Tampa Bay Times Bay Magazine March 15 2020

Page 1


MARCH 2020



SINCE 1969

BEACH PARK NEW CONSTRUCTION 205 Hesperides Street 4 Bed | 4/1 Bath | 4,239 SF | $1,395,000 B-G Holmberg 813.220.0643

ST. PETE BEACH 109 4th Avenue 3 Bed | 2/1 Bath | 2,329 SF | $1,185,000 Traci Burns & Cindy Richards 813.833.7510

HISTORIC OLD NORTHEAST WATERFRONT 1936 Coffee Pot Boulevard NE 5 Bed | 5/1 Bath | 4,901 SF | $3,225,000 Debbie Momberg & Lee Stratton 727.560.1571

HARBOUR ISLAND 1122 Abbeys Way 5 Bed | 5 Bath | 4,829 SF | $1,695,000 Traci Burns 813.833.7510

BEACH PARK 4205 W Woodmere Road 5 Bed | 3/2 Bath | 4,960 SF | $1,469,000 Mary Kelly 813.695.0163

DAVIS ISLANDS NEW CONSTRUCTION 98 Adriatic Avenue 5 Bed | 5/1 Bath | 5,033 SF | $2,150,000 Mary Pond & Ed Gunning 813.690.7902

SUNSET PARK WATERFRONT NEW CONSTRUCTION 5120 W San Jose Street 5 Bed | 5/2 Bath | 6,068 SF | $3,990,000 Ed Gunning & Mary Pond 813.294.8867

BEACH PARK 4510 W Beachway Drive 3 Bed | 4 Bath | 2,960 SF | $1,395,000 Mary Pond & Ed Gunning 813.690.7902

PLACIDO BAYOU WATERFRONT 520 Bay Laurel Court NE 4 Bed | 4 Bath | 3,855 SF | $1,240,000 Bethsabé Bockman-Pedersen 727.403.9976

PASS-A-GRILLE 2909 Sunset Way 6 Bed | 6/2 Bath | 5,623 SF | $3,079,000 Debbie Momberg & Lee Stratton 727.560.1571

SNELL ISLE 1700 Brightwaters Boulevard NE 3 Bed | 3/1 Bath | 3,629 SF | $1,350,000 Frank & Becky Malowany 727.593.4699

SNELL ISLE NEW CONSTRUCTION 962 Snell Isle Boulevard NE 5 Bed | 5/1 Bath | 4,232 SF | $1,795,000 B-G Holmberg 813.220.0643

HYDE PARK HOUSE Starting in the $900s | 1,835 - 5,057 SF The Hyde Park House Sales Team 813.649.3700 HydeParkBayshore.com

BAYSHORE BEAUTIFUL WATERFRONT 4617 Bayshore Boulevard 4 Bed | 3/2 Bath | 5,568 SF | $3,300,000 Ed Gunning & Mary Pond 813.294.8867


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contents 20 FOUND IT

Invite your friends to a home game room worthy of royalty. A local resident manufactures pool tables out of classic cars.


Tampa film producer Joe Restaino has produced 15 movies since 2013 and is set to start filming two more, including one with familiar scenes.


Times staff writers Tara McCarty and Josh Solomon take us along for a ride from Colorado to Utah on the California Zephyr train.

48 JAMES JEWELS Mary James has opened her personal jewelry box to share favorite pieces by Native American artists at the Tom and Mary James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.


The owners of China Finders on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg want you to keep Grandma’s china if it’s handed down. Need to replace a broken piece? They can help. 10 / bay


FASHION On land and at sea, luxe cars, boats and luxe looks will take you away.

56 SOCIAL Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Centennial Celebration University of Tampa, President Ron Vaughn’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, Ye Captain’s Ball Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg, 13th Annual Five Fabulous Females Luncheon Rotary Club of St. Petersburg, 100 Years of Service Stageworks Theatre, Come as Thou Art, 13th Annual Gala Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospital, 12th Annual Luncheon The Florida Holocaust Museum, To Life 2020, A Vision for the Future Temple Beth-El, 47th Annual Art Exhibition & Sale Russian Heritage Inc., Winter Ball

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Bay is published eight times a year by Times Publishing Co. and delivered to Tampa Bay Times subscribers in select neighborhoods in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Copyright 2020. Vol. 13, No. 4.

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THE TAMPA BAY TIMES CHAIRMAN AND CEO Paul C. Tash EXECUTIVE EDITOR Mark Katches BAY EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Stephanie Hayes VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING Bruce Faulmann ADVERTISING MANAGER Mark Shurman National / Major Retail Advertising Manager Kelly Spamer Retail Advertising Manager Jennifer Bonin Classified Real Estate Manager Larry West Pasco Retail Manager Jessica Petroski Automotive Advertising Manager Larry West



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Downtown Dunedin 966 Douglas Ave 727.304.1010

To view the magazine online, visit tampabay.com/bay. To order photo reprints, visit tampabay.com/photosales. To advertise in Bay magazine, call (727) 893-8535.

All Block Construction Home on Pass-A- Grille with Hurricane Rated Windows & Doors | Brand New Roof

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JOIN US ON A JOURNEY T alk about a wild ride. Dimmitt Automotive Group in Pinellas Park generously helped out with our fashion shoot this month. We asked for some fancy cars and they brought three of the most beautiful automobiles I’ve ever seen. Our lovely model, Morgan Jewel Hayes, made our fashions look especially glamorous inside and alongside a 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan priced at $402,550. It had a plush, mandarin orange interior that would have any Florida Gators fan drooling. We took a “Cricket-Ball”-colored 2020 Bentley ($295,440) to the shores of Boca Ciega Bay to catch an early sunset. And, we found a dress worthy of a ride in a 2020 McLaren GT ($247,575).

Bay editor Kathy Saunders. Photo by Brian James

Behind the camera this month was professional fashion photographer Brian

James of St. Petersburg. We are excited to welcome him to our Bay team. Born and raised in Palm Harbor, Brian studied fine arts in Kansas City before returning to the area to work in a camera store while preparing his own studio downtown. At Brian James Gallery, he specializes in creative portraits and fashion photography. He has worked with designers and models from New York, Milan, London and Paris. We are thrilled to collaborate with him to bring our fashion coverage to a new level. “I’m very interested in showing our area in a very fashionable way,” he told us. “I look forward to highlighting the best of the bay in location, talent, wardrobe and art.” When you see his photos this month, we think you’ll agree with our decision to bring him on board.


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Speaking of getting on board, the theme of this month’s Bay is “Cars, Boats, Toys and Travel,” or, as I have been calling it, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Besides the gorgeous cars we borrowed from Dimmitt, we took photos of planes and trains as well. Apparently enrollment in local flight schools is booming. We found one of the many pilots who regularly makes day trips out of municipal airports like St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted to grab lunch in a different city. They are part of what pilots call the “$100 Hamburger” club. Tara McCarty and Josh Solomon recently opted to take a train instead of a plane from Colorado to Utah for a ski trip. They shared their experiences on the journey, including the snow-covered sights along the tracks. For those who prefer to stay close to home when they have time off, we found the conversation piece of all pool tables. And some of the personalized golf carts on the

Bay welcomes fashion photographer Brian James, pictured here in a self-portrait. market will help you get around your own neighborhood in style. We feature local author Randy Wayne White as our “Before We Go” personality this month. While on a tour for the release of his 26th novel, Salt River, starring undercover agent Doc Ford, White answered a few

personal questions for our readers. His newest Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille will open soon at the redesigned St. Petersburg Pier. Next month, our theme is “Homes.” One sure thing about the Tampa Bay area is we live in a wonderful place to call home.




