The fifth annual Marissa Nestor Tennis Invitational to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida takes place Saturday, Jan. 26 at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne. Event hosts are Dr. Eva Ritvo of Miami Beach and Jason Starkman, owner of Epicure Gourmet Market & Café.
To increase fundraising this year, Starkman, a tournament sponsor for the past three years, is adding a new “court-related” element to the event.
On Friday, Jan. 25, Starkman and wife Diana will host an exclusive dinner party for up to 40 guests on the private tennis court at their Bay Harbour Islands home. Attendees will meet area chefs (who will donate their services): Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s); Hedy Goldsmith (Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets); Michael Love (Epicure); Hector Morales (Epicure) and Steve Martorano (Café Martorano) and tennis pros including Eddie Dibbs (who will play in the invitational).
A Bay Harbour resident for 10 and an avid tennis player since age 9, Starkman, 38, says it is his pleasure to help UCP, particularly since funding for the non-profit has been cut drastically in recent years due to the economy.
“My business provides connections to the best chefs in the world, many of whom live in this community,” explains Starkman. “I thought this event would be something unique and special that people would really enjoy, especially since chefs today are considered more celebrity than actors.”
In addition to providing the food for the dinner and tournament breakfast and lunch, Epicure will donate gift cards for participating pros and tournament winners. Awards ceremony emcee will be CBS-4’s Eliott Rodriguez (slated to play in the pro-am).
Cost for the dinner is $1,000 each, including tournament play. Tennis only is $150 per doubles entry; Singles (to be matched with partner) is $85. Non-tennis players can attend dinner or luncheon and silent auction.
The tournament is named in honor of Marissa Nestor, 21, who is living with cerebral palsy and to raise funds for UCP of South Florida, which provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities.
For tickets or further information, call 305-325-9018 or visit www.ucpsouthflorida.org.
SOCIAL ACTION, LOCAL ARTS
Roberto Guzman and Carol Hoffman-Guzman met more than 20 years ago in Miami. He was a Spanish teacher; she needed to perfect her Spanish for a mission to Bolivia. After returning from La Paz, she signed up for another session of Spanish. He invited her out and immediately fell in love – with her books and art collection.
Both Roberto and Carol had been collecting art for many years – he in the Dominican Republic and she in Colorado and Florida. After marrying in 1992, the couple continued to expand their collections, which include art from new and emerging friends (some who have since become famous).
As Carol will retire this summer, she decided to donate part of their joint art collection to her second love, the Arts at St. Johns, where she served as founding director for 12 years.
The public can bid on these items during the Arts at St. Johns SALA Art Social, which takes place Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden from 6:30 – 9 p.m.. The event will include music, dance, visual arts, refreshments, networking and a silent arts auction.