Social Studies

By Megan McDonald September 14, 2011

With summer coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to share what some of the socially stylish have been up to during Sarasota’s off-season….


One half of one of the most handsome and successful couples in Sarasota was recently presented with a high honor from the White House. Congratulations and best wishes to David Grain.  He’s received a coveted Presidential appointment to a key administration post with President Obama on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.  I’m not surprised, but I am impressed.

President Obama with Lisa and David Grain in their Bird Key home. (OK, I apologize to the Office of the President but I have to say it:  I told you the Grains are a handsome couple!)

Because giving is always in style, have a look at what the Wall Street Journal has said about one of our own local philanthropists, retired Coach Prez Keith Monda, in a recent article titled Giving Back by Nature

Also, keep an eye out for the November issue of Biz(941), where you can read more about Keith.

Keith and Linda Monda. And, just because I can’t help myself, how great is that purple-orchid dress shirt with the polished, textured tie?  Great look.


On a happily ever after note…

Best, best wishes to Dick and Cornelia Matson, who celebrated 35 years of marriage this summer at their French chateau Le Cleret, which dates back to the 16th century. The bucolic property that hosted guests for nearly four days overlooks the Dordogne River and is a functioning vineyard.  If you’re an oenophile and up for a tasting, Chateau Le Cleret can be purchased locally at Siesta Market, the Sports Page and Michael’s Wine Cellar.

Le Cleret

Dick and Cornelia Matson

Sarasota attendees who imbibed in the Champagne, dancing and fireworks included Anita and Sidney Holec, Mary Jane and Mike Hartenstine, Elisabeth and Gil Waters, Pam and David Steves, Sheila and Sid Lirtzman, Pauline and Albert Joerger and their girls, Elaine and Bill Crouse, Ann Cameron, Annie and Bob Nathan, and Karl Wamsler.

And then to new beginnings:

He asked, she said yes, and not long after Shelley Binion married her love, Ed Sarbey, on July 3. The two were wed by Judge Becky Titus in the presence of her husband, Elliott Metcalfe, Mark and Jennie Famiglio, and the five Sarbey family fur kids.

But when it comes to a wedding, after the love, it’s all about the dress. And Shelley found impeccable inspiration in the wedding gown of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.  She donned a perfectly dreamy champagne-colored, floor-length, Calvin Klein silk sheath and added a classic pair of Manolo Blahniks. Excellent, excellent choice.

Something old:   Her grandmother’s engagement ring

Something new: The dress

Something borrowed: Jennie’s tennis bracelet

Something blue: A Tiffany diamond and sapphire pendant, a Christmas gift from Ed


Mr. and Mrs. Ed Sarbey


We have a rising star in our midst, so don’t say we didn’t tell you so.  Her name is Alyssa White--she’s a fifteen-year-old soulful singer, is currently working with the talented West Coast Black Theatre Troupe and is a three-time winner at The Apollo Theater. Yes, that Apollo Theater. In Harlem. That’s the one.  But taking it one step cooler, Alyssa has been invited back for a solo performance in December.

Now, all she has to do is get there.

Family, friends and fans are gathering on October 2 at 6 p.m. for a fundraising concert at The Westcoast Black Theatre.  Monies raised will be used for voice and dance lessons, costumes, education and travel--everything she’ll need to make it possible to accept the invitation to solo at The Apollo Theater.  

In this case, every dollar counts, so general admission is $25 and sponsor levels start there as well, going up to $500.  Call (941) 306-6447 for info and reservations.

Alyssa White

Reviving a dream, Lisa Berger (former Development, Marketing and PR Director at Art Center Sarasota) is returning to her career roots in NYC with Ellesse, the high-end Italian sportswear line, where she was the Director of Design from 1989-1995. Diving right in, she’ll be designing tennis for men and women, with the new collections in stores for Spring 2012.

If you need a tennis primer, Ellesse was predominantly know in the U.S. as the brand that Chris Evert endorsed while she was a top-ranked player. Chris has just signed on to be Ellesse's spokesperson, and Lisa will be collaborating with her on some special collections.


I love to see talented, capable and deserving people get a good break–congrats, Lisa!

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