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Mario Andretti is pictured next to a 1969 Camaro pace car turned pool table. Photos courtesy of Tony Utegaard

Y A 1966 Ford Mustang pool table.

ou, too, could have a home game room fit for a king, or a prime minister, or a fashion icon. Belleair Bluffs businessman Tony Utegaard has sold his classic car pool tables to buyers in 32 countries, including members of royal families, prime ministers and designer Tommy Hilfiger. Utegaard’s company, Car Pool Tables, designs pool tables out of classic car models and parts. His basic models, 1965 and 1966 Ford Mustangs, sell for just under $10,000. He also makes table bases from 1969 Camaros (Z28, SS and RS models) and 1959 Corvettes. (Prices vary depending on the model.) He has limited-edition 1969 Andretti Pace Cars signed by the famed Italianborn race car driver, Mario Andretti, and a 1965 Shelby GT-350, his most expensive table, priced at $100,000. Since the company was founded in 2009, he has sold more than 300 car-bottomed pool tables from his Pinellas Park manufacturing plant. First, he locates the cars. Then he makes fiberglass molds of the vehicles. The tables include original chrome hardware from the classic cars, automotive paint, working headlights and real rims and tires. The table is a “solid slate stone top with championship felt” and hardwood trim, he said. Utegaard said his Car Pool Tables “are the only officially licensed Collector’s Edition pool tables made for Ford Motor Company, GM and Shelby and will come complete with ‘VIN’ number (Serial Number) and ‘Title’ (Certificate of Authenticity).” carpooltables.com. - Kathy Saunders

20 / bay

Gators golf cart. Photo courtesy of Golf Car Systems



ower steering. Bluetooth soundbar. Dual USB ports. Steel-belted radial tires. Custom-designed seats. No, that’s not a list for a luxury sports car — those are some of the bells and whistles available for golf carts. They are street legal on roads designated as 35 mph or lower and are perfect for going down to the water for dinner or taking in holiday fireworks and street festivals with the wind in your hair. Golf Car Systems in Clearwater has been selling wheels to families and golfers for 47 years. Roughly 75 to 85 percent of its retail sales are “for people who like to tool around the neighborhood,” said vice president David Gillespie. “Not many golf courses allow you to use your own cart.” Prices range from about $11,000 to $17,000. golfcars.com. Golf Cart Depot in Land O’ Lakes sells a wide variety of carts as well, including a popular Tampa Bay Lightning golf cart customized with the logo sewn into the seats and decals on the side, according to salesman Steve Almerico. golfcartdepotflorida.com. - Katherine Snow Smith Lightning golf cart. Photo courtesy of Golf Cart Depot

bay / 21

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oe Restaino enjoyed movies as much as anyone, Rocky and West Side Story being his all-time favorites. But he was never that kid with a videocamera, aspiring to be the next Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee. Restaino discovered his talent lies on the business side of the lens. Credit the Gasparilla International Film Festival for exposing the Tampa Bay financial adviser to movie production and distribution. “The filmmakers, actors, directors I met through GIFF opened doors that connected to high-level people you’re not going to find here,” said Restaino, 40. (The 14th annual festival will screen more than 100 films March 17-22. See gasparillafilmfestival.com.) Connections made at red carpet premieres,

24 / bay

screenings and industry panels helped make the former GIFF board member and past president one of the most successful film producers in Florida. Restaino and his company, Hungry Bull Productions, have produced 15 movies since 2013, with two more set to start filming. Five are in postproduction. Fear of Rain, starring Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick Jr., filmed at Tampa Theatre, Tampa General Hospital and in St. Petersburg. Kilroy Was Here, directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob), was shot primarily in Sarasota. Three more should be released in 2020, including Passing, produced in collaboration with Forrest Whitaker’s Significant Productions, and Pig, starring Nicolas Cage. Tampa Bay’s growth as a source of film talent, locations and services is also a great boon to Restaino, a married father of 5-year-old twin daughters Mia and Lyla, both

Harry Connick Jr. with Lyla, left, and Mia Restaino and actor Madison Iseman. Photos courtesy of Joe Restaino

Joe Restaino and Kevin Smith.

budding actresses. Having the support of the local film commissions makes it possible to continue building an 18-year career in financial services while juggling four movies in the last 10 months. In balancing work, family and film, Restaino finds parenting and producing have a lot of similarities. Both can make you laugh and cry, challenge your patience and overspend your budget. First off, what does a movie producer do exactly? First you find projects you think will be successful. I look at hundreds of scripts a year. I don’t read them all, but I always review the top ones with my partners. I’m looking for projects that speak to me, that have meaning, and if the financial plan makes sense, we do it. Then you bring on the creative team. You find a director, negotiate contracts with actors and the crew, sometimes arrange financing. And then you find it a home. We’ve sold to Sony, Netflix, Lions Gate. ... Every film is its own business. The producer’s job is to give the director the tools to tell the story. It’s like you’re the parent of the production.

Andre Holland and Joe Restaino.

It’s a comedy called The Lady in the Manor, written and directed and starring Justin Long. And with Ryan Phillippe, Melanie Lynskey and Judy Greer. We are even bringing back some legendary actors for cameo roles. Both film commissions, Hillsborough and Pinellas, are supporting it. We’ve hired 90 percent local crew and cast, about 30 supporting actor roles. We were originally planning to film in Savannah, but bringing films to where we live is important. Homes in Hyde Park will be made to look like Southern plantations. Parts of the University of Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg will be used for the backdrop of the South from the 1800s to present day.

Can you give me an example of the creative process, of how a film comes to be made? Films come together in every which way. The original outline for High Flying Bird came together during the 2015 Gasparilla parade. I organized a meeting of friends, including actor Andre Holland and writer Tarell McCraney, in the penthouse at the Aloft hotel in downtown Tampa on a beautiful Saturday morning. After five or six hours of developments ideas, we had the outline of the script. It would be taken to Steven Soderbergh, who we called SS, and made into a Netflix hit. Andre played the lead. And the following year McCraney would win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight.

