Clearwater, Florida

Fashion, Compassion, Take Center Stage at 13th Annual Fashions With Flair

The Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV) raised over $20,000 at their 13th annual Fashions with Flair fashion show, which was held at the historic Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s international religious retreat in downtown Clearwater, Florida. The funds raised by CCV, will be shared with the Leonard Johnson Foundation and the Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League.

13<sup>th</sup> annual Fashions with Flair fashion show
Tampa Bay Area celebrities and officials participated as models in the 2016 Fashions with Flair fashion show at the historic Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s international religious retreat in downtown Clearwater. Models shown here are (left to right): Margaret Word Burnside, Co-Publisher of Tampa Bay Magazine; Doneen Dresback-Lore, State Attorney; Schenique Harris, Co-Founder of the Leonard Johnson Foundation; Genelle Catania, businesswoman; Libby Ducasse, human rights activist; Bahiyyah Sadiki, St. Petersburg Islamic Center and Gibbs High School teacher; Susan Valdes, Hillsborough County School Board member; Georgie Menke, Board of Directors for Leadership Pinellas.

With the needs of Pinellas County children in their sights, nearly 300 gathered Saturday the 17th of September at Clearwater’s Fort Harrison to savor an afternoon of friendship, fashion and community. The occasion was the 13th Annual Fashions with Flair fashion show. Following a three-course lunch, guests learned about the featured charities that are making a difference in the lives of children.

These benefitting charities were the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League and the Leonard Johnson Foundation. The event itself was hosted by the Clearwater Community Volunteers of the Church of Scientology, (CCV), who also produce the annual Winter Wonderland, a 3-week holiday family festival, and an Easter egg hunt in Coachman Park.

In welcoming the audience to the Fort Harrison, Lisa Mansell, the Public Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization stated, “As L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Scientology wrote: ‘Today’s children will become tomorrow’s civilization. They need love and help to make it.’ Well, CCV is helping children make it.”

Mistress of Ceremonies and CCV Board Member Joanie Sigal introduced both of the benefitting charities and the work done by CCV to raise money, toys and food for Pinellas County families.

The first charity presented was the Leonard Johnson Foundation, established in 2015, by professional football player, Leonard Johnson, and his mother, Schenique Harris, a sheriff detention deputy and business owner of two hair salons and barber shops.

“The purpose is to give back to teens and low income families through sports education and social services assistance,” said Ms. Sigal. “The foundation seeks to build up young athletes through motivational speeches, football camps and creating health awareness.”

Police Athletic League
The second charity was the Pinellas Sheriff's Police Athletic League, (PAL), which opened its doors in 2001. PAL currently provides tutoring, mentoring and sports activities at the PAL Sports Complex, and the PAL Connection Center in mid‑Pinellas County.

“PAL relies in large part on donations from the community and the private sector to support the program,” said Ms. Sigal. “PAL serves an average of 125 kids per day.”

The final part of the presentation was about Winter Wonderland, held annually in downtown Clearwater.

“In addition to assisting with various events put on by other charities, CCV produces its own events—such as this one—with the purpose of raising funds to help children and families in need within our community. In the interest of working with other groups and churches, CCV has expanded over the years to include volunteers from all over Tampa Bay, and from all faiths who share our purpose,” said Ms. Sigal.

“CCV is all about helping others, and having fun doing it!” she added.

Once the presentations were made, eight prominent Tampa Bay women hit the runways, wearing fashions courtesy of Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique of Palm Harbor.

The models were:

  • Margaret Word Burnside – Co-Published and Executive Editor of Tampa Bay Magazine;
  • Schenique Harris – Leonard Johnson Foundation
  • Susan Valdes – Hillsborough County School Board member
  • Bahiyyah Sadiki – St. Petersburg Islamic Center
  • Doneen Dresback-Lore – State Attorney
  • Georgie Menke – Leadership Pinellas Board of Directors
  • Libby Ducasse – human rights activist
  • Genelle Catania – Summit Leadership Management

Stylists from Sharmaines on Clearwater Beach donated their time to style the models’ hair and do makeup.


THE CLEARWATER COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS, (CCV):

CCV was founded in 1993 by parishioners of the Church of Scientology and sponsors charitable events such as Winter Wonderland and an annual Easter egg hunt, both of which are open to all members of the community. For more information about CCV, please go to their website, www.clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org.


THE FORT HARRISON:

Since its construction in 1927, the Fort Harrison has been the home to many charitable organizations. Its latest owner, the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, the international religious retreat for the Church, completed a top-to-bottom restoration of the Fort Harrison in 2009—and since then has hosted over 300 community events there.