Friday, April 20, 2012

Women Helping Women Luncheon

Raising $30,000 in a matter of minutes is quite an accomplishment!  That's what happened yesterday at Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast's Women Helping Women Luncheon at Michael's On East.  The Community Foundation of Sarasota County's President and CEO, Roxie Jerde announced that an anonymous donor would match donations up to $10,000 by two to one, which resulted in the donor's donation of $20,000.  I believe that guests donated even more than the $10,000 needed since those $1,000 donors were raising their hands left and right!

There were not a lot of bells and whistles at the luncheon, just heartfelt stories of the good that Samaritan Counseling Services does in the community and a silent auction.  One of the clients, Kay Smith, spoke movingly about her own experience with grief counseling after her husband was tragically killed in a major accident on Interstate 75.  Emcee Linda Carson from ABC 7 also spoke about how counseling had helped her at various times in her life. 

Executive Director, Rev. Rick Howell said we must invest in our "treasures in Heaven" and the perfect way would be to invest in the work of Samaritan Counseling Services (SCS).  Are you familiar with SCS?  I had heard of the organization, but was not really familiar with exactly who they were and what they did.  Their tag line is - Strengthening individuals and families through profesional Christian counseling services.  Though they were started by Church of the Palms, they are not affiliated with one church or denomination.  Each of their counselors has either a Masters or Doctoral degree and is licensed by the State of Florida. 

I am glad I got to learn a little more about this terrific organization. 

Co-chairs Cherie Leetzow and Debbie Howell

Marilyn Saba and Rev. Rick Howell

Peggy Wilhelm and Ethel Heroux-Giannotti

Dorothy Stuart and Barbara Collins

Angie Tobaygo, Margaret Boyd, and Melanie DiVirgilio

Velda Turner and Shirley Ritchey

Kim Merritt, Ruth Jones, and Maryann Bollrath 

Susan Radcliffe and Kathy Stern

Diana Nalls, Merry Williams and Phyllis Keiser

Dee Stottlemyer and Fran Dietz

Dot Scherenbrand and Susan Featherman

Kimberly Pawley and Janey Swift

Alice Rau

Roxie Jerde

Emcee Linda Carson

The centerpiece

The towering dessert

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