Private women's club has haute afternoonBy MARY JANE PARK
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 11, 2002
Maureen Rorech Dunkel, a frequent and generous donor to bay area philanthropic endeavors, may be best known in these parts as the woman who acquired 13 dresses once owned by the late Princess Diana and sent them on tour through the United States to raise money for charity.
Marcelina, the private women's club she opened in Tampa last year, has the only boutique in Central Florida to offer Valentino couture; already, people are abuzz about the sold-out Nov. 15 benefit for the Stuart Society of the Museum of Fine Arts that will feature Valentino fashions and Buccellati jewelry.
Mary Perry is chairwoman of Valentino at the Vinoy. She and her husband, Dr. Richard Perry, live in St. Petersburg and are among the growing number of benefactors whose contributions bridge the bay.
She also is a member of Marcelina, where I was her guest at lunch last week.
If the Valentino designs we admired are any indication of the styles we shall see at the presentation in November, we should prepare to be dazzled.
Rita Carlino assembled the stunning floral arrangements throughout the restored mansion and prepared the glorious repast that included a cheese plate garnished with champagne grapes, fresh asparagus, medallions of beef and homemade cookies.
We ate in the third-floor ballroom, where Ms. Rorech Dunkel's collection of gowns worn by noted actors are on display.
Astrologer Janet Sciales, the Star Goddess on WLLD-FM radio, gave an overview of each sign in the zodiac.
Don't sign important documents or start new projects between Sept. 13 and Oct. 9 or Jan. 2-23, 2003, she cautioned. Mercury is in retrograde during those times, which apparently generates delays and frustrations.
As an unmarried Leo, I was delighted to learn that the year that began Aug. 1 will be my "best year in 12 years," rich with the possibility of meeting and settling down with Mr. Right, financially profitable and "a wonderful time to start over."
Murray Beairsto, president of the Junior League of St. Petersburg sustainers, held a coffee July 31 to hear members' ideas for activities during the coming year.
The sustainers are "retired" league members who contribute financially and often volunteer for the organization's community projects.
They're also a social group, as demonstrated by the many who attended a cocktail party in May at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and a March reception at the history museum that commemorated league milestones.
Creative brainstorming emerged from the group, which included Lisa Jayson, Sarah Longquist, Margaret Manson, Judy Stanton, Cindy Weatherby, Mary Stovall and Anne Anderson.
League president Georgia Mattern and president-elect Shannon Arnao talked about plans for establishing an endowment fund.
Kristin Schrader, education and training committee chairwoman, offered ideas for excursions that combine learning and enjoyment.
Many thanks to all of you who have submitted information for the 2002-2003 Social Calendar. Now it can be told: Thursday is the deadline for sending items for the sixth annual listing of social and charitable events, which will appear in Neighborhood Times on Aug. 25.
Procrastinators, please send information about events that are scheduled from September through June (event name, sponsoring organization, date, time, place, ticket price and contact telephone number) to me at one of the addresses below.
HELLER TRIBUTE: USF St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce event celebrates Dr. Bill and Jeanne Heller. 5-8 p.m. USF St. Petersburg Campus Activities Center, corner of Second Street and Sixth Avenue S. 821-4069.
VOLUNTEER TRAINING: Class to train monitors for supervised visits, mentors for parents and teens, Children's Home Society of Florida Family Visitation House, 2731 13th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Training is valid for five years; background check required. $32. Information: Loraine Harrell, 552-1482, ext. 230.
-- Mary Jane Park can be reached at (727) 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
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