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On the Town: Friends and Flowers Luncheon, Charity Ball to benefit All Children's


The big white tent behind the TradeWinds on St. Pete Beach housed more than 400 guests at the sixth annual Friends and Flowers Luncheon to benefit Academy Prep Center St. Petersburg.

Bouquets of roses and hydrangeas centered every table at the fundraising event, which featured presentations from current Academy Prep students and alumni, including Shaniqua Mitchell, Markee Davis, Angellea Saengthong, Jonathan Dacres, Melaisha Teartt and LeDai Haywood.

The "Five Fabulous Females" honored are community leader and philanthropist Jan Sher, Poynter Institute president Karen Dunlap, Bloomin' Brands chairman and chief executive Liz Smith, YWCA Tampa Bay chief executive Lenice Emanuel and University of South Florida System president Judy Genshaft.

Academy Prep head of school Leanne Howard, trustee John Erik Savitsky and board of trustees president Linda Marcelli spoke on behalf of the school.

Liz Sembler led the event committee, which included Michelle Cohen, Chris Duerson, Betsy Englander, Abbe Ensminger, Carol Fisher, Marcelli, Marlene Peterson, Debbie Sembler and Shelly Silverberg.

Proceeds from the luncheon support Academy Prep's student scholarship program.


The 82nd annual Charity Ball to benefit pediatric palliative care programs at All Children's Hospital walked on the wild side in the Palm Court Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. With "Untamed" as the theme, the event featured leopard-skin print tablecloths, a spirited menu, even chocolate elephants on the dessert plates.

Auction items included a hunting trip to Argentina, a Mediterranean cruise, a Kenya safari and tickets to the U.S. Open golf tournament in June.

Orchestrating it all are an army's worth of volunteers from the All Children's Hospital Guild Evening Branch.

Chloe Firebaugh chaired the event committee, with help from chairwoman-elect Cheryl Matala. Additional members were Shari Casey, Janet Lynn, Carol Nelson, Jennifer Christ, Carole McGurk, Jean Prina, Bonnie Strickland, Tricia Davidson, Nancy Lamson, Arlene Pickard, Cindy Benfanti, Nadine Appelt, Pam Montanari, Terri Shook, Jenna Earl, Tish McQuillen and Sandy Moss.

On the Town: Friends and Flowers Luncheon, Charity Ball to benefit All Children's 02/09/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 2:23pm]
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