Friday, March 30, 2012

Salvation Army's Glitz at the Ritz Luncheon

The Salvation Army's Glitz at the Ritz Luncheon is also called The Schoenbaum Humanitarian Award Luncheon and this year, the award went to Margot and Warren Coville. One of the most beloved and philanthropic couples in town, the Covilles accepted the award with humility and grace, saying the luncheon was all about helping the Salvation Army, not honoring them.

Just a tad about the Covilles' background....Warren was a photographer on B-17 missions during WWII and Margot is a children's concentration camp survivor who as a child, voluntarily led 10 children to freedom in Switzerland.  They were married in 1948.  Warren photography career turned into ABC Photo, which became Guardian Photo, one of the world's largest photo=processing companies.  Margot has given over 11,000 volunteer hours to the Children's Hospital.  They both serve on numerous boards and began the legendary "I Have a Dream" Program in which they promised college educations to 78 fifth graders at Warren's former elementary school.

Betty Schoenbaum presented the Covilles with the award.  Her late husband, Alex helped to raise $31 million for the Salvation Army (SA) and the award is named in his honor.

Board chair and event chair, Marilyn Bezner, thanked the hoards who helped put on the luncheon and particularly singled out Glenda Leonard, the SA's Director of Development and also Paulette Blair, longtime board member and the founder of the luncheon.  Paulette, by the way, looked so pretty in her fuchsia Armani suit.

The Creating Miracles presentation was given by Dr. David Sutton, who became choked up as he spoke about the life changes for the people helped daily by the Salvation Army.

Every time I see the Salvation Army logo I think of the Christmas Kettles with the bell ringers, but they are so much more.  Do you have any idea of the breath and depth of their impact?  I didn't.  They create miracles in Sarasota by providing emergency shelter for families, daily feeding programs for the homeless, transitional housing services - the FAITH program, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, disaster services, life skills programs, emergency food pantry, and emergency financial assistance.  Whew!  What an agency!!

Just one more word about the Ritz - they are hitting home runs recently.  Once again, the valet worked well, the food was good and the service was great! I must admit, this has been a total turn around for me.  In the past, I wouldn't have recommended the Ritz to anyone, but lately this season, they have been just terrific!  James Harries, Kathe Nasby, and Rohin Singh are some of my favorites there - good job!

Others attending the luncheon and not photographed below were: Alice Rau, Joyce Tate, Julie Riddell, Sandy Slaminko, Cam Cox, Paul Hudson, Lee-En Chung, Alexis Upham, Anne Weintraub, Karen Fessel, Cindy Galik, Mack Reid, Janice Zarro, Penny Hill, Carolyn Michel, Veronica Brandon Miller, Joy Naylor, Leila Windom, and on and on.

Major Phillip Murphy, Margot Coville, Betty Schoenbaum, and Warren Coville 

Don Blair, Michelle Crabtree, Paulette Blair

Marilyn Bezner and Doug Crossan

Gila Meriwether and Tana Sandefur

Scott Anderson and Judy Cahn

Jewel Ash and Phil King

Veronica Brady and Wendy Rose

Margaret Callihan and Marjorie North

Dennis Stover and Barb Lewis

Linda DiGabriele and Lee Peterson

 The orchid centerpiece

The dessert

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