Wendy Wesley returns for a Virtual Cooking Class with BPW

Healthy Eating and Holiday Cheer can be difficult unless you have BPW’s not-so-secret weapon, Wendy Wesley. Our favorite Food Policy Advocate and Nutritionist returns to help us raise funds for our Connie Passmore Scholarship with a virtual cooking class on Saturday, November 14th at 11 am. Wendy is hosting this one hour class to help give you some great information for navigating holiday meals and avoid the seasonal pitfalls of overeating and poor nutrition.

With your $35 donation, you’ll receive admittance to this fun and informative virtual cooking class as well as your very own BPW apron to help keep you looking sharp through your holiday cooking. Order now to have the opportunity to have yours in time for class on November 14th.

For those that will be joining us, if you’d like to cook along side with Wendy, here’s the recipe she’ll be preparing:

I’m going to do a Thanksgiving/Christmas vegan appetizer that is rich and savory but still deeply nutritious, heart-healthy and full of fiber. I will do “Walnut and Black Rice-Stuffed Mushroom Caps. This is a modern vegan take on a classic heavy hors d’oeuvre. Vegetarian options for this recipe are available, too, with the addition of feta cheese. Display these beauties on a white platter before the meal and impress your guests with this savory and nutritious starter. 


  • 1/2 cup black rice (or sub wild or brown rice)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 10oz package of baby bella or white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese or feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons jarred garlic or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • Pinch each salt and pepper

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer to remove the starch. Bring the stock or water to a boil and add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

    While rice is cooking place walnuts into the oven and toast for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Remove mushroom stems and clean caps. Brush caps with olive oil or melted butter and bake for 10 minutes without filling. Chop mushroom stems and walnuts and mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add rice, garlic, salt and pepper and cheese to the mushroom-rice mixture. Place generous spoonfuls of the mixture to the pre-cooked mushroom caps and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and serve warm or a room temperature.

Wendy Wesley for City Council, District 4
A Fresh Voice for Smart Growth

Wendy Wesley, RDN, LDN
Registered/Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist


BPW Scholarship Applications Now Available

Each year BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas awards scholarships to women in our community who are seeking further education in order to advance their current career or perhaps start a new one. Throughout the year, BPW members engage in various activities in order to fund these scholarships. The application for 2020 is now available and is due by April 15th.

Click Here for More Info

Holiday Donations for CASA

At our luncheon meetings on November 15 and December 6 we’ll be collecting donations for CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to assist in their mission of ending domestic violence.  This time of year is particularly difficult for those who find themselves in a shelter.  Here’s their “holiday wishlist.”

2018 Hope for the Holidays Wishlist

Advocating for Teenage Girls

Join us on February 15 as BPW welcomes Judith Artis, the new Executive Director of PACE in Pinellas County. Founded in 1985, and started in Pinellas County in 1997, PACE began as a community response to the lack of female-specific programs for girls involved in the juvenile justice system, at risk of dropping out of school, or facing other serious risks. Judith has more than 20 years in the field of Youth Development and has served on numerous civic associations. She has received many awards throughout her career as a result of her professional leadership and community outreach.  Judith has worked in various positions in nonprofit organizations. Throughout her career, she served in executive capacities with organizations in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. In her previous leadership role, Judith raised more than $500,000 for the organization, which operated at two centers, serving more than 500 children in Douglas, Georgia.
Judith has three adult children in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a national judge for the sport of double dutch jump roping. Judith is a graduate of Kaiser University where she received her Bachelors degree in Business Management and is currently finishing up her Masters degree in Organizational Psychology.

Bring Your Donations December 7

At our luncheon meeting on December 7 we’ll be collecting for The Kind Mouse to assist in their mission to assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children while developing the next generation of volunteers to carry on the mission of The Kind Mouse. Here’s their “wishlist.”