What’s your time management secret? I have an amazing wife, Megan, who fully supports what I’m doing. The twins dabble in acting and each has been in one film, so I incorporate work into family time. ... I work full time in financial advising and about 25 to 30 hours a week in film. In film, I have great producing partners and so we split up our time. I’m more on the side working with talent, marketing and distributors. We’re glad to help people interested in producing. ... I also mentor film students from USF, UT and FSU. Some have become interns for us and continued working in the field. It started as a hobby — I wasn’t really a film buff — and it’s become a passion business. I can see me doing it long term. You’ve gotten to know some hot Hollywood stars, so spill some juice. I can’t talk gossipy. I’m not TMZ. I’ll just say, Katie Heigl and her family could not have been more enjoyable. She brought her children, her husband ... and her mother. She was laser focused on set and, just like me, loves her sushi and coffee. We ended up getting her Zukku Sushi in Armature Works often and coffee from Black Crow in St. Petersburg. First time I met Nicolas Cage, it was in preproduction on the film Pig and I was bringing him to meet his co-star Brandy, who is a kunekune pig from New Zealand. Nic was awesome. He got right in there with Brandy and got to know her with no problems. Nic is like you would expect Nic to be, lives in Vegas because he says he loves the food, does 3 miles in the morning on the elliptical and 2 at night. He said Vegas is tough, especially on the relationships in his life. Thomas Jane came for the 10th anniversary of GIFF and we showed his film The Punisher. He doesn’t wear shoes. He went everywhere barefoot, to Ybor, to parties, with his publicist, carrying flip-flops.

What are you shooting in the bay area right now? Are you bullish on the future of the film industry in Tampa Bay?

Ever been to the Oscars? Not yet.

Sounds like a lot of headaches. How did you know you had the personality to be a movie producer? Making a movie is not easy. ... Most of the time, you don’t know the outcome. Despite your homework and all your efforts, many times, things don’t work out. It’s a logistically challenging business. As a leader of GIFF, I handled a lot of different moving parts. That helped set the stage for me to proceed into producing. Early on, I would just do any project that was available. Now I look for like-minded people to partner with that make filmmaking fun.

bay / 25

View all of our listings at

PremierSothebysRealty.com PremierSothebysRealty.com

LAKE WALES SOUTH 66 Mountain Lake West $2,900,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.688.8875

LAKE WALES 2300 North Scenic Highway $2,795,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.688.8875

LUTZ 19105 Merry Lane $2,795,000 Lynn Richey & Taylor Richey 813.244.6533

TAMPA 3018 South Emerson Street $1,650,000 Jackie Diaz & Karen Hegemeier 727.424.2317

BELLEAIR BEACH 2303 Bayshore Drive $1,000,000 Janet Moore 813.892.0998

MARINA BAY 16 Bayfront Court South $1,399,000 Frank Fage 727.492.7817

CLEARWATER | 727.585.9600

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Total Sales Volume 2019 "A milestone few brokerage companies ever reach, attained due to the quality and commitment of our amazing associates and customers." — Budge Huskey, CEO

Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission.Each office is independently owned and operated.Equal Housing Opportunity.Property information herein is derived from various sources including,but not limited to,county records and multiple listing services,and may include approximations.All information is deemed accurate.

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE our new partnership with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. As leaders in the luxury real estate market in Pinellas County, we look forward to providing an elevated level of our exceptional real estate services together with the outstanding resources of Sotheby’s time-honored brand.



1029 31st Terrace NE, Snell Isle Estates

536 16th Ave NE, Old Northeast

Last offered at $1,289,000

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801 Jennings Ave N, Allendale Terrace

535 18th Ave NE, Old Northeast

Offered at $799,000

Offered at $1,049,000

$105 MILLION SOLD | Top 1% of Realtors® in Pinellas County Judy Holland, CNE, CLHMS, REALTOR®, BROKER ASSOCIATE Caryn Rightmyer, CNE, CLHMS, REALTOR® Tess Mullinax, REALTOR®

727.401.1771 HollandAndRightmyer.com

Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.



the decade since Dave Marger earned his pilot’s license, he has flown out of St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Airport to Gainesville for Gator games, to Crystal River for lunch at Seafood Seller & Cafe for New Orleans-style cuisine, and to Venice Municipal Airport, which is known for serving up a great burger to diners who arrive via plane. Some recreational pilots call their day trips for lunch and sightseeing the “$100 hamburger,” as they factor in the price of owning and operating a plane. The website 100dollarhamburger.com offers pilot reviews of restaurants at or near general aviation airports worldwide. Marger said he uses his plane more often for visiting his daughters in North Carolina than flying out to grab a burger, but he does love a good day trip. “My favorite thing when I’m flying up to Gainesville is to fly over I-75 and see the big traffic jam,” he said, adding it takes about an hour to fly to his alma mater versus about three hours to drive there on a game day. Pilot Dave Marger with his Cessna 172 at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg. Photo by Scott Keeler Another fun destination for a one-hour flight in his Cessna 172 four-seater is Cedar Key, which has no control tower and one of the shortest runways in Florida. It’s 2,355 feet compared to Albert Whitted’s 3,677-foot runway. “It’s challenging and tests your skills, but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is a new pilot,” said Marger, who heads Marger Properties real estate management and investment firm. A minimum of 40 hours in the sky is required to get a pilot’s licence, but Marger accrued 100 before he tested for his credentials. “Some people race through it, but I was in no rush at all. There is so much to learn,” he said. St. Pete Air Avionics is the go-to for flight training at Albert Whitted. A solo pilot course ranges from $1,195 to $3,595 while instrument training is another $2,195 to $2,395 depending on the plane. The next step is buying a plane, and there are many factors that influence

the cost. Single-engine planes cost $15,000 to $100,000 while multi-engine planes are $75,000 to $300,000. If a day trip by sky is tempting but you aren’t inclined to get your licence or invest in a plane, St. Pete Air offers charters on its ninepassenger Pilatus PC-12. Round trip to a Florida State University game in Tallahassee is $3,000, or $333 per person. Fly up to Asheville, N.C., to try one of the town’s muchraved-about restaurants or craft breweries for $6,300, or $700 per person. A day trip to Key West is $3,300, or $366 a person. St. Pete Air also offers charters to Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami and the Bahamas. When Marger and friends land at various airports around the state, many locations offer a loaner car he can drive into town at no

charge. Sometimes it’s a 20-year-old sedan, and other times it’s more of a luxury car. “I flew over to the east coast to Boca Raton and they had a really nice Mustang convertible,” he recalled. “They literally just give it to you to use for an hour or two. They have your plane so they know you aren’t going to take off with their car.” Albert Whitted is a popular destination for Florida pilots because of all the attractions within walking distance. The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge and the Dalí Museum are just a few feet from the runway, and Central Avenue, Beach Drive, the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club are only blocks away. “If I didn’t live in St. Pete,” Marger said, “I’d definitely be flying into here a lot.”

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Stop in a store near you, or visit PeltzShoes.com

Pikolinos, P. Vallarta 655


Multi-colored skirt, $60. Embellished t-shirt, $30. Black drop earrings, $132. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg. 2020 Bentley, $295,440, Dimmitt Automotive Group, Pinellas Park.

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YOUR WARDROBE Model Morgan Jewel Hayes shows us this month how to travel in style. We’ve got fashions fit for a Rolls-Royce and a flats boat. And, we’ll show you how to rig a wardrobe for a fishing boat or a trans-Atlantic voyage. Thanks to the Dimmitt Automotive Group in Pinellas Park, we were also able to see our mirrored cocktail dress reflected in their Ludus Blue 2020 McLaren. No matter where or how you travel this month, these outfits will have you dressed for getting there.


