linda-johnson.jpgThe Treetop Ballroom at Jungle Island was the setting for a day of networking, fun, fashion and prizes at the 2nd Annual Hat & Tea Luncheon on July 20, sponsored by the Women’s Business Council (WBC) of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.

Priscilla Dames, WBC Chairman, and Jessica Geter, the chamber’s programs and special events manager, crafted an educational, enterprising, spiritual and festive event to afford women the opportunity to relax and reflect.

The 200-plus attendees, donning chic hats, were also able to support local women and minority vendors while enjoying making new connections and rekindling old friendships.

The program, emceed by the vivacious Nicole Gates, president and CEO of Overtown Media, featured a panel presentation by Yolanda Cash Jackson, Esq., Yvonne Johnson, M.D., and The Rev. Viola Holmes. These accomplished women shared words of wisdom about the importance of balancing mind, body and spirit in the pursuit of personal and professional goals.

Following the engaging forum, guests enjoyed a delectable luncheon buffet and a sassy fashion show of voluptuous ladies ripping the runway with exciting creations by local designers.

To round out the fashion showcase, guests were invited to participate in a hat contest. Many elegant dames showed off their captivating crowns, but the top prize, determined by acclamation from the audience, went to Donna Burke.

Celebrating the power of finer womanhood, the WBC, and Bill Diggs, chamber president, along with members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta sororities, paused to pay tribute to the dynamic women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST), who are celebrating 100 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service. Chairman Dames, and Christie Grays, community relations director, Baptist Health Hospital, presented both local Delta chapters with plaques of recognition.

Seen on the scene were  Kay Dawson, Karen Wiggins and other sorors of the Dade County Alumnae and Miami Alumnae chapters of DST, Stephanie Agledor, René Beal, Laila Brock, Niki Brown, Constance Gilbert, Lisa Ivory, Gail Biggs Jackson, Sandra L. Jackson, Debra Kerr, Durrell Knight, T. Eileen Major-Robinson, Jacqueline Marshall, Trenyce McCoy, Sujotta Pace, Sandra Perkins, Iral Porter and Ellen B. Woods.

South Florida’s classical music fans will want to mark Saturday, July 27, on their calendar for a solo recital featuring one of the area’s most brilliant, and talked about, young sopranos, Erica Williams.

She has the distinction of being selected as a Young Artist with the Miami Lyric Opera and was accepted into the American Singers’ Opera Project in North Carolina for their summer program. A graduate music student at the University of Florida, Williams will perform pieces by Mozart, Schubert, Donizetti, Strauss, and Debussy.

She will be accompanied by pianist Jared Peroune, who also works with the Miami Lyric Opera as a Young Artist, chorus member, and a staff pianist.  The performance begins at 6 p.m. in the Cor Jesu Chapel at Barry University, 11300 N.E. Second Ave., in Miami Shores. Admission is free.

South Florida’s newest octogenarian, Fronita Webster Wright of Miami Gardens, celebrated eight decades of blessings with more than 100 relatives and admirers last weekend. A beautiful red-and-white birthday extravaganza, held at the Verona Ballroom in Hialeah, was hosted by her ten children: Isreal Joyce, James Joyce, Windora Joyce, Ronnie Wright, Theo Wright, Barbara Lovett, Marvin Burney, Eartha Webster, Florence Johnson and Regina H. Joyce. 

From the gorgeous rhinestone-and-satin invitations to the splendid decoration, no detail was omitted for this milestone.

The joyous evening was filled with expressions of love and gratitude from the sons, daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews of the honoree — who was elegantly attired in a striking red, ball-length gown. Many relatives journeyed from Tallahassee, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to join Wright’s South Florida progeny at the gala affair.

It was a memorable time for guests as they dined, danced and reunited with family and friends. Best wishes to Ms. Wright for many more natal anniversaries!