High Hopes in High Heels Kicks Off Their 2014-2015 Year!

Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on High Hopes in High Heels Kicks Off Their 2014-2015 Year!

High Hopes in High Heels Kicks Off Their 2014-2015 Year!

On the evening of September 9, 2014, High Hopes in High Heels held their annual kickoff at the Tampa Centre Club. The evening began with lots of excitement and networking! Over 40 members and non-members attended the event and were eager to hear about the 3 charities that were selected for the 2014-2015 year.

Rachel Luis, Co-Founder and President, kicked off the event with an introduction to High Hopes in High Heels and a brief history on how the organization came to be.

Laura Fontanills, Vice President, gave a brief description of the Social Committee and the educational group Biz-E-Chicks. There will be several socials throughout the year as well as two Biz-E-Chicks meetings that members can partake in.

Bronwyn Fowler, Board Member, introduced the first charity that will be supported, Brain Tumor Alliance. Debbie Turner from the Brain Tumor Alliance gave a moving description about the organization and how High Hopes will be able to help them throughout the year. Tears filled the eyes of the participants as Debbie told many heartwarming stories.

Laura Fontanills introduced the next charity, Hounds 4 Heroes. Patty Surprenant, past recipient, along with her Greyhound companion, Murray, described all that Hounds 4 Heroes assisted her with as she battled PTSD. She also showed several tricks that Murray has been trained to do to help her with her disorder.

Tiffany Spies-Valdez, Board Member, presented the 3rd charity, PACE Center for Girls. Tonya Hollins, Executive Director for PACE, gave a full description of the organization. Her passion was contagious and she quickly moved the audience from laughter to tears as she told personal stories of the girls that PACE helps.

Rachel Luis closed the evening with the announcement that High Hopes will be supporting a “bonus” charitable organization this year, Camp Hopetake. High Hopes in High Heels will have the opportunity to work with and assist the burn victims at their annual camp that takes place for one week in June.

Launch Party for 2009 at Mangroves SoHo

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Launch Party for 2009 at Mangroves SoHo

Launch Party for 2009 at Mangroves SoHo

We had our launch party on May 6, 2009 at Mangroves SoHo  It was a lovely evening full of networking, delicious food and determined women ready to make a difference in the Tampa Bay area!  Both of the owners of Mangroves, Debbie and Sam, are continued supporters of non-profits/charities and always a pleasure to collaborate with.  We have had the honor to work with Mangroves on several occasions for fundraisers, networking functions, and celebrations.  The events they put on are always effacious and marvelous with top-notch service, food, and atmosphere.  A special “thank you!” to Mangroves for all of your continued support and accommodations for our meetings/fundraisers!  We appreciate all that you do!



For the launch party, we had two guest speakers and encouraged the attendees to mingle amongst each other to make business and personal connections.  We had a representative from Dress for Success discuss the importance of this local non-profit organization.  We also collected donations of business casual attire to give to the local Dress for Success affiliate.  Angela Harwell, Mrs. Florida United America also conveyed the importance of volunteering and giving back to the local community.  She is involved with several non-profit organizations (too many to list!) and is a role model to all women!




Thank you to all of the attendees, new members, and continued supporters!

Reflecting on 2009!

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Reflecting on 2009!

As we get ready to start the 2010 High Hopes in High Heels year in February, we want to remember all of the incredible events/experiences we have shared in 2009!!

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting information on various charities/organizations that HHinHH  (High Hopes in High Heels) helped from 2009.  We hope you enjoy reading about the different nonprofits, community projects, and events that our members have attended.

We also hope that this encourages you to volunteer or support a cause that is near to your heart!


The Spring of Tampa Bay

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on The Spring of Tampa Bay

The Spring “Where Family Abuse Ends” is a fabulous facility that helps victims of abuse find refuge and security.  Their mission is to “Prevent Domestic Violence, Protect Victims, Promote Change in lives, families and communities.” They provide the following services:  24-hour crisis line, confidential/safe shelter, crisis intervention counseling, support groups, transitional housing, legal advocacy, and more.  Please call 247-SAFE for the 24 hour crisis line.

Domestic violence is the single leading cause of injury to women in this country.  The Spring has been providing sanctuary and care to more than 50,000 abused adults and their children since 1977.  This is Hillsborough County’s only certified domestic violence prevention and emergency shelter.

Some helpful information for you or anyone you may know who is in an abusive relationship are the 15 Warning Signs of Domestic Violence:

1.        A push for a quick relationship

2.       Jealous and possessive

3.       Tries to control your life

4.       Unrealistic expectations

5.       Isolates you from friends and family

6.       Makes everyone else responsible for his/her feelings

7.       Blames others for his/her problems and mistakes

8.       Says his/her feelings are easily hurt

9.       Cruel to animals and children

10.   “Playful” use of force during intercourse

11.   Yells and calls you names

12.   Sudden mood swings

13.   History of battering

14.   Threats of violence

15.   Threatens to reveal personal or damaging information about you or your family or employer

**If you are interested in donating items to the Spring, please contact Stephanie Ford at Simply Spring Thrift Store & Warehouse at (813) 247-5433 ext. 205**

**If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Spring, please contact Brenda Rouse at (813) 247-5433 ext. 325 or by email at**

*all above information courtesy of*

Our 1st Community Project-”Fun in the Sun” at The Spring!

