The annual “Evening Under the Stars” concert had something for everyone. If you wanted a casual picnic, you could have it.
If you want a catered dinner with tables and chairs, they had that. Music, check. Dancing, check. Atmosphere, check.
The concert, which benefits the foundation of Manatee Community College, was held at Lakewood Ranch’s polo grounds. A light breeze kept temperatures comfortable and a full moon outshone the stars. The DeLeon Band provided the entertainment.
The evening capped a busy day for college president Lars Hafner. He presided over two graduation ceremonies earlier in the day and then brought his entire family for the concert. His table in the VIP section was filled by his wife, Jacquie, their two young daughters, and his and Jacquie’s parents.
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The VIP section was for the catered dinner folks who seemed to have an informal competition to see who can provide the most elaborate decorations. Susan Miller Kelly and Paul Sharff had to be among the top contenders. They did Liberace proud with the centerpiece of a toy piano topped with a silver candelabra.
Spotted in that area were chair Tana Sandefur, SMR president Rex Jensen, former MCC president Steve and Dot Korcheck, and former MCC president Sarah and George Pappas. Also seen were Charlie and Niki Hackney and new local Whitney Bank head Tramm and Sarah Hudson.
Several hundred people opted for the picnic route and brought their own blankets, chairs and coolers.
Among the casual crowd were sisters Lois Lyons and Doris Epstein and Dr. Don and Ruth Sherwin.
Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years.