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Mirror mini dress, $148. Embellished gray earrings, $238. Silver sandals, $135. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg. 2020 McLaren GT, $247,575. Dimmitt Automotive Group, Pinellas Park.

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Pink and navy color block midi sweater dress, $248. Multi-colored scarf, $105. Jackie Z Style, St. Petersburg. Silver oval embellished earrings, $185. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg.

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White blouse with black trimmed ruffle sleeves, $174. Black pants with front slit and silver stud embellishment, $182. White hat with black and white polka dot bow, $145. Red purse with top handle, $328. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg. Leopard pumps, $375. Jackie Z Style, St. Petersburg.

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Black cape jacket with white trim, $267. Black bell pants, $150. Gold flower earrings, $98. Gold cross body purse with top handle, $138. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg. Cat-eye sunglasses, $470. Jackie Z Style, St. Petersburg.

FROM THE COVER Off-white pants, $148. Black shirt, $55. Reversible feminist bomber jacket, $595. Leopard mini sac bag, $99. Jackie Z Style, St. Petersburg. Black and gold dangle earrings. Pippa Pelure, St. Petersburg. Black embellished booties, $127. One55, one55.com.

STORES REPRESENTED Pippa Pelure, 50 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. pippapelure.com. Jackie Z Style Co., 173 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. jackiezstyle.com. One55.com, one55.com.

CREATIVE TEAM Fashion Stylist: Sandra Davila Makeup and hair: Nereida Padilla Model: Morgan Jewel Hayes

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Since 1955, Ward’s Seafood has provided locals & visitors with fresh seafood caught daily by our fisherman. We also source seafood from up north and around the world. Come visit us 7 days a week where it’s always fresh and friendly.

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A snow-covered village.

Tara McCarty at the train window. Photo by Josh Solomon

A mountain pass.



ur dinner companion only asked us two questions: Where is your stop and where did you get on?

The California Zephyr, a train that regularly travels from Chicago to San Francisco and back again, scooped up me and my boyfriend, Tampa Bay Times reporter Josh Solomon, from Denver at a bleary-eyed 8 a.m. and chugged us through 15 hours of small western towns to drop us off in Salt Lake City at 11 p.m. Balancing muffins, coffee cups and a copy of the Denver Post on top of our

luggage, we settled into our seats. The chairs reclined and we tried not to doze off as we got comfortable passing through Colorado. 44 / bay

The sights along the winding track were narrated by our conductor, Brad. Because of him, our attention was drawn to glimpses of the Colorado River on our right and a herd of elk on our left. From mountain peaks to lake views, we drank in our fill of the scenes. I especially loved glancing back and seeing the end of the train snake its way behind us. The allure of riding a train was rooted in adventure, for the sake of doing something different. Josh was commuting between ski destinations and, while booking flights, stumbled upon the idea to take an Amtrak train between cities. The roads from Utah’s capital to the nowhere town of Price, Utah, are well-known to me by car. Four of my siblings live along the route and I happened to be born in Provo. The train would take us through them all. On a mostly empty car, Josh and I each took sides of the train to see the sights. We passed red rock mountains, snow-covered plains, frozen ponds and rivers, construction vehicles and, once, a dam. Our first stop of eight was at Fraser-Winter Park, Colo. Unsure what to expect, I walked off the train without my coat, only to

The train depot at Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Josh Solomon checks the temperature at one of the stops.

L E S S T R AV E L E D realize it was snowing. Snow! The glorious, soft, pillowy, icy substance that falls from the sky when you dare visit a place with a real winter. As a Floridian with 20 years in the state, I was delighted and documented it all on my phone, until the chill set in and I ran back to the train. Later, the assistant conductor, Justin, walked by and checked our tickets. As the end of his full-length navy trench coat slipped through the automatic doors of the car, I wondered how a person even became a train conductor. What an antiquated thing. We have many modes of quicker transportation, some of them the same cost (about $70) to take the train. And then it hit me that a newspaper reporter sat next to me, skimming through articles on his phone, perhaps like Justin might take a trip on a plane. One hundred years ago, Justin and Josh could have been riding the same train, doing the same jobs. There surely is a sense of pride in conducting a train, even if the reality isn’t particularly glamorous. The newspaper and train industries, suddenly as parallel in my thoughts as the tracks our Zephyr scooted along.

Aside from Josh peppering the conductors and staff with questions, as if he may, too, become a trained train professional, we didn’t talk much with other passengers. Only at lunch and dinner did anyone strike up a conversation. As it happened, we were seated with a German priest and his mom for both meals. Josh, ever the reporter, asked a million questions: How did you end up living in Connecticut? How many American trains have you traveled on? Are American trains different from European ones? What’s it like in the sleeper car? As the sky darkened and the scenery slipped away, I focused on my $27 salmon plate. It was good and I’d recommend a try — the salmon and the ride. AMTRAK CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR Denver to Salt Lake, 15 hours: Upper level coach seat $69, Superliner Roomette $341 (meals included, shower access in car). Chicago to San Francisco, 53 hours and 20 minutes: Upper level coach seat $177, Superliner Roomette $548 (meals included, shower access in car). amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train.

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Monument Valley necklace by Jesse Monongya. Photos courtesy of the James Museum



estled in the desert-toned galleries of the Tom and Mary James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg is the Jewel Box, a geode-inspired gallery full of stunning jewelry made by Native American artists. It’s an important element to the museum’s collection because it introduces the incredible artistry and tradition of the genre. But it wasn’t always part of the plan when the Jameses were planning the museum. Before the museum opened, pieces from the collection were featured at the Museum of Fine Arts, in the 2014 exhibition “New Mexico and the Arts of Enchantment Featuring the Raymond James Financial Collection.” Mary James included a few pieces from her personal jewelry collection and the reaction was so positive that they realized their museum should showcase jewelry as well.

Sculptured square bracelet by Benson Manygoats. Photo by Patty Yablonski

Mary started collecting jewelry at the Santa Fe Indian Market, presented by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. She and Tom attended every year to add to their art collection, but after a while, Mary began eyeing the jewelry. Soon enough, she bought pieces from some of the most important artists in Native American jewelry. “Most of those artists still live on the reservations and are still pretty poor,” she said. “So when you collect these pieces you’re helping to support their families.” Bear pendant necklace by Jesse Monongya. Photo by Patty Yablonski

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A jewelry case in the center of the gallery contains some of her favorite pieces. Jesse Monongya’s red coral and iconic opal bear

Gold coral butterfly necklace by Vernon Haskie.

necklace was hard to give up for the sake of the museum. But the last time she went to the Indian Market, he had another opal bear necklace available, so now she has one she can wear. Monongya also donated his red coral Monument Valley necklace, which features a pendant with a nighttime landscape scene, to the museum. Vernon Haskie is another of her favorite artists. His gold coral butterfly necklace was made from a piece of coral he had held on to for years before he used it. Traditionally, silver was the main metal used in Native American jewelry, but contemporary artists are working in gold. Charles Loloma, considered the father of contemporary Native American jewelry, combines gold, coral and turquoise in a bracelet in the collection.