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Our 1st Community Project-”Fun in the Sun” at The Spring!

Our first community project was a huge success!  High Hopes in High Heels went to The Spring of Tampa ( on July 25, 2009 to have a “Fun in the Sun” day with the residents.  The mothers and children were able to relax and have a great time outside in the beautiful, Florida weather.

For the children, we had water balloons, kickball, face painting, corn hole, sidewalk chalk, and hopscotch.  They loved the face painting and actually wound up wanting to paint the volunteers!  So, many of us left with colorful limbs, but it was worth it to see the warm smiles on the children’s faces!!  The original plan was to have a water balloon toss, however this shortly turned into a water fight with sounds of laughter and squeals of cheer as the children ran around refreshed in the warm sun.

Thanks to the donations from our members we also were able to provide snacks, candy, and the hit of the day, frozen ice pops!  The mothers were happy playing cards and listening to the sounds of their little ones having fun without a care in the world!

Members in Attendance:  Rachel Coleman, Jessica Grimsley, Christie Armungs

(no photos available, as we were not able to take pictures at the undisclosed location or the residents)

**If you are interested in donating items to the Spring, please contact Stephanie Ford at Simply Spring Thrift Store & Warehouse at (813) 247-5433 ext. 205**

**If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Spring, please contact Brenda Rouse at (813) 247-5433 ext. 325 or by email at**

The Alpha House of Tampa

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on The Alpha House of Tampa

This amazing organization’s mission is to empower pregnant and parenting women in crisis to realize their ability to break the cycles of poverty and abuse and create promising lives.  The mission is accomplished by providing the mothers with safe housing, education, necessary counseling, parenting and life skills training, vocational training and assistance, and spiritual support which is known as 360 degrees of support!

This organization is dedicated to helping women in crisis realize their dreams of being great parents and providing their children with the things and opportunities they did not have.  This is done through providing safe housing and facilitating access to work, education, substance abuse treatment, and personal growth.

The Alpha House offers “Lunch & Learns” and “Taste & Tours” as general information sessions and volunteer orientations.  Please visit the “events” section on the website: for more information on these sessions and other community events.  You are also able to drop off your donations for the mothers-to-be, babies, new mothers, and working mothers Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm at 201 S. Tampania Ave, Tampa, FL 33609 (813) 876-0657.

Jessica and Rachel were fortunate enough to go on an afterhour’s tour of the Alpha House on June 18th and talk with Brandy Wilkerson, the community relations coordinator, about all that they provide for expectant mothers and new mothers in their most important time of need!

Some of the members of High Hopes in High Heels attended a fundraiser at Datz Deli on October 7th and all net-proceeds benefitted the Alpha House of Tampa.  We were so happy to see Brandy from the Alpha House in attendance as well, helping to promote awareness and raise funds for this incredible, local organization!  This was a fun filled evening that raised thousands of dollars for a wonderful, local women’s organization.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2009

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2009

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2009

On October 17, 2009, the ladies of High Hopes in High Heels had the opportunity to volunteer for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer hosted by the American Cancer Society! It was held at the St. Pete Times Forum in Channelside, where we were able to work the registration table.  Even though is was very early and freezing outside, we were happy to be a part of such a wonderful event.  We were honored to register all the teams and individual racers as they began their walk to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer.   There were information booths set up at the event for walkers and attendees as well as delicious apples and caramel dip provided by McDonald’s.


High Hopes in High Heels at Making Strides for Breast Cancer

We stayed till walkers started to finish the walk and it was amazing to see the mix of emotions that were evident that morning.  Several walking for various reasons:  in memory of someone, for their own personal battle, for a loved one, to raise awareness, in support of someone, and so on.  All participants were full of pride and joy as they crossed the finish line!


The Walkers

We were all honored to be a part of such of a magnificent event and are looking forward to doing the same in 2010! This year, we hope to have both walkers and members to help with registration on October 23, 2010.  We hope to see you there in your PINK!


HHinHH ladies with Dusty after the walk

Thank you to our volunteers:  Alysia Peddy, Jessica Grimsley, Christie & Bill Amurgis, Shelby Coriaty, Amy Stanley, Rachel Coleman, and Deb Paules

“Back to school carnival” event with Kids Charity of Tampa Bay!

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on “Back to school carnival” event with Kids Charity of Tampa Bay!

“Back to school carnival” event with Kids Charity of Tampa Bay!


