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Oh La Habana! Krewe Kuts - New Members & Charitable Giving

Welcome to the first issue of Krewe Kuts for 2022-2023. It starts out by introducing our 10 new members to Krewe of Amalee. Then keep scrolling for details on last year's charitable giving!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!



Rose Bowden

My name is Rose Bowden, and I have been a DeLand resident for the last eight years. My husband, Scott Bowden, moved our family here to be closer to his territory for work. Moving to DeLand has been a blessing for our family in so many unexpected ways. Our children, Maximus, age 9 and Aria, age 7, attend St. Barnabas Episcopal School, where they receive the most nurturing and loving educational experience each and every day. By day, I am an educator and work for Volusia County Public Schools, and in my free time, I spend many evenings and weekends on the baseball field or volunteering my time for the Junior Service League of DeLand. I am a proud, past president of the league and will become a sustainer at the end of the fiscal year. Joining the Krewe is another great opportunity for me to continue my volunteerism and continue to work alongside some of the greatest women within our community. It is truly our blessing to be part of all of these wonderful communities within our community of DeLand.

Cheryl Cook

Cheryl is Senior Vice President of Global Partner Marketing at Dell Technologies. She is responsible for all Marketing Strategies, programs, branding, and execution of Dell's Partner business. A contributor to Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women's community, she is an active advocate for women in business and technology. Cheryl is a technology enthusiast, and a passionate Florida Gator, where she serves on the National Foundation Board, and is currently a board advisor for the Warrington College of Business. She has two grown sons, Garrett and Logan, and two Grandpups, Maui and Charlie. Cheryl enjoys travel, exercise, and spending time with her friends and family. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas but grew up in DeLeon Springs.

Leah Miles

Hello, I’m Leah Miles. My family and I fell in love with Historic Downtown DeLand and purchased a 110 year old home that we’re having fun renovating. We relocated from Palm Beach County after 35 years and are adjusting to a slower pace of life in Central Florida. The dog parade, costume parties, and inspiring women dedicated to making a positive impact in our community attracted me to Krewe. I believe “your vibe attracts your tribe”! I’m so grateful we found each other. I’m a graduate of Southeastern University and Evangelical Bible College and Seminary. I’m currently pursuing a PhD in Religious Education with hopes of graduating in April 2023. Life-long learning is an important part of my life and I strive to live God’s purpose. I enjoy traveling, gardening, going to performances at the Athens Theater, pirate festivals, history, poodles, sporting events, writing, collecting Native American works of art, fashion and modeling, wearing boots (a girl can never have enough!), decorating for Holidays, entertaining, good food and fine wines, spa days, antiquing, volunteering, paddling, boating, hiking, biking, camping, and sharing time with friends and family... especially my grandchildren. I’ve spent the past twenty five years working with a variety of non-profit and faith-based organizations. I serve as a fundraising consultant and coach in my firm, Miles2Go, LLC. I’m also the co-founder of The Esther 414 Foundation which exists to empower women and others in support of Israel, the United States, ministries, projects and programs providing faith-based social services throughout the world. The Foundation focuses its support in four areas: Israel, Evangelism, The Least, Lost, and Last, and Women’s Empowerment. Thank you for your warm welcome to DeLand. I look forward to sharing new friendships and being an active member of the Krewe of Amalee, for such a time as this!

Alexa Baldwin

Alexa Baldwin is a graduate of Kent State university with her BFA in Musical Theatre. She moved to DeLand in 2004. After 12 years of working in the theatre industry and managing the offices of several companies, Alexa became the Director of Marketing and Operations for the Athens Theatre/Sands Theater Center, Inc. in July of 2011. In 2021 she received a promotion and was made the theatre’s Executive Director. Among other productions, she has appeared on the Athens Theatre’s stage as Sandy in Grease, Fantine in Les Misérables, and Roz in 9 to 5 the Musical. She also performs in The Surrogate Band, a local Pink Floyd cover band. When not working or on stage performing, Alexa is spending time with her husband Robert Baldwin (an attorney who also a member of The Surrogate Band and who also performs in local plays and musicals) and their 6-year-old daughter Lilly. Alexa is beyond excited to be a Krewe member and through her service to play a small part in the large impact that this wonderful organization has on our community.