Butterfly squash blossom necklace by Ernest Benally.

The Jameses also had help building the collection from Gene Waddell, a premier dealer in Indian jewelry. He specializes in turquoise and contributed to a case dedicated to the material. It was extremely abundant until it was overmined, and the demand by Asian markets is driving up its value. The variations of turquoise range from very pale blue to a deep lander blue — the most valuable — to green. Eventually, Tom caught the jewelry bug and started collecting belt buckles and bolo ties, the latter of which he’d wear with a tuxedo. Many of both are on display, including Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson’s gold lander belt buckle, once sought after by the Smithsonian Institute. Often, artists create pieces to show off their talents, but the pieces are not practical to wear. One example is Benson Manygoats’ sculpted square bracelet, which would have to defy the laws of gravity to be worn. Ernest Benally’s intricate butterfly squash blossom necklace was commissioned for the museum, but it’s far too heavy to wear. So Mary had him create a lighter, equally beautiful version. Mary finds it strange when people say they have no place to wear these statement pieces. “You just put it on and wait for the compliments!”

Gold lander blue belt buckle by Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson.

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We search, interview, photograph, call and track down. And tomorrow, we’ll do it again.

Your support for local journalism makes great things possible.


Brian Bauer, left, and Bruce Schrier work the computers and phones at China Finders in St. Petersburg.


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Don’t you deserve it? That’s the question asked by china expert, china seller and, perhaps more than anything, china lover Larry Weitkemper, who three decades ago founded the business that today is China Finders in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central district. You’d think after spending his workdays appraising and examining cups and saucers and plates with a magnifying glass, surrounded by more than 300,000 pieces running floor to ceiling in rows on rows throughout the 4,000-square-foot store, that Larry might have had enough. Not even close. He has filled his home with a large and fabulous personal collection of china, and he uses it. That’s the point, he says. He thinks you should too. “People keep it on a shelf. They say, ‘I don’t want to scratch it. I don’t want to break it,’ ” Larry said. “So what if you break something! You break a plate and you buy another one. Use it! It makes you feel good. It makes your food taste better. Why wouldn’t you? Don’t you deserve it?” It’s an interesting stance for a guy whose business depends on folks getting rid of their china sets, and selling them to China Finders, which Larry owns and runs with his sons, Noah and Jacob Weitkemper. The men say those who contact the store looking to sell their used china often fall into one of two categories: people who have inherited a family member’s china and don’t think they know what else to do with it, or older people who’ve held on to a set for decades themselves but have been told by their children or grandchildren “no thanks” when offering to pass it down. Larry himself started the business after he inherited his mother’s china. He started going to estate sales looking for replacement pieces for that set. Figuring he should make some money at it, he became a picker for other china replacement services, then went into business for himself with his brother. Jacob reiterates that “people really should keep Grandma’s china, and use it,” but he’ll also happily buy it from you if it’s the kind of stuff the store can sell, as in historically popular sets that are still in wide circulation and will probably need replacement pieces as a relish dish gets broken here or a silver fork goes missing there. The biggest misconceptions people have are that age and rarity mean a set is more valuable. “We’ve had a Spode pattern in the store from the 1850s. It’s still not valuable. Sure, it might be very old, but who wants to buy it?” Jacob said. “We’re really looking for what’s

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popular, because those are the sets people are going to need replacement pieces for. People are surprised to hear it.” Still, there are some sets that are significantly more valuable than others. Larry pointed to a set of Royal Copenhagen blue fluted, full lace, a pattern that has remained in production in Denmark for 230 years, on a high shelf above Jacob’s desk. The plates have tiny holes around the edges. “A full set is probably $10,000 or $12,000,” he said. “We sell it for about $100 per cup and saucer.” Other individual pieces in the store sell for as little as $10. Business is somewhat slower than it was years ago, Jacob said, but the store continues to serve a need, and he’s seeing evidence that younger people are interested in owning china, or filling out sets they’ve inherited, possibly driven by the trend toward retro and vintage everything. China Finders conducts the majority of its business online via chinafinders.com, but a stroll through the brick-and-mortar showroom is a unique experience, conjuring visions of a million fancy dinner parties, family holiday gatherings, loving afternoon teas. There aren’t many businesses left like this, the owners say. From gold-etched, antique Havilland to ’50s retro pieces, it’s a constellation of textures and patterns and personalities. It’s all organized by manufacturer and style and grouped by country. In a way, it feels more like a painstakingly curated library than a store. Not only do you step gingerly, but you almost feel like you should be quiet. One recent afternoon, a mug was being packaged for shipment to Korea, and Brian Bauer, who has worked there for 10 years, was scanning a wall of numbered boxes reminiscent of an old-school card catalog in search of a single spoon headed to Iowa. Around a corner was a spotless white workstation, where a man shined a spotlight on a teacup — one example of every single piece in the inventory must be photographed for the website. The store had already purchased three full ceramic dinnerware sets that day, and passed on three others. And yes, it’s all very breakable. The question of whether anything ever gets shattered at the store caused the entire staff to burst out laughing. “It’s not the customers who break stuff,” Jacob said. “It’s usually us. They tend to walk through very carefully, and we’re used to it so we’re like this.” (He swung his arms carelessly to demonstrate.)

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Brian Bauer, who has worked at China Finders for 10 years, checks the condition of new merchandise. “What’s really fun is when my tremors start acting up,” Bauer said, smiling. “I have genetic tremors, and my hands will shake.” While all of the men are at a point, after years of practice, where they can identify the most common sets and patterns easily, there are so many manufacturers and variations that a fair amount of detective work goes into identifying some of the stuff that comes in. Behind Jacob is a row of old and dusty books they use to match sets to their manufacturers. Bauer said he likes the connections to history. He points out an orange-ishcolored “daisy and button” set that dates to the mid- to late 1800s. “They actually gave this out as a prize at carnivals back then,” he said. “The stuff we have the most of in the store is made by Noritake, from Japan. Most of the pattern information was destroyed in bombings in World War II, so if we see something before, say, 1935, it can be hard to identify, and it may have only ever been sold in Japan, but it shows up, because servicemen brought it home with them. It can get complicated.” The store also deals with crystal. “It gets very detailed,” said Jacob, holding up a crystal glass to show how the shape reflected light in a wavy pattern that set this particular piece apart. “You think you know it all, but there’s always something new to learn.”

WANT TO SELL? China Finders requires sellers to make an appointment to have their pieces looked at. The first step is to send an email with as much detail as possible, including photographs, to china_ finders@yahoo.com. China Finders is at 2823 Central Ave. N, St. Petersburg.


Thomas “Jet” Jackson, Deborah Figgs-Sanders, Lisa Wilson, Gloria Flakes, Joi Davies and Javon Turner.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Centennial Celebration

Pattye Sawyer.

