Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Edie Windsor visits Equality Florida St. Petersburg gala

Honoree Edie Windsor, who fought DOMA, is escorted by Marjorie Sherwin at the Equality Florida St. Petersburg gala.

Photo by James Branaman

Honoree Edie Windsor, who fought DOMA, is escorted by Marjorie Sherwin at the Equality Florida St. Petersburg gala.


"Hello, Edie!" the singers from Penguin Entertainment belted out at the Equality Florida St. Petersburg gala, held in the Mahaffey Theater.

Their musical tribute celebrated special guest Edith Windsor, the octogenarian whose lawsuit led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Additional honorees were Anastasia Hiotis, who received the Voice of Equality Award, and Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, the law firm where Hiotis is chief operating officer. It received the Equality Means Business Award. The event included a presentation from Equality Florida's chief executive officer, Nadine Smith.

Hiotis and Larry Biddle were co-chairs of the steering committee, which included Joel Briskman, Ashley Brundage, Rod Dietz, Barry Dingman, Dexter Fabian, Karen Goforth, Sheree Graves, Alissa Hopkins, Jeffrey Jew, Kevin Lane, Joanna Parkin, Gary Patterson, Christopher Rudisill, Sylvia Rusche, Barry Rothstein, Toni Russell, Marge Sherwin and Rose Walton. Ty Maxey was volunteer coordinator.

Pinellas development chairman Todd Richardson reports that the event drew a record crowd of nearly 600 guests and raised a record $236,000. PNC Bank was the event's presenting sponsor, and catering was by Ceviche and Rococo Steak.


With more than 450 guests attending, the Beth Dillinger Foundation's annual fundraising luncheon packed the Picasso Ballroom at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park. Figures are still out, but the foundation, in partnership with the Take Stock in Children program of the Pinellas Education Foundation, raised more than $200,000 in scholarship money alone.

Kay and Bob Dillinger (he is the public defender in Pinellas and Pasco counties) began the effort as a way to celebrate the life of their daughter, Beth. The foundation's goal is to educate, clothe and feed needy youngsters in the area, fulfilling its mission through Beth's Closet at PACE Center for Girls in Pinellas Park; the Hope Chest clothes closets in the public defender's offices in Clearwater, Dade City and New Port Richey; Nourish to Flourish, a partnership with the 6th Circuit public defender's office; and the Beth Dillinger Scholarship fund.

Supporters Thelma Rothman and her daughter Margie Green received the Spirit of Hope Award.

Cat Coats was moderator for the fashion show, which featured clothing from Ambria's Gallery of Wearable Art and models from the community and PACE Center for Girls.

Also participating in the program were broadcaster Gayle Sierens, who was master of ceremonies; Bob McIntyre, past chairman of the Pinellas Education Foundation; Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Linda Allan; Bright House Networks' Susan Juhl; and Ameriprise Financial Services' Lance Becatti.


Daystar Life Center's second annual "With these Hands" breakfast raised more than $14,000, bringing about 180 patrons to the Maria Center at Holy Name Catholic Church in Gulfport.

Executive director Jane Walker recognized keynote speaker Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger with the "With These Hands Award."

Planning committee members included Linda Bennett, Maureen Camphire, Judy Cline, Joe Cortese, Sister Marita Flynn, Mariagnes Gallerie, Jan Hamilton Mary Johnson, D. Susan Pivec, Patti Razor and Corrine St Jean.

Edie Windsor visits Equality Florida St. Petersburg gala 05/15/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Photo of the Day for September 19, 2017 - Great Egret with green mating coloration

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Barbara Motter of Weeki Wachee, FL.

  2. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  4. Bicyclist in critical condition after colliding with vehicle in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist is in critical condition after he ran a red light and was struck by a car on Monday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  5. Myanmar leader sidesteps atrocity allegations in first address on Rohingya crisis (w/video)


    YANGON, Myanmar - In her first major speech Tuesday on the worsening Rohingya crisis, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sidestepped allegations of atrocities committed against the stateless Muslim minority and cast the conflict as just one of many problems ailing the country.

    A Rohingya Muslim, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carries his belongings as he arrives at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. [Associated Press]