The newly-established Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College reported to Historic City News that more than three hundred women gathered in the historic Dining Room of the former Hotel Ponce de Leon for the organization’s inaugural fundraising event.
The mission of “Women of Vision” is to fund scholarships and opportunities for women attending Flagler College and to establish an endowment fund for these endeavors.
“This was the largest assembly to ever take place in the College’s Dining Room,” College President William T. Abare, Jr., told local reporters.
The luncheon was immediately preceded by a silent auction of dozens of designer purses. Attendees had the opportunity to browse the purses and place silent bids while enjoying “mocktails” and cocktails. Winning bidders were revealed at the end of the luncheon.
“This event is overwhelming,” said Women of Vision Board member Lynda Kirker. “The energy here today is awesome; everyone is having such a good time with the bidding, and in the meantime we’re raising substantial funds for scholarships. I’m very happy with the turnout.”
Nationally-recognized health and fitness expert, Chris Freytag, was the luncheon’s keynote speaker.
“I am so humbled and thankful for the time and passion everyone has put into this event,” said Board chair Robin Cooper. “We have all these amazing women here today — all in one place and one time — and they’re giving so much support to the scholarship initiative. It’s very gratifying.”
President Abare delivered introductory remarks at the luncheon, and he praised the commitment of Board members and luncheon attendees to help Flagler’s students. “Ninety percent of students attending Flagler College receive some sort of financial aid,” he said. “Many of these are first-generation college students, and financial aid is especially important to them. The work being done here today at the Power of the Purse luncheon is enormously significant for the women who will benefit from scholarships and other opportunities. I’m very grateful to these Women of Vision for their hard work and focus.”
The luncheon also included the unveiling of the 2015 Women of Vision Tribute Book, a special publication featuring written tributes honoring women who have inspired or left meaningful impressions. Tributes were purchased in memory of a loved one or in recognition of a living person.
The Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College this year awarded scholarships to two students: Chloe Petito, a St. Augustine native double-majoring in Accounting and Economics; and Shannon Schmidt, an active Student Government participant double-majoring in History and English.
Flagler College and the Women of Vision Advisory Board extend a sincere thank-you to all the sponsors who helped make the Power of the Purse event possible, especially our Diamond-Level sponsors: Flagler Hospital St. Augustine; the Delores Barr Weaver Fund; Leonard’s Photography, Printing, and Publishing; and Bozard Ford Lincoln.
For more information about the fund and how to give, visit www.flagler.edu/wov.
Photo credits: © 2015 Historic City News contributed photograph by Zach Thomas, Monarch Studio