Emily Perryman Hollis

I was born and raised in DeLand, Florida. I graduated from Stetson University with a degree in Business Management. Shortly after college I moved to a Colorado for a year and then came right back home. In 2017, I married my husband Will, and in November of 2020 we had our son Jack. For nine years until recently, I worked for my families software company, Perryman & Associates. Throughout my time there I wore many hats. Working in marketing, quality assurance, client care, and accounting. In 2019, Will and I started turning our hobby of woodworking into a business, which we are still slowly growing. I love going to concerts, cooking, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and reading a good book (fiction preferred). My goal for the coming years is to get more involved in the community, which is what led me to Krewe. I felt that this organization would be a perfect first step.

Christi Phillips

My name is Christi Phillips and I am thrilled to be a new member of Krewe. I’m quite eager to get involved and serve wherever needed. I recently retired after forty years of teaching gifted students at the elementary level. My husband and I recently relocated back to DeLand after living in Virginia, Georgia and Indiana. We both graduated from Stetson in the 70’s. Only a few years ago! I then started my teaching career at Enterprise Elementary where I fortunately met my husband, Dan. We have two grown children; one in Boston and one in Jupiter, Fl. Spending time with them is a joy and we also love relaxing on New Smyrna Beach or entertaining with our new DeLand friends.

Robin Roper

Robin Roper serves as the Director of Development for the West Volusia Market including AdventHealth Fish Memorial Hospital, AdventHealth DeLand Hospital, Victoria Medical Park Imaging Center, AdventHealth Deltona Imaging Center as well as the AdventHealth Emergency Center in Deltona. Prior to her working at AdventHealth Foundation, Robin worked in the AdventHealth marketing department and coordinated both internal and external communication outreach in West Volusia. Robin previously worked at John Knox Village and oversaw communications and public relations for the Continuing Care Retirement Community including their foundation and online sales strategies. During her journalism work in Washington, D.C., Robin worked in Television, radio, and print where she developed an eclectic writing portfolio featuring business, travel and lifestyle issues along with profile articles with accomplished talents and leaders like Dick Clark, Bill Marriott, Eunice Shriver, former Congressman Steve Bartlett and former Senator Bob Dole. Robin is a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary, and is a multiple AdventHealth Whole Heart Award recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Southern Methodist University and is currently working on her Master of Business degree in Healthcare Management. She serves on the St. Barnabas Episcopal School Wellness Committee and on their Board of Directors Marketing Committee. She is active in the West Volusia community and volunteers at organizations like The Lacey Family Boys and Girls Club as well as the Neighborhood Center. Robin has served on multiple local not-for-profit boards, such as DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, DeLand Historical Society, and Faith, Hope and Charity Society. When she is not working, Robin spends time with her son, Paul who is 12 years old.

Mary Murvin

Hi there Krewe sisters, my name is Mary Murvin, I was born right here in DeLand in 1960, and I am a fourth generation Floridian. Although I have lived in Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee, my roots always called me back to the home I love. I am a Grandmother of 5 and I have one daughter, Natalie. My husband Christopher and I enjoy the great outdoors: boating; hiking; biking; fishing and just being together. He is truly my best friend. I have been an aesthetician for 25 years and in the last 2 years have been semi-retired and I’m loving it. I’m looking forward to future events and meeting my new Krewe sisters. 👠💛💜⚜️

Jennifer Hightower

My name is Jennifer Hightower and I was born and raised in DeLand, Florida. I graduated from DeLand High School in 2007 and earned my bachelors degree in Supervision and Management from Daytona State College. I am the Director of Operations at Guided Insurance Solutions, a subsidiary of Baldwin Risk Partners based in Tampa, Florida. I am a Sustainer of the Junior Service League of DeLand, Class of 2015, and currently serve as the Board Chair for the DeLand Family YMCA.

