Smart Party, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham’s signature fundraiser, is set for Oct. 10 and celebrates the Smart Honorees, a prestigious group of women leading in their fields and creating change in their communities.
Smart Party brings together more than 500 people to raise money and awareness for the Women’s Fund, which works to help women by investing in post-secondary education, job training, affordable child care and more.
“It’s an opportunity for people to mingle with their friends (and) other people in the community, and just celebrate the women being honored,” said Javacia Harris Bowser, 2019 Smart Party chair and a past Smart Honoree. “We have a leader board and it will be on a big screen, and it will tell you the order of people who are fundraising because there are prizes you can win if you raise the most money (and) the second most, and then the third prize goes to the person who is the most social.”
Bowser, who has served on the Smart Party Committee for the past two years, said the work of the organization is needed in the community.
“The more time I’ve spent with the Women’s Fund, the more I learn what they’re doing and just how important it is and how effective it is,” Bowser said. “It’s important to help people with problems. . . but we’re also going to need people and organizations working and asking, ‘Why is this a problem in the first place and what can we do about it?”, and that’s what the Women’s Fund does.”
The Women’s Fund enhances economic opportunity for women and their families through philanthropy, research and advocacy.
The organization not only “honors women succeeding in their careers, but they’re doing all of this work helping women start careers. … They make sure women have education, make sure they have transportation to get to that education, make sure they have affordable and safe child care and make sure they have what they need so once they get a job they can keep a job,” Bowser said.
She added that Smart Party is “a really great opportunity to celebrate women in town who are doing noble and noteworthy things, but also a great opportunity for other people to learn what the Women’s Fund is and how important it is.”
The event combines an honors program with the fundraiser.
“Anyone who purchases a ticket can be a fundraiser, so that’s part of how the fundraising works,” Bowser said. “You buy the ticket and you raise funds and you can compete for fun prizes and all of that, and all of the women who are being honored are encouraged to raise money, too, so friends and families and coworkers can join in as well.”
The 10 honorees this year are:
- Gail Bayer, community volunteer.
- Yazmin Cavale, CEO and co-founder of GLOW.
- Megan LaRussa Chenoweth, style director and founder, Style Yourself Chic.
- Stephanie Cooper, vice president of public relations, Alabama Power Company.
- Leesha Ellis-Cox, psychiatrist and author.
- Bertha Hidalgo, assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology, and associate scientist, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- Cathy Sloss Jones, president, Sloss Real Estate.
- Evelyn Mitchell, senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Regions.
- Michelle Piechowicz, brewmaster, Dread River Distilling Co.
- Britney Summerville, vice president of Community Engagement, Shipt.
For tickets and additional event details, visit www.womensfund.smartparty.org.
This story originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.