A Message From The President

December 2018

Now that Thanksgiving and the sometimes tumultuous 2018 elections are yesterday’s news, Athena is ready to welcome the spirit of the holidays.

Athena sisters will be invited to countless soirees and galas. However, not one will come close to topping our own celebration on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Jeanne Tate’s beautiful Davis Island home. That perfect setting will be the stage for another tantalizing Athena spread, assembled by the day’s Chef de Cuisine, Gwynne Young, and the culinary artists who serve on our Hospitality Committee.

This always festive event will launch something new and wonderful: Athena is extending our tradition of giving to two non-profits, Tampa-based Champions for Children and St. Petersburg’s Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American History Museum. Please bring your favorite children’s book(s) to the December 9th get-together so that we may share the joy of reading with children, families and those who work with both outstanding institutions.

Our holiday gathering also provides an opportunity for us to give a high five to members who are being recognized for contributing so much to our Athena reputation for leadership. Founding Athena member, Dore Beach, will receive the 2019 Women of Distinction Honor from the Girl Scouts. We’re delighted that Arthenia Joyner will join her friend Dore as the 2019 Hall of Fame Honoree. Big recognitions keep coming with People Magazine citing Big Brothers/Big Sisters CEO, Pam Iorio as one of “25 Women Changing the World.”

Hats off to the Tampa Sports Commissions Claire Lessinger for her inaugural event to launch the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa in April. The rousing event (with an assist from India Witte) preceded the USF Women’s Basketball game and even yielded a win against Oklahoma for the Bulls. Finally, Fentrice Driskell is the latest Athena sister to be elected to public office. You go, Fentrice! Rep. Driskell may be a rookie in the House, but like her Athena sisters who are serving or have served in elected office, Fentrice will surely prove to be a pro.

Although the curtain is falling on 2018, we are ready for the year ahead. Your Community Action Committee will present in January, while Young Women of Promise, Career Assistance Grants and other programs will follow.  All our other committees remain hard at work.

As your President, I am grateful for your impressive level of participation, for the guidance given by my predecessor, Doretha Edgecomb and for the insight of our energetic President Elect, Lorna Taylor.

As we pause to reflect on our many blessings, our cherished and lasting Athena friendships are high on the list. Let’s raise a glass together on December 9th and toast our unique Athena camaraderie. See you then.

Happy Holidays,
Betty Castor