The Family Resource Centre (FRC) marked International Women’s Day at the Kimpton Seafire Resort Hotel on Sunday (8 March).
The brunch for a cause, hosted as part of FRC’s Honouring Women Month, celebrated the diversity, strength, complexity and resilience of women past and present.
The event attracted 150 women from all walks of professional life. Their support will give to single parent families access to FRC programming. They also attended to network with like-minded individuals and to hear from LaShonda Coleman, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator for Students at Pepperdine University.
Before the keynote speaker took to the stage, attendees mingled, took pictures at the photo booth and reviewed the silent auction items.
Once seated, they were entertained by young opera singer Daniella Shibli. A favourite from last year’s IWD Luncheon, the teenager received a standing ovation.
Mistress of Ceremonies Erin Kaufman introduced Ms Coleman, who gave a powerful address on 2020’s IWD themes: #EachforEqual and “Empowered Women, Empower Women.” The keynote speaker asked attendees to take on leadership opportunities within the community and at work and cited education as one of the key factors in securing gender parity. Furthermore, Ms Coleman suggested that the path to empowering women was to “honour, educate, lead and persist (HELP).” While acknowledging that not everyone’s route through formal learning is easy or indeed straightforward, she reasoned that persistence was paramount and encouraged attendees to share their education story with others on their table. Ms Coleman also chose three women from the audience to share their instructive stories with those present.
Following the well-received keynote address, the FRC sold off items in their silent auction. These included four original oil paintings (including a picture painted at the brunch by artist Kay Smith), a spa treatment and a basket of best-selling feminist literature.
The champagne brunch included a carvery and buffet stations with seafood options, cheeses, fruit and a variety of desserts.
The dance troupe, Dream Chasers gave a mesmerising performance of an original piece devised by their founder and choreographer Melisha McField.
Director of Counselling Services Judith Seymour gave a vote of thanks. She acknowledged the generous sponsors who support the FRC’s major public awareness campaigns and year-long programmes, in particular this year’s IWD Platinum Sponsor the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing. She also welcomed Community Affairs Councillor Austin Harris.
“The IWD Brunch keynote address reinforced the message that everyone has a role to play in forging gender parity,” she commented.
“I was heartened to see so many people at the celebration who are truly invested in being a part of this movement. It requires advocacy, inclusive mind sets and concrete action from each of us to collectively bring about further change,” Ms Seymour concluded.
Charmaine Miller, FRC’s Programme Coordinator was also pleased by the support received for the fundraising brunch.
“This event has raised approximately $15,000 that will directly benefit single parent families accessing FRC’s clinical programmes,” Mrs. Miller advised.
“This year, the funds will help alleviate some of the stressors these families experience at times, which are additional barriers to making positive changes in their lives. Thanks to the monies raised several single parent families will now have access to further education, as well as specialised academic support and free summer camps and aftercare programmes for their children,” she concluded.