Philanthropist and community volunteer Linda Marcelli received the Woman of Distinction Award, and former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio delivered a keynote address about women's leadership at the YWCA of Tampa Bay's annual fundraising luncheon, held in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Lenice Emanuel, the YWCA's chief executive, cited Marcelli's "long legacy of shattering glass ceilings and her unwavering commitment to bettering Tampa Bay through her service, mentorship and generosity." The award was designed by Shapiro's Gallery of Contemporary American Crafts.
In addition to her community leadership, Marcelli is vice president of Sunrise Sun-Ripened Tomatoes Inc. (Lucky's Real Tomatoes). Previously, she was director of the Merrill Lynch Tampa Bay Complex after relocating to the bay area from New York in 2001. She began her career as manager of a private school and moved to the financial sector in 1975, where she became one of the first women in senior management on Wall Street. After leading several large branch offices, she was managing director and first vice president of the New York City District at Merrill Lynch for many years. In 1990, she was named to the New York Academy of Women Achievers.
More than 250 attended the event, titled "Purses & Passion." Volunteers and a donation from HSN provided handbags for the silent auction; they also were used in table decorations at the benefit, which raised more than $26,000.
Maria Rawls chaired the event committee, which included Rebecca Armacost, Sonja Felton, Roslyn Graham, Ava Nelson, Jennifer Richard, Joan Steelman, Amanda Singleton, Bonnie Taylor, Jennie Treby, Rita Wesley, Julie Wong and planners Bryn Warner and Aaron Littles.
Members of the Pinellas County Dental Association stepped back in time for a Roaring '20s gala focused on celebrating community service through dental health charities for all ages.
More than 140 costumed guests, flappers, gangsters and other guests danced in the transformed speakeasy of the Birchwood ballroom. President Glen Jones installed officers over the roar of a prohibition raid, and they "defended" the goals of the dental community with toy tommy guns instead of dental drills.
The group announced its 10th year of participation in Give Kids a Smile, providing free dental care to eligible kids in February. Members also have launched the PCDA Dental Mission, to offer dental care to underserved adults.