Party Line: 'Strike Out' party is home run

Photos by Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal
Jason and Caitlin Motte hosted "Strike Out Cancer with Jason Motte" at the Clark Opera Memphis Center.

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Photos by Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal Jason and Caitlin Motte hosted "Strike Out Cancer with Jason Motte" at the Clark Opera Memphis Center.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte and his wife, Caitlin, hosted "Strike Out Cancer with Jason Motte" Saturday night at the Clark Opera Memphis Center.

About 200 attended the event and "$36,000-plus" was raised, Caitlin said.

The event, a fundraiser for the Wings Foundation at the West Clinic, was a way for the Mottes to give back to the clinic for the care given to Caitlin's grandfather, the late Lynn Doyle, who died of lung cancer last December.

Since spring training, Jason collected baseballs, jerseys, bats and other items for the auction. "I went around the leagues and had guys signing them," he said.

Commenting on a Stan Musial jersey, Jason told the crowd, "He was pretty good."

Brian Schwarze, grandson of the legendary Major League Baseball hitter and one of Jason's friends, donated the jersey, Caitlin said. "Jason was able to hang out with Stan for a morning and explain what we were doing. He doesn't sign all too often. We were thrilled he chose to participate in our event."

Commenting on one of his own jerseys in the auction, Jason joked, "I know this is gonna be the highest-priced item of the night."

Some movie, music and other auction articles were from the collection of Larry Moss, who attended with his wife, Judy.

Memphian Dan Martinez, one of Jason's friends who is with the Los Angeles Angels organization, said Jason is "humble and down to earth. When you see what he's done, it makes you want to be better. Makes you want to perform."

Laura Taylor traveled from St. Louis "to support my boy."

Laura said Jason is "kind of crazy on the field. He's an amazing pitcher." But he also "looks like could be in front of a classroom teaching. He's an approachable guy."

Jason and Caitlin, who live in East Memphis, are expecting a baby in January. Asked what the baby is going to be, Jason said, "There's a few genuine surprises in life. When it pops out, we'll find out."

WMC-TV announcer Andy Wise was master of ceremonies. Music was by DJ Jimmy Harris.

Keaton Captivates

Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton talked about love at her appearance Friday at the Methodist Healthcare Foundation Cancer Center Luncheon at The Peabody.

That doesn't mean she didn't talk about Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Al Pacino and others she worked with.

"Kissing on film wasn't real love, but it's close," she said.

Diane showed clips from her films as well as home movies of her children and her family, particularly her mother, Dorothy Hall, who died of Alzheimer's.

Following her talk, Diane answered questions from the audience. WMC-TV news anchor Ursula Madden joined her on stage to ask the questions.

Asked what role she'd like to play, Diane said, "Something more outrageous. I'd like to play the devil or a witch."

Asked how she kept the energy going, Diane said, "Anxiety."

Annie Hall in the movie of the same name is the role most like her, she said. When she went on auditions early in her career, she was told she was "too kooky for the part." Describing herself on a 1972 TV appearance with Johnny Carson, she said, "I was pre-verbal."

Asked how to be a good caregiver to someone with an illness like her mother had, Diane said, "Spend time with them. ... Be kind. Be there. Don't tell them what to do. Let them do what they want."

Diane loves Memphis. "I'm a serial renovator," she said. "This is a great place to shop. ... I've seen a lot of empty houses. I'd like to buy them and rent them out. I've seen some gorgeous houses in Memphis."

Red Boas for All

Men and women wore red boas at the Boa Ball on Saturday night at the Memphis Botanic Garden. The sold-out event was a benefit for the American Red Cross, Mid-South Chapter. Guests included Pat and Gina Neely and Pat Kerr Tigrett, who were among the Memphis celebrities photographed wearing red boas for the party's promotional campaign.

Alice Higdon co-chaired the event with Brooke Tweddell. Food was from Carrabbas. The Jimmy Church Band performed.

Purple Carpet Ball

Some guests wore purple to the second annual Purple Carpet Ball Saturday night at Appling Manor.

The event was hosted by the Sigma Lambda Lambda graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the National Kidney Foundation.

The event included food, drinks and music by DJ Rax of Hot 107.1.

Jermaine Swagerty is president of the Sigma Lambda Lambda chapter.

Renasant reception

Representatives from area nonprofit organizations attended a reception Wednesday at Renasant Bank's Germantown branch to apply for one of six $7,500 grants to be given by the bank. Three independent judges will review the applications and decide who will get the grants.

"The grants are from our Renasant Roots program of giving back to our respective communities we serve," said Jeff Hudson, Renasant West Tennessee president. "When we decided to do this, we asked our employees to provide names of 501 C-3 organizations that serve our immediate area. We had hoped to come up with about 40 names and much to our surprise and delight, we identified over 85 worthy organizations."

The checks will be presented at a luncheon in mid December.

Draper's Catering provided the food at Wednesday's reception.

Good Samaritans

The Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South held its "Jazz, Pasta and More" party Nov. 11 at Memphis Botanic Garden. Di Anne Price and her boyfriends provided the music, and area restaurants provided the food. Cullen Kent, chef/owner of Café Society, coordinated the food portion of the party.

Cover photo: Roel and Cynthia Smit at the Boa Ball.

donahue@commercialappeal.com; 901-529-2797

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