As part of the medical facility's 80th anniversary celebration, the St. Anthony's Hospital Auxiliary presented its 59th annual fashion show and luncheon at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Fall and winter styles from Dillard's were a feast for the eyes, and the physicians who doubled as male models received energetic applause from the largely female audience.
Good sports on the runway were Dr. Paul Collins, Dr. Derrick Cox, Dr. Jeffrey Paonessa, Dr. Michael Reilly, Dr. Stephen Updegraff and Dr. Dwight Valentine.
Mary Ellen Conte and Joan Jaicks led the event committee, which included Janice Brinkley, Fern Clayton, Roseanna Costa, Nicole Conte, Trudy Rothenberg, Judy Cunniff, Noreen Hodges, Pat Howells, Sister Dorothy Dwyer, Valerie Rankin, June Wedding, Mary Cross, Mozelle Bell, Sara Galiger and Mary Delano-Newport.
The event, which benefits St. Anthony's new emergency center, also featured performances by John and Mary K. Wilson.
It was billed as a "night of toasting, roasting & all that jazz," and the dinner honoring Pinellas Education Foundation founder and chairman emeritus Gus Stavros was more "toast" than "roast."
In program notes celebrating the foundation's 25th year, chairman Craig Sher noted of Stavros: "You have helped us build and maintain programs such as Enterprise Village, Finance Park, Doorways and the many grants we offer. Because of you, we can be advocates for our students, funders of great ideas and creators of engaging programs."
The foundation, established in 1986, focuses on improving educational opportunities in Pinellas County schools. Stavros and his wife, Frances, have supported numerous educational, cultural and other community initiatives throughout Florida.
Past chairman Bob McIntyre, business executive and community leader Tom James and former Pinellas schools superintendent Howard Hinesley were the celebrity roasters.
Internationally acclaimed jazz artist Dick Hyman and corporate entertainer John Charles performed for the evening. Most gratifying for the honoree had to be the capacity dinner crowd at the TradeWinds Island Grand in St. Pete Beach, and the presence of some of his family members, including his children, Ellen, Paul and Mark Stavros.
Lawyers for Literacy, a tutoring program designed to help youngsters improve their reading abilities and keep them out of the criminal justice system, honored five-year tutors Bill Weller and Mary Jane Dann, principal at Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School in St. Petersburg, and Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Kathleen Hessinger at a fundraising reception held in the home of founder Lucas Fleming and his wife, Tara.
Weller and his wife, Cynthia Smoot Weller, also were recognized among major donors, along with Dan and Silvia Leeper and Scott Wagman and Beth Houghton.
The program, which began in 2003, operates in schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, and concentrates on preparing third-graders for the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Steve Graves is its executive director.