St. Mary Star of the Sea started the season strong with its first Star of the Sea Women’s Guild meeting. It was held on Nov. 14 in the church activity center.
Many members shared they were excited to be back with the group. This meeting was dedicated with a special tribute to Stella Kelley who just turned 100 years old. Kelley received a gift from the guild and said that this is the best group of people on the Key.
Due to renovations to the church, the guild isn’t able to hold its annual Christmas Bazaar. Instead, the women are doing a Christmas Bazaar boutique. This allowed them to sell the items they made at this first guild meeting.
The second installment of the Christmas Bazaar boutique will be on Dec. 15 at the Christmas Concert.
Cindy Noble announced that the guild had a total of 37 new members, which is the most in recent years.
“There have been a lot of new people moving to Longboat, and I truly think it is because of the love of the parish,” said Noble. “The guild is an opportunity for them to give back to the community and they all have a lot of enthusiasm for it.”
Each of the women were asked to bring a gently used purse and fill it with different goods to donate to Second Heart Homes.
This nonprofit is dedicated to providing permanent housing for those with mental illness who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness. Megan Howell, founder of Second Heart Homes, spoke at the meeting. Howell shared her personal story founding the organization and shared how it's continuing to grow in the number of homes the nonprofit has to offer. She said she was so grateful for all the purses donated from the women of the guild.
“This guild just means friendship to all of us,” said Anella Luongo, a member of the guild. “Each woman is just so caring and passionate about giving back to the community and the church.”
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Rochelle McKinney’s name.