Charmettes hosting breakfast fundraiser

Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.

You can enjoy breakfast with entertainment and door prizes — to boot — while also helping to raise funds for cancer research and scholarships for local seniors at the "Breakfast for Madame," a benefit hosted by the Alachua County Charmettes Inc.



What: “Breakfast for Madame,” a benefit for the Alachua County Charmettes Inc.
When: 9 a.m. April 13.
Where: Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St.
Tickets: $35.
Information: Call 352-374-7245.

"Breakfast for Madame" will take place at 9 a.m. April 13 at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at 1714 SW 34th St. Tickets, which are $35, are available by calling 371-8400 or 352-376-2277. The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday.

Anne Kleckley, president of the Charmettes, said "Breakfast for Madame" is a biannual benefit that raises about $20,000 for cancer research at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and for scholarships for Alachua County high school seniors. She said over the years, the national Charmettes Inc. organization has contributed about $500,000 for the cancer research center at Howard University.

"Cancer affects so many that any money raised for research is really important," said Kleckley, adding that the breakfast and the group's "Women in Religion" event are fundraisers held every other year by the Alachua County Charmettes, a social and community service organization with 29 members. Kleckey noted that "Women in Religion" was not held last year, but it will return next year.

The Miss Charm Teen Pageant, which is open to middle school girls, is part of the breakfast. This year's contestants will include Jordan McNeill, an eighth-grader at Lincoln Middle School; Kirsten Thrift, a sixth-grader at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School; Alexis Benjamin, a seventh-grader, also at P.K. Yonge, and LeFinity Dismuke, a seventh-grader at Oak Leaf Middle School in Orange Park.

Each girl has a team consisting of Charmettes who, along with parents, sell ads and hold a variety of fundraisers. Whoever raises the most money will be crowned Miss Charm Teen at the breakfast. Kleckley said a portion of the money contestants raise also is earmarked for their college education and the girls are encouraged to put the money in a college savings account.

Leading up to the breakfast, Kleckley said the Miss Charm Teen contestants will participate in group activities, such as an etiquette workshop, and along with their parents, also attended a University of Florida women's basketball game, Kevin Anderson's adaptation of "The Nutcracker" at Gainesville High School and a picnic at Kiwanis Park on NW 39th Avenue. Kleckley said the group activities are a good way for the girls and the parents to fellowship and get to know each other.

"The girls are learning to give back by raising money for scholarships and cancer research," Kleckley said.

Candy Ramseur, the Charmettes reporter, said the breakfast also is a way to raise awareness as to the mission of the Charmettes.

"We want them (the participants) to learn about the local Charmettes and that we're about raising funds for cancer research and scholarships," Ramseur said. "And we want them to enjoy themselves."

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