The Buzz: Grant Peeples and Sara Mac record album at Midtown’s Mockingbird Café
Welcome to The Buzz, Tallahassee Magazine’s column created to share who’s where and what they’re doing. While we try to flit around with all of Tallahassee’s social butterflies, the Buzz can’t be everywhere. Send the skinny on your next soiree to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee (you know, the round blue one on Tennessee Street) turned one year old and threw itself a two-day party June 28 and 29. Thunderstorms on Friday night chased revelers — as well as the entertainment, the band The Gypsy Darlings and the Full Moon Bandits — inside, and the hotel’s Juicy Blue restaurant and bar was full of fun. Peter Walstra, director of operations for the hotel’s parent company, Union Hotel Management, came to town to greet guests. Also enjoying the night — which included appetizers galore, signature blue martinis and birthday cake shooters, and blue cupcakes — were Dan Parisi, Steve Wilkins, Tina Schmitz, Jon Fistel, Ali Rehwinkel, Gary Fogleman, Caroline Conway, Marjorie Stone, Chris Risalvato, Chuck Simpson, Dowanna Howard, Sean Donovan, Lisa Ferrier and Joel Silver.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the featured speaker at the Leon County Democratic Party’s Collins-Steele Dinner, held at Florida State’s University Center Club. Tallahassee’s own Allison Tant rallied the faithful as the Democratic Party’s state chair following a welcome from Altha Manning. Darryl Steele performed music and former Gov. Bob Graham introduced Wasserman Schultz. He was accompanied by his wife, Adele, and his daughter, Gwen Graham, who is running for the U.S. congressional seat now held by Republican Rep. Steve Southerland. Also on hand were Denise Norton, Jill Bixler, Mary Anne and Duncan Moore, Walli Beall and Mart Hill.
With an audience of loyal fans in attendance, two of Tallahassee’s most beloved musicians, Grant Peeples and Sara Mac, recorded an album of Americana-style music “Live at the Mockingbird” at Midtown’s Mockingbird Café. The band included trumpeter Longineau Parsons, Erik Alvar on bass, guitarist Danny Goddard and fiddler Rebecca Zapen. In the audience were Ginny Weeks, Nola Conn, Anne Schroeder, Vicki Onfrey, Krista Stephens, Carla Stephens, Teri McNeill, Lisa Smith, Wendy Trawick, Shanna Williford, and Louise and Caroline Heidenreich. Want to hear their music for yourself? Download it from iTunes or visit grantpeeples.com.
On June 23rd more than 200 people joined Elder Care Services Inc. as it hosted its inaugural “A Night in Paris” fundraising event at Hotel Duval. Guests enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, entertainment, a chance to win raffle items and a special award ceremony recognizing ECS volunteers who have served the Meals on Wheels program for 20 years or more. The $40,000 proceeds from the event benefit the Meals on Wheels (MOW) program and directly offset federal funding cuts due to sequestration. U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland attended to honor the distinguished volunteers and to speak to the growing need for the program in North Florida.
Of the more than 624 volunteers, whose routes are coordinated daily by Donna Walkup and Dianne Jacobs (who received special recognition because she is retiring), 17 were honored for their dedication and the length of their commitment to the MOW program. Mr. and Mrs. Ledley Brown and their daughter, Lou, were honored for 40 years of service and were recognized earlier this year as 2013 ECS Philanthropists of the Year. Also honored were Denise Cawthorn (20 years), Moira Desloge (21 years), Mina Fernandez (25 years), Mr. and Mrs. Al Fletcher (23 years), Grace Lutheran Church (22 years), Della Haugabrook (22 years), Jeff Jennings (22 years), Billie Jones (25 years), Nancy Kerce (25 years), Mr. and Mrs. John W. Larson
(30 years), Joan MacMillian (40 years), Joan McGowan (posthumously, 23 years), Elease Ray (30 years), Joe Rizza (22 years), Janet Wells (25 years), and Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Worthen (25 years).
Also on hand were ECS staff members Mark D. Baldino, Amber Tynan and Michael Henderson.
Ask any Top Single and they’ll tell you their greatest fear is walking on stage as the bidding begins and hearing … crickets. It’s never happened in four years, but savvy singles have ginned up their chances for success by holding pre-event fundraisers for their chosen charities. Hunter+Harp’s Director of Food and Beverage and Top Single Steve Adams took it to the next level — make that Level 8 — at Hotel Duval for a Top Chef competition pitting The Front Porch Executive Chef Joe Rego and Hotel Duval’s Executive Chef Chris Leynes in head-to-head competition. The duo whipped up four sets of appetizers before the event featuring pork belly, tomatillo, peaches and black beans that were judged by the crowd of 100-plus foodies on hand. But during the evening’s festivities, the chefs were required to create a dessert using a secret ingredient — avocado. Emcees Marc and Pam Bauer kept a running commentary while the cooking was going on and, at the end of the night, Leynes was declared the winner, producing mini avocado/lime pound cakes with cream cheese frosting and pistachios.
Judges included City Commissioner Scott Maddox, Rick Oppenheim, Chuck Urban, County Commissioner Bryan Desloge, Arthur Huynh and the always-electric Marsha Doll, who offset the guys in suit jackets with her rainbow-striped sequined dress.
Joy Moore was enjoying the festivities, along with her son, Jack, and daughter, Anna (who was accompanied by her boyfriend, John Adams, who happens to be Steve Adams’ son and the kitchen manager at The Front Porch). Also on hand were Alicia New and Vince Cartwright, Gina Pistici, Darcy Cavell, DJ James and Jessica Scully, Jo Anne Suggs, Carrie and Chase McNeill, Dana Brooks, Colette Washington, Dean Faulkenberry (aka Mr. Marsha Doll) and Tyler Husom.
Cheney Brothers donated foodstuffs, Republic National Distributing Company provided the libations and by the end of the evening, Adams had raised $13,000 for two local nonprofits, Cards for a Cure and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Cindy and Randy Briley hosted a reception in their lovely Killearn Estates home to welcome the new executive director of the Leon County Humane Society, Abby Ouimet. Several members of the LCHS staff, leadership and supporters were on hand to meet her, including Warren and Sandra Schoenfisch, Liz and Bob Maryanski, Chuck and Patty Mitchell, Gerry Phipps, Jim Croushorn, Barb Hatch, Frank and Peper Willis, Barb Gershman, Ramona and Rick Cumbie, Hella and Michael Spellman, Tracey and Jonathan Van Hook and Laura and Clint Brewer. It’s actually a homecoming of sorts for Abby and her husband. The couple met at an FSU Dance Marathon when he was in medical school (a member of the school’s first graduating class) and she was an undergrad, moving to California after graduation. Since their return, Dr. Adam Ouimet has joined the staff at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital as an emergency room physician.