Actor Jane Seymour had flat feet and difficulty speaking as a child, but she eventually excelled at ballet and then began a successful movie and television career. Several misfortunes taught her the value of her mother's counsel, which was to focus on other people. In Seymour's case, young people often are the beneficiaries of her philanthropy with the Red Cross and other organizations.
"I have always felt that children are our most endangered species," she said, speaking to a luncheon crowd of more than 750 at A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. Seymour has six children of her own.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida raised more than $100,000 and honored Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters, Clearwater accountant Nancy Ridenour and Tampa business and community leaders Molly Crews and Dotti Groover-Skipper with the annual Women of Distinction Awards. Heather Barrow, founder and executive director of the High Risk Hope charity for families who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies, received the Woman of Promise distinction.
Maria Eichelberger was chairwoman of the event, leading a committee that included Tammie Brewer, Christina Crumpton, Suzanne Gabler, Ann Giles, Rosalie Gossett, Alma Hires, Lora Hulse, Mary Lemar, Gwin Londrigan, Jean Mayer, April Monteith, Elinor Paladine, Nicole Stokes, Jean Valenti and Carol Williams.
Fashions from St. Petersburg's Pippa Pelure boutique were only part of the allure at the Spring Fling presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Guild. The fundraiser for the Peg Nunn Scholarship Fund featured lunch in the home of Carrie and Tony Gibbons, with guild members preparing the food and members calling the host "Mr. Wonderful" before the day was over because of his efforts.
President Barbara Royston and Karol Bullard were co-chairwomen for the event, leading a committee that included the hostess and Roseanna Costa, Hannah Gross, Kathy Guckenberger, Sparky Ierna, Jenna Leitao, Sally Poynter, Linda Noble Welch, Connie Whitehead and Brandi Winans.
Boutique owner Megan Simons and Dianne Gunning showcased the clothing, which was modeled by Deanna Bullard, Mary Critchfield, Maureen Gabe, Jenn Holloway, Leitao, Leta Rae, Shannon Simons and Winans.
Karol Bullard reports that a donation from Mrs. Nunn's daughter Beverly Nicklaus pushed the money contributed to the scholarship fund to $10,000.
Infinity's Mardi Gras Madness VIII, held at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, featured a mask contest and clothing from Ambria's Gallery of Wearable Art and White House/Black Market. The annual luncheon is a fundraiser for Brookwood Florida, CASA and the Suncoast Center.
Jackie O'Brien and Carol Phelps were co-chairwomen of the event committee, which also included Kay Brown, Roseanna Costa, Barbara Deininger, Diane Fair, Ginger Hanner, Jean Hurst, Joyce Larson, Rebecca Lemmon, Claire Mazzella, Karen McCollum, Maggi McQueen, Nora Pearson, Sally Poynter, Valerie Rankin, Beth Rowe, Tricia Schachtel, Maritza Smith, Edie Spies, June Wedding and Teresa Wittstruck.
A sold-out "Martinis & Bikinis" fashion show drew about 100 patrons to the Canopy Rooftop Lounge at the Birchwood in St. Petersburg.
The benefit for CASA featured swim- and resort wear from Trina Turk, L Space and Tara Grinna paired with shoes from the Brazilian Morena Rosa collection.
Melissa Mihok, owner of Heavenly Heels, and Desiree Noisette, owner of Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Wear Boutique, both on Beach Drive NE, organized the event, which took in about $1,700.
Mihok also is the founder of Heels to Heal, a nonprofit organization that raises money to help victims of sexual assault and rape through agencies like CASA.
Cerulean Blu manager Paige Crider and Heels to Heal volunteer Skyler Hannah helped organize the event, and Denise Hall was mistress of ceremonies.
"This creative and dynamic event drew a young, fashionable audience of women who care deeply about the effects of domestic violence on women and children," CASA executive director Linda Osmundson said, "and we are truly grateful for their dedication."