Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spring Affair for Cotillion Dinner Dance

Tom and Becky Matkov, Doug Oppenheimer

The Cotillion Club’s Spring Affair more than lived up to its name. The evening began with a Spring Cocktail Hour at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables Hotel with the majority of the ladies wearing spring colored attire. Causing much admiration were the bouquets of beautiful spring flowers used as centerpieces on all the dinner tables in the ballroom. President Shelby Pilkington welcomed guests and thanked chairman Kay Lores for the popular dinner dance which everyone enjoyed.

Dr. Ed and Chairman Kay Lores, Cotillion President Shelby and Doug Pilkington

Top Photo: Jeanne and Ed Corlett

Bottom Photo:Linda and Eric Buermann
Watch for the rest of the photos..............

Frost School of Music Sunset Celebration Showcases Talent

Top Photo: Karl and Carmen Bishopric, Irene Patti Hammond, Dr.
Morton Hammond Bottom Photo: Thor Bruce, Linda Kaplan, John and Pam Admire

Sunset Celebration first gleamed at the party-perfect home of Frankie and Dean William Hipp of the Frost School of Music.
Generous donors were invited to enjoy a convivial atmosphere conducive to making friendships as they sipped libations. The muchawaited Showcase presents talented students whose performances bear witness to the results of stellar teaching and guidance by the phenomenal faculty at the School.
Major donors were recognized and honored. Musical theatre students Whitney Nichole Fincher, Stephen Gelpi, Jose Luaces and Lissa Rubin displayed their prowess in the Biltmore’s Alhambra ballroom. Just as captivating was the second half of the program: Ashley Liberty on violin accompanied by Marina Radyushyna. Talented jazz pianist Felix Gomez held sway until the end; guests visited pasta and carving stations, cheese and dessert displays. Bacardi USA provided potables for the notables.

Jack Bennett, Pat Crow, Joan and Jim Dezell,
Anna Mae and George Corrigan

Top Photo: Daniel Lewis,Thomas Wood

Bottom Photo: Fran and Herb Gaynor

Watch this space for more photos.............

Friday, September 21, 2007

Driven to Dine - limo is the way to go

A hearty round of applause to the genius who came up with the newest fund-raising fun-making fete – “Driven to Dine”.
Its raving success inspired Florida Heart Research Institute senior VP Development Sallie Byrd to reserve April 26, 2008 for next year’s Signature Event. Everyone is still talking about it. “South Beach Diet” celebrity Dr. Arthur Agatson was guest of honor, introduced by the effervescent Dorothy St. Jean, an inimical emcee. Dr. Richard Elias, Chairman of the Board of Trustees greeted avid supporters who had been greeted by waiters with flutes of champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres while listening to a string duet playing on the patio. Champagne and the full bar was courtesy of Pernod Ricard, USA. Auction items donated by such as Diane von Furstenberg. Tiffany’s and Romero Britto lured lucky signers and perfume in goody bags was proffered by Bernard Klepach.
Sotheby’s lent an Indian Creek mansion for the cocktail party where 150 guests mingled until the bell tingled. Time for one guest from each party of 10 to pick a number. A sealed envelope identifying the “surprise” restaurant destination was given to each of the limo drivers. Five couples piled into each assigned limo not knowing if the chef at Casa Casuarina or Ortanique or Norman’s (among others) awaited their arrival.
Kudos to the super chefs. Their hearts were in the right place.

Ghislain Gouraige of UBS, Chef
Wolfgang Birk of Casa Casuarina,
Marjorie Gouraige

Bobby Castellano, Brenda Nestor Castellano

Dr. Richard Elias, Chef Giancarla Bodini
of Escopazzo, Sue Elias

Watch for the rest of the photos.........................

