May 9, 2018
Windsor, ON – More than 200 people came together in support of children’s literacy at United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County’s Women Leading the Way luncheon, an annual celebration of inspiring local women, held at the Fogolar Furlan.
Coming right before Mother’s Day weekend, the luncheon and keynote address focused on the power of women coming together to affect change. At the heart of the event, were the 35 Women Leading the Way members, who give their time, talent, and financial resources, and stand with a growing global United Way force of 70,000+ women dedicated to creating a world of opportunity for everyone, starting in Windsor and Essex County.
Locally, Women Leading the Way’s community development focus has been on women, youth, and children’s issues. Members collectively choose the United Way projects they will invest in. To date they have contributed over $120,000 to United Way’s On Track to Success program, and collected 500 children’s books to bring the power of words to the kids in United Way’s Summer Lunch program which served a healthy lunch to 900 kids in West Windsor and Leamington last year during the summer when school nutrition programs aren’t available.
“Women Leading the Way is a network. It’s more important now than ever before to support, and encourage, and lift each other up," says Lynda Pizzolitto, Operations Manager at Reliance Home Comfort, and Chair of Women Leading the Way. “It’s amazing what you can do when you come together, and I’d like to encourage others to consider joining Women Leading the Way and championing the important local community work we are doing."
At the luncheon, presented by KPMG, guests were asked to contribute a new or gently used children’s book to be donated to this year’s Summer Lunch program. Guests were treated to a keynote address from best-selling local children’s author and business woman, Shelley Awad, and they also learned about some of the students participating in the On Track to Success program.
“There is an inspiring uprising of care happening in our community, and these women are leading the way in helping to reduce childhood poverty,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way.
To see a list of current Women Leading the Way members, or to learn more about how to get involved with Women Leading the Way, visit weareunited.com/WomenLeadingTheWay or contact Lauren Nantau, United Way Relationship Manager at 519-258-0000 ext. 1218.
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About Women Leading the Way
Women Leading the Way in Windsor-Essex County is a diverse group of committed female leaders working together to create real change in our community through United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County. Women have a unique approach to giving and a desire to create true, lasting change. This initiative combines the benefits of a small giving circle with a trusted organization – United Way.
About Shelley Awad
This year’s keynote speaker is local best-selling children’s author Shelley Awad. Awad began writing children's books in 2009, and became a Canadian best-selling author in 2011. The Greenhouse Kids series is authored for children of all ages. Awad also founded a literacy program "Readers Grow Into Leaders" in 2010 to spark an interest in reading for young elementary school students and to help increase literacy rates in our community. Awad has visited several schools in our community, surprising students with free books. Awad is also a successful business woman. She owns several Internet companies housed under Greenhouse Style Corporation which have produced multi-millions in sales. Awad also mentors other business women through both speaking and participating in networking events and has been featured in print, television and radio.