Between friendships with existing members and all that I’ve seen this organization accomplish, I’m looking forward to being a part of the Krewe of Amalee with such an amazing group of women!

Alexandra Reed

Alexandra Reed is very happy to become a member of the Krewe of Amalee this year.

She is the daughter of Founding Member, Debbie Reed and Dr. Frank Reed. Alex was born and raised in Deland, but now calls Indian Harbour Beach, Florida her home.

She has a BA degree from FSU in Sports Communication. After FSU Alex continued her education and is also a Registered Nurse. She currently works as a Sales Representative for Medtronic, a large international medical device company.

Alex has always loved Krewe and has hoped for many years to become a member. She was a Page in the first ball, " Masquerade on Broadway" in 1997 and a Debutante presented in 2007.

In her free time she enjoys floral design and spending time with her French Bulldog, Kevin. She is also an avid fisherwoman, freediver and lover of all things water related. She is looking very forward to her first year as a new member.


Last Year's Charitable Giving


Ordinary People Doing Remarkable Things

Backpack buddies, Sarah Harper, 4Site, the Historic Society, the Art Museum as well as Shoestring and Athens theaters, the Fall Festival, Childhood Cancer, Beacon domestic abuse, Easterseals. Healthy Start Coalition, CATALYST, Family Renew, Pal, Good Samaritan, Young Life, The House Next Door, Sisters, Build Network for Girls, Journeys’ End, Poodle and Pooch Rescue, Furry Nation, New Hope Animal Shelter, and the AdventHealth Foundation...who are these people?

As the make-me-beautiful ball gowns get cleaned and the why-did -I wear -those painful shoes get tossed, the Krewe season financial accounting starts. The final board meeting contemplates our charitable giving allocations, to whom and how much. This year the Krewe donated $25,000 to 26 area nonprofits, about the average for our 25-year history. The three categories are the Arts, fragile families, and animals.

Reading the applications for money, you become in awe of this small town and how regular folks exude a passion for helping. Sure, we know about the biggies like AdventHealth, the Art Museum and the Athens. But go back and read the first paragraph list. Sarah Harper, Backpack Buddies, Furry Nation; who are these fervent people?

This year, unlike the other years, there was no ceremony to honor the recipients. Instead, the krewe sponsors were notified as to how much money was awarded to their nonprofit. “Thanks so much. This is wonderful news,” “I’m thrilled. Thanks so much,” “Thanks so much for your donation” were their grateful responses.

The only thing better than hearing the applause is receiving the award money. and the checks are in the mail. The Athens will use it to pay for youth summer camp, with over 200 students applying already! The Shoestring will have another season of youth actors. A tour through the new Hope Animal shelter highlights their need and their gratitude for the award check. They’ll be replacing the dog runs, which are sadly needed.

Our money will have an impact on these nonprofits.

It’s thanks to our Krewe’s financial support that these nonprofits continue to make our town a caring, creative place to live. Well done, Krewe of Amalee!

List of Nonprofit Awardess


Art Museum

Art appreciation



DeLand Marching Band

Student music

Fall Festival of Arts

Juried art show

Shoestring theater


West Volusia Historical Society

Historical document

Fragile Families

4Sites, Inc.

Vision impaired students

Advent Health Foundation

Philanthropic opportunities

Back Buddies

Meals for school aged kids

CATALYST Global Youth

Self development

Childhood Cancer

Financial assistance

Deland Police Athletic League

Reduce juvenile delinquency

Domestic Abuse

Service to survivors of abuse

Easter Seals

Underinsured special needs kids

Family Renew

Safe homes

Good Samaritan

Free medical, dental, health care

Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler & Volusia Counties

Connect people with resources

House Next Door

Help families with childhood abuse

Sisters build networks for Girls and Man UP mentoring

Develop friendships

Young Life

Train leaders/camp scholarships


Furry Nation Salvation

Animal rescue

Journey’s End

Animal sanctuary

Poodles & Pooches

Rescue, aid special need dogs

Sarah Harper

Animal rescue

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