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CARES premieres Aged to Perfection party at mall

Suncoast News staff report
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PORT RICHEY — For its Aged to Perfection celebration, CARES transformed Gulf View Square for an after-hours party with an elegant, vintage theme.

Within an hour and a half, 76 CARES volunteers helped set up the new event, Brenda Martyniak, CARES communications director, said.

Chef Michael Rigberg and 26 Land O’Lakes High Culinary Program students prepared the meal. Twenty Fivay High Interact Club students and sponsor Moe Rickus decorated the center-court area. A dozen Gulf High School NJROTC students, led by Commander John McGuire, helped serve desserts.

Evie Parks, CARES fund development and donor relations coordinator, organized the festivities.

Early guests for the ball at the mall attended a cocktail party hosted by Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse.

Sounds from an 18-piece big band filled the space. Antique cars decorated the hallway for people to enjoy as they made their way to tables adorned with appetizing delights.

The French table offered crusty breads and buttery cheeses. A tropical table designed with fruit “palm trees” was surrounded by mounds of strawberries, melons and citrus.

Greek columns complemented treats of delicate stuffed dolmades, tiny toasted pitas filled with lamb, and bowlfuls of imported olives.

A colorful Indian table provided vegetarian fare heaped with sweet curry puffs and hazelnuts.

The main and central display table was a platform made of marble and glass block that supported an ice carving inlaid with the black and gold “CARES Aged to Perfection” logo.

Caterer Lisa Shippy-Gonzalez prepared many treats.

CARES CEO Bill Aycrigg welcomed guests and thanked the sponsors and volunteers.

Al Torrence, a West Pasco attorney who frequently performs master-of-ceremony duties, introduced the Aged to Perfection honorees. They are Robin Falzone, Jack Long, Betty Lyons, Bob Montgomery, John Panetta, David Prace, Frank Rollo, Richard C. Williams and Madeline Woodman.

Attendees wrote praise in notes to CARES administration, describing the party as “remarkable,” a “first-class event” and a “splendid job.”

Proceeds from the ticket sales and sponsorships will help CARES provide home care for the frail elderly, senior centers and specialized services for older adults.

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