Local Events

Suncoast Grand Prix kicks off with a big party

@BR Ednote:EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of a production error, the wrong photos ran with Tuesday’s Social Scene column. We’re reprinting the column today with the correct photos.

The Sarasota Municipal Auditorium was the location of choice for this year’s Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Kickoff Party held June 27. The auditorium was jam-packed with an incredibly enthusiastic crowd.

Festival director Lucy Nicandri and her co-chairs, Bob Soran and Tom DeLong, were thrilled with the successful opening of the Silver Anniversary Celebration Week. Yes, 25 years and the racing continues with the support of hundreds of dedicated volunteers and committed sponsors, making this one of the longest running races in the country.

Proceeds from the kickoff party, chaired by Hollis Tucker along with co-chairs Jack Cox and Donnie McDonough, benefitted the Suncoast Foundation for the Handicapped and were earmarked for The Florida Center for Child and Family Development. Kudos to Trish Bardi and Charlene Sweet-Bass for co-chairing a very spirited live auction, which featured Sheriff Tom Knight and SNN News 6 Sports Anchor Antawan Smith as auctioneers.

The Alternators blues band provided the early evening entertainment, while The Greg Billings Band rocked the house long past my bedtime.

Race-fans included past festival chair Don Fisher and Denise; Lou Merucci with son Matt and Christine; Joe and Nilda Mercado; Drs. Sarah and Michael Mackie; Blythe McDonough; Bruce Franklin and Glen and Martha Hostetler.

Nancy Allen, a Pittsburgh native and mother of three teenagers, is proud to call Bradenton home.