A Night at the Tropicana
Luana and Alex Paloma hosted A Night at the Tropicana to further pediatric oncologist Dr. Cameron Tebbi's development of a childhood leukemia vaccine. "Prevention, not cure... we're very close," he said at the Latin nightclub-themed benefit in memory of his patient, Luana's little brother, Lawrence A. Martucci. Since 2012, the foundation named for him has donated more than $100,000 to pediatric cancer research through the 1Voice Foundation. After nearly 50 years of patient care, Dr. Tebbi will work in the lab full-time starting June 1.
Guests enjoyed a Cuban buffet catered by Trattori Pasquale as "Miracles," that's what emcee Linda Hurtado, WTVT-Ch. 13, called the children fighting cancer, carried balloons to donors Saturday at Centro Asturiano. Balloons floated all over the ballroom when Caribeno Tropical pulled dancers to their feet. Joe and Jeanette Mirra won Best Dressed and Felipe Martucci eaned Highest Roller at the casino tables.
Junior League patrons party
A chic English garden party at dusk morphed into a Great Gatsby bash after dark when the Junior League of Tampa hosted patrons, donors, community advisory board members and sponsors of its 14 signature projects at the Bayshore Boulevard home of Margo and Gary Harrod. Party chairwoman Brooke Palmer Kuhl dotted the front lawn with mini-golf, bocce ball and comfy velvet sofas while Josh Walther and Phase 5 turned a driveway into a dance floor March 31.
Donatello's cannelloni, Ceviche's paella, Noble Crust's gnocchi, the Lure's sushi and Eddie V's ahi tuna were among the hors d'oeuvres, plus bite-size pies by Chocolate Pi and pastries from Piquant poolside. Bern's supplied the wine and you know Gatsby would have had a great time. Oh, and don't forget Tucker the unicorn. "Because no party is complete without a unicorn," said Kuhl.
New York Yankees Boys & Girls Club luncheon
Sure as Babe Ruth loved baseball, the New York Yankees love the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay. Every spring since 1996, the entire team, coaches, managers and owners have donated 30 minutes of autograph-signing for fans who buy $300-and-up tickets to a benefit luncheon, "a win-win for everybody," said John Wilson, hosting for the 21st year with an eye on the clock and the eager crowd March 28 at the Marriott Waterside.
Several clubbers participated, including Youth of the Year Altorian Salary of the George Steinbrenner Family West Tampa Club, one of 17,000 kids served at 18 clubs, and a future motivational speaker, for sure. Another team legacy, besides 27 World Series wins: the luncheon has raised $5 million.
Hawaiian leis, parrot shirts and splashy sundresses were perfect for hula dance lessons and a ukulele performance at the annual Brahman Bash sponsored by the University of South Florida Alumni Association, this year a tropical luau. Alums and guests toasted the Bulls, ate roasted pig and shopped a silent auction Saturday at the Gibbons Alumni Center. More than a fundraiser, said executive director, Bill McCausland, "it's an evening of connection and camaraderie for alumni and friends of USF."
Temple Terrace Women's Club spring boutique luncheon
Shop till you drop, refortify over lunch and then shop some more, that 22 year tradition continued for the GFWC Temple Terrace Woman's Club at USF Embassy Suites on March 31. Members and friends arrived at the annual Spring Boutique & Luncheon ready to buy quilts, wreathes, plants, chocolate, cigar box purses, jewelry, fashions and accessories to support a variety of charities. Victorian Village showcased Easter gifts and Sweet Soap Confections' cupcakes looked real enough to eat.
Friday: Child Abuse Awareness Luncheon benefits Friends of Joshua House Foundation, 11:45 a.m.; Marriott Waterside; $50; (813) 263-3469 or friendsofjoshuahouse.org.
Friday: Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Fashion Show Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.; Higgins Hall; $55; salvationarmytampa.org.
Saturday: Karamu, black-tie gala benefits Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo; 6:30 p.m.; Safari Lodge; $500; yourlowryparkzoo.com
Saturday: Fifth annual Around the World tasting experience benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; 6 p.m.; Marriott Waterside; $200; (813) 868-2700 or stjude.org/tampadinner.