Girls Inc. of Westchester Raises Over $150,000 at 2020 Virtual Gala

1st row (L-R): Audra McDonald, Maria Weaver, Daisy H., Collette V. Smith
2 nd Row (L-R): Tara Rosenblum, Asanya B., Ivanna B., Aria L., Michelle A. Nicholas
3 rd Row: (L-R): Morgan A., Katrine Beck, SAGE, Helen C. (Photos provided by courtesy of Girls Inc. of Westchester County)

Girls Inc. of Westchester County (GIWC) held its Strong Smart & Bold Gala virtually on Thursday, September 24, 2020 and honored Comcast Advertising Executive Maria Weaver and Collette V. Smith, Founder, President and CEO of Believe N You, and NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach. This year’s event streamed online on the Girls Inc. of Westchester County website at www.girlsincwestchester.org, which highlighted program participants and recognized the achievements of strong, smart, and bold women.

“On behalf of Girls Inc. of Westchester County, I would like to thank everyone who attended our virtual Strong Smart & Bold Gala as well as everyone who generously donated,” said Michelle A. Nicholas, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Westchester County. “Although we were unable to meet in person due to the pandemic, I could feel the energy and love through the screen. This event was a team effort, from our Gala Committee members, to our girls, to our current and former Board members, to our staff, and to our supporters. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we will able to continue the important work of inspiring and empowering all girls in Westchester County to be Strong, Smart, and Bold!”

Gala attendees enjoyed a special presentation from the comfort of their home that showcased musical entertainment, personal stories from GIWC program participants, and featured this year’s honorees Maria Weaver and Collette V. Smith as they accepted their awards. In addition, a special message was delivered from Tony Award winning actress and singer Audra McDonald, and an online auction and Live Appeal was held, which helped GIWC reach their goal of raising $150,000 for their continued programming. The night was led by News 12 Anchor and Reporter, Tara Rosenblum, who engaged with participants during the evening’s live chat.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizing the challenges brought forth by social distancing, GIWC has been able to provide a safe space for girls to be healthy, educated, and independent by transitioning their programming from in person to virtual. The positive response and success of their virtual programming led GIWC to expand their programming into the summer months. Now in the fall season, GIWC is continuing to provide virtual programming with the following sessions underway in STEM, SAT/ACT Prep, Self-Care, Journalism, Creative Writing, Virtual Theater, Digital Media, Public Speaking, and more, providing opportunities for all girls throughout Westchester County to be empowered and inspired.

To watch this year’s gala or make a donation towards the continuation of programming provided by Girls Inc. of Westchester County, please visit www.girlsincwestchester.org.

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