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Surf Club Easter Ball

Hosts Michael & Rita Morgan

Between romancing and dancing, Rita and Michael Morgan make beautiful music together. Even their phone recording gives friends a daily double. A two-fer. As always generous hosts for the Easter Ball at the Surf Club, photographers’ flashes would capture Michael and Rita welcoming their 100 plus guests. This year the reception was held in the Berry room, which downsized the greeting space. Hence, a missed photo op. Rita did double duty with welcomes until Michael arrived (some men take longer to dress, I guess.)
Friends of Rita and Michael spell out FORM. True to form, our popular dancing duo attracts an awe-dience as they stride and glide across the dance floor. Irene Patti Swartz Hammond (a mouthful) used her precious pipes to warble “Easter Parade” at the start of the tasty crown of lamb dinner. Chocolate bunny favors had slimmed down to keep eager eaters from bulking up. Michael and Rita always ask the chef to bake a birthday cake for me and after blowing out the candles, I know maitre d’ Teresio will have it boxed to take home. If I be an Easter feaster it will grow bigger keister. Bunny hugs await our happy hosts. The line forms to the right.

Top Photo: Jim & Barbara Cromarty
Bottom Photo:Ida Snow, son Eddie Snow, Jr.

Bill Mathay & Mary Jane Hubbard

Dr. Mort Hammond, wife Irene Patti Swartz Hammond,
Eileen & Richard Perillo

Watch this space for the rest of the photos............

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Purple Hat
In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer. here is an "angel" sent to watch over you. Pass this on to women you want watched over.
(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer).
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's"; more "I'm sorry's."
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what!
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Let's think about what you have been blessed with, and what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally. I hope you have a joyous day.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Surf Club Family Night features “talking” cockatoos

When Marjorie Serralles Sonderling heard that the Surf Club had booked John Russert for Sunday night, she invited her family to join her. Viola! Family Night. John Russert and his 40 Fathoms steel drums band gets upstaged by the performance of his white cockatoos, which stars “Squeaker”. Imagine the amazement as these birds “speak” to Russert, who rescued his first bird 12 years ago. What began with a few neglected birds became a fascinating show he takes to places like the Everglades Club and the Breakers in Palm Beach. His feeling for these intelligent birds and their mutual affection delights the whole family.

Greta McLaney, Marjorie Serralles Sonderling, Lorna Heisler, Gabriella Russell Serralles, Marjorie Serralles Russell, Lisa Petrillo, Skylar & Dylan McCury

Gabriella Russell
Serralles with “Squeaker”

Wow! Dinosaurs at Miami Science Museum

Scientific advisor to the exhibition Dr.
Matthew Lamanna and Maria Celeste

Dinosaurs of China at the Miami Science Museum is a fantastic exhibit. The large crowd who attended the VIP Opening Reception three days before the official opening was overwhelmed viewing some of the finest and rarest dinosaur fossils ever discovered in the world. The evening began with cocktails and passed oriental-style hors d’oeuvres. After the opening ceremonies by Museum President/CEO Gillian Thomas, everyone went through the Red Doors to see the exhibit of 66 dinosaur fossils that included an amazing 85-foot long fossilized skeleton of one of the longest-necked dinosaurs to have ever lived, which filled one whole museum room. Next the buffet dinner was served and then a special performance, The Drums of China, was held in the lobby. Both an entertaining and educational evening.

Frank Armstrong, Museum President/CEO
Gillian Thomas and Joseph Falk

Dr. Rodney, Linda and Alexander Benjamin
Michael Boccia, Honky Bowles
and Phil Moore

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hurry seats won't last long!!!!!!!

