Thursday, March 15, 2012

Senior Friendship Center's A Madcap Evening

My biggest question was how were they going to turn the main room of the Senior Friendship Center (SFC) into an elegant dining room and guess what?  They did a beautiful job!  I never would have guessed they could make it so lovely, but Jewel Ash and her decorating committee did a marvelous job!  I was speaking with Erin McLeod of SFC and she told me they rent it out for all sorts of parties.  When she mentioned they just had a wedding there, I asked if they were clients who attended there regularly and she said no.  It was a young couple!  Who knew there was this other great party venue in town?  Easy to get to, easy parking, a great dance floor, a commercial kitchen that caterers love - who could ask for more?

The main entertainment of the evening went with the theme - A Madcap Evening - You Bet Your Life...and Then Some - basically built around Groucho Marx and his You Bet  Your Life TV show, with a few other Marx details thrown in.  The event chair was Harold Ronson and he was a delightful first contestant on the "show" with Groucho, along with his "partner" Margo Zaryzcka.  The second group of contestants were Jackie LeClaire and Becky Taylor.  There was even an opera interlude with studio singers from the Sarasota Opera.  They were terrific!

Michael Klauber did a very short auction - one item and SFC President and CEO, Bob Carter spoke movingly about the mission. 

The crowd was very chatty and it was hard to get them to sit down.  After asking folks to take their seats several times, Brent Greeno who was, of course, working the A/V, said over the microphone that if people didn't sit down, he was going to call them out by name.  Believe me, all the "names" in town scurried to their seats!

The menu was one of the most interesting parts.  It was served family style at each table!  I don't think I have ever been to an event where food was delivered that way, especially from Michael's On East, but that was the request.  MOE captain, Tracey Mccammack, told me the recipes were all Molly Schechter's.  We had braised brisket of beef, duck a l'Orange, green beans, rice pilaf, and an apricot jello mold.  It was finished off by duck-shaped sugar cookies and a yummy strawberry shortcake.  A very different, but interesting dinner.

Others who attended, but not pictured below were Honorary co-chairs Gerri Aaron and Marv Albert and Harry and Victoria Leopold, along with Lois and Bill Cohodas, Jocelyn Stevens, Gloria Moss, Ernie Garcia, Emily Walsh, Carol Maher, Doris Kaplan, and many more.

Mike and Jewel Ash

Dennis Stover and Erin McLeod

Lois Schulman,  Jane Smiley, and Bob Plunket

Sally Schule, Bruce and India Lesser

Bunny and Mort Skirboll with Joan and Mike Cohen

Veronica Brady and Howard Phillips

Gayle Guynup, Loren Mayo, and Molly Schechter

Betty Schoenbaum and Tana Sandefur

Jan Chester and Monica and Dr. Richard Buskirk

Julie and Phil Delaney

George Augustin and Pam Daniel

Matt and Margaret Callihan

Phil King and Ronelle Ashby

Susanne and Erika Wise Borland

Margaret Wise and Monee Arpin

Angela Smith Harrison, Nancy Blackburn, and Martha Smith Allen

Nikki and Jim Nilon

Peggy Abt and me

Chuck Sidlow as Groucho Marx

The cute centerpiece with Groucho glasses and nose

The salad, but what I really want you to see is - look on the napkin in the glass - a little yellow duck - so darling!

The "ducky" sugar cookies

The delish strawberry shortcake

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