On Saturday, August 7th the ladies of High Hopes in High Heels traveled to Brandon, Fl and had a back to school carnival for the children living at A Kids Place.  The children ranged from 1-8, and all lived at the facility in one of the houses on the property.  All the volunteers arrived at 9 to set up, the kids were so excited as they watched us through the windows, setting up all the games and activities.  By the time 10am came, the kids were waiting to burst through their front door and start playing.  We had several stations set up for the games, which included:  football toss, bucket toss, can knock down and duck wars.  They all played for prizes, which everyone came out a winner!  We also had jump ropes, sidewalk chalk and bubbles they could enjoy! But the best activities enjoyed by all the kids were the giant bounce house, snow cone and popcorn machine donated by Robert.  The kids also enjoyed getting a whip cream pie in the face, temporary tattoos and sliding down one of our slip n slides.  The day offered many fun surprises and endless hours of enjoyment.

As the kids played, we prepared lunch for all the staff, volunteers and children. We served hotdogs, chips, grapes and a cold drink to everyone.  After a delicious lunch, we had a “cupcake walk” and put a cupcake under everyone’s chair. As soon as the music stopped, everyone looked under their chair for their special treat!

As the day wrapped up, we had every child pick two toys from our toy box and gave them each a stuffed animal.  We really had a special time with the kids; they were all so adorable and very grateful.  Not only did all the kids have a great time, but the volunteers did as well!

“Fun in the sun” event with Girl’s Inc. of Sarasota

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on “Fun in the sun” event with Girl’s Inc. of Sarasota

“Fun in the sun” event with Girl’s Inc. of Sarasota

Girl’s Inc. of Sarasota



On Saturday, June 9th, the ladies from High Hopes in High Heels volunteered at Girl’s Inc located in Sarasota. We all made the hour trip for our fun in the sun event with the little girls from Girl’s Inc. and their mom’s.   We greeted the girls in the courtyard, where we had different stations of bubbles with different wands and a machine blowing hundreds of bubbles, jump ropes, hoola hoops, and sidewalk chalk.  Once all the girls arrived we headed inside for an art project making necklaces and painting them with their moms.  After everyone finished with their necklaces, we headed to the gym where we broke into two groups. One group played the orange under the chin relay game,  while the other group had three legged races and after a while we switched.  Both moms and kids had a blast playing the games, which afterwards, everyone was awarded little prizes!

While the volunteers and girls were playing one of our High Heeled hunks was busy grilling hotdogs and hamburgers for the girls, their moms, the volunteers and the Girl’s Inc staff.  After both teams played both games, we headed to lunch where we munched on either a hamburger or hotdog, chips, watermelon and drinks.

After lunch, we had naked cupcakes that all the girls got to ice and decorate which was a nice treat after lunch. Before the girls left, we gave each of them a goody bag filled with all types of prizes and candy.  It truly was a remarkable day that I think no one will forget! Thanks to Girl’s Inc. for that wonderful opportunity we had to work with the girls.

Breast Cancer Event at The Women’s Center

Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Breast Cancer Event at The Women’s Center

On Thursday, September 9th the ladies of High Hopes in High Heels hosted their second annual Breast Cancer Awareness event. Women in the Tampa Bay community gathered at University Community Hospital’s Women’s Center for a night full of fashion, food, breast cancer education and fun!  The event kicked off at 6pm with networking, wine tastings provided by PRP wines and a sampling of healthy, alternative foods prepared by chef Melvin from “Who is Your Chef”.  The foods were high in Omega 3’s and fiber, and contained no sugar.  Carol from PRP wines did an amazing job describing all the different wines and provided a lovely tasting for all attendees.

After networking and sampling delicious food/wine, we sat down to listen to Shelby Coriaty speak about her experience battling breast cancer and life now as a strong survivor.  She did a great job educating all of us on the importance of regular mammograms, monthly self exams, and breast health in general. We all learned something that night!

We then went on tours of the new, Women’s Center and Breast Care Center which allowed for everyone to see the amazing things this center is doing for the community.  They specialize in women’s breast health and labor & delivery at both of these facilities.

Next weekend is the Breast Care Centers annual charity event, Heroes ‘N Heels which raises money for women to get screened for breast cancer who are uninsured. This fundraiser is taking place at UCH on Fletcher, on Saturday, October 2nd at 8am.  Please visit www.uch.orghnh for additional information or email

After our tour and educational speaker we were wowed from CAbi clothes line with a fashion show.  Shelby Coriaty, along with other members of the Women’s Center, strutted their stuff down the runway for an amazing fashion show by a trendy line.  We saw everything from nice fur jackets to the in-style army jackets and leggings.  Everyone looked amazing and did a great job!

The evening was phenomenal and the best part was that everyone learned a lot while having a great time! Thank you very much to all who participated! We can’t wait for next years event…we hope for it to be bigger and better!