University of Miami Jerry Herman Ring Theatre
Monday, September 17, 2007 6:00 p.m.
A 90 minute doctmentary on Jerry Herman
It is FREE!!
There are only about 30 tickets left for this event
Please call this number and reserve your tickets
Don't waste NOW !!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Queen Barbara's Glamorous Birthday Soiree

Top Photo: Dr. Mort Hammond, Irene Hammond, Eileen &
Richard Perill Bottom Photo: Jeannett Slesnick, Mayor Don Slesnick,
Barbara & Bill Reese

Who else but Barbara and Bill Reese have a ballroom in their historic Coral Gables home? So they had the furniture removed and 100 guests celebrated Barbara’s 60 sensational years with champagne, a seated dinner by LeBasque and danced the night away with the Varon brothers. Entertainment was built-in: daughter Michele Reese, together with Bill’s brother Stuart, Lise-Marie Wertanzl and diva Irene Hammond presented a fabulous musical tribute to the Birthday Queen.

Top Photo: Bob Gallagher, Aldo Busot & George
Jenkins Bottom Photo: Cathy Briggle, Ingrid Lyall & Debbie

Watch this space for the rest of the photos.................

Saturday, September 8, 2007


top photo: George Elias, former president of the Surf Club, Lady Anna Lee and Sir Edward Porter. bottom photo: Sallie Byrd, Joanie Nielsen, Rita Boesch & Barbara Weintraub

Gables Rotary picks citizen of the year

Connie Russell, Rob Owens, Dorothy Stein, J. B. Spence

Rooters for five finalists for Citizen of the Year boosted reservations for The Rotary Club of Coral Gables luncheon at the Country Club of Coral Gables.

Univision's Teresa Rodriguez ended up winning the honor, but the first four introduced -- John Admire, Lynn Bauer, Dottie Corbett and Darrell Payne -- had in common their hands-on service and devotion to those in need.

Gina Cappelletti, W.D. Wright, Rotary finalist Dottie Corbett

Karen Kirby, LaTrisia and Alan Heard

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Save the date for Queen of Hearts

Brenda Nestor Castellano (left) will be crowned the new Queen of Hearts at this year's Queen of Hearts Luncheon, November 15, 2007, at the Indian Creek Country Club. Neiman Marcus will be featuring a fashion show.

After she was chosen as the new queen, Brenda generously offered to underwrite the luncheon.

The event raises money for the
Miami Children's Hospital Foundation.
For tickets or info, please call Karla Jones
at 305-666-2889.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Junior Opera Guild Tea

Outgoing board: Diana Worley, Dara Silverman, Rosie Sugrue, Lacey Emery, Emily Sherker

At the last Junior Opera Guild event of the season, the members and their mothers gathered for a delightful Mother Daughter Tea. Held at Riviera Country Club, the party was organized by Jodie George and her mother Judy George.

New board: Viviana Garcia, Diana Worley, Alexandra Barbosa, Amanda Scherker, Emma Herman, Amelia Vallenilla

YPO advisors: Patricia Mederos, Linde Barrett, Gina Kucwanski with Rosie Sugrue, outgoing board member

Marie Antoinette recaptured by jetsetters

Astrid Lee, Peter Manners and Lorna Heisler

With an 18th Century costume party as a centerpiece, 120 friends, including many jetsetters from Miami, gathered in Paris for a birthday party.

Their hotel was across from the Louvre, the main event began under the Eiffel Tower and progressed in a chartered boat down the River Seine.

Natasha and Jack Lowell, Gabrielle Ingate
Loring Lowell and Heinrich Vischer


It’s time I put the Good News Social online.

This way more people will get to see what I produce: Socialites glowing at the Young Patronesses of the Opera Gala. Their chairmen and president will be on our November cover.

Glamorous party photos and intimate glimpses of Miami society are my cup of tea. My columns that tell it like it is are what readers tell me they don’t want to miss. You’ll get bite size Social servings everyday – no stale stuff. We’ll serialize our regular columnists, giving you quick reads.

With this new blog Good News Social, everyone can view what I do for FREE !!

What’s the catch? It doesn’t cost me anything to put the blog in front of you. I want to share my joy for living, my exuberance, my humor with everyone.
The best things in life are FREE. Write on!

I invite you to visit our site for a quick bite everyday. You might become addicted…

Joan Nielsen, Editor & Publisher