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WSRE Presents No Shrinking Violets: Tea Time, Southern Women and Downton Abbey on June 23 in Niceville

Pensacola, Fla. — In celebration of the smash success of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, WSRE, along with longtime friend and supporter Judy Byrne Riley, will host a special afternoon tea event for fans of the series. The special event entitled, No Shrinking Violets: Tea Time, Southern Women and Downton Abbey, will take place Sunday, June 23, 2013, 3-5 p.m. at the lovely home of Judy Byrne Riley, located at 1501 Bayshore Drive, Niceville, Florida. Fans will enjoy a delightful afternoon celebrating the influential and strong female role models that help us all laugh, love and lead better lives, as well as hors d’oeuvres and beverages by Chef Gary Serafin of Emerald Coast Catering. For those wishing to dress as their favorite Downton character or southern heroine, it is indeed encouraged as “Nothing succeeds like excess,” explains Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith who plays the imperious Dowager Countess of Grantham. The afternoon event will feature the musings of humorist and best-selling author Melinda Rainey Thompson. Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online at www.wsre.org/Tea or by calling (850) 484-1054 during business hours — seating is limited. All proceeds benefit the mission of the public broadcasting TV station.

Melinda Rainey Thompson is the au­thor of the best-selling SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully and The SWAG Life. Her recent book, I Love You — Now Hush (co written with Morgan Murphy), was a 2010 ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year winner and a 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award finalist, both in the Humor category. A graduate of Tulane Uni­versity and The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Melinda taught English at Birmingham-Southern College for six years. She became a humor writer completely by accident. After her children were born, she no longer had time for research and scholarly writing. She needed to write something that she could finish in short blocks of time while her children were napping. Humor came easily to her; it was quick and fun. She found her niche and hasn’t looked back since. Melinda and her husband, Bill, have three teenage children—all named for long-dead relatives, in the proper Southern tradition—who suck up all their time and money; their teeth alone cost more than Melinda’s first car. She lives with her family in Homewood, Alabama.

The fundraiser is sponsored by Gulf Power Co., Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Emerald Coast Catering, Cox Communications, WEAR ABC-3/WFGX and Dlux Printing.

About WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast

WSRE is a PBS member station that is locally owned and licensed to the Pensacola State College Board of Trustees operating as a service of Pensacola State College. The public broadcasting station has been serving the needs of the Gulf Coast community through programming, educational services and outreach since 1967. WSRE produces, acquires and distributes programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of its audience. The Educational Services unit for WSRE serves as the connection to teachers, parents, caregivers and children to extend the rich resources found in public television. For more information about WSRE, its services, programs or available resources, visit wsre.org.

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