YWCA Evening of Style at Deerfield in Newark

Style and Substance

Click here to see photos from this event.

The YWCA Evening of Style was so hot and fabulous that flames were thrown. Kudos to the Girl on Fire in the Deerfield courtyard who fearlessly twirled a flaming hula-hoop around her neck. The act fit well into the evening’s theme—she was so fierce, just like the gorgeous parade of ladies who made it to the podium to accept awards for all the ways they inspire. But before dinner, I helped myself to a little pre-fête chatter.

Priscilla Rakestraw and I cooed about couture gowns and disaster weddings. Priscilla, development director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, was fresh off the DBCC’s designer wedding gown sale where, she says, the ladies were workin’ it in their new gowns. Priscilla, my dear, so were you—that feather fascinator was a pitch-perfect, savvy touch.

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The always classy Donna Stone, gorgeously turned out in an intricate black lace number, exchanged many a smile and hello with passers-by. She and the YWCA’s Kathleen Harrigan had a ball together.

I talked Wilmington’s after-hours scene with one who should know: party-paparazzo-at-large Paul Pruitt. Paul was pumped to catch a Mr. Greengenes set at Moodswing post-soirée that night.

Of course, the night truly belonged to a special class of ladies: Ellyn Moore, Kathryn Cunningham Hall, Dr. Beverly Baxter, Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White, Alisa Robinson, Cynthia C. Dwyer, Melanie Jones, Barbara Uberti Manerchia and Pia Civiletti. So many diverse, powerful women. So many wonderful stories.

Beverly awed the room with her tales from the 1960s, when she smuggled papers out of South Africa in opposition to apartheid and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. Robinson, owner of Art Fitness, embodied the YWCA’s mission: She is a former client so committed to change in her life that she started Art Fitness to help change the lives of others. A whole heap of people were on their feet and whistling for Cynthia, co-founder of Cancer Support Community Delaware. And, from my seat behind Table Manerchia, I watched Barbara accept her award through her proud children’s iPhone screens. I ran into Barbara a few days later, and I swear, she was still glowing.

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