By Matt Wiley

A swirl of colors fills the dance floor inside Hunter’s Green Country Club (HGCC) to the sound of “Feliz Navidad,” as the girls of the Las Mariposas Dance Troupe twirl their gowns and perform traditional Mexican dances to kick off a dinner in their honor during the Northeast Tampa Women in Business (NETWIB) meeting Dec. 13.

The holidays are a time for giving, and NETWIB made it a point to make sure that this group of 17 less fortunate girls from the Farmworkers Self Help (FSH) Teen Center had a Christmas they won’t soon forget.

FSH, based in Dade City, is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 15,000 Mexican farm workers and their families in Pasco and surrounding counties. According to its Facebook page, FSH works to “find solutions to the problems of the farm worker population and helps promote self-reliance, development and independence within the farm worker community.”

“Most of these girls are at, or below, the poverty level,” explains Dulcee Loehn, the current NETWIB vice president, who also owns Focal Point Business Performance of Tampa Bay. “We got involved because we want to help the girls realize that there are opportunities out there for them. They’re isolated, so it helps for them to get out and interact with groups like this and talk to other women. ”

Instead of just having a regular monthly meeting, NETWIB “adopted” the group of girls, ages 4 to 24, for the holidays and purchased gifts for them, as well as dinner at HGCC during the NETWIB meeting where the Los Mariposas dancers performed.

NETWIB president Kelly Mothershead, who also owns A Focus On Fitness, a weight management and personal training company in Wesley Chapel, explains that after hearing about the group at a Wesley Chapel Rotary meeting, she went out to Dade City and did “a night of health, beauty and fitness” for the girls. She even gave a CPR-certification class to the young dancers so that they would be able to volunteer at local hospitals.

“I think that this night will help the girls see that there are other choices out there for them,” Mothershead explained. “They don’t have to just stay in their community, get married and have babies. That’s great if that’s what they choose to do, but this will give them an opportunity to talk to women who are business owners from multiple backgrounds and see that there is more out there.”

After the performance, the group heard a story from 23-year-old Patricia Jauregui, a dancer in the troupe who also is a breast cancer survivor. Patricia explained that just a year ago, she had been diagnosed with kidney failure and Stage IV breast cancer, but battled through it with six chemotherapy treatments. She currently is attending Pasco-Hernando Community College.

“And now, I’m dancing with the girls,” Jauregui said. “Life is good.”

The group enjoyed a buffet-style dinner with chicken potpie, salad, vegetables and potatoes with cheesecake and pumpkin pie for dessert, before more than 75 gifts, including two bicycles, were distributed to the girls.

“We’ll definitely continue to do this, whether it’s for the same group, or a different group, next year,” Mothershead said.

NETWIB is a networking group for women, dedicated to helping women succeed in business. The group began in 2003 and meets once a month at HGCC. For more information, including meeting times, please visit


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