The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg have selected nine young women as the finalists for the 2012 Sungoddess Ambassador Program. From those, this year's Sungoddess Ambassador will be announced at the Suncoasters Ball on March 16 at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort.
Finalists are Carolyn Brewster, Francesca Dickhaus and Kathryn "Kit" Jesaitis, who attend the University of Florida; Avery Fox, Duke University; Lindsey Giancola, University of South Florida; Mary Keegan, Flagler College; Casey McKeon and Alexandra "Allie" Moench, Furman University; and Kristin Tellis, Howard University.
Every finalist will receive a scholarship. The Sungoddess Ambassador will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will represent the Suncoasters and the city of St. Petersburg at various events.
All finalists are Pinellas County residents selected for their academic achievements and commitment to community service.
Retired Maj. Gen. Michael D. Jones, former chief of staff at U.S. Central Command, was the keynote speaker at the 2012 "Heroes Among Us" awards dinner honoring Donald Mastry and Mark Winn. Kimberly Gustafson received the Rising Star award at the event, which took place in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Mastry, a land use and zoning lawyer, has been active in numerous community organizations, including All Children's Hospital, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, the Tampa Bay Research Institute, Shorecrest Preparatory School and the yacht club.
Winn, who is St. Petersburg's chief assistant city attorney, is a member of the Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary school advisory board and a leader of mission trips to Belize, New Orleans and the Bahamas.
Gustafson is involved in a variety of pro bono and community activities.
Erin Barnett and Jason Moyer were co-chairs for the event, leading a committee that included Nancy Biesinger, David Blum, Gregory Hoag, Beth Horner and Judy Stanton, and foundation staff members Craig Collins, JoAnn Knight and Kathy Parker.
The All Children's Hospital Guild St. Petersburg Day Branch is the most venerable of the nine that support the medical center, Elizabeth Hammer told guests at the nonprofit's annual fashion show and luncheon. Hammer, who is president of the guild, and Roseanna Costa, vice president, were co-chairs for the event, which took place in the ACH Education and Conference Center.
Organized in 1949, the guild and its eight sister organizations recently fulfilled a $4 million pledge toward the neonatal intensive care unit in the new hospital.
Fashions were from the So Chic consignment boutique, modeled by Peggy Albano, Margaret Word Burnside, Estelle Hayes, Elizabeth Hammer, Holly Kirveski, Sarah Lonquist, Carol Russell and Rachael Russell.
Committee members were Jane Barnard, Lauren Dander, Jeancarol Hart, Maria Huber, Sally Poynter and Carol Russell.