Genevieve Piturro, founder of the Pajama Program, knew when she first discovered children who never had a pair of their own pajamas she wanted to change things. She founded The Pajama Program that now has donors in all states who collect and distribute new pajamas and books to children.

When Ann Van Cott first heard of the program she phoned Genevieve and a 10 year partnership was formed. Ann initiated the Ladies Night Out at the Venice Yacht Club. This year about 200 women were on hand for snacks, dinner, testimonials, a fashion show and entertainment. Most brought at least one book and one pair of pajamas.

Everyone involved with this project certainly deserves a hug.

French Tea

Pink and black feathers and diamonds signaled the Epiphany Cathedral’s Catholic Council of Women’s French Tea. Quiche, croissant sandwiches and luscious cookies put everyone in a good mood and ready to enjoy the easy listening music of Patricia and William Salomone.

The council women used the time at the tea to conduct the business of thanking their volunteers, committee reports and celebrating their ministry supporting migrant workers in Immokalee.

Three cheers for a nice party.

Tree lighting

This year’s Venice Community Tree Lighting takes place this Saturday, Dec. 8 at Blalock Park on Nassau Street across the street from the Venice Museum & Archives. The entertainment begins at 4:45 p.m.

Santa Claus will be on hand for pictures and small talk. Children are asked to bring a Christmas ornament to hang on the Venice Garden Club’s Children’s Tree.

There will be a museum open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

One of our best

The special person of this week is Ann Van Cott who this year celebrated 10 years collecting pajamas and books for children. Ann’s fingerprints are on most events at the Venice Yacht Club. She volunteers with their foundation and helped originate the Love and Cookies program.

Ann and her husband spent hours at the club on their “Ondine.” The boat provided adventures and allowed Ann time for chairing events, especially when she was the Commodore’s wife. Ann’s passion for the environment and saving public lands indicates her determination to make the earth a healthy place to live.

Ann likes to travel and enjoys family and friends. She is kind and fun and always welcoming. Ann Van Cott is one of the women who make Venice a great place to live.

Fran Valencic is the social columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. She welcomes your tips and ideas. Contact her at franvalencic@comcast.net.^p

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