highlight was when a former “little brother,” Robert Lovering, now a Port Richey police officer, was reunited with his “big brother,’’ North Carolina resident Bill Patchett. They hadn’t seen each other for decades.
The elegant evening raised more than $400,000, enough to supply nearly 300 new volunteers and mentors with the tools to help Tampa Bay-area children facing adversity.
Board Chair David Fox and President and CEO Stephen Koch thanked the sponsors, including the Broadrick Family Foundation, which has been a major backer of the gala for 17 years.
The evening included a sit-down dinner, a live auction by Big Sister Gayle Sierens, a silent auction and entertainment.
FARA Energy Ball
Local health care professionals, international researchers and supporters of the University of South Florida Ataxia Research Center and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance joined forces Sept. 19 for the annual FARA Energy Ball at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. The event raised more than $1.7 million to find a cure for the rare inherited disease, which causes nervous system damage and movement problems.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke and his wife, Tara Leiweke, were the chairs. (Tod Leiweke recently left the Tampa Bay area to become the chief operating officer of the National Football League.)
The event featured a silent auction that included autographed sports jerseys and concert tickets, and a live auction with travel packages, dinners with local chefs, a trip with the Lightning and more.
Angie Leonetti and Nikki Stokes have been involved in their local Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. office’s fundraising for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for a while. But, Leonetti said, “We wanted a signature event.”
So together they chaired the inaugural Lemon Drop on Sept. 17 at the Rialto Theatre in Tampa, with more than 200 guests attending. Supporters drank martinis, ate finger foods and bid on silent auction items, including jewelry and gift cards.
Many wore blue and yellow, the colors of the foundation, which began when 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, a cancer patient, wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. That was in 2000, and though Alex lost her battle in 2004, the fight has continued in her name, with the foundation funding more than 475 research projects across North America.
The inaugural Lemon Drop raised more than $17,000 — topping the $15,000 goal.
Text by LENORA LAKE
Photos by LENORA LAKE and MARY SCOURTES GREACEN
For additional pictures, see www.tboseen.com/seen-and-heard/home.