Pace Center for Girls, Lee has named Ellie Fox, Susan Kyle and Linda Taylor as the honorees of its 2022 Grande Dames Tea, to be recognized for their significant impact on the community during a sold-out event on March 17.
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. The inspirational event recognizes the unique perspectives and powerful insights that these women have gained in life, and honorees will share their wisdom during a Q&A session led by the young women of Pace. The program will be complemented with a performance by the Pace girls and prize drawings.
“Ellie, Susan and Linda are three inspiring role models for our community, and their many years of generous service have had tremendous impact right here in Southwest Florida,” said Jennifer Cellitti, executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Lee. “We look forward to honoring these incredible women and learning from their life experiences at this year’s Grande Dames Tea.”
Fox was raised in a military family during World War II, and her love of travel has led her to visit more than 300 destinations across the world. She earned her Associate of Arts degree at City College of San Francisco and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Oklahoma, where she pledged the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Voted Realtor of the Year in 1984, Fox ran a successful real estate company for 12 years while her husband founded Fox Electronics, Inc. Fox faithfully contributes to 61 charities and organizations each month, including the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Community Concerts, Habitat for Humanity, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Southwest Florida Symphony, Alliance for the Arts, The Salvation Army and more.
Kyle grew up on the farmlands of Indiana, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in nursing at Indiana University. She and her husband moved to Fort Myers in 1964, where Kyle dedicated her life to serving her community and her husband started a 30-year career in radiology. Kyle helped charter the Southwest Florida Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi in the 1970s, played a leading role in the development of the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium and supported organizations including the Junior League, Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club, Edison Pageant of Light, Lee County Medical Society and many more. She also provides scholarships for nursing students at Florida SouthWestern State College and Indiana University as well as Pi Beta Phi students at Indiana University.
Taylor grew up in a working family, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in business from Ohio State University. Moving to Fort Myers with her husband in 1971, Taylor raised their two children and became ingrained in the local community. Taylor has been involved in the Junior League, YMCA and Alliance for the Arts, developing several well-known programs including the YMCA’s preschool program and the Alliance’s Designer Showcase House. In 1985, she helped establish the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools as well as the Foundation’s well-known Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program. Taylor was a founding member and chair of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, vice chair of the initial Board of Trustees of FGCU, and served on the governor-appointed State Board of Education.
The sold-out event will be held on Thursday, March 17 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. Proceeds will benefit Pace and its strength-based, gender-specific programs that guide Pace girls in finding their voice and achieving their potential.
Sponsors include the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation and B. Pat O’Rourke as co-presenting sponsors. Eunice & Alexandra Bremner and Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands are silver tea cup sponsors. Grande Dame Naomi Bloom, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A. and The Law Office of Kelly L. Fayer, P.A. are fascinator sponsors. Century 21, Hertz and Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. are silver teaspoon sponsors. Mark Loren Designs is creating the beautifully designed Grande Dames pins for this year’s honorees. Priority Marketing is the public relations and design sponsor and Naples Daily News/LocaliQ is the media sponsor. In-kind sponsors include Caloosa Tent & Rental, Ruth Messmer Florist, LadyCakes Bakery, Palm Printing, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and Jason’s Deli.
To learn more about Pace, Lee, 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.