Planned Parenthood supporters gather for camaraderie and cause

VERO BEACH — Planned Parenthood supporters gathered at the Vero Beach Country Club for an evening of Cocktails with a Twist.  As guests mingled in the lobby over cocktails, they had a chance to review items that would be sold later on during the live auction, caught up with old friends, and met new like-minded acquaintances.

When asked how she first became interested in the organization, co-chair Suzy Bromwell replied, “I first got involved in Planned Parenthood 25 years ago in Lakeland and became president of the Central Florida board.  I think all young people should have access to the same services I have through my gynecologist; quality, affordable, reproductive healthcare.” The party eventually moved into the dining room, where Bromwell welcomed guests and Lillian Tamayo, President/CEO Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami, Palm Beach & Treasure Coast.  Tamayo stressed the importance of sex education in the schools and Planned Parenthood’s commitment to the reproductive health and rights movements adding, “It’s 2010 and we’re still fighting to protect women’s rights.”

Tamayo presented the Champion of the Year award to Dr. Harold and RoseMarie (Rosie) Schulman, calling them Planned Parenthood ambassadors and champions of choice.  “They have been dedicated to the mission of Planned Parenthood in New York and in Florida.  Dr. Schulman is my hero; a leader in gynecological care.  He has never stopped supporting women’s rights.”

After thanking co-chairs Suzy Bromwell and Pam Director Tamayo turned the microphone over to Joe Tessier who presided over the live auction, highlighted by a fabulous Ezulwini African Safari.

Four showcase dance performances were led off by last year’s Dancing with Vero’s Stars top dancer Pam Director, who proved that she hasn’t lost any of her dancing skills as she wowed guests with her dance partner Joe Tessier from the 14th Avenue Dance Studio.  Later in the evening, Tessier got everyone else into the act with some energetic group dancing lessons.

Proceeds from the event will help provide education, health care and advocacy programs in Indian River County.

Said Tamayo, “The biggest challenge in Indian River County is a deep seeded opposition to good public health policies.  We need to invest in reproductive health care in young people.  They’re our future.”

She also noted that Planned Parenthood is currently working to pass two essential pieces of legislation.  The Healthy Teens Act would require public schools to provide scientifically based, medically accurate, age appropriate information on family planning and sexually transmitted diseases.  And the Prevention First Act would help women and families prevent unintended pregnancies through access to emergency contraception and birth control.

Added long-time supporter Gloria Wood, “It’s important to plan pregnancies so that all children are born into safe loving families.” {igallery 170}

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