SWIM White Party Fundraiser is a HUGE Success

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Nearly 280 women dressed in white flooded Nova 535 in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday evening, June 11th for the first annual SWIM Pride White Party. The 5-star historic event venue looked like a winter wonderland warm with smiles and positive energy.

Women of all ages, races, and sexual orientations strutted their stuff on the dance floor while DJ Shannon kept the music flowing, spinning tunes from the 80s, 90s, and today.

280 women dressed in white filled NOVA 535 on June 11th for the first annual SWIM White Party. (Image by OUTCOAST/Rachel Stevenson)

Two food trucks were available outside of the venue for hungry dancers: Krepelicious Crepes and Paninis and Boss Ross Catering, which served up ribs, chopped pork, smoked wings and sausage.

Dozens of silent auction items greeted attendees near the entrance. Donations included gift certificates from area restaurants like Salty’s, Fish, O’Maddy’s, Neptunes, and Pia’s, to name a few. Other auction baskets were made up of date night experiences, sports memorabilia, massages, game tickets, destination vacations, staycations, and so much more.

Attendees bid on a variety of items throughout the evening to raise money for Girl’s Rock St. Pete. (Image by OUTCOAST/Rachel Stevenson)

While the event raised money for SWIM, it also raised $600 for Girl’s Rock Camp St. Pete, “a volunteer-based summer day-camp that uses music as a medium to help young women find self-confidence, creativity, strength, and sense of community,” according to the camp’s Facebook page.

SWIM, which stands for “Social Women in Motion,” is an area non-profit organization created to support business-minded women in the St. Petersburg and Tampa regions while giving back to the local community. The organization, now headed by Carla Corley, officially became a 501(c)3 last month.

Women strutted their stuff on the dance floor. (Image via OUTCOAST/Rachel Stevenson)

Corley was overjoyed by the success of last weekend’s event. “We receive a HUGE positive response from everyone. People mentioned seeing so many new faces they didn’t know and loved the diversity in ages as well as race.”

When asked about SWIM’s future plans, Corley said, “We are going to take July off to meet with leaders around town so we can evaluate what is working and what needs be tweaked. We will start back up in August, most likely with our monthly events, and with another big pop-up party likely to be scheduled in October.”

Carla Corley chats with event attendee, Sandi Hulon. (Image via OUTOCAST/Rachel Stevenson)

“There is a lot of excitement about having a professional LBT (lesbian, bisexual, transgender) and Ally nonprofit for women,” Corley continued. “Many feel that it is really needed here. We want to make sure it’s done right.”

The organization will continue to add to their online Women Biz Directory and recruit volunteers, for which they received a lot of interest at the White Party.

To get involved with SWIM, or to learn more about their organization, click here.

To LIKE the SWIM Facebook Page, or to view photos from SWIM’s recent White Party, click here.

Written by Rachel Covello

Rachel Covello is an award-winning speaker, writer, diversity consultant, and LGBT advocate. She is the Founder of LGBT Equality Alliance, a Chester County, PA nonprofit organization, and CEO of OUTCOAST, an online marketing and concierge platform marketing the Gulf Coast as an LGBTQ-inclusive place to VISIT, CELEBRATE, and LIVE.

Rachel is also an avid event photographer and has captured photos for LGBT organizations around the world, including the IGLTA, NGLCC, NLGJA, and Out & Equal.

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