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Linda Marcelli honored for work at Academy Prep of St. Petersburg

Linda Marcelli, left, shown with Dimity Carlson, received the Jeffrey L. Fortune Dream Maker Award at a benefit for Academy Prep of St. Petersburg.
Linda Marcelli, left, shown with Dimity Carlson, received the Jeffrey L. Fortune Dream Maker Award at a benefit for Academy Prep of St. Petersburg.
Published Apr. 10, 2014


The annual Evening of Dreams benefit dinner for Academy Prep of St. Petersburg gave a nod to the culture of India in "Moon over Mumbai," held at the TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach.

Dinner featured a mango vinaigrette for the salad and green coriander oil with the entrees, and table favors included Himalayan salt.

The evening was a fundraiser for the St. Petersburg preparatory school and a tribute to Linda Marcelli, who has held numerous leadership positions with the school and the Academy Prep Foundation. Marcelli received the Jeffrey L. Fortune Dream Maker Award, named for the school's co-founder.

Tom Sansone and John Erik Savitsky quoted Fortune during the presentation. Without Marcelli, they said, who led the institution through several challenging years, it might have foundered.

Jill St. Louis was chairwoman of the event committee and hostess for an earlier patrons party in her Belleair home. Also organizing the gala were Chris Duerson, Karen Grove, Kim Kurey, Kathy Nestor, Barbara Peck Cabiac, Maribeth Schwartz, Lauren Shalkop St. Louis and Lynne Stamey.


"ArtScape," Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County's signature Blueprint fundraiser, recruited lots of community talent for its debut at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, with a dozen area designers, florists and retailers creating individual dining spaces for patrons. The dinner raised more than $75,000, enough to construct a Habitat house.

Participants included Alexandra Thomas Interior Design for Mis en Chic, Barbara Krai Interior Design, Collective Construction & Interiors, Decker Ross Interiors, Design and Feng Shui by Rania, Event Design, HSN, Design and Furniture Company, the Morean Arts Center, Tim Thompson — Extravaganza Productions, West Elm and ZaZoo'd.

In addition, Tampa Bay area artists were recruited to paint chairs reclaimed from the Habitat ReStore near Pinellas Park and sold during the fundraiser's silent auction. Participants in that project included Mark Aeling, Beverly Barris, Patricia Chase, Sarah Dees, Laura Fage, Wayne Graville, Carrie Jadus, Terry Klaaren, Vanessa LeVesque, Anita Long, Gerry Mensch, Robin Macar, Kristin Northrup, Marcia Sudduth, Laurie Weiss, NeNe Peters, Blaine Whitford, Callie Ferraro, Sebastian Coolidge and Emily Miller, plus artists from Creative Clay.

Raymond James Financial was honored as Habitat's Pinellas Partner of the Year, with chief executive officer Paul Reilly accepting the award. HSN chief executive Mindy Grossman orchestrated the "Raise Your Hammers" pledge drive, and retired Valpak chief executive Joe Bourdow led the live auction. Jerry Penacoli and Cyndi Edwards, co-hosts of the syndicated Daytime television show, were masters of ceremonies.

The event committee included Fage and Vicki Tylman, Mary-Ellen Howells, Andrea Wilson, Linda Higgins, Christine Sabo, Connor Davis, Erin Gornall and Macar.