Antwann Jackson and Lisa Wilson. 56 / bay

Local members of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. joined the nationwide celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary. Members of the local chapter Zeta Gamma Zeta, Led by local sorority president, Lisa Wilson, a St. Petersburg native and veteran Pinellas County teacher, chapter members celebrated at the Dolphin Resort in St. Pete Beach. The event featured a program honoring some of the sorority members, a tribute to the founders, guest speakers and entertainment. Zeta Phi Beta was founded by five women on Jan. 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University. The members focus on scholarship, service, sisterhood and creating “finer womanhood.” The international sorority also supports charities including the March of Dimes, the Relay for Life, elder Care, youth involvement and many other causes to aid the community, the country and the world. The international centennial celebration will continue in Washington, D.C., in June. Photos by Greg Carroll

Renee Speights and James McCaskill.

Annie Napper and Diane Overton.

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Renee and Ron Vaughn and his daughter Susan Vaughn.

Gene and Patsy McNichols and John and Susan Sykes.

University of Tampa President Ron Vaughn’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

Minaret desserts.

Champagne toasts and glowing tributes resounded when University of Tampa board members, trustees, faculty, staff, alums and friends celebrated 25 years of president Ron Vaughn’s leadership. During dinner (the silver minaret dessert was almost too pretty to eat), guests heard about Vaughn’s countless campus-growing accomplishments, including quadrupling enrollment to nearly 10,000, fundraising more than $650 million and the addition of more than 60 new buildings on 110 acres. UT contributes $1 billion to the local economy, Vaughn said, assuring the crowd that retirement is not on his agenda. Photos by Amy Scherzer

Frank and Carol Morsani.

Maureen Daly and Jim and Celia Ferman. 58 / bay

Lauren Thomas, Dick Compton and Sandy and Rick Thomas.

Adajean Samson, Mary Jane Martinez and Bev Austin.

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Christoper Lykes, Ginger and Richard Chapman and Miriam Lykes.

John and Marguerite Timmel.

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Ye Captain’s Ball

Florrie and Patrick Willis and Michael and Ramona Shimberg.

Bill and Diana Ferrell and John and Patti Ferrell. 60 / bay

Surrender? Only to dance and drink at Ye Captain’s Ball, hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Captain Richard Chapman fulfilling his duties per the men’s club tradition since 1910. Many longtime members started their evening early with a quiet dinner at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club, Avast! Another 1,000 punchy pirates and glittering ladies swooped into the Tampa Yacht & Country Club later in the night, spilling into the ballroom and overflowing the giant tent behind it. One month later, the men’s social club would crown its 107th Gasparilla King and Queen, James Arthur Turner III and Martha Davis Straske. Photos by Amy Scherzer

Kathryn and Charlie Lykes and Susan and John Mueller.

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Ashley Stamey, Ri’Hanna Waddell and Peggy Leclerc.

Karol Bullard, Terri Lipsey Scott, Melissa Seixas, Donna Gaffney and Lorna Taylor.

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg 13th Annual Five Fabulous Females Luncheon

Annie “Pennye” Thornton, Carol Alexander, Carolyn Riggins, Bernice Smoot and Gina Tanase Burkett.

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg honored five community leaders at the 13th Annual Five Fabulous Females Luncheon at TradeWinds Island Resort. Academy Prep, founded 22 years ago, is a privately funded middle school dedicated to improving the lives of inner city students. Proceeds from the annual luncheon support the Student Scholarship Program at Academy Prep. Students in the rigorous middle school program attend school up to 11 hours a day, six days a week, 11 months a year on full scholarship provided by the local community. They also receive graduate support through high school and college. The five women honored this year were recognized “for their significant and transformational contributions to the Tampa Bay community,” according to Academy Prep head of school Gina Tanase Burkett. “They are inspirational role models for the students of Academy Prep and for all of us,” she said. The 2020 Five Fabulous Females are: Karol Bullard, philanthropist and champion for the arts and children; Donna Gaffney, co-founder of Suncoast Voices for Children; Terri Lipsey Scott, executive director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum; Melissa Seixas, vice president of government and community relations at Duke Energy Florida; and Lorna Taylor, CEO of Premier Eye Care. Photos courtesy of Academy Prep

Christina Noordstar, Mila Turtle, Lynne Stamey and Myreonia Harrison. Deborah Figgs Sanders, Anje Bogott, Beth England, Elithia Stanfield, Peggy Leclerc, Donna Gaffney, Karol Bullard, Melissa Seixas, Lorna Taylor, Linda Marcelli, Bernice Smoot and Sherry Sacino. 62 / bay

Art of the Stage pulls back the curtain on works for the stage by world-famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Natalia Goncharova, Henri Matisse, Alexandra Exter, Joan MirĂł, and David Hockney. Experience live performances in the galleries throughout the run of the exhibition. Visit MFAStPete.org for complete schedule.

THROUGH MAY 10 Made possible by Janna & Timothy Ranney, Marianne & Mark Mahaffey, The Bill Edwards Group, The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society, and Penny & Jeff Vinik, with additional support by Dimity & Mark Carlson, Mardie Chapman & Dr. Richard Eliason, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and Friends of Art of the Stage.

Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney is organized by the McNay Art Museum. Eugene Berman, Curtain design for Devil’s Holiday (detail), 1939, Watercolor and ink on paper, Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the Tobin Endowment


Kay and Brian Clark, Sherwood White and Jim and Pegi Fritton.

Bob Carter and Paul Tash.

Rotary Club of St. Petersburg 100 Years of Service

Peter and Mary Linda Armacost, Beth Houghton and Jackie and Harry Piper.

Carolyn and John Harrison and Amira and Salvko Djuric. 64 / bay

Members of the Rotary Club of St. Petersburg gathered to celebrate 100 years of service to the community with a gala at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. More than 250 club members, guests and families of former members attended the event to celebrate the club and present the first annual William Straub Award to Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times. Presented by club president Bob Carter, the award was named for the first president of the Rotary Club in 1920 and former editor of the St. Petersburg Times. The honor is in recognition of individuals who provide service to others, promote integrity and advance goodwill and peace through fellowship with business, professional and community leaders. Photos courtesy of the Rotary Club of St. Petersburg

Susan Mittermayer, Dennis Sexton, Susan and David Jezek and Ginny Sexton.



Introducing Luxury Living in South Tampa’s New Walkable Waterfront Neighborhood The entire Westshore Marina District is now coming to life as construction begins on Marina Pointe’s luxurious tower residences, the District’s deepwater marina and premier town center. With move-in anticipated in late 2021, now is the time to take advantage of incredible values on this in-town, on-thewater lifestyle of your dreams. • Contemporary tower and townhome residences

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Broker participation welcomed. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. This project has been filed in the state of Florida and no other state. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of offers to buy the condominium units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices and availability are subject to chang e at any time without notice.


Tayler Sallee, Rachel Campbell and Madison Everage. Bruce and Eileen Goldenberg.

Zack Reece, Stephanie Sanderson and Wyndy Olson.

Stageworks Theatre Come as Thou Art, 13th Annual Gala

Janet Scaglione.

