Memphis Grizzlies players dressed up instead of out for the annual Staxtacular party Saturday evening at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
Rudy Gay wore a Givenchy suit and a pair of athletic shoes. He also wore a T-shirt with a big picture of a Rottweiler on it. "Someone sent it to me," he said.
This is the annual Stax Music Academy fundraiser where guests can talk to and have their photos taken with Memphis Grizzlies players. Jeb Hart and his fianceeDevon Dennis, had their picture taken with Marc Gasol and Tony Allen. Jeb didn't wear his signature Grizzly bear coat, which Devon bought for him for Christmas. Jeb said he wears the fake fur coat with a bear head hood to all the games, including one held on a 65-degree day. "I was radiating heat," he said.
Tony Allen and fellow Memphis Grizzlies Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph hosted the event, which also included the coaching staff. A buffet dinner, bourbon tastings, silent, live and online auctions were featured. The Bo-Keys and Percy Wiggins performed.
Young women sold sunglasses at the Read-To-Me Gala, a fundraiser for Shelby County Books from Birth, Saturday night at the Tower Room. Guests who paid $60 for the glasses provided a child with one book a month from the time of their birth to age 5.
"Our whole purpose is to get books in the hands of children from age 1," said board member Sally Walker Davies.
More than 200 attended the event, which included a live auction conducted by WHBQ-TV Fox 13 news anchor Mearl Purvis as well as a silent auction, a VIP area, dinner and dancing to Elmo and the Shades.
Lisa Morten and Diane Chambliss were co-chairwomen. Patricia and Chip Dudley were honorary co-chairmen. Peter Abell is executive director of Shelby County Books from Birth.
Iron Shaker Cocktail contest
The bartending team of Nick Talarico and Mickey Blanq from Hog & Hominy won the recent Iron Shaker cocktail competition at Hog & Hominy restaurant.
Four teams competed in the Iron Chef-style contest. Each team had to create an original cocktail by using three of five secret ingredients. A panel of judges made their decision based on originality, utilization, balance, taste and presentation.
The Hog & Hominy bartenders made a whiskey fizz with quinoa, rosewater, lemon juice and ginger hibiscus simple syrup, Mickey said. They dubbed it "The FTW (For the Win) Fizz."
The cocktail also took first place in the People's Choice Competition Cocktail. It was the cocktail that received the most votes by guests at the competition.
The team of Jayce McConnell and Brett Meeks from Snackbar in Oxford, Miss., took second place in the main contest and in the People's Choice competition. Also participating were teams from Twelve Bar at Aldo's Pizza Pies and Joe's Wines and Liquors. Proceeds from ticket sales go to Grow Memphis.
Church Health 'Friend-raiser'
Jeff Hulett wore his other hat at Thursday night's Church Health Center Happy Hour at A. Schwab. Jeff, the organization's public relations and communications coordinator, sang and played guitar on stage. Jeff is in the Snowglobe and Glorie bands.
Jeff described the event as "a friend-raiser with the potential of inspiring folks to join our monthly giving program." The party, which drew more than 100 people, was held before the Memphis Grizzlies/Lakers game, which was "timely for those looking for something to do before the game."
In memory of Sam Bomarito
The late Sam Bomarito was honored at the recent Italian Winterfest at the Racquet Club of Memphis. Sam, who was owner of Pete & Sam's restaurant, was one of the founders of the event, which featured food from several restaurants and music, including dance music by Joyce Cobb and her band.
The fundraiser for the Catholic Education Scholarship Fund and the Ave Maria Home drew more than 1,000 people, said Tony Barrasso, who, along with Angelo Lucchesi, founded the event with Sam.
Cover photo: Devon Dennis, Memphis Grizzlies player Tony Allenand Jeb Hart at Staxtacular.