In 12 years, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida have honored 310 Women of Distinction, including the four announced for 2013.
"Sense of duty is the thread that connects us to all of you," said Elise Minkoff, one of the honorees recognized at the annual luncheon in Tampa.
"Audacity as well, to pursue impossible dreams," added honoree Robin Warren, director of the Florida Council on Economic Education.
Lorna Taylor, chief executive officer of Premier Eye Care, and Judy Wilson, CEO of the Ocala Marion County Domestic Violence Shelter/Sexual Assault Center, added their insights, too.
Echoing them, the first Woman of Promise: Felicia Harvey, director of communications for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, representing achievers younger than 35.
WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Gayle Sierens emceed at A La Carte Event Pavilion, but three-time Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett got to introduce Deborah Roberts of ABC's 20/20. In her worldwide reporting, she said, she has seen how "women are more alike than different. We're industrious, vulnerable, brilliant, tenacious and very stressed out."
A teacher boosted her confidence, Roberts said. Her "steel magnolia ... quiet feminist" mother didn't raise her and six sisters to be "bossy pants" in segregated Georgia.
Women "have the ability to change the world, if only we would believe it," she said as 700 guests dug into Girl Scout-cookie topped desserts. Luncheon chairwoman April Monteith's appeal for money to serve nearly 21,000 girls in eight counties helped net more than $100,000.
"Heels and Wheels," the annual St. Petersburg Women's Chamber of Commerce luncheon, fashion show and card party, took its theme from the Honda Grand Prix race cars roaring on the waterfront. That seems appropriate: Proceeds from the event benefit the Waterfront Parks Foundation, whose chairman, Phil Graham, was a special guest.
Fashions were from the Patchington boutique at Isla del Sol, modeled by Nancy Ammon, Sara Galiger, Barbara Marshall, Karen McCollum, Alvina Miller and Pat Warner.
June Wedding led the event committee, which included Ammon, Roseanna Costa, Mary Cross, Galiger, Noreen Hodges, Joan Jaicks, Sheri Kuhn, Anne Long, McCollum, Janet Raymond, Teresa Wittstruck and Roberta Yancey. Sally Wheeler is the group's president.
Times staff writer Amy Scherzer contributed to this report.