“In and About” in Winston-Salem with LEAD Girls Soiree

As we hopefully see a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, our community organizations continue to be creative in order to comply with COVID restrictions and continue their mission, including annual events.

LEAD (Learning Everyday Accomplishing Dreams) Girls provides tools and resources to low-income/at-risk preteen girls helping them become productive citizens and active leaders in their communities. LEAD equips and mentors girls to aspire and achieve greatness academically, emotionally, and creatively.

In lieu of the annual Soiree held in honor of LEAD Girls, a special virtual video event and awards ceremony was held on March 28th, marking the 5th anniversary of LEAD Girls. The event chairs were Mary Jamis and Dr. Paula Wilkins and the honorary chair was Natalie Broyhill. The video event showcased the many accomplishments of LEAD Girls in 2020, honored four girls with awards, and celebrated the nonprofit’s 5th anniversary.

LEAD Girls was thrilled to work on the celebration video with Gregg Jamback of Swiftwater Media and Nate Berry of Lightwater Video Productions. Supporters were encouraged to visit the website or Facebook page to view the video. It is still available by visiting: www.leadgirls.org/2021-soiree/.

There was also a silent auction—just as if the participants were there in person. It opened two weeks prior and was a huge success with donations from local businesses and a special partnership with Artworks Gallery artists.

To recognize the event “in person” for the entire community, on the evening of the 28th, Kimpton Cardinal Hotel lit up their building in LEAD’s signature teal and pink colors to further celebrate LEAD and their 5th anniversary. Four of the staff members and the Honorary Chair (Natalie Broyhill) met at the Kimpton to witness the colors firsthand, joined by their families and Tommy Hicks, Community Engagement Coordinator of Truliant Federal Credit Union. “It was such a special experience and honor to see our colors illuminated above the city we serve,” said Britney Dent, Director of Programs.

“Although we could not celebrate in person, we felt it was important to continue our annual soiree. We wanted to celebrate the work that we have done for the past five years towards alleviating the barriers to success that our girls face,” said Joy Nelson Thomas, Founder and Executive Director. “More importantly, we wanted to honor the perseverance and resilience of our girls. Despite the many challenges this year has presented them between virtual learning and social distancing in a very formative period of their lives, they have embraced these challenges with grit and grace and we are so proud of their accomplishments.”

Thomas continues, “The funds raised by our Soiree Silent Auction and LEADher Circle donations will be used to sustain our programming for the 250 girls we serve so they have continued opportunities to grow and thrive this year. Their grit inspires us, so we were inspired to make this year’s virtual Soiree a success for them!”

The sponsors for the soiree were The Chronicle, Truliant Federal Credit Union; M Creative; Maynard & Harris, Attorneys at Law; PPL; Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; Denise D. Adams, Mayor Pro Tempore; Goodwill Industries; WSSU School of Health Sciences; Kilpatrick Townsend; and CC Baller Creations, LLC.

Concurrently, LEAD Girls launched their inaugural LEADher Circle. This Circle—based on the belief that every girl deserves the chance to thrive—was created in partnership with three local leaders and friends of LEAD Girls: Natalie Broyhill, Mary Jamis, and Dr. Paula Wilkins.

A special Thank You to Rei Haycraft, Creative Director at United Way of Forsyth County and Instructor at Sawtooth School for Visual Art, who helped with the video’s sound and other details to help us go “live.”

Save the date for next year’s soiree, March 2022. For more information on LEAD Girls

Visit www.leadgirls.org.



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