The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg have selected eight young women for the 2011 Sungoddess Court.
They are Callie Barber, University of South Florida; Christine Foster, University of Florida; Helen Kline, Texas A&M University; Jacqueline Montanari, University of Central Florida; Erin O'Keeffe, University of Central Florida; Katelyn Shatz, University of South Florida; Melissa Smith, University of Tampa; and Kirsten Teresi, University of Florida.
Members of the court will participate in the annual Kids & Kubs softball game on March 10 at North Shore Park and the Honda Grand Prix Illuminated Night Parade on March 24, as well as several community service projects.
Selection was based on academic achievement, poise and a commitment to community service.
From the court, the 2011 Sungoddess will be announced at the March 11 Coronation Ball at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Many former Sungoddesses will attend, including Hope Lilley, the first Sungoddess selected by the Suncoasters in 1956.
For the second year, each member of the court will receive a scholarship. The Sungoddess will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will represent the Suncoasters and the city of St. Petersburg at various events.
St. Petersburg's Morean Arts Center and the Pier Aquarium were finalists in the WEDU Be More Awards presentation at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. The sixth annual event recognized more than 75 nonprofit organizations and numerous individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Former NFL player and honorary luncheon chairman Ryan Nece gave the keynote address and presented his namesake award to Bryane Heaberlin, the Berkeley Prep goalkeeper in the under-17 World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica last March who embraced a Haitian goalkeeper after the United States' win. The team from Haiti was still recovering from the January 2010 earthquake.
The Morean was recognized for its marketing campaign; the Pier Aquarium, for its educational outreach and special events.
More than 500 guests attended the luncheon, which was organized by PBS station WEDU-Ch. 3.