The Coastal Star

Coastal Star: ‘A passion for helping’ motivates Delray woman’s philanthropy, spirit

Phyllis Spinner, a resident of Delray Beach since 1955, has been active in community service since the early days. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

By Linda Haase
Phyllis Spinner believes in nurturing body, mind and spirit. Dancing keeps the Delray Beach resident in shape. Her mind stays sharp with intricate bridge games and passionate discussions with friends. And her spirit? Nourished by philanthropy and community spirit.
    On March 10, she’ll be able to combine many of her passions during the 2014 Circle of Hope Gala.
    Spinner is the honorary chairwoman for the gala, which raises funds for the Women’s Circle, a nonprofit organization providing education and job development to low-income women. Last year’s event raised more than $130,000 for the Boynton Beach-based group.
    “Phyllis is a great believer in the cause and has been a faithful supporter of the Women’s Circle for many years. She has a real heart for the poor and a passion for helping disadvantaged women,” says Peggy Martin, who is chairing the event.
    The nomination was a surprise for Spinner, a Phi Beta Phi graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.
    “I really am very proud of being asked to be honorary chair. It’s a very big compliment,” she says, adding that she’s proud to be affiliated with the organization, which offers about 30 classes a week in English, Creole literacy, computer skills, sewing and crochet, as well as a job preparation program and support groups to help empower underserved and unemployed women.
    “The gala is a fun evening with dinner, dancing and a silent auction. And it’s for a very, very good cause,” explains Spinner, who will definitely take a spin or two on the dance floor.   
    Spinner, the mother of three, became involved in community service in Delray Beach shortly after she moved here from Illinois with her late husband in 1955.
    “When I first moved here I came here as a young mother. I remember how much I just wanted to go back to Illinois. Today, I just love everything about Delray Beach, although maybe it is growing a little too fast,” says Spinner, who has two grandchildren.
    Her community service projects have run the gamut — Brownies, Girl Scouts and other endeavors when the kids were small — to today’s list, which includes the Magnolia Society at Bethesda Hospital, Trinity Lutheran Church and the Delray Beach Club (she was one of the club’s first members).
    The club, which her husband was instrumental in founding in 1969, is near and dear to her heart.
She’s on several committees and is involved in social activities there.
    And she’s always happy to help the Women’s Circle. “It’s a very, very worthwhile thing for our community,” she says.
    “I wish them much success in their mission. It is a very important part of our society. This is what our county needs more of.” 

What: Circle of Hope Gala    This is the 10th anniversary of the event, which raises money for the Women’s Circle.
When: 6:30 p.m. March 10
Where: Delray Dunes Golf & Country Club
Tickets: $100
For information: Call 244-7627, Ext. 105

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