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Junior League tops off 70th year with awards

By MARY JANE PARK
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 26, 2002

The Junior League of St. Petersburg, celebrating its 70th anniversary, ended the club year Tuesday night at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Georgia Mattern will succeed retiring president Colleen Russo.

The Virginia Lazzara Award, named for a league member who died much too early, went to sustaining member Mary Joan Mann, a longtime community volunteer who began her league involvement in 1952. Her husband Sam and their daughter Vicky, and Nat McMasters and Norma Jean Harris, who were bridesmaids in the Manns' wedding more than 50 years ago, were present to applaud her accomplishments.

It was also a reunion for Mrs. Mann and Lounell Britt, executive director of the Sanderlin Family Services Center and a member of the league's advisory board. Mrs. Britt's mother worked for the family and named her daughter for Mrs. Mann's mother, Louise Bishop, and grandmother Nell Carson. Mrs. Britt was born the day Mrs. Mann's grandfather died, Mrs. Mann remembered: "I held that little girl in my arms."

The Mailande Holland Barton Award, named for the league's first president, went to Julie Musselman, who has performed numerous tasks in the league. Her husband, Bob, and their five children surprised her by appearing for the presentation.

It was especially nice to see Jane Graves and her infant son, Will; Joyce Wilson; Betty Jean Miller; Mary Evertz and her sister Wendy Lewis, visiting from Kentucky; Jan Herzik; Kally Harvard; Mary Christian; Mary Lou DeVoe; Shannon Goldman; Roslyn Graham Haynes; Carol Piper; Stephanie Hayes; Christina Palmer; Kanika Tomalin; Liz Curry; Lynn Cox; Leslie Ann Curry; Johanna Nekvasil; Suzanne Haerther; and Erin Shimer.

The Pinellas County Urban League on May 17 honored C. Donald Steger, one of its earliest members, at its 24th annual Equal Opportunity Day Dinner. He also was the keynote speaker at the event, held at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater.

Steger lives in North Carolina and is an assistant dean and director of research for the school of graduate studies at Pfeiffer University's Charlotte campus and is senior pastor at Reeder Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte. In St. Petersburg, he was chairman of the PCUL's organizing committee and a deputy city manager.

He received the President's Award from James O. Simmons, the PCUL's president and chief executive officer. Sue Brody, president and chief executive officer of Bayfront Health System and honorary dinner chairwoman, received the Chairman's Award from John M. Guest, PCUL chairman.

Business & Industry awards went to Barry McIntosh of the Weekly Challenger and Joe Abrew of Coca-Cola Enterprises. Susan Casper-Smith, a news anchor at Bay News 9, received the Smith-Milton Award.

Steger's talk focused on economic parity. He said the struggle for civil rights has been clouded. "It was never about social parity," he said. "What good does it do to go to an integrated restaurant if I don't have any money in my pocket?"

Serving on boards of directors of several companies, Steger said, he found that corporations that were losing money either shed failing strategies or transformed them into assets.

"Poor people will create their own economic system and counterculture," he said. "Poor people ain'tq going to starve. They'll steal your VCR, and then they'll steal your car.

"I can't believe a corporation (that is failing) wouldn't find ways to turn things around."

Reginald Roundtree, a news anchor at WTSP-Ch. 10 was master of ceremonies. Also in the dinner crowd were Eric and Cris Coffin, Doug and Nancy Weber, Eric Feder, John Guest, Darryl Rouson, June and Frank Peterman, Lorian Williams, Linda Ali, Latesa Bailey, Sebastian and Sibyl Dortch, Russ Sloan, Carolyn Hobbs and Maurice Jackson.

The Women's Service League presented $8,000 to Hospice of the Florida Suncoast and $500 each to the American Lung Association and Neighborly Senior Services at its annual meeting, held May 11 at the St. Petersburg Country Club.

The money came from the league's 52nd annual Promenade, chaired by Rita Pratt.

New officers are Barbara Sexton, president; Sheila Tempelmann, first vice president; Joan Neet, second vice president; Alice Emmet, third vice president; Jeancarol Hart, treasurer; Marjorie Farina, secretary; and Vera Brantley, corresponding secretary.

Among others present at the event, Mrs. Brantley reports, were retiring president Charley Williams, Doris McIntyre and Betty Anne Safley.

Along with many of you, On the Town will take a few weeks' vacation in early June. Then it's time to fill in the seventh annual Social Calendar, which will include events from September until June 2003 and will be published in late August or early September.

Please send information about your events to me at any of the addresses at the end of this column.

LOOKING AHEAD

Friday

SHAPES FROM CLAY: Zodiac Group of the Salvador Dali Museum event benefits educational programs. Clay art demonstrations, live music, art sale, hors d'oeuvres, premium vodka specialty drinks. 7-9 p.m., St. Pete Clay Co., 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. Must be 21 or older; please bring ID. Zodiac members $20 advance; $25 at door. Non-members: $25 advance, $30 at door. 823-3767.

Saturday

TELETHON VIP KICKOFF PARTY AND AUCTION: Opens You're Still the One Children's Miracle Network Telethon 2002. Cocktails, buffet, silent and live auctions. Casual. 6 p.m. All Children's Hospital Education and Conference Center, 701 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg. $50. 892-4476.

MEMORIES IN THE MAKING: Dinner and auction of art by people with Alzheimer's and memory-related disorders to benefit Tampa Bay Chapter, Alzheimer's Association. 6-11 p.m. Belleview Biltmore Resort, 25 Belleview Blvd., Clearwater. $55. Toll-free, 1-800-772-8672.

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY THROUGH TENNIS AND EDUCATION: St. Petersburg Tennis Center awards ceremony. Barbecue, children's carnival, tennis skills, exhibition match, on-court etiquette demonstration, summer junior tennis camp signups. 10 a.m. St. Petersburg Tennis Center, 680 18th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Hotline for volunteers: 553-9462.

-- Mary Jane Park can be reached at (727) 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail park@sptimes.com; P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

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