Pace Center for Girls, Lee has named Rose Govan, Sunny Lubner and Debbie Prather as the honorees of its 15th annual Grande Dames Tea, to be recognized for their significant impact on the community on April 4 at Broadway Palm in Fort Myers.
Each year, Pace’s Grande Dames Tea honors women who exemplify the organization’s guiding principles and have made a significant impact through their roles in business, community and philanthropy. The inspirational event recognizes the unique perspectives and powerful insights that these women have gained throughout their life journeys, and the importance of passing this knowledge along to future generations. Honorees will share their wisdom during a Q&A session led by the young women of Pace. Guests will also enjoy special performances by the Pace girls, and a virtual auction featuring an array of packages from local businesses.
“For 15 years, our annual Grande Dames Tea has brought the community together to recognize real-life examples of phenomenal women that our Pace girls, and women of all ages, can aspire to be,” said Jennifer Cellitti, executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Lee. “This year, we look forward to celebrating the inspirational wisdom, achievements and life experiences of Rose, Sunny and Debbie, who have demonstrated fearless commitment to making a positive impact on their community.”
A lifelong resident of Fort Myers, Rose Eady Govan is a skilled musician, esteemed educator and influential leader in her church and community. A proud alum of Dunbar High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in music education at Florida Memorial University before spending the next 35 years as a music specialist within the School District of Lee County. Rose has served as an active member and former president of the Fort Myers Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, dedicating herself through various programs and events to the betterment of local youth, women and the community. She has also served as the director of music at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church for over 30 years. Rose has been inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame by the Dunbar Festival Committee.
Sunny Lubner has been a dedicated philanthropist and patron of the arts in Southwest Florida since immigrating from South Africa to the U.S. in 1978 with her husband and children. Born and raised in Johannesburg, she graduated from Trinity College of London and taught speech and drama. Seeking out any chance to advocate for others, Sunny has supported many local causes centered around women and children, food insecurity, equality and the arts while her husband and son oversee the Lubner family business, Clive Daniel Home. She has been a passionate member of Florida Rep’s board of directors for over two decades, served on the Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board and stays actively involved in several community service organizations.
Debbie Prather has spent over 55 years developing theatrical venues in Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. Raised in all-girls schools, she graduated from Wheaton College and went on to earn her master’s degree at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. With a passion and drive for quality theatre, Debbie and her family developed, designed and established the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA, and the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. Debbie has served as treasurer for the National Dinner Theatre Association, vice president for Chapter 16 of Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) and on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. She and her husband are founding members of two Episcopal mission churches, St. Edward’s in Lancaster and Iona-Hope in Fort Myers.
Presented by B. Pat O’Rourke, the 15th annual event will be held on Tuesday, April 4 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. A limited number of table sponsorships are available starting at $600. Proceeds from the event benefit Pace Lee and its strength-based programs that guide Pace girls in finding their voice and achieving their potential. 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.
Silver Teacup sponsors include Alexandra Bremner, Edison National Bank and Lee Health. Fascinator sponsors include Creighton Construction & Development and The Law Office of Kelly L. Fayer, P.A. Mark Loren Designs is creating the beautifully designed Grande Dames pins for this year’s honorees. Priority Marketing is the Public Relations sponsor and Naples Daily News/LOCALiQ is the media sponsor. In-kind sponsors include Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Jason’s Deli, LadyCakes Bakery and Ruth Messmer Florist. Annual Sponsors include Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Seminole Casino Hotel and Susan Kyle.
To learn more, visit PaceCenter.org/LeeGrandeDames 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.