'I Believe You'
Cherished Fort Worth luncheon continues legacy of applause for outstanding women
Now in its 27th year, SafeHaven's annual Legacy of Women Luncheon is one of Fort Worth's most beloved philanthropic events of fall.
More than 420 guests gathered at the Fort Worth Convention Center on October 18 to learn about and support Tarrant County’s largest and most comprehensive nonprofit organization aiming to end intimate partner violence. Most were dressed in shades of purple, the color of domestic violence awareness, as October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Patrons arrived at the downtown ballroom greeted by a mimosa reception, photo step-and-repeat, opportunities to place an early bid on an array of special raffle packages, and a chance to purchase one of the organizations newest #StartbyBelieving campaign T-shirts designed by three local female artists.
When everyone sat down to lunch, emcee, activist, and WFAA Reporter Hannah Davis welcomed the crowd. SafeHaven President and CEO Kathryn Jacob then took the stage to share her thoughtful and emotional experience as a social worker, mother, and advocate for survivors of domestic violence with guests.
“The Annual Legacy of Women Event is a 27-year-long tradition that expands awareness of the astonishing one in three Tarrant County women who will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, while honoring women who are leaders and advocates in our region," she said.
She reminded the audience to always tell victims, "I believe you." The crowd even repeated the words back to her.
Guests dined on a wedge salad with goat cheese and dried papaya, followed by a roasted chicken breast with glaze de poulet and an alternating dessert of a fruit tart and opera cake. A moving video showcasing the work and success of SafeHaven’s long-standing programs and new endeavors played on big screens around the room.
Bidding then got competitive in a live auction conducted by auctioneer Louis Murad. In total, four luxury prize packages were auctioned for thousands of dollars, including sports tickets, hunting excursions, and tropical getaways. (One blushing bride-to-be said she plans to use her winning trip to Mexico as her honeymoon. Salud!)
After the auction, SafeHaven case worker Tomeka Garnett shared her story of her childhood experiences with the organization; her mother fled an abusive relationship and turned to SafeHaven for help. Inspired by her words, many around the room raised their paddles once again to contribute directly to the organization, even for $100.
The luncheon culminated with an award presentation of the Legacy of Women pin (created by Diamonds & Designs) to this year’s honorees, 10 female advocates and leaders:
- Marianne Auld, Kelly, Hart and Hallman Managing Partner
- Beth Battles, Texas Wesleyan University Professor
- Monika Bennett, Merrill Lynch Business Support Manager
- Kimberly DeWoody, Whitley Penn Audit Partner
- Patti Irwin, XTO – Retired
- Sandra McGlothlian, Empire Roofing, Empire Texas Equities and Empire Disposal Co-Founder
- Teresa Montes, Frost Bank/Community Leader
- Debbie Morrison, BRIT Board Member
- Gigi Westerman, The S & G Group Partner
- Ann Zadeh, Fort Worth City Councilwoman, District 9
The event concluded with the celebratory announcement of six lucky raffle prize winners. Prizes included a Macy’s shopping spree, Mira Vista Country Club package, an escape to the mountains, and more.
In all, the 2019 Legacy of Women Luncheon raised more than $150,000 through the auction, sponsorship, and raffle tickets to support the ongoing efforts of SafeHaven.