Friends, colleagues to roast girls advocate Marilyn Tubb


Published: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 11:57 p.m.

Facts

Girls Club 'Grill'

  • What: Celebration and tribute to Marilyn Tubb by the Girls Club of Alachua County.
  • When: Reception begins at 6 tonight, followed by dinner and the "Grill" at 7
  • Where: Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, SW 34th Street
  • Tickets: Sold out

  • Passion has always moved Marilyn Tubb.
    In the '60s it took her to Selma, Ala., to march for civil rights. Later it took her to teach ski lessons in Vermont, to work in banking in San Francisco, to climb Mt. Blanc in the Alps. Eventually Marilyn Tubb came home to Gainesville to make a difference in health care.
    But of all her endeavors, working with girls has meant the most.
    Since 1985 Tubb has helped develop girls into strong women at the Girls Club of Alachua County. On Friday, Tubb will be in the hot seat as guest of honor at the 2007 Celebrity Grill, a biannual "Roast and Toast" sponsored by the Girls Club.
    Four hundred guests, including friends, relatives, healthcare executives, University of Florida faculty and staff and Gainesville Chamber of Commerce members, are expected to attend the invitation-only event at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center. Intended to be a light-hearted tribute to Tubb, the celebration will kick off with a champagne reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and the "Grill" at 7 p.m.
    Tubb has been affiliated with the Girls Club since its founding 22 years ago. She serves on the operations board and the foundation board, helps with fundraising, and she even designed the club's flower logo - "A Place To Grow."
    "She's a fantastic role model for the girls," Girls Club Director Renae Clements said of her longtime friend and colleague.
    Clements said the night will be a mixture of teasing and insults, praises and stories, all to benefit recreational, athletic, tutorial and mentoring programs for girls in Alachua. Tubb is highly deserving of the honor, Clements added.
    "She was raised here; she has her roots here," she said. "She has her finger on the pulse of what the needs are in this community."
    The vice president of Commmunity Affairs at Shands HealthCare and the former chairwoman for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Tubb said that as the hours count down, she's more anxious about being roasted than anything else.
    Her longtime friend Steve deMontmollin, who is senior vice president and general counsel for Santa Fe Health Care, said the grill should be a lot of fun and "gentler than a roasting." The two met when Tubb's older daughter Tracy became friends with deMontmollin's son.
    "(Tubb has) always been an advocate for the less-privileged, and she's taken up different issues - unpopular issues," deMontmollin said, adding that working with girls has brought richness to Tubb's life.
    In 1991, Tubb said her daughter Katherine, who was born with physical disabilities, died at the age of 15. She, her husband, George, and their youngest daughter, Tracy, still miss Katherine dearly, making advocacy for girls more personal and the Girls Club of Alachua a second home.
    "It's a nice safe place in which young women can develop their talents and sense of self," Tubb said, explaining that many girls don't have the kinds of opportunities that she had as a child. Sports and intellectual activities like those offered through the Girls Club keep young women on the right track, she went on.
    Tubb holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in communication. She has been recognized in numerous ways throughout the years for her leadership and passion.
    In spite of all her work, it is immediately clear from talking to Tubb that her heart is with her family. She and her husband, who attended Gainesville High School together, will celebrate 35 years of marriage in a few weeks.
    Jane Inouye is a member of the board of director's for the Girls Club and knows Tubb personally.
    "Nobody could have a bad thing to say about her," she said, at least not seriously.
    For a woman whose life has always been about others, the spotlight will finally be on her.
    "In typical Marilyn fashion," deMontmollin said Tubb told him, "'I hope you understand that while some attention will be paid to me, I want you to direct the focus to the girls of Alachua County and to the Alachua County Girls Club."

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