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On the Town: St. Petersburg Glitter Queens kick off, 'Eat Rich, Play Dirty' for Morean Arts

The founding members of the St. Pete Glitter Queens are, from left: Maria Morrow, Joyce Shanahan, Veronica Dunn, Teri McNally and Shelia Reilly.

Photo by Steven Watts

The founding members of the St. Pete Glitter Queens are, from left: Maria Morrow, Joyce Shanahan, Veronica Dunn, Teri McNally and Shelia Reilly.


The event's clever title hinted at what the evening would bring: "Eat Rich, Play Dirty" offered food, drink, music and the opportunity to play with clay.

And patrons were advised to wear casual clothing.

The benefit for the Morean Arts Center and PARC took place in the Morean's Historic Train Station Center for Clay in St. Petersburg and raised around $60,000, said Morean interim executive director Wayne Atherholt.

If guests were reluctant to try making pottery, they could create representations of their homes and offices and place them at the appropriate spots on a spread-out map of St. Petersburg, together building a "city" that included both the current iteration of the Pier along with a model of the proposed Lens.

Artist and organizing committee member Valerie Scott Knaust went around making clay prints on people's clothing, heads and arms, leaving quite an impression on the crowd.

Additional committee members included Patrick Shepherd, Beth Morean, Nancy Loehr, Bob Glaser, Kally Harvard, Susan Reiter, Lynn Cox, Gail Phares, Augusta Harvard, Maria Rawls, Barbara Sansone, Leslie Newmann, Yvonne Ulmer and Jennifer Baldwin.

Guests included Kathryn Howd, Edward Rucks, Ron and Pat Mason, Tim and Anje Bogott, Dr. Bill and Wendy LaTorre, Leslie Neumann, Terry and Kim Brett, Fred and Barbara McCoy, Don Strobel and Neverne Covington, Kent and Toni Lydecker, Joe Walles and Rebecca Skelton, and Lenné Nicklaus-Ball.


Resplendent in black, pink and silver, wearing tiaras and black sequined dresses, the St. Pete Glitter Queens launched their first fundraising event at the Gulfport Casino, with more than 200 people joining the effort.

"Crazy fun," said Veronica Dunn, reporting on the event that she said had even city officials participating in a conga line and spontaneous dance party.

The effort will benefit the arts conservatory for teens in Midtown St. Petersburg, a program in transition from the Royal Theater to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Borrowing inspiration from Jill Conner Browne and the Sweet Potato Queens of Jackson, Miss., Dunn says the "social krewe with a heart" started as a book club. She and four additional founding members, Maria Morrow, Joyce Shanahan, Teri McNally and Shelia Reilly, decided to start a nonprofit and extend their reach to raise money and community awareness for smaller, lesser-known groups in the community. Planning for the inaugural fundraiser started in February.

On the Town: St. Petersburg Glitter Queens kick off, 'Eat Rich, Play Dirty' for Morean Arts 09/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 4:30am]
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