Fresh Start Gala

23rd annual event raises $1.4 million

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation held its ever-elegant black-tie fundraising affair March 9 at The Phoenician. The 600 guests at the gala raised more than $1.4 million to support programs and services at the Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center, a facility that helps almost 5,000 women each year.

The 2019 gala reflected its 1996 roots as a fashion show evening as guests were greeted by a life-size floral mannequin adorned with orchids, hydrangeas and butterflies designed by White House Design Studio. The fashion flair continued during the cocktail hour, where Margaret Merritt and the team from Neiman Marcus presented models in colorful and ornate fashions on raised platforms.

2018 Founders’ Award honoree Jacquie Dorrance presented the 2019 award to Cindy Watts for her commitment to helping others thrive. The evening ended with guests dancing to live music by The Hamptons.

Fresh Start Board member Andrea KatsenesCox Communications director of media relations, chaired the evening.


Pat Petznick, Fresh Start co-founder; Cindy Watts, honoree; and Patty white, Fresh Start Board of Directors chair

Fashion installation by Neiman Marcus; Kendra Miller and Kelly Goldowski

Kristen Hower, Stacy Bayless, Bill Nordie, Andrea Katsenes, John J. Pappas, and Julia and Matt Winter

Katie Mueller, Amy Videan and Jacquie Dorrance

Rex Collins, Marlene Klotz-Collins, and Pat and Earl Petznick

Fashion installation by Neiman Marcus

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