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LBD event is stylish

The location may not have been Tiffany’s, and the time wasn’t breakfast, but Audrey Hepburn would have felt right at home at Friday’s Little Black Dress Luncheon, held at the Riverhouse in Palmetto.

More than 200 women wore their LBD’s for a fun afternoon featuring lunch and a special Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show. The luncheons were developed by Southgate Saks’ Sharon Hoatland to give nonprofits a fun way to raise money. The concept is simple — the organization hosts the luncheon while Saks coordinates the fashion show.

Manatee County Boys and Girls Clubs event coordinator Georgann Nugent was familiar with the events, which have been wildly popular in Sarasota. She jumped on the chance to arrange the first local LBD luncheon to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The inaugural event, chaired by Edie Watson, was an instant hit. Author Sonja Bentley-Zant spoke about the importance of positive self-image and then models Tara Donovan, Julie Galvano, Marianne Moyer, Brenda Belsito, Jeanie Kirkpatrick and Catherine Bartz took the floor for the main event.

Sharon demonstrated how to take the little black dress from day to evening with a change of accessories.

A few brave men were in the audience, including supporting husbands Bill Galvano and John Moyer. Jayne and Kelsey Kocher, Deb and Elly Ayres, and Dannie Sherrill and Marlene Blalock were among several mother-daughter duos in the crowd.

Gracious Saks general manager Sally Schule went around the room, meeting and greeting everyone. Also seen in crowd were Marlene Woodson-Howard, Cassandra Holmes, Diana Davis and Daryl Shepherd.