“Express yourself,” suggested the invitations to Come as Thou Art, the 13th annual Stageworks Theatre Gala. And did they ever, dressed as everyone from van Gogh to Warhol, the 300 guests paying homage to every medium, genre, era and style. Colorful body painting, a wildly creative fashion show and Dorene Collier’s Event Show Productions dancers popped up throughout dinner at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. Live and silent auctions greatly exceeded chairwoman Andrea Graham’s goals to fund dramatic productions and offer educational programs to change the lives of at-risk youth. Photos by Amy Scherzer

Joe Hodges, Tony Francisco, Steve Armstrong and Pati White. 66 / bay

Ben and Laura West.

Orie Byars and Steve Richards.

Lauren Valiente and Andrea Graham.

Inspiring, Eclectic and Rare


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craftsmanhousegallery.com bay / 67


Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines.

Kathy Fink, Kimberly Guy and Tish West.

Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospital 12th Annual Luncheon HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines and husband Bobby Kennedy Jr. mingled at every table at the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospital’s 12th Annual Luncheon in a windblown tent at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club. Guests laughed hearing the actor humorously describe her career path from Tallahassee to Hollywood, from auditioning for comedian Larry David to playing poker with Ellen DeGeneres. Hines advised applying improv skills to everyday life: Always say yes; make eye contact; listen and respond in a positive way. PWSJ members donate at least $1,000 a year; their pooled funds have gifted St. Joseph’s hospitals $1.65 million over 12 years. Photos by Amy Scherzer

Anne Nelson and Deborah Ellinger.

Melissa Brockman and Lee Rachelson. 68 / bay

Emily Johnson Weintraub, Cheryl Hines and Julie Weintraub.

Vivian Reeves and Kim Reeves Rogers.


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Nicholas Winton Jr. and his wife, Dominique.

Cody Davis and Elizabeth Dearborn Davis Hughes.

Melanie and Mike Igel.

The Florida Holocaust Museum To Life 2020, A Vision for the Future

Dr. Robert Entel and Jeannie and David Abelson.

Shari Mezrah and David Pearlman. 70 / bay

Celebrating “the power of education here, in Oregon or in Rwanda ...,” the Florida Holocaust Museum presented two Loebenberg Humanitarian Awards at To Life 2020, A Vision for the Future. Nick Winton Jr. accepted in memory of his late father, Nicholas Sr., who rescued 669 children from Nazis by bringing them to Britain on the Czech Kindertransport. Tampa native Elizabeth Dearborn Davis Hughes co-founded the Akilah Institute, the only college for women in Rwanda, and the transformational coed Davis College network. Oregon high school student Claire Sarnowski earned the 2020 Legacy Award for her advocacy to make Holocaust education mandatory in her state. “One individual can make an amazing difference,” Winton told the 700 supporters attending the benefit at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. Photos by Amy Scherzer

Ezra Singer and Nancy Greenberg.

Marty and Janie Borell.


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Anastasia Turchetta, Simon Cooper and Liz Rogers.

Aaron Hequembourg, Sarah Johnson and Ann Soble.

Temple Beth-El 47th Annual Art Exhibition & Sale Original paintings, glass, sculpture, ceramics, wood, jewelry and photography from award-winning artists were on display at the 47th Annual Art Exhibition & Sale benefitting the Temple Beth-El. The collection also included a selection of limited prints and paintings from Syd Entel Galleries. The art show included a benefactors reception, a donor cocktail reception, docent tours, a luncheon and a weekend of public viewing and purchasing. Best in show was presented to contemporary artist Aaron Hequembourg, whose abstract figurative paintings are engraved into wood panels. Photos courtesy of Michael Krassner

Jan Miller, Mary Ann Marger and Susan Levine.

Mike Shapiro and Barbara Sterensis. 72 / bay


Tampa Bay Times Masterworks

MARCH 26, 2020 • TAMPA CONVENTION CENTER 5:30 PM Grand Reception • 6:30PM Dinner & Induction

You are invited to honor and celebrate the accomplishments, leadership and service of the Class of 2020, and to support economic and personal finance education for K-12 students throughout the Tampa Bay region.

Bach’s St. John Passion

Redemption rises from despair in Bach’s towering choral masterpiece retelling the Crucifixion. Michael Francis conducts, featuring The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.

Fri, March 20, 8 pm, Idlewild Baptist Church Sat, March 21, 5 pm, Indian Rocks Baptist Church Sun, March 22, 2 pm, Mahaffey Theater Raymond James Pops



Honoring the giants of Broadway, this concert stars Gary Mauer (Phantom), Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte and Scarlett Strallen, in a program featuring favorites from Phantom of the Opera, Evita, West Side Story and more. Stuart Malina conducts.

Fri, March 27, 8 pm, Straz Center Sat, March 28, 8 pm, Mahaffey Theater - Limited Seats Available Sun, March 29, 7:30 pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall Tampa Bay Times Masterworks

Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons PAM IORIO


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A night with TFO’s premier strings, directed by lead violinist Jeffrey Multer, includes Vivaldi’s timeless masterpiece along with Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. Free tickets for kids & teens in advance.

Fri, April 3, 8 pm, Straz Center Sat, April 4, 8 pm, Mahaffey Theater Sun, April 5, 7:30 pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall

FloridaOrchestra.org 727.892.3337 or 1.800.662.7286 bay / 73


Russian Heritage Inc. Winter Ball Lively music, dancing and the celebration of tradition and culture were the focus of the annual Russian Heritage Winter Ball held at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. The gala, begun more than two decades ago, is a highlight of Russian New Year celebrations. Nearly 300 attended the event hosted by Russian Heritage Inc., founded after the 1996 “Treasures of the Czars” exhibit at Florida International Museum. The organization promotes Russian culture and history in the Tampa Bay region through arts, educational programs and social activities. The group donates to local charities and the Winter Ball proceeds are applied to the Russian Heritage Scholarship Fund to support Russian students coming to America and American students traveling to Russia. “Family time has always been the center of old Russian New Year’s celebrations. That is why helping host and sponsor the annual Winter Ball means so much to my family. My mother, the late Tatiana Vondersaar, helped found Russian Heritage Inc. and was a longtime leader of the organization,” said Margo Catsimatidis, who with her husband, John, has donated to national and local nonprofit and civic causes including the Poynter Institute, public art near the Pier and Florida CraftArt. Photos by Jillian Nelson

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Music for All Occasions Including Ballroom Dancing, Swing, Latin, Popular, Rock, and Dinner Music BOTH LARGE & SMALL ENSEMBLES AVAILABLE TO FIT ANY EVENT



74 / bay

Charlie Crist and Margo Catsimatidis.

George Venizelos, Eftihia PylarinouPiper, John Catsimatidis, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Margo Catsimatidis.

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save the date JANUARY



3.15-17 ST. PATRICK’S DAY WEEKEND PARTY: Cricketers goes green with a three-day party with bagpipers, a pet adoption (Sunday), dog costume contest (Sunday), car show (Monday), food/drink specials and live music. Benefits Suncoast Animal League. No cover (food/drink additional). 11 a.m. March 15, 4 p.m. March 16, noon March 17. Cricketers Dunedin, 2634 Bayshore Blvd. (727) 736-1322.




fashions by local boutiques. Benefits Bridging Freedom. $25. 2 p.m. Christ the King Catholic Church, 821 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 3588564.