Outreach to Special Communities – Lariana Forsythe, CASA 

As Domestic Violence Awareness month draws to a close the work goes on. Join us on November 2nd when we welcome Lariana Forsythe, Interim CEO of CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to speak about the ongoing efforts that this vital organization makes in our area and specifically reach special communities that may be underserved by other services.
Lariana brings extensive nonprofit leadership experience to CASA, which is implementing a significant expansion of its programs for survivors of domestic violence in southern Pinellas County, Florida. Longtime employee Suzanne Horn, who had served as Interim Director during the transition period, has been promoted to CASA’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Harry Linn has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
“I am honored to have the opportunity to help change the image of domestic violence in Pinellas County,” said Ms. Forsythe. “So many domestic violence survivors live in the shadow of this systemic issue, which effects as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men, and often fear the undeserved stigma and false assumptions that can come with it.”
“Now celebrating its 40th anniversary of service to this community,” she continued, ”CASA is a larger influence than ever before, providing safety and a voice for those who have had theirs taken away.  I look forward to getting to know and working closely with the leaders in our community to ensure St. Petersburg is a vibrant and safe community for everyone.”
Lariana has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, most recently serving as the Vice President/Chief Development Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. In addition to 17 years with the Boys & Girls Clubs, she has held a variety of roles within National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Lariana has earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
CASA is the official domestic violence center for southern Pinellas County, Florida. It is also a proud member of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), the professional association for Florida’s 42 independent, certified domestic violence centers.
As a community organization, CASA is in constant need of supplies to support their many efforts. Click Here to see their wishlist and how you might support them.

Take Your Career in a New Direction or Further the One You Have

Are you or a woman you know going to school or continuing or starting a certification program?  The Connie Passmore Scholarship makes awards directly to women, age 21 or over, who live, work or go to school in Pinellas County, who demonstrate achievement, need and well-defined educational goals, and who are attending an accredited program or a program recognized by the licensing agency in the certification area. Several awards between $250 and $1,000 are made each year.

The application deadline is October 15 and all completed forms should be either mailed to BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas, P.O. Box 1063, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1063 or emailed to so as to be received by the deadline. Checks will be distributed in December. Applications for certificate programs allow for non-traditional start times.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested.  Email if you have any questions.

The Effects of Hunger On Education – Gina Wilkins of Kind Mouse

On August 3rd, BPW welcomes Gina Wilkins, Founder and CEO of The Kind Mouse, to speak with us about The Effect of Hunger on Education. Her organization is a nonprofit established in 2012 to assist local families in transition and their chronically hungry children. At that time, Gina was a self-employed certified architectural draftsman. Upon the decline in the economy she saw many of her friends and peers fall into financial despair. These
hardworking career people were too prideful to ask for help and eventually lost their homes and businesses.

Gina, wanting to help her proud friends, saw a need to assist these displaced families and to also feed the hungry children of her neighborhood. Currently The Kind Mouse is feeding 350 food insecure students every weekend through their Mouse Nibbles Weekend Feeding Program and an additional 90 students monthly through Pinellas County School Board’s Jane’s Pantry as well as assisting families monthly with food, pet supplies and housewares. Over the summer the student number increases to almost 400
students. The Kind Mouse has two peer to peer children’s clubs called Mice In Training and Mice Interns.

Click here for more about The Kind Mouse.




Click Here to Make Your Reservation

Wine Tasting Member Social

bpw-ywca-pcJoin BPW on Friday March 24th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at American Spirits – 230 3rd St S for member social with proceeds benefiting the YWCA of Tampa Bay. The cost is $10  to attend so please bring your friends, colleagues, clients any anyone who enjoys wine. If you need further details, please email

December’s Philanthropic Endeavor: Christmas Toy Shop

December’s Philanthropic Endeavor: Christmas Toy Shop.

Please bring a brand new unwrapped toy to either BPW Meetings in December 1st or December 15th.

History: The Christmas Toy Shop originated in 1921. It was organized in 1952 at the request of The Community Welfare Council to coordinate the efforts of clubs, agencies, and individuals in toy giving. The Christmas Toy Shop was chartered by the City of St. Petersburg in 1959. Since then, many disadvantaged children in south Pinellas have received gifts to help them experience the excitement and joy of the holiday season.


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