Pace Center for Girls announces honorees of 2024 Grande Dames Tea on April 18

Pace Center for Girls, Lee has named Constance White-Davis, Deanna Hansen and Fran Myers as the honorees of its 2024 Grande Dames Tea, to be recognized for their significant impact on the community at a sold-out event on April 18 at Broadway Palm in Fort Myers.

Each year, Pace’s Grande Dames Tea honors women who exemplify the organization’s guiding principles and have made a significant impact through their roles in business, community and philanthropy. The inspirational event recognizes the unique perspectives and powerful insights that these women have gained throughout their life journeys, and the importance of passing this knowledge along to future generations. With the event’s theme, “The Wisdom of Time – Honoring the Female Spirit,” honorees will share their wisdom during a Q&A session led by the young women of Pace. Guests will also enjoy special performances by the Pace girls, and a prize drawing featuring an array of packages from local businesses.

“Each year, our Grande Dames Tea celebrates extraordinary women who embody the spirit and resilience we instill in our Pace girls,” said Jennifer Cellitti, executive director of Pace Center for Girls, Lee. “This year, we are thrilled to honor Constance, Deanna and Fran—three women whose bold dedication and contributions have truly transformed our community and set a remarkable example for all of us.”

Constance White-Davis is a beacon of educational leadership, known for being a driving force for academic excellence across the region. A proud graduate of Dunbar High School, she served 45 years as a dedicated educator before retiring as a school principal. Davis is recognized for her impact on Sarasota’s most challenging schools, transforming two D-rated public schools into thriving A-rated schools during her time as principal. Channeling her passion, Davis founded two youth initiatives, the CARSS (Celebrating and Recognizing Students Success) Program and the Gussie’s Girls Project, named after her mother. She has served on the board for Pace Center for Girls, Lee as well as the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, the Collaboratory’s Ad Hoc Scholarship Committee and the Golisano Children’s Hospital Community Council. Davis has been recognized as a Successful Principal by the Florida Department of Education, a Distinguished Minority Educator by the Florida Association of School Administrators and named a Hall of Fame Inductee by the Dunbar Festival Committee. Davis is also a charter member of the Fort Myers Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Deanna Hansen is a lifelong devotee to service, whose roots run deep in Fort Myers and LaBelle. After graduating from Fort Myers High School and Edison Community College, she married her high school sweetheart, Wesley, and became a pillar of the LaBelle community. Years later, while facing the loss of her husband and their family citrus business in the same year, she channeled her resilience into co-founding a horticulture recycling facility with her children. Hansen’s spirit of generosity is highlighted through her unwavering commitment to volunteerism, from her enduring involvement with Pace Center for Girls and Community Cooperative to serving on several events and fundraising committees with Hope Hospice and the American Cancer Society. Hansen has also served on the Golisano Children’s Hospital advisory board and is an active member of the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club. Her hands-on contributions span from coordinating holiday meals with the Salvation Army to participating in numerous community service projects through Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.

Fran Myers is a model of civic dedication, whose tireless efforts have made a lasting mark on Fort Myers Beach since making it her home in 1975. Alongside her late husband, Tom, Myers co-owned the Red Coconut RV Park from 1982-2023, a place that also served as a launchpad for countless annual volunteer initiatives. Her leadership in the community has been recognized through numerous appointments and honors, such as the distinction of being the first female chairperson of the Lee County Port Authority and the longest-serving member of the Lee County Tourist Development Council. She is also a co-founder of the Uncommon Friends Foundation. Myers has played an instrumental part in the development of Fort Myers Beach, serving influential roles within the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Beach Kids Foundation, and starting the Spirit of the Holidays toy drive for children in the community. Myers has been honored with distinguished awards such as the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year and the Sam M. Walton Business Leader Award.

Proceeds from the event benefit Pace Lee and its strength-based programs that guide Pace girls in finding their voice and achieving their potential. Programs are based on the belief that all girls and young women, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, should be uniquely cared for, supported and encouraged to become the best versions of themselves through a path of healing and recovery.

While the event is sold out, donations for Pace Lee are being accepted at

About Pace Center for Girls, Lee
Pace Center for Girls, Lee envisions a world where all girls and young women are safe, have economic security and an equal opportunity to use their voice and achieve their potential. Founded in 1985, Pace provides free year-round middle and high school academics, case management, counseling and life skills development in a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and deals with past trauma and builds upon girls’ individual strengths. Dedicated to meeting the social, emotional and educational needs of girls, Pace has a successful and proven program model that has changed the life trajectory of more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need. For more information on Pace Center for Girls, Lee, call 239-425-2366 or visit
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.