3.27 GOLF MADNESS: All-you-caneat, all-you-can-drink and all-youcan-Topgolf. Benefits the Children’s Cancer Center. $150. 4 p.m. Topgolf, 10690 Palm River Road, Tampa. (813) 298-1811.



GROVES COMMUNITY CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT: The fourperson scramble includes lunch, awards, hole-in-one contests and a chance to win $10,000. Benefits Special Olympics Florida. $50. 8:30 a.m. The Groves Golf and Country Club, 7924 Melogold Circle, Land O’ Lakes. (813) 345-8855.

LOS VINOS DE DALI: Taste fine wine, craft beers, specialty spirits and food from top area restaurants as you enjoy live music and a silent auction. Benefits the Dalí guild. $90, $80 members. 4 p.m. Dalí Museum, 1 Dalí Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 823-3767. thedali.org.

3.21 BT5K: This 5K run benefits research through the American Brain Tumor Association. $25, $15 ages 2-10. 7 a.m. Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa. (773) 577-8750. tampagov.net. BLUE TIE AFFAIR: The cocktail party and ceremony honors unsung local heroes. Benefits the Crescent Foundation. $60. 6 p.m. Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Tampa Airport, 4500 W Cypress St. (813) 743-8779.

3.22 SPRING TEA WITH A TWIST FASHION SHOW: Enjoy brunch and mimosas as you review the latest 76 / bay


4.3 ANOTHER GRAPE EVENT: Sip wine as you enjoy live music and auctions. Benefits Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation Guild. $100. 6 p.m. The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. (727) 367-4511.

4.4 ALL-STAR CELEBRITY GOLF CLASSIC: Join current and former NFL players in this 18-hole tournament with a luncheon, raffle and awards. Benefits the Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County. $95. 7:30 a.m. Lexington Oaks Golf Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. (813) 247-5999. scahillsborough.org.




FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB TAMPA: Ascend 914 steps over 42 floors to benefit the American Lung Association. $25, $100 minimum fundraising. 8 a.m. Bank of America Plaza, 101 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 712-2307. trailrunner.com. RAISING HOPE: This event features wine, craft beer, food pairings, live jazz music, a Wine Pull and “Cupcakes and Cabernet.” Benefits Learning Empowered, formerly UMCM Suncoast. $55-$120. 6 p.m. Duncan McClellan Gallery, 2342 Emerson Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 754-3929. WINE AND CHEESE SUNSET CRUISE: Sip wine and cheese as you watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Benefits the Pinellas Master Naturalists. $35-$40. 6 p.m. Shell Key Shuttle, 801 Pass-a-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach. (727) 397-2306. ROARING ’20S FUNDRAISING GALA: Step back into a 1920s speakeasy with appetizers, open bar and music. Benefits the GFWC St. Petersburg Junior Woman’s Club. $75. 7 p.m. St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Court Ballroom, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N. (727) 317-6785.

4.15 DESIGNER PURSE BINGO: Enjoy a cash bar and buffet as you try to win a designer purse. Benefits Infinity, the League to Aid Abused Children. $75. 5:30 p.m. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. (727) 593-4699.

4.17 ROAR THROUGH YBOR: A 5K or 1-mile run to raise awareness of eye,



organ and tissue donation. Benefits the Lions Eye Institute Foundation. $30-$40. 7 p.m. Centennial Park, 1800 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 289-1200. runsignup.com.

4.18 HUNGERWALK: A walk to raise funds for Pack a Sack Food 4 Kids. Free. (Fundraising through sponsorship encouraged.) 7:30 a.m. Gulf High School, 5355 School Road, New Port Richey. (727) 276-5687. onecommunitynowhungerwalk.org. SALUTE TO THE MILITARY: The 10th annual salute to the military features military vehicles and exhibits, a kids’ fishing tournament, live music, car show and a raffle. Benefits veterans support groups. Free, $10 to show a car. 10 a.m. Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 322-5217.

4.19 BUCKET LIST BALL: The 35th annual gala includes a formal dinner, bucket list item auction, live entertainment and a review of 35 years of service. Benefits Menorah Manor. $180. 5 p.m. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 302-3705.

4.21 OPERA MASQUERADE: A Peruvian guest speaker presents information on child welfare laws in Peru during this celebration with a samba dance exhibition, live music and songs. Benefits Sanandome Entre Arboles to prevent child abandonment caused by human trafficking. $75. 8 p.m. Station House, 260 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-8260.


Curated by Cindy Bartosek

March 13 - May 2, 2020 Fiber Art Weekends, Talks, Workshops

Susan Vazquez Karol Kusmaul

• LEAD SPONSORS • Leeann Kroetsch

Marianne and Bill McComb

Gin Blische


This juried exhibition showcases the remarkable creativity and innovation of Florida artists using contemporary approaches in fiber art. The exhibition and programming are made possible with support from: Jeannine J. Crayton Pruitt Hascall Family Foundation

JUNE 28 A Statewide Nonprofit 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (727) 821-7391


bay / 77

Q& A

before we go RANDY WAYNE WHITE AUTHOR Sanibel-based bestselling author Randy Wayne White just published Salt River,, his 26th novel about marine biologist and undercover agent Doc Ford. The newest Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille will open soon at the St. Petersburg Pier, and Fins,, the first in White’s series of children’s books, Sharks Incorporated, debuts this month. A former fishing guide, he infuses his books with his deep affection for Florida’s history and environment. What part of you is in Doc Ford? Doc’s a lot tougher, smarter and stronger than I — but I have better eyesight. We both played baseball, we are both catchers, and neither of us used illegal drugs. If you were going to get someone a cool outdoor gift what would you get? I love night vision optics. At night, with a good monocular, the viewer sees 100,000 times more stars, a steady stream of meteorites and flashes of lightning 40 miles away, all invisible to normal, human eyes. Do you follow a baseball team and do you have a favorite baseball player these days? I like all the teams, particularly the lower-budget teams. I follow the Rays, a great organization, and love the stadium. To sit in AC, watch a game, and all the incredible food. The staff there ranks among the most fun, most courteous in all my baseball experience. What gadget do you or Doc Ford wish would be invented? A long, light pruning device to clip tangled fishing line from mangrove branches. Abandoned hooks and fishing line are lethal to wildlife, particularly seabirds. “Clip the Limb, Not the Line” should be a bumper sticker. Which of your boats has been your favorite? Probably my 21-foot kevlar Maverick, which Pathfinder/Maverick no longer makes. It was specially outfitted for running at night. (This was back when I traveled more by boat than car.) I have a 21-foot Egret now. It’s okay, but wish I’d had the guys at Pathfinder build something special for me. Do you have a favorite fishing hole? Tarpon Bay, where I was a guide, and the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. There are bull sharks there the size of Cessnas. 78 / bay

Photograph by Brian Tietz


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