The 2022 Grande Dames Tea has raised $67,000 in support of programs for Pace Center for Girls, Lee. The sold-out celebration was held March 17 at Broadway Palm and honored three local women – Ellie Fox, Susan Kyle and Linda Taylor – for their significant impact on the community.

“Ellie, Susan and Linda are three incredible role models for our community, and it was inspiring to see the community come together to recognize their many years of generous service and impact,” said Jennifer Cellitti, executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Lee. “We are incredibly grateful for all who joined us in celebrating the wisdom of time while raising critical funds to help the future generation of women to live a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace.”

Pace’s annual Grande Dames Tea honors women who exemplify the organization’s guiding principles and have made an impact through their roles in business, community and philanthropy. A highlight of the inspirational program was when Fox, Kyle and Taylor shared their wisdom during a Q&A session led by the young women of Pace. A special performance by the Pace girls was also showcased during the event.

Proceeds from the event will support Pace Lee in providing girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. Programs are based on the belief that all girls and young women, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, should be uniquely cared for, supported and encouraged to become the best versions of themselves through a path of healing and recovery.

The Grande Dames Tea was co-chaired by Mark Blust and Kelly Fayer and honorary co-chair Gail Markham. Sponsors of the event included the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation and B. Pat O’Rourke as co-presenting sponsors. Eunice & Alexandra Bremner and Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands were silver teacup sponsors. Grande Dame Naomi Bloom, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A. and The Law Office of Kelly L. Fayer, P.A. were fascinator sponsors. Century 21, Hertz and Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. were silver teaspoon sponsors. Mark Loren Designs created the beautifully designed Grande Dames pins for this year’s honorees. Priority Marketing was the public relations and design sponsor and Naples Daily News/LocaliQ was the media sponsor. In-kind sponsors included Caloosa Tent & Rental, Ruth Messmer Florist, LadyCakes Bakery, Palm Printing, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and Jason’s Deli.

To learn more about Pace, Lee and its programs, visit www.PaceCenter.org/Locations/Lee or call 239-425-2366.

About Pace Center for Girls, Lee

Pace Center for Girls, Lee, envisions a world where all girls and young women have power, in a just and equitable society. Founded in 1985, Pace provides free year-round middle and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and deals with past trauma and builds upon girls’ individual strengths. Dedicated to meeting the social, emotional, and education needs of girls, Pace has a successful and proven program model that has changed the life trajectory of more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need. For more information on Pace Center for Girls, Lee, call 239-425-2366 or visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee.